I recently went through an exercise where I got to list people, places and things that feed me joy and steal my joy. Thankfully, I have worked very hard in my life to get rid of the people, places and things that steal my joy, so my thief list was much smaller than my feeder list. In this blog post, I am going to center around those people who steal my joy and what I look for in people who feed me joy. While places and things are easily replaceable, people are not. The relationships we get ourselves invested in can be complicated and painful to divest ourselves of.
Even so. Life is too damn short to hang around people who do not feed you joy.
Like it or not, you become the group of people you surround yourself with. If you don’t, then you spend most of your time with them fighting against their will and your own. How can that possibly feed any joy into your life? If you don’t like the people you are with but are with them only because you have no other choice or that you have settled, then you are just depreciating your self-worth. Perhaps, you may be better off alone and spend that time reflecting on who you are and who you want to become. Only then can you surround yourself with the right people. I have been there when I came out with my abuse, I virtually pressed the reset button of every relationship I ever had -even the one with myself. Over the years, I had to filter through many different friends until I found myself and found myself in them.
No, here I am. Nearly nine years into my journey and only now do I understand and embrace the person I am. I know what I am worth and I know what joy I can bring to others. I will not be a friend, just for the sake of being a friend. If I cannot give joy to you, then I cannot expect it from you. To some people and there are many out there, they are incapable of receiving the joy that I bring. There is just a general mismatch of lifestyle between us and I just cannot be friends with these people; life is too short to keep trying.
So, what characteristic of a friend steals my joy? The blamers and the quitters. I will not have blamers and quitters in my life, I just can’t. The joy that I give my friends is that of motivation, but blamers and quitters are unable to accept that joy. If I cannot give my joy, then I do not feel right to receive the joy given to me. Friendship is always a two-way street.
In the past nine or so years I have rebuilt my life without blame. It is a fundamental value that I hold in the deepest part of my heart. Blame in any form is giving up control of our lives by eliminating our impact in any situation. It doesn’t matter how you have been wronged in your life, you are always in control over the reaction you choose. Blame is merely a distraction technique to avoid learning from a life experience that triggers our inner pain. When I am surrounded by someone who blames, I immediately shut them out. I have no use for the blame game.
As for the quitters, I have a little more patience with them. I understand that sometimes life can deal you quite a blow, it can take the legs right from under you. Sometimes, we just don’t have the energy to keep fighting, and I understand that. I really do. I try my best to motivate those who are down, it is the joy that I bring. But once the quitter references blame, I tap out. There is nothing more that I can do to bring you joy, you no longer have control over your emotion, I cannot help a quitter who blames.
I find so much joy in someone who refuses to quit. They fight, not to retaliate, not to stock their ego, but they fight because not fighting isn’t an option. I careless what house you own, what job title you possess or how many figures you have in the bank. I have always supported the underdog, it is where I bring my best joy and receive my best joy. Those who blame, they have already quit. Pointing fingers is an ego trip and a sign of the utmost elitism and entitlement. I have worked too hard on the essential things in my life to listen to a blamer, I can’t relate in any aspect. The moment the finger goes up, the faster my joy drops.
Life is really too damn short to surround yourself with people who are not aligned with you. There are 7.6 billion people on this planet, surely we all can find a few folks out there who share the same values and are pointed in the same direction as us. There is no need to settle for friends that leave you feeling drained or worse like an inferior person when you are around them. Your feeling of lost joy when you are around certain people may not even be intentional, and in most cases, it is not. When we evolve and embrace change in our lives, those who are not evolving (or regressing) at the same rate or direction as you, are inevitably going to be left behind. That is life. You need to trust in your self-worth enough that you can move on from that situation and find one that feeds you the right way.
Trust your instincts, hold your self-worth in high regard, spread joy to those who are worthy and by all means possible, avoid the joy thieves; they will eventually take your life if they haven’t already.