The Relationship Quality Test

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    110 people had breakthroughs this week. Will the next one be you?

    One thing for you to think about

    The quickest way to gauge the quality of your relationships is to make a positive change. The people who are with you for the right reasons will behave the same but the people with you for the wrong reasons will quickly make themselves known.

    Reflect: Then consider sharing this thought with others.

    Two things for you to ask yourself

    If harming yourself earns you approval from the people around you, what does that say about the people around you? If helping yourself upsets the people around you, again, what does that say about the people around you?

    Recommended: Use these as journaling prompts for the week.

    One thing for you to try this week

    Distance yourself from someone who has issues with your positive efforts. Take tangible steps to remove their influence from your life.

    Remember: Small changes lead to lasting breakthroughs. Reply to this email and let me know how it went for you.

    New This Week

    Why Our Social Skills Are Getting Worse (ft. David Brooks) – People are becoming increasingly lonely and are unable to relate to one another. Yet we have access to more people than ever before. What’s going on? Is it technology? Is social media replacing our sense of community with the empty calories of the sweet, sweet For You feed? Check out my conversation with renowned author and journalist David Brooks to discuss how people are struggling to relate to one another and how this is harming society.

    Last week’s breakthroughs

    In last week’s newsletter, I talked about how it sucks to be normal and asked you to be unapologetically weird instead. So many of you replied with your weird and wonderful breakthroughs, here’s just a select few.

    Our first reader is weirdly sober and proud:

    I’ve been weird in (what I think is) a good way for almost ten years now: I don’t drink alcohol. Ever.

    At the beginning, I was apologetic about it. People are so pushy about drinking: ‘Have just one drink! It doesn’t harm,’ or ‘It’s just a beer, it won’t kill you,’ or many other variants of the same message, and I felt like I had to apologize for not doing what they do.

    After almost ten years, I no longer care what they say, and I don’t give any explanations. I don’t drink alcohol, full stop. I encourage everyone to do what they think is good for them, regardless of what others think.

    As the podcaster Chris Williamson often says, “Alcohol is the only drug that people think there is something wrong with you if you don’t do it.”

    Carol is standing her ground in the face of societal pressures:

    Coming from a Hispanic/Latin background, being married at a certain age (20’s) is the normal thing to do.

    I have always been the abnormal person in my entire family, being in my late 30’s, unmarried, no kids. I am the weirdo and a failure.

    I have always felt I needed to have a career, enjoy traveling, and other things that fulfilled my life, but in my family that’s not the case. You need to have a husband, two kids, and a house to be taken seriously. This has affected my emotions, and sometimes I feel I am not good enough.

    Now I think being different is OK. I stopped caring about what other people think, and it feels great.

    Robin is going to be unapologetically true to herself:

    Your newsletter came at the perfect time. I am a 46-year-old woman who just found out last year that I am both ADHD and autistic, after my children were diagnosed. I’ve always felt there was something ‘wrong’ or ‘different’ about me. When I reached out for help in my early 20s, I was misdiagnosed with depression and anxiety—which happens to a lot of neurodivergent women.

    I have masked myself my whole life, trying to be ‘normal.’ But I do not want my kids to be anything less than their authentic selves. And so now I am trying to undo a lifetime of masking. Which is such a switch from the first half of my life where I was just trying to fit in and be ‘normal’ like everyone else, even though I never felt that way inside. It’s such a relief to finally know why!

    I am not ‘normal,’ and neither are my kids, and that’s OK. We are different, not less than.

    So fuck being normal. I am very excited for the second half of my life to be free and proud to be myself.

    As always, send your breakthroughs by simply replying to this email. Let me know if you’d prefer to remain anonymous.

    Until next week,

    Mark Manson

    #1 New York Times Bestselling Author
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