A SIMPLE New Year prayer: "O Lord, help me avoid the right
people in 2013."
People can damage your health. I recently saw a woman whose
mother had been to stay for five days: by the time she left, from
being a cheerful sociable optimist my friend had become tetchy and
closed up, and looked ten years older.
Some people are energy-sappers: when they are off sick for a
couple of days, everyone in the office feels better. When they come
to stay, it is the "raw fish" rule: "More than two days, and things
begin to stink."
So, who will be good for you this year, and who won't? Here are
some creatures you may recognise, adaptable to various
Henry Hindsight. Always there after the event to tell you what
you should have done: "You see where you went wrong, don't you?" A
depressed soul, only able to function where there is failure. P.S.
Do not bring your successes or happiness to Henry; he won't know
what to do with them.
Chill-out and Move-on. Two self-helpy souls who get through life
by avoiding reality rather than facing it. They say "Just move on,"
because that is easier than facing difficult things. They also say
that money is not important to them - but do not expect them to pay
for the meal.
Seamus. Genuinely scary figure. "If only people knew you as you
really are," he says, "they wouldn't like you at all." Seamus stirs
shame in you, the constant feeling that you are not good enough,
that there is something wrong. A killer whale is a kinder
Chris the Consultant. Found on office-training days,
facilitating discussions that lead nowhere except to a desperate
longing for the coffee break. Says things such as: "Business
opportunities are like buses: there's always another one coming."
He loves "blue-sky thinking", "singing from the same hymn sheet",
and saying "I believe in people" - at least, the ones who agree
Dee Straction: You are talking to Dee in the pub: "Hi, honey,
great to see you," she says - but she is only half talking to you.
She answers her phone while you are in mid-sentence, watches out
for someone more interesting, and keeps checking her Facebook page.
(By the way, she called you "honey" because she has forgotten your
But here is someone you will want to meet: Sunny. She is on your
side. It does not mean she will always tell you what you want to
hear, but she has got no agenda other than your well-being. She
listens, gently holds your jagged edges when they appear, and sees
the good in you that you had lost sight of, and the genius that you
never knew you had.
I hope you have a very happy 2013; and for a final wish, instead
of "Go well", "Know well."