I want to say some thing about the concept of Right People, because I am recognizing that the concept is possibly been misunderstood (hugely) by a bunch of people that I adore.
Which means (for me, at least) that I have not been able to explain it correctly or thoroughly.*
* Consider this an extended version of the definition in the glossary.
So, with your permission, I’m going to try to give the Right People thing some context.
There are no wrong people here.
There just aren’t.
For one thing, there’s no such thing as wrong people. So … someone who is a Tony Robbins right person is probably not my right person, but that doesn’t make them my wrong person. They just wouldn’t come into my orbit.
And someone who is interested in my stuff is, by definition, a right person because right people are people who like me and my duck.
And someone who hangs out in my world and appreciates it is also a right person by definition, because right people are people whom I like too.
Right does not mean “chosen” or “better” or “cooler” or anything-er.
It is meant to imply a comfortable fit. A healthy fit. With a specific thing.
It refers to the idea that everyone should have the right to hang out with people they like and appreciate, who like and appreciate them.
And that everyone should have the right to not have to hang out with shoe-throwers or with people who don’t appreciate and respect them. Unless you like that kind of thing.
If someone throws shoes at you? Not one of your people. The concept of Right People gives you permission to not have to spend time with people who are mean to you.
But the Right People thing is not about being rejected, or about rejecting others.
It is not exclusionary.
If anything, it’s the opposite.
Everyone gets right people. It’s not just some special right people who get right people.
And everyone gets right people who are fabulous. You get right people that you adore. Not right people that you have to settle for. They wouldn’t be very right if you did.
There is absolutely no need to actively exclude people who don’t fit. The idea is that we are naturally drawn to the stuff that speaks to us. So if we aren’t drawn to something, we aren’t being rejected. We’re just being drawn somewhere else.
It’s not about exclusion. It’s about discernment.
When I get excited about Friday, it doesn’t mean that nothing good ever happens on Wednesday. It just means I’m happy about Friday.
When I surround myself with stuff/people/concepts that are loving and supportive, it makes it easier for me to be the kind of person who can have love and support in her life.
It doesn’t mean I have to stop being sarcastic and obnoxious. It doesn’t mean that I have to lose my sense of humor. It just means that I don’t have to have stuff in my life that makes me feel like crap, dammit.
But we can go even deeper into the concept — or definition — of right people, as I understand it.
What I mean by Right People — my definition.
Right People = anyone you like and appreciate who likes and appreciates you.
You can be someone’s right person without ever buying from them.
For example, I get to be Victoria‘s right person even though I might not ever hire her as a coach. I’m Victoria’s right person because I believe in her work and I think she’s awesome.
I get to be Ankesh‘s right person even though I might not ever necessarily buy his products. I’m his right person because I admire the hell out of him and because he’s a total mensch.
As far as I know, I’m a right person for you, because if you’re here, it’s pretty likely that I would like you and care about what you do.
And you are all my right people because you connect with some aspect of what I talk about or what I do. But it goes even deeper than that.
Layers of right people.
I totally believe that everyone has right people, even if they haven’t found any of them yet.
I also believe that everyone has enough right people in the world to support them and their thing.
IMPORTANT! This does not mean that the people who can’t support your thing right now don’t get to be your right people.
They’re still the right fit. They’re just not at the very center of that support structure.
When I look at my life — the sovereign queendom of me and all of my me-ness — there is room for my closest friends and allies, and there is room for people I care about but don’t get to hang out with that often.
And when I look at my business — the kingdom of The Fluent Self — there is room for my regular clients, for the people in my Kitchen Table program, my Friday Chickeneers and all of my Beloved Lurkers.
Not everyone in the kingdom is going to buy my stuff or hire me. Or even let me know of their existence. And it doesn’t matter. Because they get touched by the stuff I do.
There will always be a cluster closer to the center of the kingdom where the action is. Where all the support structures are.
And some people will be closer to the center. And some people will be more at the outskirts. And some people will wander in between. It’s all fine. Because they are all — every single one — my Right People.
Right people does not mean homogenization.
Because right people doesn’t refer to any one specific quality or characteristic.
It’s not like “oh, my right people are over six feet tall and like pistachio ice cream”. Or that they have a certain type of thing or a certain personality.
It’s about resonance and zing. Zing!
Sure, my right people tend to be bright, thoughtful, insightful, sensitive and goofy.
But probably a lot of them don’t necessarily self-define that way at all. Selma and I don’t collect right people based on type. There is room for all kinds of right people among my right people.
Why Right People is not about rejection.
Because life is not high school. There aren’t any cool kids.
Naomi and I aren’t the cool kids. Mark and Jen aren’t the cool kids.
There are no cool kids. There are just people. Who have their own groups of right people.
And you get to belong anywhere where you feel safe and supported.
And you get to choose who gets to belong with you, and help them feel safe and supported.
The whole point of right people and red velvet ropes and such is to make it easier on you to welcome in the kind of people that you like being around.
And to make it easier for the kind of people who might throw shoes (or just not get you) to quietly find their way to their own right place, instead of judging you for being you.
No, seriously. Life is not high school.
Life is not high school. Business is not high school. Nothing that happens is high school.
Except, of course, for high school.**
** And those of us who need to spit on those memories can do so now..
Whatever is reminding you of how things were in high school is just that. A reminder that you have patterns. A reminder that you have stuff.
It’s not the same experience. It’s the same emotional charge, but it’s not the same experience.
It’s a new experience, filtered through old stuff that thinks it’s seeing something familiar.
Right People is a way to find comfort
Before I had the concept of right people, it was really easy to feel annoyed and upset with people I didn’t like.
I’d think about other biggifiers like, say, Tim Ferris, and find myself wanting to kick them in the shins for making the people I care about feel bad about themselves.
Once I realized that hey, I’m just not one of his people, I didn’t have to hate on him anymore. In fact, recognizing that made it possible for me to relax and get something good out of what he teaches.
I didn’t like the way he presented the concept. It wasn’t my style. But the result? Brilliant.
So instead of wishing someone else were different than the way I want them to be, the concept of Right People makes it a lot easier for me to just let them be the way they are.
And to trust that the people who need that message in that form will get it. And the people who need my message in my form will get it.
There’s more room that way. There’s more room for everyone. Right People is about breathing room.
It’s about not having to resent people because they’re doing something that isn’t a good fit for you.
It’s about turning around and saying: Hey, it’s my life and I’m allowed to hang around people who get me, dammit.
And yet again, this is really long.
So I’m going to stop here.
But I hope some of this is helping. That it’s clear that having right people doesn’t make you a jerk.
And that discernment is a useful practice.
And that you are welcome here by virtue of the simple fact that you like being here.