Removing Toxic People From Your Life…

removing toxic people from your life

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There’s a lot of information out there about toxins and their lasting negative effects on our physical health. We all know about the detrimental effects of artificial preservatives, additives, pesticides, and the like. But what about the negative effect toxic people have on our heath?

Can encounters with toxic people effect our physical, mental, and emotional health? If so, how do we protect ourselves from further harm? Then again, we survivors always struggle with putting our own needs first…Is it selfish to remove toxic people from our life?

Before you answer that hard question, ask yourself one more: Could removing such people turn out to be life saving?

Emotionally toxic people can ravage us from the inside out. Yet, what exactly defines a toxic person depends on who you talk to. In my life, I’ve found toxic people are those who:

  • take and never give in return
  • constantly complain
  • gossips
  • puts others down
  • makes others feel guilty
  • can only criticize

What all toxic people have in common is that they always leave us powerless, vulnerable, and depleted. And for us, feeling this way for long periods of time is devastating to our physical and emotional health. All in all, toxic people don’t help us, they harm us.

Just as with toxins in our food and environment, to keep ourselves safe, toxic people need to be avoided whenever possible.

On my blog, I’ve shared what works for me to keep myself, my sanity, safe whenever I’m in the presence of a toxic person. Since then, I’ve shared it countless times and helped others remove toxins from their lives too. So, below, I’ve shared them again, with you.

Be forewarned, though. Some of these tips are going to be hard to swallow at first. But try them out for yourself anyway. See what works for you. So far, following these guidelines has helped me not only be toxic people free, but also stress free. What a life saver…

Walk Away

Say, for instance, you are in a room full of people, and someone starts gossiping, ranting about this or that, complaining about anything and everything, and you know – you know – that no matter what you say, however eloquent, you will never change this person’s mind…just walk away.You do not have to be there to hear all of their negativity. Your presence is not necessary. They will rant and complain to anyone! Who says it has to be you anymore?Leave with your sanity intact! Save yourself!

Here’s what you do: Stand up, totally calm, grab your children so they can escape too, and nonchalantly leave the room. Come back only when you know enough time has passed that everyone else in the room has argued ’till they’re blue in the face with the toxic person, to no avail, and the topic has been changed.

Phew! You saved yourself from a toxic encounter!

Take Yourself Out of the Equation

How about this…There was a huge misunderstanding between you and someone and, had it happened between you and a person capable of having a normal conversation, it would’ve been resolved in a calm, adult conversation.Except this is a toxic person. They do not know how to have a conversation. They only know how to yell, scream, belittle. Nothing is normal about them. Instead of coming to you with the problem, they’ve been gossiping to everyone how you did this and you did that, bad mouthing you to everyone and anyone who will listen. It doesn’t matter if what they say is false or true, take yourself out of the equation.Don’t play their game. Don’t stoop to their level. Don’t counter act all their assaults. Remove yourself. If need be, say your bit to the toxic person – just the facts – totally calm and firm, and then let it go. You did your part. You’ve cleaned yourself of the misunderstanding. Now, let it go.

Chances are everyone else is just as fed up with this person as you are. Eventually, everyone will see that it’s just another one of this toxic person’s tirades and will start see your wise ways of getting out of the way. They too will remove themselves from this person’s path, seeing how calm and relaxed you are by no longer being involved with this toxic person.

If they don’t, it’s not your problem. Take care of yourself.

Take Responsibility

For your health! It’s your health. If you don’t take care of yourself, who will? No one.Are you going to continue to let this person shape your life for the worse? Allow yourself to feel the effects of their negativity so much that it is effecting your health? They take and never give.Who is to blame that this person is still in your life? Them? Nope, sorry folks. It’s no one’s fault but your own.  They are always going to do what they do. But what they do to you is up to you. No one else.

If you don’t want to be treated poorly, don’t allow it. Do what you have to do to take control of your life. If that means no longer engaging someone in a conversation because you know it’s going to turn sour, then don’t!

If you know that just by being around a certain toxic person brings you down and causes you to feel horrible for days, weeks later, then limit or restrict your contact with that person.

You are in charge of your life, of you. Don’t let others bring you down. You have to take care of your health so that you can take care of all the other things and people in your life you are responsible for.

I know this is the hardest one to swallow, but it’s true. Just think about it. You are in charge of you. You need to take care of you. You. You. You!

So, there you have it. My own ways of dealing with the toxins in my life. What works for you may be different, as there are many ways in which you can save your sanity and your health.

If you have any of your own ideas and tips, please share! We can all use additional tools in our arsenal against our toxic common enemies…

That said, here’s to taking great care of ourselves and removing toxins from our life!



Lia-Mack-400-400Lia Mack is the author of Waiting for Paint to Dry (Pen L, May 2015), one woman’s quest to reclaim inner peace, take back her life, and stumble into love… Mack has also seen her creative non-fiction writing in various publications such as The Washington Post, Nickelodeon Jr. Magazine, Advances in Bereavement Magazine and Nesting Magazine.

