Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Restful relationships

While I was in Florida, I gave a presentation on living with conscious intention. One of my intentions is to have a more restful life. I first articulated it as "rest more" in 2010 and this year is my year of relaxation. (You can see there's a trend here.) As I was giving the presentation, I remembered an idea that had come to me about relationships, about choosing restful relationships and giving up those that aren't. I was delighted to rediscover the idea.

Restful relationships are those people who leave you calmer or energized when you have been with them. Their counterpart, the unrestful relationship, is the person who drains you or exhausts you. It doesn't really matter why that's true, whether it's an annoying habit, a tendency to talk all the time about nothing, a need to be the center of attention, a tendency to be cruel or overly apologetic. You know in your gut whether a relationship is restful for you or not.

It isn't possible to avoid all unrestful people. But we can minimize their impact on us. We can choose to not be around them or work for them or have them in our homes.

I used to think it was unkind not to like everybody. I certainly wanted everybody to like me. But I realized as I got more mature that both of those things are impossible. And I also realized that I wasn't really liking them. Instead I was pretending to like them. I definitely don't want people to pretend to like me.

I'm not advocating telling people they are unrestful, though I have done that a couple of times when pushed by the person in question. I just move them out of my circle and open up space for someone more in tune with my energies. Ahhhh!

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