How to attract the right people into your life

attract the right people
Photo by SOULSANA on Unsplash

There’s a saying that your level of success and satisfaction in life is dependent on your ability to attract the right people into your life.

They say the five people with whom you spend the most time have the biggest impact on your quality of life.

Before I began this healing journey, I poo-pooed that idea. Probably because the five closest people to me did not have my back at all.

My dysfunctional family members had more interest in holding me back than helping me spread my wings. Their lack of support left me feeling misunderstood and unconfident, not an ideal place from which to achieve your dreams.

Now I realize the saying about the ability to attract the right people dictating your outcomes rings true. As an unhealed survivor of childhood emotional abuse and neglect, I attracted people into my life who felt like “home”.

That is, they withheld love, support, and compassion just like my parents did. And, guess what? I refused myself those same human needs as well.

Hiding will not attract the right people

I spent much of my time hiding my true self and trying to fit into what others wanted from me. At the same time, I had little idea of who my true self was as I’d kept her locked away since early childhood.

I eased my self-loathing and uncomfortable hypervigilance through drinking. It was only after I faced my addiction and stopped (12 years ago) that I could begin to uncover the real me.

When you hide parts of yourself to please others to fit in, you repel rather than attract the right people to you. That’s why my five closest people did not share my values or desires such as the need for depth and intimacy.

When you hide parts of yourself to fit in, you repel rather than attract the right people to you. Click To Tweet

As I healed from my childhood wounds, I began to see and accept the real me. It was a torturous journey to uncover that person, as anyone who’s recovered from an addiction will attest.

The “me” before recovery put the focus on others and rarely thought of herself. This external focus had become as natural as breathing as a result of my mother’s insistence that her needs come before mine.

The impact of unmet needs

If you’ve grown up in a home like that, where the children’s needs come last, you’ll understand. I appeared on a podcast episode recently where the host and I marveled at our own inability to ask to use the bathroom as children.

attract the right people

Denying ourselves basic human needs is how deep the impact of parentification takes you. When you’re unable to even relieve your bladder, how to attract the right people seems like a stretch goal to say the least.

We tend to settle for crumbs or accept whomever will take us because we believe that’s all we deserve. I have another friend who said she got married simply because he asked.

I can relate to the shame of having no answer to the question “why did you marry him?” Especially knowing how little we had in common and how many red flags appeared before the wedding.

Like my friends, proximity dictated my relationships. Who had been around the longest and who was still here. In fact, our society celebrates relationships based on longevity regardless of whether they meet our needs.

I taught my children to choose people they wanted to spend time with and not let just anyone in. Needless to say, my parents never taught me anything about how to cultivate relationships or attract the right people in.

They spent all their time teaching me how little I deserved, that my needs didn’t matter. In addition, they made sure I knew how much I irritated and burdened them.

In essence, they taught me I should be grateful to anyone who would deign to spend time with me. And that’s the mindset I operated from for most of my life.

This does not dictate a relationship’s value

Post-healing, however, I’ve learned that length does not dictate the worth of a relationship. Healthy relationships consist of shared values, open and honest communication, and mutual support.

If you hide parts of yourself to keep the relationship, that’s a red flag. That’s the common story in dysfunctional families.

You maintain membership in the clan only if you agree to maintain the status quo. If you require truth or intimacy, you may find yourself shunned.

You maintain membership in the clan only if you agree to maintain the status quo. If you require truth or intimacy, you may find yourself shunned. Click To Tweet

Since our childhood wounds get activated by these threats even as adults, we kowtow to their demands. We end up getting sick either physically or mentally because we abandon ourselves to keep a fake relationship.

To begin to attract the right people I had to stop dimming my light. I had to embrace all parts of me and become totally honest about everything that happened in my life to bring me to this place.

When I first started writing about dysfunctional family dynamics, I considered using a pen name. That’s how fearful I was of my family’s backlash and malice against me.

That I’d keep people in my life who would cut me down if I told the truth says a lot. Anytime I displayed emotional honesty I’d be silenced and ridiculed in a cruel way.

Attract the right people naturally

attract the right people

I did not set out to estrange from my family; it’s a process that evolved once I started working on myself.

Ironically, when I stopped focusing on them and how they hurt me, I could let them go. Once I stopped wondering why they offered me no compassion or empathy, I could finally be free.

Once I stopped wondering why they offered me no compassion or empathy, I could finally be free. Click To Tweet

Accepting their limitations was key to healing and that’s something I did from afar. As Oprah quipped, I “gave up the hope that the past could be any different”.

I let go of the therapists who told me I’d only regret not having a relationship with my parents. Said good-bye to the ones who encouraged me to use tactics and strategies to maintain ties with people who would only hurt me.

I focused on my own healing instead. As Thich Nhat Hanh said, the way out is in. Once I stopped expecting compassion and understanding from those who would never give it, I could begin to fulfill those needs myself.

Once I got used to a new normal of self-love and self-worth, my standards for how I’d allow myself to be treated changed. My ability to attract the right people into my life evolved as a natural outcome of the love I had given myself.

I teach these concepts in my 1:1 program Turning the Gaze Within. If you’re interested in learning more about how I may support you, click here.

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