Outgrowing our loved ones is a phenomenon that you don’t understand until you really experience it. When you become more passionate about life than the people in your life, it’s likely that at some point, they may begin to resent your success more than support it.
If you work hard on yourself for years while others stay in their routines and comfort zones, it’s likely you’ve eclipsed them.
Once you get serious about improving yourself, you’ll notice that people are starting to treat you differently. Some will treat you with respect and admiration -while others will alienate and/or resent you. When the latter comes from people close to you, you will not really like it, but come on, it’s still better than being stuck the way you used to be.
If growing is straining your relationship with your family and friends, these tips might help out:
Be an inspiration. Don’t be a zealot. Talking all the time about how your life has improved will make you look like a cult or pyramid scheme representative. Talk only if somebody asks you. Even better is if they ask for specifics such as: “how can I apply eyeshadow to prevent me from looking tired? How can I get in the mood to work out after a long day at work?” Then I’ll give them exactly what they want while inspiring them respectfully.
Set clear boundaries. More often than not, you’ll need to remind them what you care about and let them know who you are now (emotionally, intellectually, physically) and who you aren’t anymore. For example, a mindful, physically active, intellectually curious, stylish individual. Let them know at notice what type of conversations and activities you will not participate in e.g. gossip, nightclubs, junk food buffets, or binge-watching shows. In other words, renegotiate your relationship.
Let go. Anyone who doesn’t support your development or goals, makes you feel bad about yourself, or brings negativity into your life has to go. Sometimes, the toxicity of a relationship is so subtle that you don’t assess the damage after years have passed, and time is the most valuable resource in life. In order to progress, you have to be close with people who support your ideas and goals, who want the best for you, and who make you feel energised when they communicate with you.
Don’t compromise your personal development or peace of mind for anyone. Relatives and spouses often feel they have the right (or duty!) to do and say anything they want because you’re “family” or “a two people unit”. There is only one relationship that is forever and will make a noticeable impact on your overall happiness: the one you have with yourself. Everything you do flows from this one vital relationship.
Keep striving, even if it makes you feel uncomfortable in the short term. In the long term, you will know that the right individuals will respect you for doing so.