A love letter to my Wrong People.

i love you

Dear Wrong People,

I adore you.

Thank you so much for helping me learn more about myself. Thank you for disproving my first naive and hopeful, “Oh, I’ll work with anyone,” marketing. For reminding me, again and again, that my Wrong People are not Bad People.

There’s nothing at all wrong with you, or with me.

It’s just that we’re not great together.

So now I’m going to do the best thing I can for you, as a gesture of thanks: I’m going to do my utmost to warn you away from here.

I don’t want you to waste your time on me.

Seriously, I will never rock your world: our conversations will likely never develop an easy to-and-fro, and I won’t come up with the solutions that suit you best. Even when I’m saying smart things, it will take time and energy for you to translate them into your patterns of thought. You deserve better than me, Wrong People. You need someone that’s absolutely kick-ass for you, and I’m not.

So as a favour, I’m going to work my ass off to make it easy for you to know that we’re not a great match.

In fact, I aim to make it abundantly obvious within the first three seconds of you arriving on this website, so it’s easy for you to leave and continue searching elsewhere. Here, I’ll even help with the search.

Find someone who agrees that business is a serious matter and shouldn’t be the subject of levity. Enjoy the unshakeable discipline, guidelines and predictability they’ll bring to the work you’ll do together. Revel in the reserve and professional courtesy and distance between you that makes you feel most respected, and the way they don’t shock you with their bluntness or expect you to discuss things that aren’t any of their business.

Find yourself someone who works on your timescale and won’t drive you crazy with their desire to act Right Now. Look for someone who is as detail-oriented as you are and fully appreciates your need to think over every aspect of a decision before making it. They’ll please you with tried-and-true methods (with studies backing them up), and won’t force you to try anything unproven or fuzzy.

They will make you feel safe, appreciated, smart and magnificent in a way I never can.

Run to them, dearest.

Enjoy the warm feeling of talking with someone whose values mesh perfectly with yours, who has the same ideas of quality and respect. Be your best and most wonderful self in their company. I want that for you, Wrong People.

Now get the hell out of here.

Much love,

Made it through the gauntlet and realised that you are one of my bestest people? AWESOME. You should definitely sign up for the weekly newsletter Rise and Shine, then!

Creative Commons License photo credit: erin MC hammer

18 thoughts on “A love letter to my Wrong People.

  1. Seriously love this post! It took me a long time to figure this out, but when I finally did? Hallelujah baby! Now, going through a transition and coming up against it yet again. Awesome reminder!

  2. Ah, I love it! Just LOVE IT. I actually SO love your concept of Right People, Wrong People, and Bad People – an unwritten blog post about my Right People has been bouncing around in my head. Just need to set aside some time, to write it out!

    1. I’ve actually refined the concept, in order to be more specific and to not use other people’s labels any more. On this site and from now on, I’m going to start calling them my Bestest People. They’re the ones who allow you to do your best work and have that maximum flow as easily as possible.

      Looking forward to your take on it!

  3. Oh, this is rich! I’m going to have to write my own unpublished version of this post, just for my own amusement and clarification. I am eternally grateful for the Wrong People I’ve worked with. They make it so much easier for me to know who actually is a good match for me. Love the idea of getting the message across to them ASAP and with no pussyfooting around. Thanks for the laugh!

    1. Why unpublished?

      It’s a great thing to put on any blog at any time.

      Just because you come to the learning later doesn’t make it any less appropriate.

      1. Good question! I wrote that comment 2 weeks ago, but I may have said unpublished because at the time I was focused on a specific client who might recognize themselves in what I wrote, and that didn’t feel appropriate to publish right then, when the incident was fresh. But I’m really not sure.

        I would certainly be willing to publish a description of my Wrong People as long as it felt general and not specifically targeted toward one person. I think two weeks ago, I wouldn’t have been able to write it in that general way, LOL.

        1. Ah, fair enough! I resonate with the Phoenix quite honestly, so I can understand why it takes some time sometimes to come to a place of appropriate generality.

          Ever since I read this post, I’ve been merrily writing Love Letters to my Wrong & to my Right Peeps, so I was curious.

          Good Fortune to you when you choose to write it. May the words come easily & be the best ones for the job. 🙂

  4. Now you’ve got me evaluating my ‘little bit wrong’ behaviour wondering whether I’m on Catherine’s GTHOOH list! OMG Catherine. How will those of us who are a little bit wrong cope?
    This is a real doozie for people pleasers! How to connect in an authentic way.
    Grovel beg perform tricks just PLEASE tell me I’m not on your list.
    or maybe just learn to learn from each other.

    1. Dearest Siita, it’s horrible, isn’t it? There are so many people who I love but am still not the most perfect of fits with. I’ve decided I have to do the right thing and let them know that there are people out there who will be TOTALLY PERFECTLY MAGNIFICENT for them.

    2. Oh, I understand you there!

      Feeling much the same way, but am realizing that at least some of it is my own need to have the Phoenix in me burst forth in all her flaming glory.

      Hope she’s ready for it! 😀

  5. “My bestest” person. Leave it to you, Catherine. You say that, and I feel her settle down into my heart, like someone I get, as compared to someone I’m trying to “figure out.”

    (And you get that, because you have been absolutely the bestest person for me and my bestest people.)

    Everybody working with their bestest people is bestest for all of us. (And as the plethora of political party affiliations and fashion designers and dating services tell us, there is someone for everyone.)

    Best to find out whether we belong together as soon as possible. So great of you to show us how doing the right thing is done!

  6. I’ve had the privilege of ‘firing’ a couple of wrong clients. It’s cathartic, and really reduced my stress levels.

    I haven’t quite reached the point of telling people to sod off unless they meet my stringent criteria, but am starting to embrace the idea that being universally liked is neither possible nor desirable, and to be loved by my right people I’m probably going to have to annoy my wrong people. But that’s ok. They were my wrong people anyway.

    1. The more you speak clearly and evocatively to your Bestest People, the more the wrong ones will just wander off. It’s awesome: all of the exclusion, none of the meanness!

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