There comes a time in each our lives when we must examine the people in our circle and identify the purpose that they serve. I encourage using a simple but dependable process of elimination for this and other decisions you must make. First identify the question. Take a sheet of paper and divide it into two sections. Number each line from 1 through the last line on the paper. I have a “purpose composition tablet that I use for this purpose only. Label one column positive and the other negative. Without expending too much energy thinking, write down the first things positive and negative that come to mind.
Do not exclude anything no matter how trivial it may seem. When you can’t think of anything else to write down, the answer to your question is revealed by a simple formula; adding the positives minus the negatives. Identify the column that has the most numbered issues. If positive column has more than the negatives you should keep the relationship if the opposite is true, you should put some distance in the relationship or simply let it go.
I used this exercise recently to extricate myself from some toxic people in my life. Toxic people are those that always take and never give. They are those that always bring you down rather than lift you up. They always discourage rather than encourage; they will point out a tiny pimple on your face rather than compliment your beautiful smile. Toxic people may be associates, friends or family and they can come young and old and ages in between.
Sometimes their poison is a result of their own insecurities, jealously or something in their past; most toxic people are not happy themselves. Sometimes they are unaware of the degree of negativity of their actions and their words. Their behavior is not a conscious effort to be negative bur rather a mechanism they have mastered to deal with something missing in their lives.
Toxicity in your life is not good no matter its derivative. In the same manner that you would wear protective gear in an infected hospital room you must protect your spirit and your life from the poison in toxic relationships. As an extremely passionate person, I am profoundly emotional; I feel the pain of others so deeply that it is causes me emotional pain. I have learned through some hard lessons that I cannot control what other people do or how they think, I am only in control of how I react to what they do. I had to learn that a stranger on the street calling me a name did not hurt me as much as being called that same name by someone in my circle; someone that I love or care about. When we think who can hurt us emotionally it is only those we care about. Any one of us could be physically hurt by a stranger but emotional pain is almost always inflicted by the ones we love.
I have just today competed another exercise, my questions was “What does Mary Jane add to My Life?” After working the formula the answer was nothing positive. I will distance myself from Mary Jane and let her know why I have done so. I realize that I will not miss my conversation with her because each time we talked as I was hanging up the phone; I would ask myself, “why am I talking to her?’ Cutting off toxic people is not always easy but is necessary to keep positive energy in your life. If all you ingest is negativity, all that you put out will be the same. Ask yourself this question, do I have toxic people in my life, if so free yourself, free your mind and free your positive energy, just let them go, just walk away, just say, see you later.
Symptoms of Negative Conversations
1. Are your conversations with them all about them?
2. Do they ask how you are doing?
3. Are they always dominating the conversation?
4. Can you get a word in edge wise, side ways or upside down?
5. Do they always say I don’t care about this or that?
6 People that don’t care about anything, most likely care nothing about you.
7. When your conversations end do you feel better or worse?