Sometimes we love people and can feel a loyalty to them because of family ties or because we’ve known them since grade school, college or whenever. However, the fact of the matter is that toxic people will poison you and KILL your vision. I remember having a friend that was so toxic, that I couldn’t step into the shower or run down the street to check the mailbox without them calling “just because”. They would call me no less than 25 times per day making it impossible to get anything done. I had another friend who would greet me by sitting on the front steps of my house waiting with a smile when I got home from work; as if I wasn’t mentally relishing the relaxing evening I would have on the way home from a tiresome day’s work.
They both wanted to not only keep track of my time, but totally monopolize and manipulate it so that no one else could have access to me. This cycle definitely delayed my vision until I finally put a stop to it, but it need not delay yours. Here is how I cut ties with those who were standing in the way of me accomplishing my dreams and how you can cut ties with the toxicity in your life too. After all toxic people are ultimately dream stealers in disguise.
1. Put and End to the Thievery. Toxic people are drawn to people who are loving and empathetic in nature, however, they in turn are unsupportive, unreliable and in many cases have no real ambitions of their own. They may even major in telling you what you cannot accomplish and won’t encourage your efforts at all. They will spend all the time you will give them looting your ideas, stealing your time and sidetracking your purpose. But you can change that TODAY! Make a decision about who will or will not have access to you. Communicate this with them. Stand your ground and remember, no matter how they react, you have the right to preserve your legacy. Don’t let the guilt of wanting to help everybody creep in. If a person is making you constantly feel unproductive, they’re toxic and they’re probably never had to stare that fact in the face. Revelation is a good thing though.
Oprah.com suggests a simple 3-step approach to the toxic friend confrontation
2. Establish Boundaries. Many people who are toxic are oblivious to the fact that they only call when they need something or have the same fake crisis every week that needs 911 attention. You must however establish boundaries with those you want to limit contact with and not cut off completely. These boundaries may include not jumping every time you get a call or text from them. You know when they’re in pity party mode, and when you answer the phone you also know, there goes your entire weekend as you go into cheerleader mode for the next few days trying to keep them motivated–put an end to it! Or learn to steer the conversation in a completely upbeat direction and away from their long drawn out woe is me saga. In a nutshell, stop being so available. When they can’t reach you, eventually they’ll find someone else to unload on. Toxic people rarely change on their own, so if you’re insisting on keeping them around you’ll definitely have to limit access or learn to love toxic people from a distance.
3. Be More Discerning. Making room by cutting ties with negative people makes room for more positive people to enter your life. But you still have to be discerning. Toxic people cause stress. Toxic people rob you of your happiness. But the good news is that toxic people are in the minority so they should be easy to spot. It’s been said that we need relationships, but we don’t need to maintain EVERY relationship we’ve ever had. Now, I’m not challenging you to cut your friends off, I’m encouraging you to examine your friendships and see if they assist and align with your dreams; if not you may need to tweak them so that nothing hinders what you were put here to do and be. Got it? Now move on and pursue your dreams FULL FORCE!