Everyone knows we can’t choose the family we were born into. However, as we grow older, we are given plenty of chances to make and break relationships. This goes for friendships, romantic relationships, professional ties — and sometimes, even our own kin.
We always meet someone new. We forge new bonds. We start to see people for the way they truly are, and then we choose.
We choose to stay or to let go. We choose to make it work or put the relationship to rest.
Why Is It Important To Choose The Right People?
The worst thing is when you are the only one putting an effort to make the relationship work. It takes two to tango, and so, you have to know when your partner has already decided to leave you alone on the dance floor.
When the inevitable happens, you have three choices:
- Stop and break down on the dancefloor;
- Search for a new dancing partner because you just can’t bear to be alone;
- Or keep dancing with confidence that only an independent, strong dancer can show — because who needs to tango when you can do a solo?
A word of advice, do the third option, because what better synergy can be created than being your own best self and meeting someone who is also at their best. For whatever kind of relationship, it’s not about “completing” each other — it’s about “complimenting” each other.
So, what’s the first step in caring for yourself? It’s learning to choose yourself.
Choosing Yourself First
Visualize this: there is a “love cup” inside of you. Whenever you do things for others out of love, you take from this cup.
How does the cup get filled? When you take from the cup, and the person gives it back to you by serving you, spending time with you, complimenting you, or other ways of showing their love back, the cup gets filled again.
What happens when the person you give your love to doesn’t bother giving it back? Nothing. You take and take until it becomes empty.
When you no longer have something to take, the cup lay useless. Out of frustration, you shatter it.
What will become of you then?
That is why choosing yourself first is important. It is not selfish.
It is a preemptive measure to make sure you don’t go empty. It is taking the time to fill your love cup on your own while no one else is available to do it for you.
“You can’t give what you do not have.” Humans are inherently good, and if you are reading this article, chances are you tend to choose others’ well-being before your own.
However, you must know that not loving yourself means putting down those who truly love you. You might want to give everything you have to someone, but if you don’t love yourself, your “everything” would probably be lacking.
Choosing Yourself By Choosing The Right People
Let’s go back to that “love cup.” We all need people who can fill our love cup, especially during the times that we feel most alone. Yes, we can fill it by ourselves, but only if we have the right mindset.
If the right mindset is hard to come by, the next best thing is to have someone help you build it.
Choosing yourself can be shown in many ways, and one of them is by choosing the right people to back you up, stand side-by-side with you, or lead you toward your better self. In other words, these people are people who will choose you, not because you want them to, but because they decided to choose you.
So, how can you attract the right people who will choose you? It’s simple — show them who you truly are, and they will gravitate towards you like the moon does to its planet.
Don’t be such a “people pleaser”
When we say a “people pleaser,” oftentimes, we picture someone who’s like a chameleon in social settings. They change themselves to fit in with the people they’re with.
This is a very troublesome thing to do and will likely drain anyone in no time. Of course, it is important to know how to blend in, but sacrificing one’s identity to do it isn’t choosing yourself — it’s sabotage.
“People pleasers” can also be those whose whole identity equates to their ability to serve everyone but themselves. They tend to forget that they are also humans with their own needs. They give and give, without stopping to see if they have anything else left. They are often the people who find it so hard to say “No”.
If you tend to become a “people pleaser,” for the love of yourself, please stop. You are like a candle, and you can only burn so much. Even stars have limits.
Stopping the bad habit of pleasing others
Saying “No” to others is saying “Yes” to yourself. It is allowing yourself to take the time to rest and sharpen your saw until such time that you can build something again, which you can use to take better care of others.
The best way not to become a “people pleaser” is to please yourself first. Listen to yourself. Know who you are, what you have, and what you want in life.
Only when you find your unique identity will you begin to attract those who are genuinely interested in you. They won’t be seeing a mask you made to hide, so they won’t be running the moment you reveal what lies behind it.
