This must be the eighth draft of this post, at least. Never before have I been so stumped on how to write something. How to say something – I’m paid in my day job for ability to communicate a message, and now I want to talk about choosing your friends carefully, I can’t.
The basic premise of this blog post is to tell you what I’ve learnt this year in terms of the importance of friends and boyfriends/girlfriends/partners. Not the old “it’s important to have a support network in place” – which it absolutely is. But why it’s important to choose them carefully.
While we were sat around after work one day my sister asked me if I thought my life now, is better than it was this time last year. I can honestly tell you it is, immeasurably so. I feel happier, more confident and motivated and all round more sparklier. Then she asked how much of that was down to Craig.
My sister has a lot of talents, one of which is asking the right questions. The blunt type that get you thinking, even when you didn’t realise there was anything to think about. She got me thinking about Craig, how and why he influenced me… which then in turn got me thinking about others that have been in my life.
“Show me your friends, and I will tell you who you are.” Or at least that is what they say. This year I have been actively removing people from my life who deal in negativity. I’ve tried my best not to be mean, but I’ve walked away from some and simply stopped reaching out to others.
Until I reached that moment – the moment when a lightbulb switches on for no explicable reason and makes you see things in the proper light, I think it’s hard to see how people affect you. Negativity is sneaky, whether it is the unhealthy relationship, the ‘friend’ that is always full of drama and falling outs, or others… it starts as an aspect of your life then seeps deeper.
It’s hard to tell when negativity and being unmotivated becomes the norm but at some point it does. And that is one of the scariest things.
If you hang around with people who do not want to follow their dreams, or who are critical of you, of others and the world in general… well it may not make you like that. You may still have that dream nestled safe inside, secretly nursing the spark; but you will be less likely to fight for it. To chase your dreams and live the best life you can.
This year I’ve spent the last eight months (roughly) with a man named Craig. And obviously being in love with him may have skewed my judgement slightly. However I think my sister had a point when she asked how much of my present life was down to him.
There were three things about Craig that stood out immediately. And which in turn have rubbed off on me.
- He Doesn’t Judge
Firstly, I can be quite private at times but from the start I needed to tell him everything. And I mean everything. All the dirty little bits you wouldn’t normally tell a new boyfriend… like the fact that drunken desert means you are almost bursting out your spanx #Sexy
He takes people, and situations as they are. And while I do try to keep assumptions to a minimum I do sometimes fail. I don’t think I’m alone in this, we all do it from time to time. However seeing how much his approach puts people (and me) at ease has made me want to strive to do better, to be less cynical and accept people at face value.
- He’s Kind
I cannot think of one day or night we’ve had where he has not helped someone. Whether it’s taking empty glasses back to the bar on the reg (can you tell he works in a bar?) Or stopping in the street to help stranger. He see’s moments that a lot of people rush by.
Just as a friend’s negativity can become the norm, and seep into your life – so can kindess. And it feels a hell of a lot better and lighter.
- He’s Positive
Fun fact: on our mini-break in Blackpool (which you can read about here) I nearly killed us on the motorway. I cannot vouch that he was 100% telling the truth – but when he says “it’s fine” and the like… he seems so darn positive that you believe him. Whenever I’ve had an idea, or got us lost, he’d be adamant it will work out.
His positive view makes you want to try things – even if you don’t fully believe it will all A-OK. And I guess not only does that make you more motivated to try new things yourself, it’s also made me want to be that person. I want to be the positive person that cheers others on.
I don’t want this blog post to slide into a ramble, but I’m scared it has. So I’ll just leave it here and tell you this:
Choose your friends carefully, because if you choose them well you may just go on to conquer your world.