1. Learn to say no. Just like that, say it. Often we are so inundated with requests that we forget to make time for ourselves. People will always need you and being of assistance to someone, whether it involves giving your time and money is extremely noble. The key is to do it when it feels right for you not when someone is pressuring you or bullying you.
2. Guard your inner peace by refusing to allow negativity in your door. This is tough because part of relationships of any kind is to offer support and listen when someone is down. There is no crappier feeling than when you wake up having a fantastic morning and are met with someone’s problems. You can listen, sure, but not all the time. If someone is constantly complaining, it’s not fair to you or productive. They need to invest in a therapist. I remember having to sit and listen to at least four people go on about how awful their day was and as an inevitable result I felt horrid! You don’t need that, so shut it down when you feel that it’s toxic. Walk away.
3. The amount of time someone gives you is very telling of who they are – Family, friends or a romantic relationship – it doesn’t matter, see who’s giving it. There is no greater gift than that of time and if you have to be penciled in to see someone, move on promptly. I have a busy schedule but the people in my heart never have to wait for an appointment.
4. Don’t let anyone challenge your worth or take crap. Only you know what’s best for you. If you don’t want to do something that doesn’t feel right to you, then don’t. Stand up and speak up for the person you are and all that you have been through and use it to inspire others. You’re here doing the very best you can to your own potential, never let anyone belittle that.
5. An opinion is just an opinion, not a holy grail. Take unsolicited advice with a pinch of salt and if you don’t want the viewpoint it’s perfectly ok to politely tell someone that you didn’t ask for it. If you allow others to have an opinion on your life, believe me they will and won’t really stop. Half of the time the people that give you their unwanted perspective don’t even have a solid grasp on their own and certainly aren’t experts.
6. Everyone has a sob story; don’t get sucked into someone else’s pity. There’s a difference between empathy and sympathy and if someone is trying to manipulate you then open your eyes and see the BS.
7. Respond with dignity when your ethics are tested. There is nothing more classless than being around moral poverty. Just because others are partaking in undignified behavior you don’t have to. Don’t ever forget your own graces even when you’re faced with individuals that fail to show any. As you remove yourself from their company, know that they may never appreciate your quiet demeanour but be happy that you didn’t bend your standards for anyone. There’s no greater feeling than honoring yourself.
8. You don’t owe an explanation to everyone you meet. So many people over compensate and ramble on about why they do the things they do. If you have nosey people in your life that love to ask- what you do and were you go and what time you did something (nothing irritates me more) and how much something was, feel free not to answer. Yes, there are certain people that we do answer to but know who those people are. No one needs to know everything about you.
9. Don’t settle. Ever. It could be in friendships, relationships, at work and especially in life. When you settle, you’re not valuing yourself and your own capabilities. It’s not fair to you and not fair to the other person. The worst thing you can do to anyone is to give him or her the hope that there is more than what you are offering. I understand that it’s tremendously difficult to sever ties but never have someone around because they fill a need or void.
10. Get over it – Grudges, past relationships, friendships gone, all of it. People don’t always stay in our lives and I doubt you will want to give anyone the power to permanently piss you off, so just get over it and move on. It’s so healthy to forgive and think of all the new people you’ll meet and the new experiences you’ll have. No one ever looked radiant holding a grudge.