Throughout life, you come across (and end up hanging out with) all kinds of people. Despite the diversity, they often fall into two very important categories in terms of how you’re left feeling after your time together. We refer to them as “radiators” or “drains”. Taking a moment to decipher who you spend most of your time with can make a big difference to your own health.
Radiators and Drains
You’re always surrounded by people and with some, you have little choice in the matter. Our work colleagues being a great example of this. However, there are also people in your life that you actively CHOOSE to spend time.
You make time for these people because they bring out the best in you, they make you feel great and it’s reciprocal, so you always look forward to catching up with them because you know there’ll be loads of good chat, laughs and time will fly because you love being around them.
Sadly this can’t be said for everyone you decide to spend time with.
There are people in your life that zap you of all your energy and positivity or maybe they don’t help you to feel very good about yourself. We can outgrow friendships and relationships as our values and emotional or mental health changes.
Some folk might spend half their time with you simply talking about themselves, offloading their misery, anger or frustrations, some people make a living out of moaning and your time together feels like hard work!
Whilst it’s important to be there for anyone who’s having a tough time and listen to their struggles, it’s also important to consider the degree of balance in your relationship.
You need to be careful of spreading yourself too thinly, taking on all the troubles of others and trying to fix their problems, leaving yourself feeling deflated and drained.
Selfless individuals who love helping and supporting others often run into health issues because they forgot to look after themselves and consider their needs in the process, remember you cannot pour from an empty cup.
Sometimes you may also persist with a friendship or relationship because you feel like it’s the right thing to do, however, if you’re honest with yourself, deep down it may no longer serve you.
The brain chemical dopamine surges when we anticipate a reward, it plays an important role in your happiness and increases when we go in for a hug, how cool is that?! Maybe assess those dopamine levels next time you’re making plans to meet up and even mid embrace 🙂
Take a moment to assess who radiates you and who drains you, reflect on how much time you spend with each, you’ll likely conclude it might be time to make some adjustments.
IMPORTANT: Please note that we’re not advising you to ditch any friend in need of some support and a good old mate to hang out with, just suggesting you ensure you look after yourself in the equation too.
Who Radiates You?
Radiators are people who give off warm, comforting vibes. You enjoy hanging out with them and your time together is real and genuine, they resonate energy and positivity. They make you feel great about yourself, inspire you, believe in you, have all the right words to say and you’re always excited about hanging out with them.
Time spent with radiators is split 50:50, neither one of you bombards or overwhelms the other with an endless dialogue about yourself or demands of any sort. They’re as eager to hear your news as they are to deliver their own – because they genuinely care about you.
Radiators motivate you to succeed in life, encourage you to drive towards your goals and support you no matter what. Most importantly, radiators are happy for us when you’re happy, a rarity these days in our modern, super-competitive world. They exhibit no envy, jealousy or resentment when things are great for you, they’re just chuffed to be sharing your success.
Radiators are simply AWESOME.
These are the people you should prioritise in your life and spend as much time with as possible.
Radiators make you a happier, stronger and healthier individual they support you in leading a positive, energetic and successful life and enable you to RADIATE the lives of others.
Who Drains You?
They struggle to be happy for your success, and may often respond with comments about how the positives in your life reflect upon them, sentences like “Well it’s alright for you ……” can often be heard.
Drains may need constant reassurance and have a tendency to dominate a conversation with an endless monologue about insecurities, such as weight issues, yet 3 days later they’re waving a pint at you from Facebook.
Drains are often keen to push their lack of self-belief and esteem onto you and try to be infectious with their negative thoughts, possibly as a means of making themselves feel more normal.
Drains are often lacking a number of feel-good brain chemicals and therefore use alcohol, cigarettes, drugs or processed foods to lift themselves, they’re likely to coerce or rope you into this process also when you spend time together and guilt trip you should you politely try to decline.
Time spent with drains may be a double hit of depleted energy from both the conversation and the dopamine enhancing side order that went with it.
Not all drains are lacking enthusiasm and happiness, arrogance as a personality trait can be draining for you. Sometimes personalities are transformed by things like wealth, despite once enjoying hanging out and having loads in common you may discover you develop different ideas of reward, happiness and values, the conversations may become a little one-sided and not as enjoyable as they used to be.
Drains are quite simply draining to be around. Limiting the time you spend with drains is a smart move and can genuinely support your health.
Do your best to help and always try to radiate them if needed, however, if spending time with someone affects your confidence, momentum, energy and motivation it’s no good thing, life can be tough enough without other people dragging you down and holding you back.
Disclaimer – Life isn’t straight forward and everyone has their moments when troubles escalate and a leg up is needed; a radiator gets people out of that rut. However, this should be a transient state because social interactions in life are a two-way process and allow you to thrive. Spending the majority of your time with family and friends who really care, just love to see you smile and want you to lead a long and happy life is vital.
So take a moment to consider how you divide your time and make sure the radiators are prioritised and of course take a moment to consider how you behave across your own social interactions, it may be time to rebalance a little.
The awesome Will Smith shared this video on exactly this concept. He said: “spend time with people who nourish and inspire you, who fans your flames!” Check out the video, it’s awesome.
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