Cross them off the list
There are people in your life that are special. They’re important to you. If they ask for help, you’re there for them. Most of them are there for you as well.
This is your list of Very Important People.
Sometimes non priority people figure out a way to gain access to this special group. Often we invite them, or they’re so insistent that we let them in to keep them quiet.
There are a few non priority people in my life. Somehow I’ve allowed them to grab a spot on my VIP list. It’s interesting when I notice they’re essentially strangers.
I’ve met a lot of great people online. We’re together on different platforms such as Facebook or Medium. We’ve never met in person, have never spoken on the phone and haven’t done any face to face time.
Even though I’ve never met someone in person (irl), I might consider them friends because they’ve included me in their lives.
I’m willing to step up and help when I see a need and that is where I’ve allowed people priority access to me when they aren’t truly priority people.
I give a lot of time to a group of people that feel entitled to my work on a project that involves them as well as others. I volunteered to be the lead on the project because I am personally interested in completing it.
Some of these people are important to me and they’re on my VIP list.
Some in the group aren’t willing to get involved or help with the project at all. I often let this project take priority over my personal writing, or the time that I could be spending with family and friends.
I’ve had people offer to help and then change their minds. I’ve had people ignore me completely when I ask for information. I’ve had individuals private message me and tell me what I should or should not do in the project. I even had one person rant at me in a private message because, as she said, ‘you can take it, right?’
Why are they still on my list?
The lens of the Drama triangle.
It is difficult to stay out of the drama of this triangle of victim, hero and villain. When someone plays the victim by having pain or expressing difficulty, it is easy to leap into hero mode, which puts you right into the middle of the drama. Once you are on the triangle, it is difficult to step off, so be aware of your hero tendencies.
You might be choosing to stay on the triangle, playing your role.
My friend Janet had a partner that would shed his clothes everywhere. This caused huge fights because she had to pick them up all the time. She tried to control his behavior but it didn’t work. Eventually they divorced.
Years later, she went to a birthday party and met his new wife. Janet asked — Does he still leave his clothes everywhere? The new wife answered -No. Wondering what happened, my friend asked what happened. The new wife said — I didn’t control his mess, I just told him if his clothes aren’t in the hamper, I don’t wash them.
I sometimes take on the lion’s share of the duties.
I’m not sure if that is because of my lioness nature, but I do enjoy helping and sometimes I overstep. People get used to it and then they expect it.
Have you trained people to rely on you?
My first reaction to someone in pain is to leap into fix it mode, offering to help. It makes me anxious when a situation comes up and someone clearly needs help. It can build resentment when you give more than others do in daily situations.
One day you realize you’ve added strangers to your list.
Who are you willing to cross off your list?
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