People say that as you grow older, you learn to identify what you want in a partner. However, I’m sure many of you can relate, that the person you end up dating can be quite different from the “type” you envisioned yourself to be with. What you like is always changing, what you don’t like, on other hand, usually remains consistent, with that list simply growing longer with time.
Call them principles, values, or deal breakers – they are the things you know that you don’t want. I think this holds true not only for your love relationships, but for your friendships and business relationships as well. As the founder of Bespoke Yoga once told me, “updating your friendships” is important along with knowing what your ‘non-negotiables’ are – the things that you do not negotiate for anyone, despite how even how much you may like the person.
For me, I have determined a set of values that I hold for myself in how I conduct myself in the world and in my relationships, and I have that standard before I enter relationships with others – be it friends or lovers.
Honesty, generosity, loyalty and having consideration are values that I pride myself on having, thus, this is what I look for in my relationships. And as values and principles drive behavior and decisions, when I surround myself with those who share similar values, the dynamic and energy seem to flow effortlessly.
When you surround yourself with people who have values and principles that conflict with your own, it is probable that your own values and principles can start to shift or, tension and resentment builds. Even worse, you can start to “give in” to behavior or conduct that conflicts with your own values because you are influenced or pressured.
Motivational speaker, Tony Robbins made a good point, “You can love your family and friends all you want, but that doesn’t mean they should be part of your immediate peer group”. I agree, your friends may go through phases in life where they behave in ways that conflict with your values. I’m not saying to stop loving them, but I agree with Tony, “The five people you associate yourself with the most, you become” and you do have the choice on surrounding yourself with energy that drain you or not. I refer to these types of people as “energy vampires”. Want to know if you have one in your life? Usually after spending time with them you feel drained, exhausted, taken from and other negative feelings. Women especially, have a tendency to feel guilty about minimizing investment spent with energy vampires. But there’s nothing to feel guilty about. Just because you have a history with a person is not enough to bring them into your future.
If you find yourself in constant conflict or strife with certain individuals in your life, and they seem to be sucking the energy out of you versus adding value to your life, you may want to reassess their value set in relation to your own. If you have strong opinions on your “non-negotiables”, yet some of the people you surround yourself with breach your “non negotiables” then it may be wise to minimize or perhaps even remove association with them, because in the end, you may find yourself just feeling resentful. For me, I care for investing in relationships with those who are consistent in their values – those who do not merely pick and choose on a part-time basis when to respect them.
Staying true and consistent to your values can make life’s decisions a lot easier. Your fundamental set of values become your compass in navigating through life and decisions, and if you are making choices that serve the values you deem positive and important, you’re likely to be happy with those choices and outcome.
Your values dictate your decisions and your decisions define you. This doesn’t mean you won’t make mistakes, but what you do after a mistake itself is a decision and has the power to define your history, your present and your future.