If they see the real you before choosing you, then you can be sure that they have seen both the best and the worst and still choose a life with you in it.
Who Are Those You Can Choose?
So, after knowing yourself better, it’s time you choose the people you invest your time and love in.
We know we can’t help “falling in love”, but does it end after the fall? Of course not. After the “fall”, you are allowed to go forward with the other person or to go back “up” again in seclusion.
Who are the people worth falling for? In this case, since not all relationships are romantic ones, who are the people worth your time and effort? It is important you know who they are so you won’t do yourself a disservice.
The one you give information to
Giving information to the right people does not only apply to business and professional relationships. Everything about you and what you know is vital information that can make or break you. You have to be careful about the extent of what you share with people.
It is important to recognize the red flags. If this person has a history of misusing information for their gain, then be careful with what you share with them. Whether it be a secret you have or a job opportunity, see if they can be trusted with such information.
The one to get advice from
A popular quote goes “don’t take criticism from people you would never go to for advice.” We couldn’t agree more.
Why listen to someone who seeks nothing but your destruction? If people truly care, they will help build you by giving you bricks and not carelessly throwing them around just to see you get hit.
In life, there are plenty of times where we would need someone to give us any advice on the next course of action we should take. Whoever it is you usually get advice from, ask yourself if they have pure intentions and if their advice is guided by wisdom and not selfishness.
The one you can talk to
Sometimes, we just need someone to talk to. This doesn’t always mean that we need people to reply to what we’re saying. There are times we just need them to listen to what we have to say.
Who are the people you can talk to without worrying that you will be misunderstood? Who can listen to both your most silly and most vulnerable stories and moments without judgment? In return, who are the people who will willingly share these kinds of stories with you?
The one you spend your time with
Time is precious. Choose someone who can make you forget the time, and make you wish it can last forever.
Whether you’re out there with the most hectic schedules or inside doing nothing but minding each of your own business in the same room, choose someone you are comfortable with.
How To Choose The Right People
Now that you know that you have the power to choose who you’re associating yourself with, the next step is how to choose the right people. Here are three things to keep in mind when trying to choose the right person:
1. Feel The Connection
A one-sided relationship isn’t a relationship at all — it’s parasitism. If you don’t know what parasitism is, it’s basically feeding yourself by harming others. It’s allowing someone to take from you while you stand by and watch yourself slowly run out of life.
The right person will not allow you to be the only “host” in the relationship. With the right person, there is give and take. There is a compromise, and the tie between you and that person meets halfway.
Imagine this: you want to connect with a person, so you take a string and you make it as long as possible to reach them. Eventually, you will run out of string. If the person you want to connect with finds you halfway with their string ready, then they’re a keeper.
2. Observe Personal Boundaries
Before the “Us”, there is an “I” and a “You”. The other person cannot and should not be a mere extension of oneself. They are a different, individual identity that must be respected.
You are not an extension of somebody else. You are a whole being with a dignity that needs to be respected. Setting up your boundaries isn’t the end of the discussion. It must be observed and maintained for as long as necessary.
3. Expect No Perfection
You aren’t perfect, and so is the person you want to choose. We must strive to be a whole person, but that does not mean that we are without flaws, bruises, and scars.
Love is not blind; it is all-seeing. It sees the imperfect self and trusts that even when those flaws are present, things can work because they are choosing to make it work.
The right person will stay with you in the dark and keep you warm until you gather enough courage to try again. They will be with you in good times, and even more so in the bad.
We are called to love our enemies and why not? Even our enemies put their time and effort into us.
The hardest people to love are not those who hate us, but those who never bother to reciprocate our feelings. They have a grand life of their own and if they choose to involve you in some way, it is only because they will benefit from you.
You can go and help them. Do some good in this cruel world. You can give them something from your “love cup”, but make sure you have people who can help you refill it.
Make sure to choose people who will choose you back. They don’t have to be plenty; they just need to be true.