Not only are we known by the company we keep, we become the company we keep! Be careful. Be conscious. Make sure that you surround yourself with people who believe in you and your dreams, and who want to work to make their dreams come true as well. Otherwise, you become their focus—perhaps their project. Everyone needs encouragement, not fixin’.
The emphasis is on benefit. I got some flack when I turned some “help” offers down during cancer. I needed help, but also knew some individuals were not beneficial to me. They wanted an ear, counseling, a conversation, or to “hang out.” I wasn’t doing any of it. I’m sure a few just wanted to get a peek at what cancer looked like.
I actually had a very strange experience when I’d gone to get the final stubs of my hair shaved off. I was at my mom’s stylist. A woman from the community my mom knew was there before us, leaving. The woman gave me a look that said, I see your head scarf, which would mean you are bald, so what was I doing at a hair stylist? I was the last client of the day to avoid anyone from straining their necks to watch. The woman left. About ten minutes later she came back in. Nosed around, looking for us (we’d moved) and popped her head in the partition! Wow! These are some of the types who offered to spend time with me. I’m just suggesting you choose wisely. Yeah, it’s not really a big deal. But, it’s none of their business, and I work to keep my home filled with good energy.
So, what to do?
Surround yourself with like-minded, positive, people who want to help you, and who are of benefit to you. Some saw my motive as rude, being picky who helped me. I saw it as protecting my energy, privacy and sanity from those I knew could not meet me at the level I needed. I believe it was in everyone’s best interest for me to say, “No thank you” to those offers, rather than a mutual using of each other; no one truly getting what they wanted, anyway.
Learn to make a stand. It doesn’t have to be a loud, direct hit to someone, but could be a simple re-direct. With cancer, people are constantly asking, “How do you feel?” I had a friend with cancer who’s husband would ask her that question every single morning. She asked him to stop because she’d begin every morning comparing herself to feeling better or worse rather than allowing the day to unfold without jumping into scan mode. She asked him to “read” her, and allow her to bring up the issue if needed. She rarely did.
By setting boundaries, you honor everyone. People like to know what to do. People want to help you. Let them know. Give them feedback when they really help you, too.