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Mental Iron Deficiency

Mental Iron Deficiency

Today, I challenge you to write a list of the last five people with which you had a conversation. Be it face to face or via telephone, make this list and then ponder those conversations. How did those conversations make you feel? Did you leave the conversation feeling rejuvenated or inspired? Were your spirits lifted? Perhaps you were encouraged or motivated to make some positive changes to improve your life. Whatever you felt when you left that conversation, write it down. It would be nice if all your conversational exchanges gave you happy feelings. After analyzing my list of conversations, I realized that most of them contributed to my well-being in some way. Some conversations were for entertainment. Others were for information and provided some inspiration. As I wrote my notes about each of the interactions, I realized that none of those conversations chipped away at my positive energy, because I have learned how to strategize the ways and the times in which I communicate with others. If people who call me are not going to be beneficial to me at the time of the call, I may choose to decline the call until I can prepare my mind for the interaction. If someone is known for coming into my workspace to dump their negative emotions or pointless chit chatter into my lap while I’m trying to be productive, I may lock the door so that they cannot enter. Many people call it inconsiderate. I call it protecting my iron. My iron is the sharpness and the mental energy I need for my own life. If you find that you are annoyed or tired a lot, you may be what I call “iron deficient”.

Having a circle of positive interactions is very beneficial to your life. The thing about it is how rare it is to have these good interactions on a consistent basis. Truth is many of us have more energy depleting interactions than we do those who make good deposits into our lives. So, what does your list reveal about the last five people you have spoken with? Were you irritated when you hung up the phone? Did you walk away from someone angry? Or how about this (which is my favorite one), you were bothered on the inside, but simply couldn’t explain why. I suggested you take note of your conversations in attempts to get you to pay close attention to the impact your circle and other people have on your energy and your mental space. If every time you interact with people, especially those in your inner circle, and you are more annoyed than energized, then it’s time to reevaluate the types of people with whom you are investing your time. Life, all by itself, will present you with enough challenges to handle. The last thing you need is someone else adding stress and extra discomfort to those challenges. You have to put a stop to such interactions and exchanges because too many will overcomplicate your life in a way that leaves you with a lack of energy to deal with your own tests.

The tough part about this is that many of these people have probably been a part of your circle for years. Not only that, but you probably truly love them and do not desire to separate from them. Protecting your energy is not always about getting rid of people. True enough, there could very well be some people you need to remove from your life. But just because someone is not uplifting you in a positive way does not mean that they intend harm. Truth be told, many people don’t even know that they are draining you. The factor in this situation is for you to be able to recognize when conversations and interactions are not beneficial and make adjustments. This may look like limiting the amount of time you spend talking to someone who complains a lot or changing the subject to something more uplifting when the tone begins to shift in a negative direction. Depending on the important role they have in your life, you may have to carve out special time to talk to them. For instance, you may have a negative sister or mother who have been this way all their lives. You love them, but you can’t necessarily cut them out of your life or refuse talking with them. So, you may have to set aside some time where you can prepare yourself to bear that negative energy.

Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” The things other people say and do often project onto you. People either sharpen your iron to make you better; dull your iron by chipping away at your mental space; or leave you with an iron deficiency by draining you altogether. This is why it is imperative that you understand what is happening to your moods when you interact with others. People have a way of doing and saying things that dull your “iron”. Below is a list of ways other people can “dull your iron” or lead you into what I refer to as “iron deficiency.

1. They live in strife. People who live in strife are those who are always finding a way to be disagreeable because they are battling with continuous inner conflict. People who live in strife are at odds with themselves, meaning that for some known or unknown reason, they are dissatisfied with the way they currently live because of the choices they previously made. So, instead of working on correcting themselves or making positive changes to redirect their lives, they live a life of frustration that they project onto other people by way of contentious disagreement. As you read this, I’m sure you already have that person in mind. They are never in harmony. They are always upset. The key to this is understanding that there isn’t much you can do with a person who lives in strife because their conflict is eternal. No matter how badly you want them to be happy or free of strife, it will never happen until they deal with the inner demon they have that harasses them daily. No number of words or comfort you give them will work or have a lasting effect because the strife within is the dominant voice and driving force in their lives. In conversations with people who live in strife, make a conscious effort to shield your spirit as strife is the kind of misery that loves for others to feel the same frustration as they.

2. Foolishness. Foolish energy is draining because it puts you in the precarious situation of having to watch people who possess it repeat the same mistakes over and over again. No matter how many times they make bad decisions or do stupid things that draw negative consequences, they continue to repeat the behavior. And not only are you having to watch them nose dive into dire consequential results, those very people always seem to want to include you in their foolishness. They either want to call to tell you about it so that you can encourage and validate their foolishness, or they want you to come through to help rescue them from the bad results of the foolishness. Their consequences become your inconveniences as they almost seem to demand that you be a part of their stupidity and unnecessary, bad outcomes. Their decisions usually cause problems that somehow become your burdens. Either way, you can count on the fact that foolish people do not care about the way their behavior disrupts your peace. Prepare yourself to come away drained. Foolish people usually already know that what they do and say is bad, but they do it anyway. You have to know when to let a fool be a fool and not get involved to the point that you are suffering with them. Be cautious not to let the residue of someone else’s bad decision become your emergency.

3. Drama. These are the people who can’t seem to enjoy life without something happening that causes high energy and movement. Usually, the high energy is centered around something involving negativity, arguing, back-biting, and fighting. These people will never be satisfied with sitting on a beach and enjoying the weather or watching the waves of the ocean. They must always be observing or amid some type of trouble. If they are not observing it, they are causing it. Just being around these types is energy depleting because they are never settled. It takes a certain level of alertness physical energy just to even be around them because they are in constant shift mode. The only down time they have is to recharge for the next argument or fight. If you are not like this yourself, you will surely be uncomfortable around them. Even a short interaction with the drama people in your life can leave you exhausted! The conversation is always about hate and spite, which are two emotions that require high brain exertion that leave you iron deficient.

4. Complainers. If every interaction you have with someone somehow leads to them being a victim of a dark cloud that somebody else put over their head, you are entertaining a complainer. These people dull your iron because they can never seem to see the good in anything. The times that should be enjoyable, pleasant, and happy are easily invaded with words of inconvenience or displeasure. No matter how bright the sun is shining or how well things are going, they will find something wrong. This type dulls your iron because there will never be happiness. It is impossible to be energetic and sharp as iron when your entire life is one big problem! The kicker is that complainers could be more bearable if they kept their displeasure to themselves. But nooooo, this is not what they do. As a matter of fact, they desire to make it well known to everyone how displeased they are with something. Complainers have the desire to put their issues out into the environment so that everyone else can feel their pain and join the party. Complainers often want co-signers. But you have to be careful as serial complaining is contagious and debilitating to your mental health. Complainers are people who live a life where there is NEVER a good day. Now ask yourself if this is the way you want to live.

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