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Purposeful discernment (Part 2): Identifying important identities

EVERYone's character has an identity.
EVERYone's character has an identity.
Photo by: Spekulator

An important element to maintaining flourishing relationships involves an examination of personnel. There are different types of people; some of which you need in your life and some of which you don't. At particular times in your life, it may be crucial for you to determine who is who. Below are several categories of people “identities” that should be important in regards to who you are as a person.

Sideliners: These are people who you do not have a consistent amount direct interaction with, but there is some extent of recognition of existence. They can be people in your neighborhood. They can be coworkers. They can be a mutual acquaintance of someone who you have a direct relationship. You may or may not have direct interaction with them, but you do know of each other’s existence. The impact/influence you have on each other’s lives is small, if there is any at all; however, sideliners can easily become any of the other types simply off their inner character and/or their perception of you.

Confiders: These are the people who cherish your relationship in the fullness of friendship. They trust you to treat the friendship with consideration and respect. In recognizing that trust, you trust them the same. These people serve as your “safe havens.” Confiders are the people you trust when you have joys to share, shames to hide, questions to ask, and problems to bear. You are comfortable in disclosing most of anything with them because they are considerate in public disclosure and discreet in privacy and secrecy. They are generally very rational and unbiased, helping you to view life in a rational and positive perspective. There is higher level of practicality and rationality with confiders because they take the time to know and understand who you are as an individual. Confiders may seem to intrude on your life, but their involvement in your life is very impactful.

Fivers: These are your “life cheerleaders!” They anxiously wait for something good to come about so they can give you a “high-five.” They greet you with dap, handshakes, hugs, kisses, and big smiles. They love to cheer you up and never attempt to pull you down. And unlike sliders, fivers stand by you when things are down. When life isn't as right as desired, they sympathize with you; but the same time, they encourage you in wait of your next positive moment. They speak words of inspiration and encouragement into your life REGARDLESS of circumstance.

Riders: Riders are your "life teammates." These are the people that will "ride" with you NO MATTER WHAT." Riders do not care so much about right versus wrong, but they absolutely care about you. They may not necessarily agree with or condone everything of you; however, they will stand by your side regardless. Riders make sure you don't "stand" too tall and they stand up for you when you, yourself, can't. Riders support you to the fullest of appropriateness. Riders feel with you, not "for" you. They laugh with you. They cry with you. They live with you. They'll die with you...and everything else in between.