You Can't Control Who Enters Your Life, But You Can Control Who Stays
Luck, fortune, chance. Whatever you call it, it influences things we can’t control, like our chances of winning the lottery, our health, and our relationships, to an extent.
It has been exercising its influence since we were born, providing us with care, a family, a context, and a series of opportunities that we wouldn’t have had otherwise. Things we can’t control have been present in our lives before our lives even began.
This situation is similar to the one that occurs at the beginning of most card games: every player is given certain cards that will give them either an advantage or a disadvantage.
The level of advantage doesn’t depend exclusively on the cards that the player is holding, but also on the cards that everyone else is holding. Something similar happens with social interactions.
Among hundreds of thousands of people, you get these ones
Throughout our lives we encounter many different people in many different ways. It could be a new coworker, an old woman waiting for the same bus, or someone who tries to return a scarf to us that we’ve been desperately trying to lose, the kind of horrible gift that can only disappear through carelessness.
If you think about it, there are a million more situations in which a conversation can easily arise with someone you don’t know. These people are like the cards in a card game: you don’t have control over who you will meet and interact with in these situations.
You also don’t have much control over how they relate to each other, or how open and ready they’ll be to get to know you. However, you can try to turn this incidental encounter into a relationship that transcends beyond a mere anecdote.
You can control certain factors that are fundamental to be able to get to know the person better, to deepen your new relationship with them, from giving them a vote of confidence to showing interest in the things they say to you.
In any case, your connection with certain people can be immediate and almost magical. Two people being on the same wavelength is partly due to the fact that mutual understanding is based on a perception of closeness.
Having said that, you should remember that the opposite can also happen. You can also make sure, given the same factors, the ones you’re responsible for and aware of, that the relationship does not come to fruition, or at least that it gets scaled back.
In fact, even though it seems paradoxical, this is much simpler than the first situation. The list of bad things that can end a relationship is infinite, and all it usually takes is one item on the list.
Sometimes its very difficult to take someone out of our lives
You may remember the movie How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. In this movie, an intrepid reporter tries to use all of the strategies she can think of to make a guy stop trying to be in a relationship with her.
The motive for her article and her actions is to try to demonstrate that there are certain behaviors that make the other person so uncomfortable that the relationship ends. She can’t simply be direct and tell him, “I don’t want to be in a relationship with you.” She has to make him stop wanting her through her behavior.
However, we do have the ability to be direct, but like her, we often utilize indirect strategies to achieve what we could have achieved with a handful of words. Words that might be more hurtful in the present, but that they’ll be thankful for in the long term.
We can be lucky or unlucky in our relationships, and we can be better or worse at seducing or winning the other person over, but we shouldn’t forget to look at reality clearly and directly.
We can do many things to make someone we love stay as close as possible, and also to make someone who has wronged us, or who we’re just not interested in, distance themselves.
Recognizing this power is the first step towards using it. We can allow ourselves to think about it and, along the way, use our social intelligence to make ourselves and others happy.
Every person who enters our lives will play a certain role. Some will test us, others will use us, others will love us, others will be loved by us, and others will teach us. In any case, we should try to be our best selves and appreciate what we have in each moment, rather than focusing on the flaws. Because anything, absolutely anything, can be a learning experience.