Continuing in the spirit of kicking off the new year with a new mindset, let’s tackle a topic that plays a larger role in our lives than we sometimes realize or even want to acknowledge.
I used to get really defensive when someone would try to give me advice about people I considered myself friends with or who I associated with. I was defensive mostly because I’ve always thought I was pretty good at choosing the right people to be around but I also didn’t like hearing that maybe I’d gotten it wrong. But as with most things in life, you live and you learn and I’ve learned that you can’t take associations lightly.
A few months ago I started reading a new book that I’ve heard so much about, The 48 Laws of Power. About two or three pages in I understood why the book is so popular and timeless. I’m not even through half of the laws yet, but many of the author’s points have already jumped out at me. One of the most interesting points was the concept of friendships and associations and through studying the concept, I learned that the people in our lives actually have the ability to infect us.
Infection in this case doesn’t mean with a sickness or disease (although that could happen), it refers to the transferring of luck or events in life. Allow me to explain while simultaneously giving you tips to help make sure your relationships are healthy.
Let’s start with doing a relationship audit.
Is there anyone in your life who just seems miserable? What about someone who always finds themselves in the middle of drama? Anyone who constantly has misfortune come on them? They go on the list of infectors. It may seem harmless to you but remember how we usually find out about infections – the problems begin to show over time.
How could they infect me?
It’s all about moods and vibes. As humans with emotions, we are extremely sensitive to the moods and vibes of others. Think about how many times you’ve been around someone and their energy transferred to you, putting you in a bad mood. If we spend a lot of time around someone, their ways of thinking could even begin to have an influence on our own.
What if they’re really going through something or catching a bad break in life?
Here’s the thing. We all go through tough times in life and those times can be extremely difficult to navigate. However, tough times don’t last always nor do they just “pop up” over and over. Sometimes we can bring tough times and unhappiness on ourselves and if any of your associates does this, they have to go. Those who are suffering from things beyond their control deserve empathy and help by all means. But if someone repeatedly finds themselves on the shitty end of life and their circumstances point back to choices they made (or didn’t make), they have to be shown tough love. In theory it would be perfect to be able to lift them up and help them get on track but most of the time, it doesn’t happen because their issue is internal – meaning, you can’t fix it. What happens a lot of the time is that their patterns begin to infect you and before you know it, you all are in the same boat.
How does all that affect me? I’m not easily influenced.
You may not be easily influenced…but are you a risk taker? What risks do you think are worth it? By keeping infectors in your circle, you run the risk of losing time and energy trying to free yourself from their company. These kind of people latch on and are hard to get rid of after you’ve been a listening ear to their long list of problems. They don’t understand that they are the problem – they play the victim and it’s time consuming trying to think of clever ways to get them to see that but in a way that doesn’t hurt their feelings. The best way to break from the infection is to isolate yourself. Spend a little time away from them, create a healthy distance. As the popular saying goes, “birds of a feather flock together,” so you are risking being viewed in the same light as they are by constantly keeping them around. Is it worth it? Does that help move you forward in your own endeavors?
I know it seems harsh but it’s that hard core truth that you need if you really want to see change in your life this year and in the future. I’ve watched this scenario unfold in real time. Someone I know was brought down by their circle and didn’t realize it until the damage was done. Hell, I’ve been in this situation before but thankfully caught it before it got too out of hand – even though I’m still dealing with some of the consequences.
This is real people. Don’t let someone infect you. Protect your energy!