My mom is a huge Kenny Rogers fan, and some of my earliest memories are going to Kenny Rogers concerts with her! As a kid, his song The Gambler was my favorite. The chorus of that song is, “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em; know when to walk away and know when to run.” and while the song is about an old Texas gambler, that refrain is some pretty solid life advice!
I’ve got relationships on my mind a lot lately because they shape so much of our human experience. Whether it’s having a challenging coworker, a rough spot with your partner or a disagreement with friends, relationships have a big impact on how you feel.
As a kind person you may be more likely to hold on to some relationships for longer than you desire. I’ve been there and I know it’s not always easy to walk away, even when you know it’s time to fold ’em.
Last week we talked about a simple, gentle way to start choosing people who make you feel good and allocating your time accordingly. This week we’re taking that a step further. If you’ve got your list from last week, look at the folks on the right side of your page. Those are the folks who don’t make you feel awesome when you spend time with them. Some of the people on that list might be ones you want to keep around but in a much more limited capacity, but I’m betting some of those people are ones you’d like to walk away from. ENTER THE INNER CRITIC! “You’re mean if you don’t keep them in your life. What if you hurt their feelings? You should just keep seeing them and suck it up.”
Any of that sound familiar???
I know it feels like that inner critic voice is telling you the truth. This week I want to invite you to challenge that voice. Whatever it says, whether it’s one of the examples above or something else; instead of taking that voice as fact, pause for a moment and question it. Ask yourself if it’s really true. Is it really true that you’re mean if you distance yourself from someone who doesn’t feel good to be with? Is it really true that you’ll hurt their feelings? Do you have evidence of that? Is it really true that you need to go through life “sucking it up” in places that don’t work?
Challenging that inner critic voice and beginning to choose the people you surround yourself with is a giant act of self-kindness! Setting boundaries around how you want to be treated, how you want to use your time & energy and asking for what you need is a courageous plunge into self-kindness…and hey, if you don’t want to take my word for it, take Kenny’s.