One of the key aspects of being a better man is really being honest about who you invest your time into in your life. Let’s be blunt here we all have toxic people in our lives, it’s really a matter of degree’s. When you entertain/invest time into them you become part of their circus act. This isn’t gender specific either. I’m not talking exclusively about your buddy from high school who still pounds a 6 pack before going out on Friday night.
I’m also talking about GF’s who are drama queens, exes who float in and out of your life to keep you on the line. Crazy uncles who always seem to need help with something, or siblings/parents who constantly fight and or cause issues. I’m not saying you have to cut people like this out of your life completely but you have to be honest about who these people are. If you are at family functions and Uncle Ted continues to bring up the incident at thanksgiving from 2001 it’s because he has either not gotten over it, or he wants to create drama for the people associated because he thinks THEY aren’t over it.
This is an example of how a clown works. They fixate on something that was painful, embarrassing or a highly emotional episode of the past and just keep hammering on it. Sometimes years later. Now there are degrees of this of course. If your current partner is reminding you of something you said 2 years ago you have to think about that and the current context. If you are hearing about this event regularly it means they aren’t over it and or are not happy about how you handled it.
People like this can sap your emotional energy. The circus ensues when you engage in this banter and it is used to bludgeon you over and over. The same theory applies to people in your life who have episode behavior. As an example, you go out for drinks, there is a designated driver or uber. There is always one person who says they can drive (when you know they can’t) even WHEN you have done the right thing and set up an alternative means of getting home they continue on. Another example, you are out to eat with your partner and no matter where you go, no matter what you order there is a problem.
If you continue to indulge these behaviors you are sending a signal that it is acceptable, ergo you are accepting a role in the circus. Maybe the example is mild and you are okay with it/tolerate it. Fine but what you normally find is the circus grows over time and more and more “situations” occur in new settings. You have to identify who these people are in your life and really think about your time investment into them.
It’s okay to have a circus once in a while, life should be spicy. That said, to be a better man you have to have balance and be very careful how much the circus consumes your time.
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