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Reorganizing Relationships for 2023

Our relationships support who and what we are generally. Some are good, some are bad, but all serve a purpose in development and sustainability. Admittingly, relationships with people have drained my internal battery, and now I seek minimal contact and isolation. At this age, peace is a need, a focus, and more valuable than money. However, if I knew what I know now, I could have saved myself the grief. What I know is that we must place people in their proper categories. That is, people are organized as primary, secondary, and tertiary. As we grow and change, so too does the category we have with others and those in our categories. This reorganization relates to friends, associates, and family.

Primary relates to those who know you, have grown with you, and changed but are still there through it all. These people you don’t speak to regularly or regularly but are there for the good word. They know you and all your quirks but rock with you regardless, and you with them. Even though we change, there is a core that these people gravitate to, which is important to share. The important component is that they care for you regardless and support you in tough times. The relationship is naturally a partnership versus reciprocity. Specifically, if I am carrying large boxes to the door, a partner has already cleared the space, opened the door, and made the pathway easier. There is no need to reciprocate the same behavior because not all people are capable. However, a partner can share in the process and is not expected to reciprocate equal or greater behavior. The problem with reciprocity is who in the relationship dictates the value of the action. These relationships are organic.

Secondary relates to the level of importance of those people. These people may be relative from a work or service perspective, people in the family you speak with because of the relation, or relationships developed to support a need. There is a sharing of ideas, and these folks know some intimate things about you. They, at one time, could have been primary but have grown apart. It’s not that there is ill will; it’s more that each of you has moved on to other responsibilities and the alignment of commonness once shared is no longer as strong. There is occasional discussion; nothing is wrong with that, as these people make up your network. At some point, they may return to primary if they were once there or remain secondary. Either way, these people are a supportive layer.

Tertiary relates to the lower level of importance, if any at all. These people have shown you countless times a level of selfishness that keeps the relationship, or lack thereof, at a standstill. The characteristics include untrustworthiness, judgment, selfishness, and unfairness. As people, we tend to want to force people into a primary or secondary role, but they may only seek to use our abilities. This factor alone can be draining. Not everyone is your friend, and these people must be identified early. Avoid forcing these people into primary or secondary positions or believing they can move into those positions. These people can be family, coworkers, etc. As they say, skin folk ain’t kinfolk.” Family does not get a pass because they can be as trifling as strangers. These people have shown you time and time again that it’s their way or no way. Choose no way, as the return on investment, is slim to none. Once a person moves to this category, there is no return.

Peace is invaluable. I’ve learned that organizing my relationships this way provides a clear view of relationships' natural progression or regression. It’s okay though. Not everything is meant to be forever or be the same. We have to be better at understanding this progress forward in seeking that respective peaceful place.

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