Now we can’t exactly eliminate “toxic people” from our lives. Especially if we’re related to one or two of them. But we can establish boundaries that cut both the quantity and the quality of crazy they can bring to us.
Hey there! It’s Diane. I’ll cut to the chase. Are you tired of all the drama certain people seem to
bring with them? Have you had it up to here with negativity? Are you ready to stop being other
people’s emotional dumping ground or even worse, their therapist? (I suppose you could charge
them by the session…)
Then it might be time to reduce the toxic behaviors you let into your life. But to do that, you
have to accept the fact that behaviors don’t just happen in a vacuum. Somebody brings
them—intentionally or not—into the equation. You know who we’re talking about, right?
Now we can’t exactly eliminate “toxic people” from our lives. Especially if we’re related to one
or two of them. But we can establish boundaries that cut both the quantity and the quality of
crazy they can bring to us. (Quality of crazy—I like it.) We can learn to:
Set definite time limits
Choose the turf
Share reasonable expectations
Calmly end the interaction if things go south
Trying to take control of another person or situation usually backfires. But exercising control
over ourselves? That’s the key. Remember, we can’t determine what anyone else does, or what
life throws us. Duck! But we can and do choose how we react or respond to the curve balls that
come our way. We just have to remember that we’re always in the batter’s box and there’s
nothing that requires us to swing at every pitch—or any pitch at all. In fact, it’s possible for us to
play a completely different game, or with a completely different team.
When we no longer allow people who drag us down to have free rein in our lives, a space to
meet new and more positive people opens up. Want to try something new? Why not ask
someone who knows more about it than you do for their advice? Want to make progress in
something that’s interesting or important to you? Find yourself a mentor who is willing to share
the benefit of their experience and expertise with you.
Reducing the drama, toxicity, negativity, baloney—or whatever you like to call it (I have a few
choice terms)—puts an end to the nagging self-doubt you may well feel because of it. Human
relationships that are the most deeply rewarding don’t usually come with crazy in tow. That’s
why keeping a safe distance from what erodes your confidence will make you happier.
Of course, not all the toxicity in our lives is brought to us by Other People. Sometimes, we’re
toxic all on our own, without any help. Some of us have to learn things the hard way. (You know
what they say: there’s the right way, the wrong way, and the Navy way! Yes, sir!) Too many of
us engage in patterns of self-defeating behavior without even realizing it. I know the mirror can
be cruel. But when we’re honest with ourselves about ourselves, we can see that the path we’re
on isn’t the only path there is. Taking the road less travelled? Why not! I’m game.
And there’s something else. When we detox our lives, something happens: peace. Suddenly, we
can stop worrying about what’s going to hit the fan next and start making plans that bring
us—and everyone who really cares about us—joy. That’s where I want to be. What about you?
Remember who loves you, ;-)