What it means:
Recently, I’ve had a slight epiphany. I have been placing “too many hats” on a few people in my life that are closest to me. What I mean by “too many hats,” is that I am guilty of expecting certain people to fill many different relationship needs, some of which aren’t entirely applicable or appropriate for that particular relationship.
For example, meet my beautiful sister, otherwise known as my personal hat rack:
My sister and I have an amazing relationship. First and foremost, she’s my older sister and BFF. However, I’ve found that I put a lot of other hats on her as well: Stylist, Life coach, Business adviser, Editor, Mentor, Marriage counselor, Sounding board… You get the picture.
While many times these things are normal to discuss with your BFF, I realized that it’s really unfair for me to bring ALL these things to any one person ALL the time. I’m asking my sister to wear way too many hats. While my hat placing has a direct correlation to the amount of respect I have for her, I realize that it’s likely unhealthy to place that amount of stock in any one relationship.
Just like an investment portfolio, I have come to the conclusion that I need to diversify. This is better for me as a person, and also for my poor sister’s sanity (though she is amazing and has never complained). I think most would agree that as we become adults, and especially parents, making friends and maintaining/growing those relationships becomes increasingly challenging. With someone like me who has moved what seems like a gazillion times, it’s even harder. However, I can’t let my friendships fall to the wayside. Solid friendships are good for my health and happiness.
Plan of Action.
I’ve thought a great deal about how I can diversify my relationships. Everyone is different, but here are the specific changes I’m working towards making:
1. Identify and connect with friends or acquaintances that share common interests, particularly interests related to business, writing, and photography. For example, I know my friend Kim is interested in freelance writing, so I sent her a message about being “writing partners.” My hope is that we can form a relationship where we can bounce writing-related questions and ideas off of each other.
2. As advised by Gretchen Rubin in one of her podcasts, I started a group! Creating a reason to get together with friends regularly will help keep these relationships at the forefront of my mind, as well as give me the chance to get to know some new friends. The group, like my blog, is named after Benjamin Franklin’s Club of Mutual Improvement. We are meeting this Saturday for the first time and then hopefully monthly after that. It’s going to be a stress-free gathering of drinks and discussion. I’m really looking forward to seeing old friends, as well as getting to know some new friends better!
3. Speaking of new friends, make some! In the same podcast, Gretchen talks about how whenever she starts something new, her goal is always to make 3 new friends. I think this is a fantastic goal and plan to adopt a similar motto.
What about you?
Am I the only one who is guilty of placing too many hats on people I love? I’d love to hear your thoughts!