You’ve heard of a detox before – whether it’s a diet, cutting yourself off from bad habits, or a break from technology and the black hole of the digital world – but have you considered doing a detox to rid your life from negative vibes and the people who cause them?
You’ve probably become so accustom to some people’s behavior that you might not notice that their negativity is rubbing off on you or that they really aren’t cheerleading for you to be successful. Positive things come to those who have a positive mindset. You can practice gratitude, do affirmations and positive thinking all day, but if you are consistently in a negative environment, you are just setting yourself up for failure.
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You might not even realize who the toxic people are in your life without taking some time to really think about it. Have you shared a dream or goal with someone and their response was “you’re too old to change paths or try something new”, or “you don’t know enough about XYZ to be successful”? Those people are the dead weight, the toxic dream killers that are preventing you from believing in yourself and your goals. Their negativity will eventually seep into your veins – trust me.
There are all kinds of negative people out there, some are jealous of what you are doing or trying to accomplish, some just hate change or don’t have the same opinion as you do, and others are just downright miserable and want everyone to be miserable too. Some of those toxic, dead weight people might even try to make you feel uncomfortable, guilty, or even ashamed about the positive changes you are trying to do in your life. Regardless of the reason, it’s time for a detox to get rid of the dead weight. Keep in mind there are levels of toxicity and some people you can’t really cut out of your life for good (coworkers and family), but you can create some distance. Someone who is an Eeyore (Winnie the Pooh’s depressed donkey friend) probably isn’t very toxic, but they just bring your mojo down. I’d suggest distance vs. the ax.
These are the people who are most likely toxic:
Those who try to control you. These people usually aren’t in control of their lives, so they will try to control or manipulate others.
The people who ignore your boundaries. If you ask someone to stop behaving a certain way to you or around you, and they continue, then they are toxic and thrive on violating your boundaries.
The takers. A relationship is about give and take. If they only stick around when there is something in it for them, then you need to move on. If they aren’t going to be there when you need them, but constantly have their hand out, the relationship is dead.
The people who are always “right.” If they can’t admit that they are wrong or messed up, even when they know they did, it’s time to move on.
The liars. A little white lie or an exaggeration every now and then is to be expected. But you can’t trust people who blatantly and repeatedly lie. The victims. It doesn’t matter the situation, they are always claiming that they have been oppressed, put down and marginalized in ways they clearly are not.
The finger pointers. Along with being always right and the victim, are the people who never take responsibility. When they take the role of victim and never admit they are wrong, they refuse to accept that they are responsible for their choices and outcome of their life.
So now that we’ve identified those who are killing your positive vibes, how do you get rid of them? Burning bridges is never a good idea, so some tact will need to be involved. Depending on your relationship with the person and how involved they are in your life, here are some ways to start cutting ties:
- Write down why you feel the person is toxic and negatively affecting your life – these notes are for yourself, you may need them later.
- Talk to them. Keep it simple and explain how you feel. Remain calm and don’t offer deep explanations.
- If you must see them at work or at family functions, distance vs. separation will be the key here. Try to reduce the amount of interactions you have with them. Make polite conversation but don’t share information about your personal life beyond being courteous.
- Unfollow them or block them on social media. Out of sight, out of mind. If they don’t see your updates on social media, then they won’t be able to say anything negative about what you are doing.
- If they try to make amends, remember step number 1 and go back and review your notes. At this point, only you can decide if it’s worth a second chance.
That’s my PSA. Yes, it’s much easier said than done, but once you start trimming off that dead weight, you’ll start to see how much more positivity is in your life and it might just inspire you to do some great things!