Choose your friends (+ social feeds!) wisely
Welcome to lesson two in my 4-part series on power.
If you missed lesson #1 (“No one gets to tell you who you are”) you can catch that right here. It’s an incredibly powerful lesson, and the Mean Girls/Clueless GIF’s alone are worth the read!
Alright, on to lesson two. It’s gonna be frank and to the point.
You ready? Cool, here it is:
EM'S POWER LESSON #2
You can, in fact, choose not to surround yourself with assholes.
Now, I know what you may be thinking.
Whoa there. Language. (I thought this was a blog about success?)
It sure is! So let me tell you why this lesson matters:
If you have anything cool to do — any sort of goal or achievement to attain — you CANNOT afford to be hanging out with, or regularly following, assholes.
If you’re not sure what the term “asshole” means, here’s an easy definition for you (courtesy of Urban Dictionary):
Like most people, I didn’t realize I was hanging around so many assholes until several years ago, when I started to transition into what I call my “real life.”
The life in which I was free to be this amazing girl who blogs and writes books and gives talks to people about authentic power.
You see, sometimes when we start seeking more for ourselves, the people we’re around can get scared that they somehow aren’t worthy of “more” too. (More success, more freedom, more power.)
Because of this, they can sometimes turn dark; Shit talking you behind your back, or passive aggressively insinuating “who do you think you are??”
If you’ve never experienced this, you have an amazing group of people around you, and these people are to be cherished.
But if you have experienced this, or are currently going through a difficult challenge with someone, please know that it has nothing to do with you.
The tell-tale sign of an asshole is when you’re working harder than ever, becoming more authentically, beautifully you, and you somehow feel like you’re “bad” for it.
“Bad” for speaking your mind, “bad” for pursuing a new job opportunity, or even “bad” for leaving one.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:
But great news! There’s a BOAT load of people out there who are going to LOVE it.
They’re going to love your new venture, your new style, your new “voice.”
Whatever it may be, the more you surround yourself with good, kind, secure and loving people, the more comfortable (and happy!) you are being you.
Even better, the more your true sense of self develops, the easier it becomes for you to recognize an asshole when you meet one. (And the less tolerant you are of having them in your life.)
I’ll give you an example:
Last week on Facebook, a guy I used to go out with shared a political cartoon. It was an image of so-called “feminists” with furry armpit hair and claws pointing rifles at scared families with children.
Given that it was such an extreme post, I decided to click on his profile, thinking maybe it was a joke.
I was wrong.
This guy’s entire profile was a slew of ugly, unapologetically misogynistic posts.
I took one abhorrent scroll, and then unfriended him on the spot.
… Just like that.
No issue. No qualm. No long, contemplative decision about whether I was being “too extreme,” or if I needed to be more tolerant of his “political views.”
Nope. I just deleted him and then moved on with my day. Knowing that I don’t need people like him in my life (or my newsfeed), and that if he ever felt the burning desire to reconnect with “that one girl who deleted him on Facebook,” he would find a way to contact me.
I’ve also done the same with former friends.
Friends whom I came to find out were being assholes behind my back; Deliberately trying to undermine my success by pointing out to as many people as possible all of the insecurities I had once shared with them in confidence.
(Classic asshole behavior.)
Though I’d made the decision to cut ties in real life, the world of social media still occasionally brought them face to face with me, so instead of just hiding them from my feed, I decided to delete them all together. Knowing full well that they’d probably realize it, and have yet another conversation shit talking me for it.
“Omg… I can’t believe she deleted me. How (fill in the blank).”
You know what I thought in response to that potentiality though?
Cool. Go ahead and talk about me. You’ll only be confirming why I don’t want you in my life to begin with!
And then that was it. I just went back to living my life, wasting not a minute more of my time on people unworthy of it.
You see how that works?
The more you remove assholes from your life, the less you have time (or are even affected) by their asshole behavior.
Honestly, when you get fully entrenched in living your amazing life — succeeding in whatever it is you’re doing, and surrounding yourself with positive people who love and support you — you find that you no longer even think about people who once brought you down.
(You’re also less likely to attract new assholes into your life. Assholes love a good stench, and you smell way too pretty for that.)
Now, I realize you might be thinking,
“Well Emily, those are extreme examples. It’s easy to unfriend people you’ll never see in real life again. What about the assholes whom you can’t, or don’t want, to remove from your life?”
Totally valid point.
In today’s political climate, the asshole in your life could very well be a family member, long-time friend or perhaps coworker whom you’re required to interact with daily. Maybe you don’t like their political posts, but you’re not going to delete them from your life.
Again, totally understandable, which is why this post isn’t about “cutting out all the negative people in your life.”
Rather, my point is this:
You are not responsible for accommodating the feelings of others.
It’s not dramatic or extreme, it’s simply what grown adults who value the quality of their lives do.
If someone deletes me from Facebook (which has happened), I don’t take offense. I just move on, knowing that they had their reasons, and if they want to be friends with me again, they will. End of story.
And if I delete someone from Facebook (which clearly you know has happened), I don’t worry about whether they’ll take offense. If I genuinely wanted to have some sort of relationship with this person, I would.
…But I don’t. (And it’s FACEBOOK, so who cares.)
Now, certain relationships are going to be more complicated than others. Only you are going to know what feels right or wrong for the situation you’re in.
But please, remember this:
If someone is being an asshole, you have every right to decide that they’re an asshole.
You don’t necessarily have to share that fact with them, but you still get to honor how their behavior is affecting you, and then respond to it accordingly.
It's your right, and you have the power to exercise it on any given day.
Take full ownership of this power, and your life will be a million times better for it. (I promise!)
Wishing you an amazing, asshole-free weekend,
Thumbnail image via: Tumblr