Choosing Relationships Wisely

Relationships are often the most important part of our lives. They help us define who we are and underscore our sense of worth in the world. They can also be the cause of the most pain and despair. The good news is, we have choices to make about who we want in our lives. Some of us feel stuck choosing the same kinds of unhealthy people again and again. Others know a lot of people yet still feel unsupported and unsafe to be their true selves. Whether you wish to meet new people or gain clarity about the relationships you already have, it’s worth taking the time to choose wisely. Here are 3 ways to attract the right people and choose the best relationships:

1- Learn to notice what people DO, not what they SAY
Emotions can easily cloud our judgment, and some people are powerful manipulators of emotions. How do we avoid being tricked? Paying attention to the actions and behavior of the person/people you are with. Our actions show our true colors far more than our words can. If we want to be involved in positive, uplifting activities we need to seek out others capable of engaging in that way. By focusing less on what they say, they are less likely to warp your perspective through manipulation. Talk is cheap, so don’t get swept away in the fantasy of what if’s. No matter how much potential a relationship had or has, be able to keep your feet planted firmly on the ground. Honor yourself enough to be honest with yourself. Take people as they really are, not what you expected them to be or wished them to be. It will save you so much time and energy.

2- Know your core values
The world is a big place filled with lots of different types of people. It’s natural that we won’t like everyone, and every person will not like us. That’s ok! We can accidentally waste so much time trying to get everyone around us to like us, that we can forget to pay attention to who we are drawn to. If we know our core values, we can look for signs of shared values in others to help clarify who might be a candidate for a relationship, friendship or romantic. Being turned off or uncomfortable with another’s behavior, like gossip or self-centeredness, can also help us learn what our core values are and why we like who we like. We can respect and even admire people with different values, but they may not make the most compatible close relationships. Keeping our priorities on what matters most will help us navigate the fog of hormones, pheromones, and “cool” that can cloud judgement.

3- Understand your own motives
What are you needing from your relationship? It might seem like a “duh” question that’s not worth our time, but if we take the time to get really honest about our motives to be in relationship we can get some valuable insights. It’s so easy to slip into an unhealthy, subconscious desire to be rescued or rely on another person for self esteem. At first that may sound romantic, but unfortunately those motives are likely to lead to codependency and attract people who also cannot take care of themselves. Being our own best friend, being able to meet our own needs, and keeping our motives clean helps us find other healthy people to share our lives with and stop toxic relationships before they begin.

Life is full of surprises. Some relationships last a lifetime, and some last only a moment. But, we can feel empowered to choose our relationships wisely by being thoughtful about who we invite into our lives and getting clear about why we choose who we choose.