Invite Good People

The best Thanksgivings include people you love and people who love you. Those people come prepared for a good time, chip in and help, and add to the fun. In turn, you do your best to make sure they have a good time. And, as much as you can, you avoid including those miserable people who seem intent on being obnoxious.

Of course, there's always the relative who drinks too much or always says something offensive and tries to start an argument. If you have to invite him/her, make a plan. I used to limit the amount of alcohol I served, and that solved several problems.

When you are leading your life in a certain direction, surrounding yourself with good people – those family and friends who want to support your goals and who are willing to help – is critically important. Do your best to make life a two-way street, that is, you give and take and so do they.

Yes, you might find those who are negative, nasty, self-entitled and narcissistic. If you can, let them go. If you can't, limit your contact with them or make a plan for how to handle them. There are a lot of books on assertiveness that can help you find the words. When you learn then, practice saying them so those words are ready when you need them.

When I stopped smoking cigarettes, one friend and her family (very heavy smokers) got nasty. They were like family and I spent a lot of time with them. But when I stopped, every time I was with them someone said something snide or mean - often through side-swiping comments. Having my feelings hurt became a regular occurrence. It affected my self-esteem. It took a while but I decided I had to let that family find their way out of my life. It was a hard decision, but a good one - both physically and emotionally.

When toxic people are in the mix, life becomes harder. Why bother? If you love and respect your family and friends, and they don't care enough to return the love and respect to you back, why have them in your life?

Fill your life with people who will raise you up not tear you down.