“Your person” is a phrase that comes from Shonda Rhimes’ hit show, Grey’s Anatomy. Meredith and Cristina often have to remind one another that they are each other’s person. Each of us should have at least one person who can tell us about ourselves because let’s face it—we are not perfect. We need someone with whom we can be vulnerable, open, and honest about our lives. Your person can be the one to fill that void.
The catch: You cannot just choose anyone. Here are five qualities to look for when choosing your person.
Choose someone who has integrity. Information and knowledge is power. Once someone has very personal information about you, he/she has a significant amount of power. Make sure this person can be trusted and that your talks do not go past the safe space you create. Both parties should be of the same mindset with the understanding that a certain space is confidential. Whatever is discussed should not be repeated to anyone else without your permission. “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” (a nod to Aretha Franklin) should be of the utmost importance.
Choose someone who can ask you the tough questions. I always say that the easiest place to see “you” is in the mirror and even that does not show our reflection exactly. This is where your person can be helpful to listen to what you are truly saying. He or she can decipher and make sense of what may not be obvious to you. Your person can ask you those hard-hitting questions that we may not able to ask ourselves. “Do you really love him/her?” “Is this the life you want for your family?” “Are you making this decision for yourself or for others?” You cannot take offense to these questions either. Your person is asking these (or at least should be) questions from a place of love.
Choose someone whose life is not in disarray. Your person should be someone you admire and in some ways would like to mimic. This may be someone you have watched from afar make exemplary choices that led them down great paths. Or it could be just the opposite—maybe you witnessed their resiliency despite making some poor decisions and are wiser for it. Either way, your person has learned from experience and experience is life’s best teacher. He/she should be an insightful and thoughtful person whom you believe can speak into your life.
Choose someone whose opinion you value. You know how Oprah can say simply suggest books and products and because she told us, we go out and buy them? Well, we need someone with that same kind of influence. This is someone whose words can inspire us to positively react and then apply what was said. Your person is of no use if you do not take heed to his or her advice. He or she should be able to provide you with something to “chew on,” so that the next time the two of you meet, whatever was “chewed” can be your jumping off point or “icebreaker.”
Choose someone who has the ability to challenge you to be better. If you are not growing you are stagnant/dead. Your person should be challenging you to be the very best you. Life is about facing challenges and using your resources to overcome. If your person is only giving you his /her opinion that is not who you want — you want someone that can help you rise above the rest. Your person is charged with tending to your personal garden; they are planting seeds that will help you by tending to you often and watching you blossom into who you are truly capable of becoming.
Find this person. No rush because it is a big decision. He or she will be so valuable if you allow them to be open and honest with you. However, you must also be open and honest with yourself—it works both ways. We need one another and without this type of person along for life’s amazing ride, we may unnecessarily struggle. Yes, without struggle there is no progress, but we should not allow ourselves to lie dormant in that struggle. You are more than a conqueror and learning from the wise will only make you that much wiser for battle. Good luck in choosing your person.