I've noticed people tend to be different versions of themselves around other people and while tempted to assume someone is "faking it" when they show up displaying radically or even subtly different behaviors depending on who they're with, I'm starting to think this isn't the case.
In fact I've even found that certain people (in the words of Jack Nicholson in 'As Good As it Gets') "make me want to be a better person".
I can even take it a step further and say that if someone is "difficult to deal with". Ok, take a deep breath and sit down if you need to on this one...but maybe...it's something in ME causing that person to be "difficult to deal with".
For instance I know people who are judgey, gossipy, selfish, passive aggressive, braggadocios, fear based, jealous and even mean spirited. But, what if I've trained them to see me as the person they can be this version of themselves around? ...because...maybeeee at times I am all of these things...Gulp.
Even more alarming is the idea that I'm the one who has to change if I want those around me to be better versions of themselves in my presence. And, have you ever tried to retrain a bad dog? So much easier to just go get a new puppy right? And, I'm the queen of new puppies AND I'm so tired of trying to figure out what I'm going to do with all of these bad dogs.
So, it begins with me. And, living on a deserted island isn't the answer. Where can I begin? Self-care, things that feed me spiritually, connection, trying over and over and over and over and over (you get the point) again until I find the perfect amount of self-love that "makes me want to be a better person" for myself. Probably that's a good place to start.