Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and it's always a special season for me and myfamily. Lately, I've been nesting heavily and trying to prepare our home for the holidays. This time of year, like so many people do, I like to pay special attention to what I'm grateful for and all the people in my life that make it better. But the same way we count our blessings, we become aware of the things and people that perhaps make our hearts a little heavy too.
For years, I had a hunch that I had a very toxic person in my life but I continuously gave this person the benefit of the doubt. Year after year, as situations arose, I would make excuses and sweep things under the rug. How did I know this person was toxic? She would take digs at me all the time. I always felt like no matter what I did, it wasn’t good enough. The straw that broke the camel’s back was hearing her gossip about her own family members to me- that didn’t sit well with me. Rest assured, if someone is talking about someone else, especially someone they’re supposed to be close with, they are talking about you too! That should've been the whisper that would motivate me to disassociate from this person but I still chose to ignore that little whisper of intuition. So what do you think happened? The next incident where I felt she was being toxic made me explode and I became very confrontational. It wasn't pretty.
So, how can you tell when you have a toxic person in your life? You can start by asking yourself how that person makes you feel. Do you feel like you can be yourself around this person? Is this person supportive or do you have to downplay your accomplishments to make them feel better about themselves? Do others consistently bring up negative comments he or she may have said about you? When you share things with this person do you feel like you can trust them? Do they undermine you? Do they "one-up" you constantly? I think feelings are very important. Your intuition rarely lies. If I feel like I can be myself around you, that's a great feeling, but if I'm getting the feeling that something isn't right then that's my cue to re-evaluate the relationship.
I know the term "eliminating" feels harsh but if you’re going to move forward in your life, toxic people only want to come along to drag you down. It’s not worth it, leave them behind. I don’t always think eliminations have to be so dramatic either. Sometimes it’s just a matter of not spending so much time with toxic people and yes, sometimes, the situation requires you to stop all communication. It's your call.
This is something that is very difficult to do but once you face the relationship for what is, you can be realistic and move on. Life is too short to spend it with people who are not going to help you shine or suck your energy. There are plenty of people that want you to succeed and are happy for you. Go find those people.
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