It’s absolutely amazing to me how much the people you surround yourself with can affect you. How you feel, how you think, how you see yourself… Basically, while you get to decide who you are and who you want to be, you still have to be selective about the people you are around each day.
Yesterday, I spent the day with my mom, stepdad, husband, daughter and sisters. It was a small gathering to celebrate Christmas, as one of my sisters had covid during the actual holiday. We exchanged gifts, ate some delicious homemade food, and played games all day. I think I laughed harder yesterday than I have in a really long time, and it made me start to think about how much the people you are around affect you. This small group of people are some of my favorite people to be around, because they support me. They know me, they love me, and they accept me. Most importantly, when I started my healing journey and decided to set some firm boundaries, they all stepped up for me, where as others weren’t up for the challenge.
I’m lucky, because even though my circle is small, the people in it are amazing.
I have not only the people I mentioned above, but also my husband’s parents, his siblings and their significant others. While not everyone gets along with their in-laws, I’m actually incredibly close to my husband’s family. (His sister was even my maid of honor!) I probably spend more time with the my siblings-in-law than anyone else. There are also have handful of friends and extended family who have proven to be people that I can count on again and again.
I wasn’t always this lucky.
Before I set my boundaries, I was a people pleaser. I was the type of person who was easily walked over and that made me the perfect friend choice for a lot of really shitty people. For years, it was like I was a magnet to them. I was always surrounded by people who constantly let me down, only called when they needed something, and made me feel really shitty about myself. It’s like the shittier they made me feel, the more I was drawn to them and the more I felt a need to prove myself or try to gain their affection. I would find these people and make them my ‘best friends’. Then I would let them convince me that I was lucky to have the scraps of attention that they would give me. Constantly I found myself bending over backwards to make them a priority. I always had their backs and never really asked for anything in return. But most of the time it wasn’t enough, and there are only so many times someone can treat you like shit before you start believing you deserve it.
People affect you.
No matter how closed off or strong you might think you are, the people around you will affect you in some way. Everyone gives off a kind of energy, and that energy influences your energy whether you want it to or not. If you’re around someone who is always negative, complaining or feeling bad for themselves, it makes it hard to be positive. On the other hand, if you’re around people who vibrate at a higher frequency, going after what they want and radiating positivity, it’s hard not to follow suite.
I used to surround myself with people who put me down in order to make themselves feel better. People who complained about everyone else, played the victim whenever possible and purposely made me believe that I wasn’t good enough. This made me feel so low, but I never understood why. It wasn’t until I started setting my boundaries and changing who I was around that I started noticing it.
Once I cut the toxic people out of my life, I got better.
With some people, I gave them a choice. Treat me better or no longer be a part of my life. Some chose to stay, others did not. With other people, there was no choice. Just the decision to block, delete, and cut off all communication. It was really hard at first. Your brain automatically leans towards the familiar, so even though the people I was leaving were doing nothing but causing me pain, there was a comfort in knowing what to expect from them. Change is scary and not knowing who I was going to surround myself with instead was downright terrifying. But I did it because I knew I would be better off.
As time went by, I stopped missing them and started to feel so much lighter.
My mindset completely changed. I realized that I was worthy of love and respect. That I deserved to be happy and that it was okay to want more in life. Most importantly, I realized that I deserved the same amount of give in a relationship as there was take. That it didn’t make me needy or annoying to ask that my ‘friends’ be there for me in return. Once I changed who I was around and made my circle smaller, I started to believe in myself. What a wonderful feeling!
I started a business and a family and I started healing from a multi-trauma past. My career goals changed, my list of accomplishments got longer and I got more ambitious. But the biggest change was that I started letting my light shine rather than hiding it away because I was afraid. I stopped letting other people keep me down in order to build themselves up.
Change your people, change your life.
Take a look at the people in your life. Consider how they make you feel and how they treat you. If they are making you feel bad about yourself or pulling you down, it might be time to make a change. This might be a call for some journaling, as it can be really hard to ask people to treat you differently or to walk away from people. (you need a journal, check out my shop!) But you deserve to be happy and to be treated well. And you deserve to have people in your life who build you up, not tear you down.