I’ve had several recurring patterns in my life. One is saying yes to almost everything, but the second is saying yes to almost everyone. I don’t know which is worse. Recently I’ve gotten awesome opportunities, and I’m so happy I have said yes to those. But transitioning from the “settling” mentality in high school – “settling” as in these are the only people around, so they become my friends – to “Wow, I have choices!” and have met with professionals, writers, CEOs, and people that are proactively making and creating incredible things.
I’ve been following the ZenHabits blog for a while now and have realized that these “settling” attitudes are some not-so-healthy habits that I have formed. I surrounded myself with people that I did not necessarily have things in common with. I mean we grew together and learned things… But I did not create the space for them to grow or create, or them for me. Or we were just too preoccupied with gossip, daily happenings, or teenage angst (all of the angst and ridiculous dramatizations of really nothing at all).
In a recent article from Rookie Magazine entitled “Being Nice: A User’s Guide” I completely related with the nicey-nice character. I never wanted to hurt anyone, so I would be nice. I would always say yes. A particular quote that stood out was:
No one wants to put someone else in an awkward or uncomfortable situation, so you should always be clear about your own limits and needs.
I have been on both sides of the nicey-niceness. So I know how crappy it can be to be made to believe one thing when in reality I do not have time, or they are not interested, or some other lame excuse. So, yes… Say yes to the type of people you want to surround yourself with. Be nice, but not overly nice. Don’t give yourself in too easily to people. Well… the people that you see that you want to surround yourself with.
This has been a habit that I realized I have formed, and now with not having a structured social scene – like in school or church or a regular club, for example – it has given me more freedom to meet with and collaborate with like-minded individuals. But also others that are into UnCollege, alternative education, DIY culture/zines, healthy living, and many other things that perhaps a small school setting did not offer. Especially in high school where everyone is trying really hard to fit in, or find a social group that will be somewhat close to what they think they are. High school friends, it only gets better.
Hope you’re all living a BellaVie!