The Love Files

We caught your attention? What is this, these Love Files? We are referring to the importance that you place on what others think and feel about you. We are referring to this as “files” because we would like to start at 100% and divide up your emotional equity into separate piles.

The first stack will be your spouse or partner. The second stack is for children or other dependents. The third stack if for parents, siblings and other close family members. Next is where you will need to start getting pensive.

We recommend at least 5 stacks and no more than 10. The first few suggestions are also up to your discretion. You may actually have other priorities than the people that we have listed.

Place the most regard for the person that is the closest to you. Someone with intimate knowledge about how you think and feel. This is likely the person who you confide all or most of your secrets to. This is also the person who you would feel most betrayed by if they are perceived as unsupportive or uninvolved.

Make your list from there. Be discriminating. Don’t include your mom if her opinions about you don’t really matter much. Or, you may have a brother who is much more significant to you than any other sibling. The important thing is to be honest and don’t worry about being judged. This is not a group activity. This is for you to decide alone and after much thought.

What will this teach you? That it doesn’t really matter how 99% of people in your life feel or think about you!

Place more focus on your list of 5 to 10. Are you on good terms with everyone on your list? Do they “get you” or do they misinterpret many of your emotions. What would nurture these relationships? How do you feel when you are at odds with these important few? What would make you change something about yourself and would it be worth it?

Ideally, the most important few will be on the same wavelength with you. Little needs to be done to share intimate and important things about who you really are.

Your goal is to identify the individuals that you rely on most for your self-definition. Whether it is co-workers or your ex-spouse, whose opinion matters most?

If this list includes loving, supportive and nurturing people, then congratulations! If not, then there is some work to be done.

If the #1 person is not supportive, list the reasons why they are #1. How long is the list and does your reasoning make sense? Are you relying heavily for emotional support from someone who you don’t always get along with? This may explain why you feel unfulfilled much of the time.

The first 5 would ideally be people who you rarely find challenging. Life with them is fluid and pleasing. You don’t always agree but you both accept and understand each other. You feel powerful and brilliant! Energy is contagious and you leave them feeling good about yourself and them.

What about those who you feel at odds with? They question and challenge you and don’t always understand your reasoning. Are you able to place their opinions and attitudes in perspective? Do you know how to agree to disagree? It may become evident that you place far too much importance on the opinion of someone who does not compromise with you. This is ok.

This is an exercise about understanding your close relationships better. It may help you to identify who you may want to be more self-protective with. It may feel too sensitive to have someone challenge your more intimate feelings. Then understand this and make adjustments to how much information that you trust them with. This is self-protection not deception! Keep it positive and healthy.

Go into as much detail as you wish. The more you discover the more liberating it will feel. You may be more careful with your emotions. You may realize that certain people are not supportive in some areas of life but very special in other areas. You may even decide to restart your list after you have thought about it for a while.

All of this is good. Knowing yourself and your close relationships better will improve your confidence and emotional stability. Don’t start any arguments! Just be aware of your need to make some loving adjustments to some of your relationships.

You may also realize that nuisance people really don’t matter to you at all! You may also realize that you are much closer to some people than you have realized. Don’t erect walls. Love grows when shared with others. This is just smart thinking! Be your own best protector and open your heart to more love, knowledge and experience.

If you do rework your list, no one needs to know. This is for you and your sense of self. You may discover some important things about who you are and what kind of people are needed to round out your life.

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