You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. - Jim Rohn
Ok, well, if I'm the average of the 5 people I spend the most time with, that's a 2 year old, a 10 year old, a 16 year old, my husband, and... my dog.
But seriously. Sometimes negative people end up in your inner circle and you know they're bringing you down. So, how do you identify if someone needs to go and then... how do you cut them out but still keep yourself high vibe?
Identifying Negative People
Toxic people can take on a lot of different forms and the person who negatively impact your own well-being might look different from the people I had to cut out. But here's some tell-tale signs that someone has gots to go:
I mean, it's not like this person is actively trying to ruin your life, right? But here's the thing. That negativity unconsciously spreads from them to you to your family. That's why it is so important to remove those people from your life.
Remain Objective (or as objective as possible)
Ignore things like loyalty and obligation for a minute and attempt to objectively analyze this person in your life. Do they make you a better person... or a worse person? Is there a clear patter in their behaviour (or yours - like you binge-eat a carton of ice cream after every phone call with them)? If you can objectively answer these questions, you can assess if this person needs to be cut out.
Ok, so they've got to go. Here are a few methods to make that happen.
Transition Away From Them
Want to avoid confrontation? This is the way to go.
Let's say that you eat lunch every day with an incredibly negative and demoralizing coworker and you're like, "You know what, I don't need this negativity in my life" but you also don't want to cause an issue in the workplace. Start to make plans more and more often for lunch time until you no longer feel obligated to share your space with that coworker. There will be minimal hurt feelings and it seems natural enough; the other person will start spending time with other people or groups too.
If you want to stay positive about removing someone from your life, you must be kind. If you decide to tell someone that you can no longer spend time with them (maybe a break-up with a negative partner), do it when things are calm, not in the heat of an argument. Don't place blame and remain calm and kind in your conversation.
Let it Go, Let it Gooooo...
Elsa was right - you've got to let it go. Don't rehash the situation a billion times, don't try and justify yourself to the other people in your social circle. You don't have to tell anyone anything. Look, you decided their presence was not a positive one in your life. That's it, that's all. Don't feel like you need to overly explain yourself to the other people in your life.
My Favourite F Word
It's forgiveness. Sheesh. Forgiveness has an incredible power in our lives, whether it's forgiving someone for wronging us or forgiving ourselves for not being able to keep that friendship together.
And remember, if someone did you wrong and you hold onto resentful feelings, it's like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. It just doesn't do anyone any good.
When you cut someone out, you've got to actually do it. If they're the kind of person who will post passive-aggressive Facebook statuses about you, you have the power to remove that from your world. Don't let them make you feel bad - just block them and focus on moving forward.
But Don't Ghost
Unless you're afraid of this person actually causing you harm (or they already did and they know it), be rational and let them know what's going on. Explain your feelings and say good-bye. You don't need the negativity of ghosting on your conscience. You will feel better for giving them a chance to have closure (and it's closure for you, too).
Keep Doing You
Remember earlier, when I mentioned your big goals and exciting dreams? When you're working towards those things, people will fall away naturally. I've watched it happen in my own life as I've worked towards bettering myself. If you can fully focus on who you want to become and where your life is going, the people who have no desire to see us succeed will leave. It can be scary; I used to obsess about what other people thought of me. Now, I know that if you aren't cheering for me, you don't need a seat in the stands.
Surround Yourself With People Who Lift You Up
Remember, they are plenty of people in the world who want to see you better yourself, who love watching you reach your goals, who will always have your back. When you're removing someone from your life, stay focused on making plans with the people who do lift you up. Don't sit at home and wallow about a friendship or relationship that's over (at least, not for tooooo long).
And if you don't have those people yet, read good books. Listen to podcasts. Join Facebook groups and keep looking for your people.
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