“I think it’s important to get your surroundings as well as yourself into a positive state – meaning surround yourself with positive people, not the kind who are negative and jealous of everything you do.” – Heidi Klum
I recently wrote about my realization that I needed to take more time to actively appreciate all the great people and things in my life. An unexpected side effect of really taking a step back and looking at my life was that I saw not only the good, but the things that were bringing me down. For the first time, I began to see that some of the reason that I was unhappy and stressed out was that I allowed people to be in my life that were consistently negative and dragging me down.
I think we’ve all had someone like this in our lives:the person that claims to love you, yet drowns you in their negativity and endless demands. It can be a family member, a friend, or a significant other. I’m not talking about someone going through a rough time, or having a bad day – what I’m referring to are people that are always unhappy, or telling you what you’re doing wrong, or attempting to manipulate you into doing what they want you to do. The person who makes your head pound when their name shows up on your Caller ID.
I initially wondered whether I was just crazy for allowing someone that toxic to be in my life, but when I started talking to my family and close friends, many of them had tales of similar experiences to tell. I heard stories about people that only called when they wanted money, friends that disappeared off the face of the earth until they needed someone to drive them to a doctor’s appointment, and even a friend/business partner who resorted to bribes and finally insults to get her way.
So once you’ve identified that you’re dealing with a person who is toxic to you, how do you deal? One friend told me she simply changed her phone number…but she doesn’t recommend this approach. “Looking back, I shouldn’t have just changed my number. I should have dealt with it directly. I just couldn’t do it at that time,” she revealed to me. Advice I got was unanimous: if someone doesn’t have your best interests at heart, and isn’t really there for you – cut that person loose.
Cutting ties with someone who isn’t necessarily good for you is easy advice to give, and incredibly difficult advice to follow through with. After all, just because you’ve identified that someone is dragging you down, doesn’t mean it’s easy to turn your back on that person. More than likely, you’ve kept them around for a reason – usually, because in spite of bad behavior on their part, you still care about them.
A few weeks ago, I went through my contact lists on my phone and my Facebook page, and started deleting. Then I had a couple awkward conversations with people.  I didn’t do this because I was mad at anyone or to be hurtful. I did it because I needed to put myself first, to surround myself with positive people who had my back no matter what. I’m twenty-eight years old and I don’t have time to waste with people who make me feel bad about myself or who don’t support me in my endeavors.It’s cliche, but life’s too short to spend it being made unhappy by people…by giving people who make me unhappy enough importance in my life to let them make me feel that way.
It can be very difficult to identify and end a toxic friendship. But in my opinion it’s worth it to purge the negativity in order to move forward in a more positive and supportive environment. My ultimate goal is happiness, and I knew I couldn’t get there with people who weren’t there for me. Now that I don’t have to waste energy on someone who really doesn’t value me anyway, I can invest more time in the people that do.

1 thought on “Toxicity

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *