These days with things like social media, internet dating, over-the-top "get the latest thing" consumerism (how many people lined up for the new iPhone, for example?) and TV shows promoting wanna-be talent becoming instant stars our entire society has been slowly programmed to put less value on the things and people we have right in front of us, right now.
How many times have you been frustrated with something - or someone in your life and thought it was time to trade up for something different and hopefully better? Can you say your life has become immeasurably better because you have a newer cell phone than the one from 2 years ago? Did replacing that previous BF or GF with someone else improve your happiness? Did getting that divorce you just couldn't wait for totally turn your life around and it's all roses now?
Granted, there are times when it becomes valid to make a change to your daily life and even shake up relationships when they're not healthy or supportive, but I'm willing to bet that many of the changes we all make are unnecessary and really don't improve our quality of lives, yet instead simply cost us time, money and an often various levels of emotional chaos or instability.
Close relationships whether it's family, a spouse, significant other or even good friends are often taken for granted, the old saying that "familiarity breeds contempt" while sounding negative is often true, but it need not be.
I've always said that you truly only have 2 assets in life: Your health and the knowledge in your head. Everything else is far more removed from your control, that being money, jobs, material things and the people around you. So here's a piece of knowledge I wish to share that will hopefully help those who are contemplating changing a core part of their lives:
Family and those who you are close to regardless of relationship type have more value than nearly everything else combined. It's easy to become settled and unappreciative of those who make up your close circle and, it's even easier to consider letting go of someone who doesn't seem to be living up to your expectations or causing you any level of frustration or grief. That can be a short-sighted and even destructive thought process.
That doesn't mean you should put up with bad behavior or just "turn the other cheek" if you're not being treated properly and especially if you're dealing with a significant form of physical or emotional abuse, but all too often I see people who are willing to drop an otherwise decent relationship simply because they've hit bumps in the road, or are constantly finding frustration in someone they otherwise expected to be getting enjoyment from.
Perfect relationships don't just exist, they're built from both sides. It takes a willingness to accept others as they are and not who you think they should be; to be open to compromise and to listen and to voice your thoughts constructively. Certainly these things aren't always easy to do especially if you're already frustrated or otherwise unhappy but the results of putting effort into those concepts can be life-changing.
We all want to be accepted for who we are and not judged, to have someone who you know is on your side no matter what, and who builds you up rather than breaking you down. That doesn't always happen, obviously. But I also have found that when things aren't going right that a little effort towards open communication and being honest about how you feel or what you need goes a long way to opening doors and smoothing out those bumps in the road.
Take stock of the people around you and see if you feel you've got someone in your list that just doesn't measure up, then ask yourself why. Is it because there's something about them that you find annoying, or are they truly unhealthy to you in some way? Then ask yourself how you'd feel if they weren't around at all anymore. The answer may surprise you.
Facebook has made the process of choosing and keeping "friends" ludicrous, many of the people in our lists aren't real, tangible relationships. Who in the world can have hundreds or thousands of friends, people to actually interact with or have a close bond to? Nobody of course. Not even the Pope. That doesn't mean these people don't have value in some other way, but nothing replaces good old-fashioned in-person connections.
The real-world bonds you have to people are the most precious external asset you have in your life. If someone's not giving you what you need, talk about it with them. Feed and nurture the people closest to you. If you are thinking of disconnecting from someone, give deep thought to that process and consider the impact it will have on your life - and theirs. You will find that protecting and keeping the people closest to you will have the greatest impact to your overall happiness and enjoyment of your life, I guarantee it.
Best to All.