Parents want the best for their children. One way they show this is to observe the type of people their children mix with. Nobody wants their kids running with the wrong crowd.
We do not appear to find it difficult to identify that type of child either. They are rough kids, often impolite, angry, bad mannered. Too often, these ‘bad’ boys and girls appeal to others because of their wild sides, but allow our children to mix with them for too long and trouble is certain. We do not always identify them immediately, but over time their bad behaviour becomes obvious.
I often see parents having one rule for their children, and another for themselves. They tell their children to avoid drugs, passing on this advice while drinking a beer. They smack their children for hitting other children, not realising that all they are doing is teaching their children that it’s acceptable to hit people if you are bigger than they are. Mixed messages abound.
You do not want your children mixing with the wrong type of person. But what about YOU? Are you as particular about the people you spend time with? The wrong type of people drag you down. The right type of people make life better.
You have a choice.
If you are an active prospector, you have more choice of clients than do desperate salespeople who do not spend much time looking for new business.
Choose your clients. Select only those clients you feel are reasonable, approachable people. You can sell to these people and turn them into lifelong clients.
People who do not trust agents, who feel they know more than you do, who do not show respect and give you a fair hearing, and who ‘shoot the messenger’ whenever you deliver news they consider to be bad, are clients no salesperson with self-respect will take on. Leave these clients to desperate salespeople. Prospect. Seek a higher quality client.
Your friends influence you, for good or bad. Charlie ‘Tremendous’ Jones said:
“The only difference between where you are right now, and where you’ll be next year at this same time, are the people you mix with and the books you read.”
Think about your so-called friends. Do you have any that emotionally drain you, complaining about their lives, finding fault with you and your life, whingeing about the government, their job, their boss – everything? Ask yourself, “Do I feel uplifted after spending time with this person?” No? Then why are you wasting your life on people like that?
Perhaps you are co-dependent and think you can change them. You won’t. You will never raise them to your level. They will drag you down to theirs if you let them.
I know a person who, every time we meet, takes it upon himself to give me advice about how I conduct my life. I work too hard, “It’s not all about money, you know!” – just about every balanced-life cliché you can think of.
Here’s the reality: I have a wife I’ve been with for 40 years, two children I’m proud of, four wonderful grandchildren, a great business, and so much more to be grateful for. I live with people I love living with and do work I love doing. I work with people I love working with, and we are financially sound. We are content.
Now for my ‘friend’: he’s nearly fifty, single, never been in a long term relationship, is broke, lazy and whinges about how little money he has. He jams his advice down my throat because he feels that if he can find fault with my life, it will make his miserable life look a bit brighter.
My solution: I don’t see him, unless by accident. I bump into him from time to time, but keep the conversation at a superficial level. I don’t need his advice or want it, because I do not want to be like him.
Real friends want you to be happy and successful. They are happy when you are. They aren’t jealous of your success or resentful of it. If they think you are going down the wrong path they will tell you, but they will do so with the highest of motives: your wellbeing.
Run a figurative broom through the figurative Friend Closet from time to time. Get rid of the downers.
Who says that you have to like every member of your family? A controversial thought, I know.
If you have a family member that is similar to the ‘friend’ I mentioned, spend as little time with this person as you can. If he gets drunk at a family function and targets you, don’t smile politely, call him on his bad behaviour.
Do not allow people like this to victimise you. I love the saying,“Say what you mean, mean what you say, but don’t say it mean“. Be firm and polite, but say what needs to be said – that his behaviour is not acceptable to you and that you will not tolerate it. If that means that you will not attend the family events he attends, so be it. Be sure to say this in front of other family members so that you have witnesses, and so things cannot be twisted, turning you into the bad guy.
Read “Pulling Your Own Strings” by Dr Wayne Dyer. This book will teach you to set boundaries for badly-behaving people and eliminate their power to bully, manipulate and belittle you.
Some family members you see out of love. Others out of perceived duty. You teach people how to treat you. If you leave family functions feeling angry, frustrated, or resentful, why go back for more of the same treatment? Because you have to?
No you don’t.
These days, I don’t care whether it is clients, friends, or family, I do my best to spend as much time with the right ones and reduce, or eliminate completely, encounters with the wrong ones.
The right people make life better. Mix with the right people, in all areas of your life.