Monday, August 26, 2013


There are people in our lives that we think we need to be there. It could be a parent, a sibling, a friend, a spouse. But in fact, our lives would be better if we limited or ended their involvement in our lives.

My mother has always said that "people only know what you tell them." She is right. If I keep sharing my life challenges with someone that filters everything through a lens that makes me feel marginalized then I need to stop sharing my life with that person.

If I have been saying for years that I need "X-y-z from you and not 1-2-3" and all you do is laugh and joke about me saying what I need from you then I need to stop sharing my life with you, regardless of the title you hold in my life.

A friend of mine has been telling her husband what she needs from him for years. She has asked him to go to counseling together, gave him the numbers for his own individual counseling and still no change. He loves her dearly and she loves him dearly but their marriage is ending.

If we really want the honor of being in someone's life, we have to do our work just as much as they have to do their work.

When we finally take the leap to release someone from our lives it can be liberating. At first it may be difficult to hold back from calling that person. But I can tell you from personal experience that it is refreshing.

There are family members I have not spoken to in years. These are people I loved dearly. But since cutting them out of my life, I have had greater peace and freedom. I don't have to hear about their gossip. Interestingly enough, the latest dumb ass thing that Cousin Dumb Ass did does not add to my life and I don't need to know about it. I am happy to live in blissful ignorance of their dumb ass antics. It is a liberating place to be.

I think it is harder to limit the interaction with people you have to deal with. For example, a co-worker or former spouse, or just one parent. Especially if it is someone you honestly love and want to be in relationship with but for your own protection, you can't. Each interaction after that initial one has to be well thought through and each interaction you hold back a little more and a little more.

The art of deflection becomes key. On Monday, when your co-worker asks about your weekend you say "It was great! Tell me about yours." That way, they think you have shared when really they did. Or if your mother asks how you are all doing, you say, "Everyone is well on this end. How are things going at your job (volunteer work, church, etc.)?" Again, she thinks you shared when you didn't.

Good luck with your weeding!

No comments: