Trait Nine – Keepers understand and accept their value in the marketplace.
Keepers have a realistic sense of their own value. They don’t try to impress people who aren’t interested in them, and they don’t want others to go out of their way to win their favor. They have strong values about what characteristics they believe are important, and are not tempted away from them to be someone they couldn’t respect.
If they don’t come out ahead in any contest, they don’t complain or feel rejected because they know it’s a waste of time.
They’ll tell you that they are more interested in finding out what they could have done better. If they want to belong to a specific group or relationship, they figure out how they offer what is required, and then do their best to make it happen.
If they don’t make the cut, they analyze what didn’t work instead of blaming anyone, then either try again or find another relationship that does work.
She: “I’m so down. I do everything I can to make those people like me and they just keep rejecting me. I’m obsessing over not being good enough. I don’t know what to do. I just don’t seem to be able to let go.”
Keeper: “I’m really impressed by your perseverance. I could not handle that much rejection and come back. What are the criteria for getting into that group?”
She: (thoughtful). “You know, I’m not really sure I’ve thought about it. I know they like people who have great careers, and I do. They also seem to favor people who make a lot of money, which I don’t. I think a bunch of them have been together since college, but not all of them, so that doesn’t apply. They do play a lot of tennis, which I’m not great at.”
Keeper: “Sounds like having a lot of money is important to them. Do they travel a lot?”
She: “You know, I think you’re right. I love taking care of the kids I do, but I’m not free to just get up and go whenever they can.”
Keeper: “Do you wish you could?”
She: “Not if I had to give up what I love to do. You’re really helping me, Gus. I never equated my real values with how they live their lives. I think I’m trying to get into the wrong group.”
Keeper: “They have an absolute right to set the criteria for how they live their lives. It’s a hard lesson, I know. I learned it a long time ago when I couldn’t play varsity ball in high school. I just wasn’t good enough. Now I coach basketball and I’m really good at it.”
Trait Ten – Keepers look for the value in others.
Keepers look for the true positive traits in others and remember to let them know it. They keep their important relationships up to date because they know that nothing in life is guaranteed. They don’t dwell on the possibility of loss, but intentionally focus on what they treasure in the present.
Keepers remember the important things you tell them, and, if necessary, act on them when they get the chance.
When they are with people, they focus on the situation at hand and pay close attention to what is happening. Most people who know them feel special in the presence of a Keeper, as though they were the only person who existed.
He: “Have you got a few minutes?”
Keeper: “Sure. What’s up?”
He: “I just got off the phone with my girlfriend, and she says she needs a break. I acted okay at the time and told her to do whatever she needed, but I think I need a drink or something. I know you’re working on an important deal for work tomorrow, but I wondered if we could hang out for a while.”
Keeper: “Hey, I’ve been there. You’re not the kind of guy who easily asks for help. My work can get done later. I’ll meet you at your apartment in half an hour.”
He: “You’re sure it’s not going to mess you up?”
Keeper: “No problem. You’re more important to me. I’m good.”
Related: 15 Signs She’s A Keeper
Trait Eleven – Keepers avoid useless energy drains.
Anxiety, unresolvable conflicts, outrage, powerlessness, negative conspiracies, and attachments to unattainable outcomes: all are examples of behaviors that drain people without changing anything. They make people less functional and less focused on making a difference.
Keepers avoid such useless outpourings of resources. They would rather use that energy to solve problems and create new possibilities.
Keepers inspire others to focus on the possible. They don’t put you down if you are drowning in dysfunctional hopelessness. Instead, they will help you let go of energy drains and help you to focus on what you like about yourself. They like working on a team to find the best solutions.