Would you invite ants to your picnic? I'm sure you would prefer not to! So my question to you is why would you invite into your life people that are unpleasant and/or not in your best interest? Sometimes it happens because someone intimidates us. Sometimes we think someone is a wonderful addition to our lives and then as time goes by we realize otherwise.
Certainly, the experience of an unwelcome guest at our "picnic" is a universal happening. I am talking about our lives. Our "picnics" are a metaphor for each of our lives. And what a delight our lives should be! Just like a wonderful picnic, each day should be a great daily event where the food is wonderful, the weather is sunny and people who respect and care about us are our guests. Laughter and wisdom should prevail, along with kindness, interest in others, and positive energy. Feelings of delight should have guest passes. So how do we get rid of those nasty ants walking on our beautiful red and white checkered picnic cloth?
Let's talk about two different types of invaders. The first are people who are simply not in your best interest. They may appear as friends or even be your relatives, but you know at some profound gut level that they are not invested in your well-being as much as you would expect for whatever the level of connection is. The second type of invader is the person who seems to drain you of your energy. Talking to one of them for five minutes may make you feel exhausted or depleted for the rest of the day. Sometimes you don't know what hit you; it happens so fast. How do we push back from both types of people? Of course, the answers can be extremely complicated as one of these invaders may be your boss, or a close relative, or a friend of your dearest friend, etc. Often, we can not just dismiss these people from our lives, but here are a few suggestions:
- If someone is draining your energy, you can imagine a protective shield of some sort around you when you are with them. Perhaps you can think of a plastic shield that surrounds you.
- Make sure with someone that drains you that you don't spend extra time together that you can avoid.
- When people are not in your best interest, you may find it helpful to genuinely take a real interest in them. Focusing on them when you chat will not only make them feel good, but may actually change their attitude toward you. Some people are simply not in your best interest as they feel competitive and even envious. So if they feel you really care about them, in an instant, they relax and begin to care about you.
- For more serious negative invaders of your success in life, you may have to truly distance yourself. This can be as dramatic as not seeing someone anymore or may simply mean learning how to get off the phone quickly when you have to talk to them. Of course, at this level of separating, you may need counseling or psychotherapy to help you protect yourself and distance.
Watch my video, Ridding Ourselves Of Bad Tenants.
Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, internationally known Positive Psychologist is the creator of The Enchanted Self ®, a positive psychology method for happiness. She is in private practice in Long Branch, New Jersey with her husband, Dr. Russell M. Holstein. Dr. Barbara can be found on the web, interviewed, writing articles and posting video 'TED' style talks on Happiness, Positive Psychology, Relationships and Parenting. She has been a contributor to Heart and Soul, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Redbook, Real Simple, The Wall Street Journal, Time online, the Today Show and Family Circle Magazine. Some of her books include: The Enchanted Self, A Positive Therapy; The Truth, Diary of a Gutsy Tween and Around Every Corner, Romance & Mystery. All can be found on Amazon. Major websites include: www.enchantedself.com, www.thetruthforgirls.com and on Facebook: Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein-Psychologist & Author. Tweet her at: @drbholstein or @truth4girls.
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