Rid your life of toxic people

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Email: kcejelonu@gmail.com Twitter: @kcejelonu

KC Ejelonu QEDI apologise for being MIA last week. Currently settling into my new home and it is so stressful. It is especially tough dealing with workers such as carpenters, plumbers, etc. They simply drive one crazy (laughs).

Let me share a quote from Mark Twain, which relates to this article in so many ways… “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great ones make you feel that you too can become great.”

Who is a toxic person or individual? He is someone who complains/dumps his problems on you but doesn’t do anything to change the situation. Someone who is not supportive, someone who makes you feel bad, or who shoots down your bright ideas, big goals or bold decisions that you need to make in order to be successful.

Now I am not saying individuals who are toxic are bad people, I just feel they are not in the position they want to be in their own lives and they don’t know how to go about getting what they want. What they do instead is bring other people down. Toxic people are not open to constructive feedback or change, so they are stuck in their current situation and don’t have the insight to see beyond their own struggles.

I know of a young lady who has not had a proper relationship in years. She likes dating older men, and when she decided to date a young man within her age range, he ended up breaking her heart. With that experience, she is never happy for any of her friends in a relationship. She somehow manages to discourage them or goes out of her way to investigate their boyfriends. She digs out things he is doing at the particular time and things from his past just to discourage her friend. Now if you ask me that is not a way to live.

How can you detox negative people from your life without being too harsh or picking a fight? Well if you follow these three steps you will be alright.

Step 1: Decide that you’re worth it

You need to feel as if you’re worthy of achieving your goals and changing into the person you want to be. Letting go of any negativity in your life will help you get there faster. You’ve got to be committed to doing this for yourself otherwise your guilt for letting go of certain relationships will keep you in the same place.

How to realize you’re worth it: Decide. Make the choice and decide that it’s time you committed to yourself, your goals, and your dreams and you won’t let anything stop or slow you down from getting there.

Think about the negative side effects of holding onto these relationships. Ask yourself: What effect are these relationships having on my life? What are my goals and how badly do I want to achieve them? Are these people supporting my goals or slowing me down?

Step 2: Identify the toxic folks

Toxic people make you feel worse than when you started talking to them. They bring your energy level down. They leave you feeling bummed out.

There is a difference between someone sharing with you his or her struggles and challenges vs. someone who constantly complains. The difference is someone who is genuinely struggling is willing to listen to constructive feedback and is open to change (and does change).

They shoot down your ideas. They question what you’re doing. They may say something like, “Well, maybe you shouldn’t change careers because you have so much job security here. What about your benefits? Or your retirement?” This is pretty common and sometimes subtle and harder to notice. Even though it may sound like they’re giving you advice, in the end they’re just putting more doubts into your head because your actions may bring up their own fears and insecurity.

Toxic people can fall within the spectrum of being subtly draining to all around toxic and hostile (read: openly critical of you). But even if they fall on the less severe end of the “toxic people spectrum”, they will still bring you down. People don’t need to be outright poisonous to affect you negatively.

Step 3: Let them go

Just start. Use whatever method you think is appropriate. Avoid them. Don’t pick up their calls. Apologise for being distant but you don’t need to explain why or defend your actions.

You don’t have to explain anything to them unless you feel need to because they’re being persistent and pushy. This is because they are probably not in a state of mind to listen to what you have to say anyway and will probably get on the defensive if you try to explain yourself.

Do it gracefully and with love. Send them off with love and a prayer. Be open to the possibility that if and when they are ready to change and be more positive/supportive, then you would be open to rekindling the relationship.