17 Lessons I Learned in 2017: On Family and Friends

Hi,

I hope you are learning something from my short series. I started off by telling you how, in my self- reflection stage of this year I had to cut off family and some friends for the sake of my peace of mind. This is an area I would like to tread with caution because family is the first thing we are introduced to as soon as we are born. We grow up knowing these people and accept them for who they are and they obviously accept us for who we are. Our very first friends are siblings and they know us in and out.

As we start attending school and surge through life, we meet other people who are not necessarily relatives but we fine genuine connection and they become family as well. For years, sometimes.

So what did I learn about family and friends?

7.Boundaries

This may be a tough pill to swallow but boundaries are necessary when it comes to nuclear family, extended family and friends. This year, I learned how to put people in boxes based on how close we are. There are those friends that you call in the middle of the night and they will pick up, there are associates you meet in the line of work and do not have to share anything that is not work related, there are work friends who you would not mind having a drink with,there’s the top guy who you respect and pretend to be holy around. There’s the friend who you will tell everything nasty going on in your life, there’s that one that you cannot share anything with because they will instantly quote the bible. There is that one friend who you may appear to have a semi casual relationship with but it’s not too deep. There’s that relative that you can hangout with and tell things then the other one who may tell the whole family your business.I could go on and on but one thing is clear: Boundaries. Know where to put people so that you do not find yourself in a turmoil over careless mistakes.

8. Cut The Toxic People Off

You have probably heard these a million times:

You are an average of the five people you spend the most time with

Or

If you hangout with four millionaires you will be the fifth

I couldn’t put it any clearer. If you are on your path and there are people dragging you down , you may want to take a back seat when it comes to letting them in. This may be a hard pill to swallow but some of the best dream crushers are family and friends. If you are not strong enough then you may have it rough because they may drag you down to a point where you stop believing in yourself.Sometimes it is the simple drinking spree at a time when you are supposed to be productive. It does not have to be vocal.Here is the thing about cutting people off, it does not have to be that abrupt neglect. You can pull back slowly, until they are no more. You will only realise their toxicity once you start meeting people who are in line with your vision. I call it a weeding process. It is necessary for growth.

9.Some friendships die naturally, let them

I realised this year that sometimes there is nothing left to fight for, probably because time came in the way. In this age, it is easy to keep up with friends on social media, something that may give a false sense of connection but sometimes the friendship has served its purpose. Time has come in between: maybe they moved abroad, got married or had a baby and don’t have time anymore. I accepted that I should not beat myself up about it. I stopped forcing it because we said we would be friends forever. Sometimes, life just happens and however much we cannot let go off the good ones we meet, we need to accept that we still love them from afar.There is no bile but the spark isn’t as it used to. We can like their pictures, comment, double tap but it will not be as it was before because life happened.

Don’t beat yourself up. It is normal.

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See you tomorrow for more lessons.

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