Imagine this. You are out at sea on the journey of a lifetime. The ocean grows angry, knocking you off of your boat and into the deep. As you struggle to keep your head above water, two other passengers run to the edge of the boat – one throws you a lifesaver and the other throws you the anchor. Which one would you grab?
The answer seems simple, does it not? I mean, anyone who wants to live would grab the lifesaver, right? We need to think of this analogy in terms of our every day lives and the people we surround ourselves with. Life has its way of sending us a roaring wave right when we think we are smooth sailing. Troubles and struggles will always exist. Now, clearly we don’t see people walking around literally holding lifesavers and anchors. But, ask yourself these starter questions to help better identify who may be a lifesaver or an anchor in your life:
- Does he/she gossip? Remember: “Those who gossip to you will gossip about you.” This leads to the next question…
- Do you trust him/her?
- Yes, we all need to vent at times, but does he/she constantly complain?
- Does he/she try to see the good in others?
- If you are having a horrible day, can you call him/her to talk about it?
- Does he/she support you?
- Would you consider him/her an overall negative or positive person?
- Does he/she encourage you to do and be better?
Finally, follow your gut – when you picture this person, do you imagine him/her as the one tossing the lifesaver or the anchor? Remember that we should all be self-aware, too – are you a lifesaver or an anchor to others? You can even switch it up and ask the above questions about yourself.
Now, you do not have to completely cut ties with everyone in your life who doesn’t meet your criteria of a “lifesaver.” But, you can begin finding a safe distance. We all have different levels of relationships in our lives. Think of who is in your immediate circle and should stay there.
We only get one life to live. Enjoy your journey!