I’m super happy these days. Generally speaking, I like who I am. And I have some wonderful people around me. Truly great people around me.
But just as key to all this happiness is who I don’t have around me.
It took a lot of trial and error — including some experiences I would just as soon never have happened — but over time I built up a really good understanding of who I am. And what values are important to me. It’s very well-defined, my values system. And it is very unique to me. I share a lot in common with other folks who I would label “good” people — but there are also a lot of differences. Certain things that are super important to people I like aren’t that important to me — and vice versa. I’m sure I’m fixated on aspects of human behavior that a lot of people, even my friends, don’t think much about.
But that’s okay. When it comes to friends and people close to me, we don’t have to have identical values systems. Those systems just need to be compatible.
What does this mean? Well, I know the kind of person I want to be. And my values system is based on that, thinking about the kind of person I want to be. So the kind of people I want to be around tend to act in ways that support that or encourage my doing that.
And the people that I’m really incompatible with? The way they act tends to lead me to be a person I don’t want to be — whether that’s by modeling bad behavior, instructing me to be ways I would never be, or perhaps even pressuring me to go against my values. There are many ways this can happen. Probably as many ways as there are people (and maybe more).
That said, I’m still a very open minded person. Still on the lookout for new experiences and ways to broaden my horizons. There’s a difference between being willing to be exposed to new things and going against your values. And the difference depends on what those values are.
I will say it was a bit of a shock to come to this realization. Because once upon a time, I thought only bad people disliked anyone. That this was a mean girl behavior. But I’ve come to realize that liking the wrong people can cause problems. (For example, I abhor bullies.)