Self-Care Sunday: Stack the Deck with Supportive Friendships

self-care sunday Jan 31, 2021

In today's Self-Care Sunday tip, we take a look at the concept of "stacking the deck" with respect to friendship.

"Stacking the deck" means that you stack the deck in your favor by surrounding yourself with people who bring out the best in you and encourage your strengths to thrive, which in turn boosts your sense of self-worth.

Surrounding yourself with good-feeling people who lift you up might sound obvious, but many people don't do it.

It begins in childhood. We are told to respect our elders, defer to adults, and not rock the boat with authority figures. When we come up against a teacher, coach or counselor we don't like, we are advised to be polite and keep it to ourselves.

We then grow into adults who allow not-so-great-feeling people into our lives out of politeness. We tolerate people who make us feel bad because we don't want to hurt their feelings. We spend time with people—and sometimes even marry them—who don't bring out the best in us.

Using this worksheet for building resilient friendships, spend some time today identifying the people in your life who are "matches" to the best that you have to offer—those who bring out your best strengths, talent, and virtues. These are the people who inspire you to grow and expand.

When completing this activity, pay attention to how the people in your life make you feel. After all, some people inspire us to be brave and kind, to follow our dreams, and to push ourselves and grow. Others encourage us to gossip, focus on problems instead of solutions, criticize ourselves and others, and live small lives.

When we pay attention to how we feel and behave around different people, we can seek out people who lift us up, inspire us, and extract the best from us. We can stack the deck in our favor, surrounding ourselves with people who make us feel and behave in ways that are hopeful, optimistic, and empowered while distancing ourselves from people who drain our energies or make us feel and behave in ways that are pessimistic, insecure, envious, small, or judgmental.

 

 

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