Have you ever had that friend that when you leave their presence you feel like someone stuck a straw in your foot and sucked all of your energy out? SAME. There’s a reason this happens: That friend is a Chaos Chef.
When I first start working with clients many of them realize they have people in their lives that aren’t on their team. They discover folks who are unsupportive, unkind, and sow seeds of discord in their life. I call these people Chaos Chefs. Because chaos is the only thing they know how to make. These peeps make growth, change, and creation very very hard. Why? Because they need you to stay exactly where you are in order to feel good about themselves. For example, years ago I was applying for a job. I made the mistake of telling a Chaos Chef the rate I was asking for, to which they bluntly replied, “You won’t get that.” Now regardless of whether that was true or not, that’s a shitty thing to tell someone who is trying to better their life and ask for what they were worth. That's the result of someone who doesn't want me to earn the rate I am worth because it will make them feel bad. That is the language of a Chaos Chef.
Many times clients hold the Negative Core Belief that if they start to grow and change they will lose these Chaos Chefs and will never be able to replace them. Thus becoming lonely and friendless Sad Saddersons. To which I say: I have more loving, supportive, and kind friends now than I have ever had in my entire life. Most of which I have made since I started actively working to become more aligned in my life.
Are Chaos Chefs bad people? I don't know. I’m not in the business of judging who is good or bad. I am in the business of guiding folks towards what and who feels aligned and loving. When you make the choice to become more of who you are, things that seemed OK before somehow feel terrible now. It can be the same with people too. Oftentimes I ask clients the question: What does an ideal friendship look and feel like to you? It’s interesting that many of us have never asked that question before. Romantic relationships seem to get that treatment. Now more and more of us staying single and redefining structures like family and marriage, so it’s time we turn our attention to ALL of our intimate relationships. Not just the sexy time ones. In order to support distancing yourself from the Chaos Chefs in your life, here are three types of friends to be on the look out for and make as you take on the challenge to become more you:
The Troubleshooter Connector
This is the person who is like, “You need a job? I got six friends that are hiring, here’s their emails! And if that doesn't work call me!" Troubleshooter Connectors want everyone in their lives to live and feel at the top of their game. You will begin meeting them, or awakening to the existing Troubleshooter Connectors in your life, when you start following your own desires. They are generous, self-motivated, and kind. Be sure to mirror their energy back to them once you receive it.
I know cheerleaders get a bad rap in pop culture but think about it for a second: cheerleaders are major energy shifters. You know how much power that has? To be able to see the good in things? To yell about it? Share it with others? You can feel like a sorry sack of rotten potatoes, go hang out for fifteen minutes with a Cheerleader, and walk away feeling like you just attended Beychella. Pass the pom poms, I love a goddamn cheerleader.
These are the people that are gonna lovingly tell you when you are fucking up. Listen to them. Brave friends can also hold space for you when you’re having a hard time instead of telling you, “Everything happens for a reason.” or “It’s not that big of a deal.” They can do this because they have done the work of sitting with their own discomfort. Your negative feelings don’t scare them because they are BFFs with their own. These people will not fix you but they will walk with you as you fix your life.
Now that you know what to look for, start paying closer attention to the people around you. I bet some of these folks already exist in your life right now. Nurture your relationship to them. Ask them to zoom. Invite them for a walk. Send them a thank you card. Give them what they give you. Do this with the knowing that what we pay attention to grows. You pay attention to Chaos Chefs, you’re gonna get more chefs. You pay attention to kind, brave, supportive people, guess what you’ll get? I think you know.
I wanna hear how it goes! Tell me about it in the comments. And if you like this blog post, please be sure to like, share, and subscribe. It’s the compassionate creative thing to do!