Protect your energy from people.

Go where your energy is reciprocated, celebrated and appreciated.

If you look up codependency on google you will find it is defined as; “excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, typically one who requires support on account of an illness or addiction”. As much as codependency can be when someone relies on someone else for their happiness, it can also be a trait of someone that feels the need to ‘fix others’ due to possible issues from their childhood or lack of self esteem- among many other possible reasons. Codependency can involve confusing pleasing others with love, you want to make others happy in relationships but always end up feeling unhappy and drained yourself.

Ask yourself- are you getting back what you put in to that person? You are never responsible for ‘fixing’ someone. Too often people jump into a relationship and grow attached due to depending on that person for their emotional needs that they should have been working on on their own in the first place. Relationships are not an excuse for therapy and often enough people who have these traits of feeling the need to ‘fix others’, even at the expense of themselves and their energy, will end up feeling trapped. You can’t blame someone else for your own insecurities just the same as you can’t shrink yourself and hold back on your abilities because of someone else’s insecurities. That is simply an unhealthy relationship. As much as times are changing now and mental health is being talked about more and more, it seems it is definitely still hard for people (especially men) to ‘open up’ about their mental health struggles. When I have spoken to any man going through a hard time they tend to tell me things that you would probably pay (quite a bit of money) to tell a therapist. When the long discussion is over though and I have suggested maybe they go and talk to someone about this they simply say they are ‘fine’ and just ‘having a bad day’. A lot of people wouldn’t even consider therapy regardless of their own struggles. In my eyes, therapy should just be like going to the dentist. If you need to go then you go, no big deal. However people’s rejection of the idea of therapy and working on refusal to work on themself is where they can actually become emotional labour.

Sometimes we seek attachment or intimacy with people when we’re lonely or bored. We mainly do this in relationships, casual dating or friendships but this can cause us to lower our standards or become desperate towards people who don’t deserve us or match our energy. We can even join social groups that do nothing but harm us and make us feel even more lonely than we did in the first place. Again, ask yourself- do those people add to your life?…. If they don’t, then what the hell are they doing in it?! If they are draining you/upsetting you/shrinking you/moulding you to what suits them or they are causing any other kind of harm then in the words of my favourite artist and social commentator; Florence Given- “DUMP THEM”. Whether its a boyfriend/girlfriend/friend or whoever, life is too damn short to let people bring you down.

Create an environment that is good for you by surrounding yourself with people that bring out the best in you. Author Brene Brown has what she calls her ‘move the body’ mates. The ones who would help her get away with murder. She carries around this list of the people who’s opinions she values and who she will allow into her psyche….to her, the rest don’t matter. We worry too much about having so many social circles or having enough friends around to keep us company or keep us busy (I’ve been guilty of this many times) yet they may not be serving us in our life at all. Creating a list like Brene Brown, or simply reminding yourself of the old saying “quality over quantity” can reinforce the fact that it’s your life and no one else’s and you should keep those close who celebrate how great you are. Keep those people around you that bring out the best in you and the rest of them… get rid if need be. No one can blame you for wanting to protect your energy. You don’t owe anyone anything.

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