I think this topic is going to be a big focus of my blog. Mainly because it is something I am still learning + probably has been one of the focal points throughout my life.
So what do I mean about protecting you? I have and still struggle with understanding people, especially why they can be unkind. Why do they leave people out? Why they can nice one minute then not the next? Or make you feel invisible? Or say undercutting comments or worst just don't comment at all if you are doing well? Is it the root of jealousy? Is it sadness in their heart? Is it a lack of intelligence - namely emotional intelligence? Lack of empathy? Narcissism? I don't know + I am not sure you will ever know. I have combined a few self help steps / things I've learnt over the years to help me deal with these people.
You can not change someone because that is controlling them. Save yourself a lot of stress + worry, and recognise, that people are who they are + it is their journey, they have to change for themselves. You can be a role model for goodness + kindness but you can't change them. So accept them for who they are. But you don't need to have them in your life or put up with their behaviour, that isn't acceptance.
D o n ' t c h a n g e y o u :
As I have mentioned this is an issue I have had since I was a little girl. I used to say to my dad when I was in primary school, but why are they mean, why can't they just be nice? I have had loads of therapy, trying to change me. As lots of people will tell you, you are too sensitive or expect too much. Whilst there is truth here, what I have learnt (after many therapy bills), that you don't need to change you, being sensitive, caring + thoughtful is your makeup, it is who you are, without it or if it is pulled back you loose your beautiful, loving, generous self. Just because others don't have these qualities, doesn't mean you have to change yourself. For example, if a friend, doesn't ever comment on how you look or asks how you are (maybe they only focus on themselves), rather than changing you, and not doing it in return (eye for eye never ends well), continue to be you, give a compliment + ask how they are, don't let them control who you are or change you, you stay authentically true to yourself. Please note - sometimes you do have to change you IF it is affecting your life negatively + when it is debilitating. If you can't go to work or leave the house, something needs to change.
W o r k o u t h o w m u c h o f y o u:
This is something I have only learnt recently and has been a game changer. What I mean about this is, don't change you as previously discussed, but protect you + work out how much of you someone gets. This will evolve with relationships over time and will take sometime to work out. I had a friend that I always contacted and asked how they are and organised catch ups. I would constantly get frustrated + ask why, it feels so one-sided. If on the off chance they did contact me, I would ask myself, should I call back, should I be cold, should I tell them how they have treated me, so they know how it feels? No! Don't change you. Respond, be kind, ask how they are, remember don't let them change or control who you are. BUT if this person continually is only giving you a little of their heart / time / attention or interest, you pull back too and do what works for you. You may be an 'accomodater' , you catch up when or where they wanted to, didn't really suit you but you just wanted to catch up. Now ask yourself, does it suit you? Also you might of told them everything and anything about you (I do it all the time), but maybe don't tell them everything all at once. If you know they don't respond how you want them to (eg you have lost weight and are proud of yourself or good things are happening at work) if they don't usually show an interest, maybe don't show all your cards straight away.
T h e c i r c l e:
I am going to do a seperate post about this because I think it is really useful. But basically 'the circle' is a practical task in which you draw a few circles within a circle (the amount of circles) will depend on the amount of people you will include. You are in the centre of the circle (some people may add their God here too). The next circle is the next group of people you can trust (don't think of who you SHOULD have here but more who you trust the most). It might be an uncle or an aunt not nessasarily a parent. The next circle, is the next group of people who you trust. Please note that people will move in and out of these circles. What your circle looks like now, may look very different in 10 years time. You may have one or two people or zero in certain levels. The closer they are to you, the closer you trust them, if they are 'far away' whatever they do can't 'hurt' you. More to come on this.
One final thought - remember to adjust your expectations. If you are usually invited or expected to be invited to things or be included, and after 3 times you haven't been invited, just expect to not be invited. Or if you continually message a friend or organise the catch ups and they don't do it in return, it is is one sided, expect to either do the organising or don't see them at all. The sad thing is, some people who were always in your inner circle, closest to your heart, the ones you could trust, my no longer be there. Don't spend hours worrying or googling (like I do - what is wrong with me?) but put it back on them, it isn't a nice trait they have and has nothing to do with you. Let them own that ugliness. You are only in control of you, as long as you are kind, that is all you need to focus on at the end of the day. Adjust expectations, don't lower them or your standards.