THE FAST FOUR #1: 4 reasons I stopped carrying everyones baggage, and so should you:
1. You lose yourself in their problems.
Are you ever engaged in an activity where time seems to fly by? Time is relative. Einstein once said – if you want to understand relativity – “Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That's relativity.” See, we have no concept whatsoever of how much time, energy and dedication we will give the situation. Time often flies, because it feels GOOD to help someone in a situation. What is supposed to take 20 minutes, now takes an hour, plus a quick stop by the bank for a $300 loan, not to mention a 3 hour counseling session in a parking lot… certainly a rapid way to drain your time and energy. Before you know it, you are late to your 2nd job, have 50 emails and texts to respond to, haven't eaten all day and are exhausted from trying to uplift someones spirits. Have perspective and be sure to maintain your needs. It is great if you can help others but don't lose yourself in their problems.
2. You are constantly taken advantage of and can't say no:
I believe people can change… but… ONLY if they really want to. In most cases I see in modern society, we are creatures of habit and we have a fear of change. Hence, a common pattern amongst those with baggage is that they will continue to take advantage of you by playing martyr with their problems. You really don’t want to keep carrying their baggage, but simply feel you can't say no. You worry that they have no one else and that if you don’t help them out this one more time that you are a bad friend or person. They may even guilt trip you if you don't. Ask yourself this - What kind of friend would do that to you anyhow? Are you going to be someones crutch for the rest of your life or are you going to pull up your pants and own your own life? Time passes quickly and before you know it, another 5–10 years will pass and you haven't achieved jack shit. When the pattern continues, it's time to say no. Instead – choose to lead by example.
3. People are defensive:
Stop driving yourself nuts trying to convey the same message over and over where people are going to do what they want anyhow. In fact, there is a popular book that recently came out called "People can't drive you crazy, if you don’t give them the keys". Some people tend to stay in shitty relationships, they stayed in crappy jobs, they keep pounding booze, doing drugs, lying… or whatever the case. The worst part is that they are going to keep making excuses for their behavior. Its always something, and as far as their concerned its never their fault. And I mean NEVER their fault. Something or someone is always to blame. What's even even more nuts is that we expect the pattern to stop, when we wouldn't give anything else with those % success rates the benefit of the doubt. Make a solid commitment to always give people a second chance, but not a third. Which brings me to #4…
4) You enable them:
By constantly carrying someones baggage you enable them. Most of the time, people keep going through the same patterns until they really learn the lesson. Why are you robbing them of learning their own lessons? You are actually hurting them. By constantly coming to the rescue, they will never learn from their mistakes because you have become their crutch. If they can't take of themselves, then how the fuck are they going to take care of anything else?! They need to up their game and at some point, because time is running out and trust me when I tell you, you're not the only person getting sick of their drama.
Bonus: Oh, one more thing… for some odd reason, the people that have often told me - "Jason, you need to avoid these energy vampires" are often the ones that drain me the most.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!