I’m not a relationship expert by any means, but I have the privilege of calling a few people family, “my other family” (the ones that aren’t related to you by blood, but rather you choose each other to be part of the family), and a wonderful husband. All of the above relationships have been there for me through thick and thin, have held me when I cried, and supported me in my crazy endeavours. They are the ones in this for the long haul. The other types of relationships that exist: workmates, casual friends, acquaintances, business relations, etc are types of relationships that resemble a revolving cast of characters, new ones come into your life, old ones leave but sometimes make a guest appearance. These relationships should be constantly evaluated for their purpose in your life, and we should all learn how to let go of people who are not benefitting our lives.
Before we jump to the conclusion that we should all be selfish and only seek out people that serve a purpose in our lives, we should think about that in a really basic way. I propose that we should be more understanding of the fact that people change throughout their lives, and even though you may be best friends with someone when you’re 16, you may have nothing in common when you’re 30 (true story). So why would you try and force someone to be your friend at that point? All you’re doing is wasting time, and probably building resentment toward that person, keeping you from having a connection down the road.
In my transformation challenge I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching, and asking myself tough questions like:
- why do you let so-and-so take advantage of you?
- why don’t you stand up for yourself when someone is wrong?
- why are you a pushover?
While evaluating my life situation, I have realized that I need to perform some major relationship overhauls. The first relationship overhaul I made was to finally tell some really awful roommates to move out (I won’t be posting my story to the website, since I feel that putting that type of negative energy out into the world is counterproductive). I had had enough of their abuses, and decided that they were not adding value to my life, instead they were making my living situation miserable. The next group of relationships that were given a makeover were my co-workers. All of the people I work with are amazing, we have a lot of fun together since we often see each other more in a week than our own families. Once I decided to start my transformation challenge and you could start to see results of my efforts, most of my team started to follow my lead. We stopped bringing in doughnuts and chips and soda and instead take turns bringing in fresh fruit and vegetables to share. Several people have even signed up to do the Color Run with me in June!
As far as relationships go, I think that there are those that are more malleable and flexible, while others are very specific serving one purpose and once fulfilled should move on. It’s hard to change yourself without changing others around you, in the case of my co-workers. You can be a good influence on a lot of people when you are trying to lead a healthier and happier life. Others may not understand you, and that’s okay too, but don’t allow them to control your happiness or jeopardize your goals.
Give those who have been there for you props too, they have seen your progression of change and have stayed by your side. Next time you’re hanging out with them, give them a great big hug and tell them how much their dedication means to you.