“You can’t change the people around you, but you can change the people around you”
I’m totally in love with this quote – it doesn’t make any sense at first, but when reading it for the second time it gets such a deep meaning! And it’s true, isn’t it? So simple, yet so true. We can’t change people’s personality or characteristics, but we can change what kind of people we want to surround ourselves with. And that’s exactly the point: You can choose what kind of vibes you want to receive from the people around you. Because you’re responsible for the kind of people you surround yourself with. Of course, we can’t always choose – sometimes we’re being put together (for example at work, in groups at school or university, family) and then it’s about making the most of it. But even then, it’s up to you how much meaning you give those people and their opinions about you. How much power over yourself you want to give them really.
First of all: Trying to change people’s personality is a) not a real option and b) not worth your energy. Yet, I see so many girls/women (or men) try to change their partner, friend or whoever. Secondly, we tend to always look for the problem in ourselves – like “Am I not patient enough?”, “Am I overreacting?” or “Compared to others, I should probably … (fill blank)”. And yes, sometimes we might be overreacting – but hello, we’re only human so, those situations just happen earlier or later and that’s okay (as long as it’s not the usual). But I feel like far more often we don’t really want to (or can’t) see that it really is the other person’s fault or that he/she is causing the trouble. And also, that this trouble and those issues are a real thing! At least I personally have been in so many situations throughout my life so far, in which I haven’t really had the guts to identify serious issues or problems as such. Most of the time the situation wasn’t too bad, you know? Obviously not bad enough for me to feel like I need to take any drastic steps to change it. Of course, those things have eventually come up anyway (not all of them by themselves though) and I was forced to face the issue in one way or another. But wouldn’t it have been so much more helpful to have discussed the issue far earlier before it had caused so much damage? Most certainly.
And there is the thing: If you feel like you and this other person are not on the same page anymore or you feel weighed down (instead of lifted-up, as you should) – try to sort it out as soon as possible. And if you can’t solve it – leave it. Including the person. Because in the long-run it won’t be worth it. I’m not saying that you should give up after your first attempt (depending on how important that person is in your life, give it several tries and your very best) – but if you gave it all and it just wouldn’t work out anymore, maybe it isn’t meant to be. I have had good friends – sometimes for a very long time – but eventually it became obvious that we had gone on such different paths that our pages were nowhere close anymore (not to even talking about the same page). And that was hard – it was incredibly hard. But there are so many people that will enter and leave your life again – it’s a continuum. And first of all you should be able to live life to the fullest and grow. You should be your own best friend. And if other people around you don’t support you or worse try to prevent it (in whatever way) – burst the chains and move on without them. They’re toxic to your growth. And you would miss out on so much if you didn’t. And so often we wait for far too long anyway – so, think about it. Are the people around you really the people you want/need around you? If not – face it – and step up for yourself.
This is a topic that’s rather difficult for me – I’m a peaceful and caring person. And therefore, being brutally honest with myself and consciously deciding to exclude certain people from my life, is a hard task for me. But I guess, that’s not easy for anyone, is it? And I have learnt that it’s simply a necessity sometimes – in order to keep growing.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this and how you deal with bad or even toxic relationships in your lives. Let me know in the comments or send me a message!
Photos by Anna Nikitin