You can visit her online at www.LiaMack.com.

End CSA NOW! EVENT – Save the Date

Join us in bringing awareness, prevention, and dialogue
to end child sexual abuse.

End Child Sexual Abuse NOW!
>>>EVENT<<<

Saturday, April 19, 1:30 – 4:30pm
Oakland Asian Cultural Center
388 9th Street, Oakland

As many of you know myself and 8 community members have been working to create an event that emphasizes the importance of community involvement to end child sexual abuse (CSA) and increase visibility of those impacted by it.

Please SAVE THE DATE. This event will include:

  • Discussions about current efforts being made to address CSA;
  • Community forum to bring voice to those impacted by CSA;
  • Special film screening of preliminary footage from You Me and the Fruit Trees;
  • Resources and information sharing;
  • Healing arts activity;
  • Most importantly, we want to bring visibility to this largely shrouded issue by leading a community march to the local city hall as a call to action!

Parts of the event will be filmed for the documentary my team and I are currently producing. It’s a character driven film that follows several survivors of CSA and includes leaders in the movement to end child sexual abuse as well as other community members impacted by CSA. For more information on this documentary please visit: Trailer

We are also thrilled and honored to share that the City of Berkeley unanimously passed our proclamation to recognize “End Child Sexual Abuse NOW!” as a day in Berkeley. We have a whole lot to celebrate and hope you can be there April 19th to celebrate with us!

Please share this invitation with your networks through social media, tweet it, post it and forward this post to your friends, co-workers and family.  Invite your friends on Facebook here:  End CSA EVENT

Stay tune for a list of speakers and more details.

Together we can end CSA!

Tracey Quezada –info@traceyquezadaproductions.com
&
Danielle Castro – Danielle.castro@ucsf.edu

As I Breathe, I Learn. 4 Tips for Creating An Attitude of Gratitude

PeaceandCalm 

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

The Little Prince

Life is for learning. How often have you heard this or a similar sentiment, doing your best to suss out what that means, or filing it away entirely?

It can be hard to see sometimes but every day, we’re graced with at least one major opportunity to learn about ourselves. These lessons don’t have to be hard-earned, or even hard, but often they can feel that way. We can of course learn from what’s comfortable and uncomfortable in our experiences.

I’m firmly convinced that everything and everyone in our experience teaches us something.

Noted author Kahlil Gibran brought to mind the idea that we can always discover and explore lessons in kindness from those who seem unkind…as he digs even deeper into the idea, he chides us for complaining about others who are unkind, calling such expressions ungrateful. In a sense, he could be right.

Right?

As I reconnect with the idea however, I realize that complaint is an expression of a desire for things to be better, an elevated “ouch!” and ultimately the soul’s request for healing and insight. So-called “ungrateful” expressions are gratitudes not yet discovered or explored, expressed or claimed.

Yes, mean people (more kindly seen, hurt people who are acting out with actions that could be viewed as mean) can in fact always teach us to be “a little kinder.” Reflecting kindness back to disharmonious people or in uncomfortable situations is a decision, a habit, a practice.

Here are four tips to keep handy when you want to claim, reclaim, or experience an “attitude of gratitude:”

  1. Accept What Is, Right Now:  Making yourself or others wrong helps no one’s progress, and yet sometimes it’s the best we know. Once you accept what is and make peace with it, you can operate and make decisions with a clearer head. It also makes letting go of the past, forgetting mistakes, and dropping any perceived hurt sense that much easier.
  2. Focus on Learning Instead of Reacting: Be curious, stay in wonder (I got this “wonder-full” learning tip from  Gay and Katie Hendricks). When you are in reaction mode, it can rob you of the opportunity to make more conscious and loving decisions. Responding in a “like with like” manner (i.e. “You’re mean, so I’ll be mean”) destroys any chance of helping either party feel better. Ultimately, water puts out fires. Be like water. Here’s a great example, courtesy of Kathlyn and Gay Hendricks: ask, “I wonder what that means?” Being in a state of wonder can be internal. It’s something you can even just think to yourself. If the other party is somewhat interactive and willing to engage with you, you could even proactively ask, “Hm, I’m curious…what did you mean by that?” and stay present for their response with no attachment to what the outcome “should” be like.
  3. Make It “A New Day:” Let’s say you react with bitter tears, you mouth off like a hothead, or you otherwise seem to disappoint yourself in any given situation. Now, what? So what? Shrug it all off and make it a new day, right now. Whether that mental change happens in the early morning, late afternoon or middle of the night, just begin again. We can always begin anew. That’s why we call spiritual practices practices.
  4. Just Be Kind: Above all, just be kind. We are all doing the best we can. Just because someone else’s version of “doing their best” isn’t at all apparent to you, it doesn’t change this universal truth. Apply this rule to yourself first and foremost. Don’t worry, it’s not selfish—it will automatically reflect outward in your interactions with others. That’s just how life works.

Namaste,

Jaye