Keep What You Need--Clearly Defined Recently by Rajah E. Smart, Ed.D.
Updated: Feb 5
Anyone that is close with me knows I live by words of wisdom that my grandfather would share. "Keep what you need" is right there at the top as it expresses that one should not be excessive but to maintain what is needed versus what is wanted. In managing my careers, secondary family, home, and many other things, I'm continuing to learn the importance of that phrase, especially as I reflect on the span of my life.
Lately, I am approaching this phrase differently by identifying what I don't need versus what I need. What I don't need includes:
Being lied to, guilted, or manipulated
Day to day I'm working to build for my circle to have something that we may all benefit from. Dealing with a liar and manipulator is draining as it takes time and energy away from goals and outcomes. I had enough of that as a child. Fortunately for me, guilt doesn't work with me. My mother could say, "You haven't been here in two days and I could've died." My response is simply, "Well, this is day three and you didn't so--" Still not sure how people think that I should provide a level of care I never received. Just as it is not in me to sympathize, it's not in me to be Benson the butler either. My friends don't even try that on me because it's futile. The issue is I am close to folks that are guilted into doing things and it is not cool.
These types of folks can draw in others who choose to believe the manipulator and liar. We all lie to some degree, especially in a job interview. I'm referring to liars that always start mess that interferes with your peace and seeks to manipulate a situation to their liking. That's when those that are being manipulated have the choice to either support of call the person on the bullshit. What I find more than not is some folks are weak-minded or simply support it to engage in pissing on your name. Being around weak people is draining just as being lied to, guilted, or manipulated can be as well.
If there is an issue, let's talk about it. Recently, I've noticed how some will create these lies or this viewpoint that is far from the truth. I've learned to understand various contexts before I speak on anything and listen attentively. Dealing with folks who are unable to get out of their way is exhausting. Especially when it's as simple as having an adult conversation across from one another and listening without being defensive. Why ask for a perspective and then argue the perspective you asked for? Not a very logical approach, a waste of time, and time-consuming.
Lack of Authenticity
This looks like someone that speaks of love towards you but spews nonsense behind your back to attack your credibility or the credibility of people close to you. Again, I deal with that enough at work--don't need that in my personal time.
Lack of appreciation
As I watch family around me that do for others, there is always this reaction when they find out someone doesn't appreciate the measures they've taken to support or assist. They feel like they've been shit on and it irks me because I care enough about them to be irritated. It's one thing to ask for things or even to expect things but to shit on the people that support you is downright foolish. Then when folks stop helping, you're shit on for not helping even though you were shit on for helping. It's a weird conundrum I say.
I don't trust many folks, which means I have a small circle around me at all times. There is nothing I won't do for my circle. I have never been one that believed in family in the classical sense. Why? The reason I have issues with trust is because those called your family, based on DNA can be some of the fakest, cruelest, meanest, trifling, shit starting, lying ass folks you may ever come across. If your own mother will run you down or create stories to share with others that attempt to tarnish your name, the skies the limit for others you meet.
Fancy car, big house, jewelry, etc.
Material things are cool but they still don't measure your self-worth. I'm not against anyone that chooses to do so because I'm talking about myself. Simple things are what I need because they don't require much. It's like the episode in the Cosby Show where Theo came home to the "real world" and had to live on what he needed versus what he wanted. Shiny things attract and I'd rather lay low. I don't want to go broke with having things--things that clutter my space and serve no person. That could be applied to people as well.
Lack of loyalty
Be mindful of folks that will trash the name of someone you know because there is nothing stopping them from doing it to you as well. People have their reasons for being disloyal and I don't particularly care what those reasons are; however, the persistent lack of loyalty is enough the begin to eat at your soul. In a relationship, loyalty is so important as it builds stronger bonds. Disloyal people can be used as pawns. Where is the fun in that?
Lack of reciprocity
Being reciprocal towards people is useful in maintaining quality relationships. If someone always siphons energy from you and there is no return, shouldn't that person be removed from your life? I think that if people give you nothing, you give them nothing. If folks are selfish, you avoid them. Some folks want to live a shitty existence--allow them and move far away from that negative energy. There are those that don't understand that each morning, it's a new day and a chance to be a better you. If they stand in the way of the better you and maintain their persistent fuckery, move on and your life will blossom.
There are more but I'm sure you can see the point. I was just at the store today and talked myself out of something because I didn't need it. I have everything I need right now and only a few things I need to go away. Until that time, the things I need will be my 80% versus the bullshit I don't need, which is 20%.