Might As Well Face It You’re Addicted To…Potential.

At the risk of sounding pretentious I’d like to start this blog by quoting myself. Last week I wrote, “I happen to know that there is someone in your life that doesn’t make you feel good. They have you believing you’re not good enough…” This struck a chord with many of you and I have the comments to prove it.

Kyla doesn’t want to give up on her friend, but wants her to change. Kiana wants to know what to do if this person is a relative. And Elizabeth’s boyfriend would be so amazing if only he was totally different.

These three ladies, along with the rest of us who allow toxic people to poison our lives, have an addiction. An addiction to potential. We see the potential in someone and cling to that fantasy vision with everything we have. We’re certain that they will become the rom-com rehabilitated version of themselves if we give them more time. More patience. More guidance. More forgiveness. And when they don’t we make excuses for them. Or worse, we blame ourselves.

Why?

Because we don’t have the courage to blame them. Blaming them means acknowledging that this relationship is completely out of our control. For it to improve the other person has to make changes and we kinda know they won’t. After all, change is hard and uncomfortable. And most people aren’t up for that.

Are you?

I certainly hope so because changing YOUR behavior is the only way to improve this situation. Here are three ways:

1. When you find yourself obsessing over another person’s behavior think F.O.M. It stands for Focus On Me. (Not me, you.) Stop thinking about them immediately and get back to what you’re doing. Be where your feet are. Why? Because you are the only thing you can control.

2. Think like a 12-stepper. (Not the county line dancers, the anonymous alcoholics). You see, they have a little something called The Serenity Prayer and it works wonders to help you understand what is yours to take on and what is not.

Grant me serenity to accept the things I can not change. The courage to change the things I can. And the wisdom to know the difference. 

Translation: If your mom hates your outfit that’s her problem. Let it go. If you hate your outfit, change it. Know what you can control and what you can’t. If you can control it, make it better. If you can’t, delete from cart. Which leads me to my next point…

3. You are NOT responsible for other people’s happiness. You can’t make someone happy. Sure, you can try, but only they can decide if it’s going to work. The reverse is also true. Happy is self-generated. It’s like eating and peeing. No one can do it for you.

 

If you take these three tips to heart and really integrate them into your life I promise you will feel better. Actually, I can’t promise that. It’s all up to you.

TTYW,

Lisi

7 Comments

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  • Lauren says:

    Thank you for this post! It has me thinking about things differently than I have been. I’m going to follow this advice and spend less time thinking of ways to help others change and more time focusing on accepting who and what they are. In so many ways I feel a responsibility to help those who are close to me. It’s hard to watch them drag themselves and those around them down when from my perspective they have so much to be happy and grateful for. I wish I could make them see themselves in my eyes. But I guess that’s me being addicted to their potential haha. I’m going to give this new approach a shot and not let their unhappiness ware on me so much. I love your writing and advice for all of us. Thank you!
    -L

  • Kayla says:

    Thank you so much for this! It was very helpful. I just don’t really wanna give up on my friend even after that advice.

    • Lisi Harrison says:

      Don’t give up on her. Just create alter the relationship so you don’t feel drained by it. Maybe create some distance and boundaries. Be clear on what kind of behavior you will and will not accept.

      • Lisi Harrison says:

        I meant alter. Not create alter. I have no clue what that even means. Sometimes my fingers are too fast for my brain.

  • Kiana says:

    Lisi, this couldn’t have come on a better day. I am trying to learn this more and more everyday. I know it one-hundred percent. If I could share with you my high school past, you would see I had needed this advice then. I was friends with a girl who I kept holding on to but then your Clique series had came into my life then and after it all (6 years, I know, long and a bad number), I realize it’s better to let go than to hold on aka it’s better to “be a friendless loser than have tons of friends who secretly hate you.” Don’t worry, that lesson part for friends has been learned one-hundred percent. I have no bad friends in my life. I only have one great online friend (also checks off my list) now. Your books made us become friends too!
    Only problem still is my mother. Seven years of wishing one day my parents would divorce. I hate her guts. She makes my dad a weakling who chooses peace over happiness. Although, that peace isn’t for him, it’s for my mother. She’s overly religious and I told myself the second I become independent, I’ll f*** her out of my life. Just f*** her and her stupid religion and crap. She threatens my dad to divorce every time he does something “wrong.” But he’s a fool who REALLY needs to learn this lesson. I’ll send it to him. But I will get my mother back for everything she did to me. Don’t worry, nothing physical (nothing except for a few slaps when I was little). All emotional abuse though.

    • Lisi Harrison says:

      I am so incredibly sorry for what you went through and what you’re going through now. I really am. I can relate to so much of it. The reason I keep stressing to focus on yourself is to keep you from letting their issues become yours. More than they already have. Why? Because, like I stressed, you can’t change them. You can only change how much they affect you. And your dad? This is his journey. Give him the dignity to figure this crap out for himself. Maybe he will. Maybe he won’t. But these are his choices, for better or worse. Focus on yours.

      I know, easier said than done. When you get better at this you will be amazed at how much happier you become. Pinky Swear.

      • Kiana says:

        Okay. I will try to do this. I just have to introduce it and keep it in mind everyday. It’s kind of hard when also other people say “oh, you and so-so are not getting along? Allow me to force you guys to get along.” But even then, I’ll keep this advice in mind. It saves you a lot of lost happiness that is lost when choosing peace instead. I can’t wait for your blog tomorrow!

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