Find people you can be yourself around. That’s where you’ll find the most happiness.
It sounds so simple. It even sounds trite. But it’s true.
Most people take this to matter most when selecting friendships, but it matters just as much when choosing where to work, attend school or even church.
For two years I decided to morph into another person when dealing with my mission president in Germany. I quickly learned what he wanted to hear and then I regurgitated that each time I had to speak to him. I wasn’t myself. I never told him what was on my mind. By being honest with him I risked getting ripped to shreds so I kept each meeting as short as possible by telling him exactly what he wanted to hear. Then I walked out the doors and did what my heart told me to do.
I recall well the last meeting I had with him. I was unable to contain my joy, and when my mission president asked me why I was grinning I finally had the guts to tell him it was due to never having to speak to him again.
I’ve had a few jobs where the boss only wanted to hear the good news. Good news was always welcome, and if someone had bad news, it was best kept to oneself. I saw what happened to messengers bearing bad news and learned from their mistakes. Bring good news or don’t bring any news at all!
Contrast that with Bill Gates who once said the goal of any CEO was to create an environment where bad news flowed to the top in a hurry so it could be acted upon.
Some of my friends laugh when I tell them my in-laws live next door. That’s usually followed by, “Wow, I could never live that close to mine!”
But what they don’t understand is that my in-laws are some of the most non-judgmental people I’ve ever met. They have had their fair share of trials with their own children. But even before I knew that, they accepted me into their family. I’ve made a number of bone-headed mistakes while married to their daughter, yet I never been lectured or frowned upon. Instead they look for the good in me. No wonder I fell for the youngest daughter they raised.
If you find yourself discussing the weather or rehashing the past each time you hook up with a friend it might be worth asking yourself, why?