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Purposeful discernment (Part 2): Identifying influences

Temporaries. One of the purposes of people being in your life is to fill a void. A lot of the time (with temporaries) the void is not fully filled, which actually deepens the void. Temporaries are generally not concerned about where they are. They don’t have a genuine commitment to where they. Their concern and commitment is usually self-serving. These people are not the people that you have a great amount of interaction with and their influence on your life is very short lived and, most likely, momentary. It could be a quick pick-me-up moment: a compliment, an act of chivalry, or a simple “Thank you.” OR it could be a quick annoyance: a bad attitude, a rude comment, an inconsiderate act, etc. Either way, temporaries are reminders. They are momentary reminders of the type of person you would/wouldn’t want to be and reminders of the type of you do/don’t want to have major influences on your life.

Part-time/Seasonal. Classmates, co-workers, members of various other groups: these are people that generally tend to be Part-time/Seasonal people in your life. Your interaction with them is a lot more consistent and in-depth than that with a temporary. Interaction usually takes place at predetermined times and places and for specific purposes and reasons. Part-time/Seasonal relationships consist of your general friendships. Part-time/Seasonal people generally have a positive influence on your life. There are mutual general common interests, concerns, and cares within these relationships. However, these relationships can affect you negatively. The lack of in-depth interaction allows the relationships to have an equal amount of room for discontent and dissatisfaction.

Full-time. Spouses, family members, and special friends and loved loves are prime examples of Full-time people of influence in your life. These are the people whose influence will have the greatest impact on your life. Your relationships with these people are usually highly cultivated. There is a high level of mutual commitment in these relationships. These relationships are very long-term and even lifelong. You have a greater amount of patience and tolerance for the Full-time. You value the Full-time and they value you. The influence of the Full-time is very encouraging and uplifting. Even though these relationships take a large amount of commitment to maintain, the interaction is frequently welcomed due to satisfaction and enjoyment they bring to your life. The Full-time relationships in your life are the cornerstones to your social well-being.

For the most part, the people in your life fit in as a temporary, part-time/seasonal, or a full-time and their specific statuses depend on the interaction and influence they produce. It is your responsibility to stay mindful of the influence that people have on your life. In discerning who is who, it is very important to remember that change is inevitable. Relationships change. Relationships change because the people within them change. And when people, there is a great possibility that there influence on your life will too. It is very possible for a temporary to become a full-time and vice versa and managing these changes is an important part of maintaining healthy relationships.