Cutting Loose Negative & Toxic People

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Negative people are toxic for your life and at times can drag you down to their level. Stop being a people pleaser! Cut loose these types of people who until now you have allowed to remain in your life.

Two years ago I up-sticked and moved to Barcelona. The process of putting myself out of easy reach of the people in my day-to-day life was the perfect way to figure out who really cared about me. All sorts of interesting insight into these people came to light, from those I didn’t expect to stay in contact becoming really close friends to others I thought were good friends just falling off the face of the earth. For me it was the eye opener which I needed and I realised that I had been blinkered to the friends or family that I had been surrounding myself with and blind to the effects that they were having on me.

So what happened after that? It all got me thinking… who are the people left in my life which are present (at least from time to time) but who don’t actually bring anything to the table and are negative or toxic people? I then saw this quote…

“You may not be able to control somebody’s negative behaviour. But you can control how long you participate in it.”

I started to identify a few types of people who seem to have a really negative affect on my life and I could do without having to be around. This might switch on a few lightbulbs.

  • The takers – the people who you do lots for or buy things for but never do it return, they just seem to take, take, take and not appreciate anything.
  • The arguers – arguing from time to time is natural and healthy however there are those who argue a little too often and leave you feeling on edge.
  • The moaners – those who always just seem to moan about something, dragging the mood down and creating a negative vibe.
  • The social media trolls – the people who like to criticise you from the safety of their keyboard or phone but never to your face.
  • The jealous ones – those who don’t know the difference between envy and jealousy and choose to dislike you for what they do not have or do.
  • The narcissists –  the people who point out your flaws but never have any self-reflection and see themselves as perfect.

There are other types of negative or toxic people around but these have been the most prominent in my personal experience. Everybody can be a taker, argumentative, moany, jealous etc at times (I know I can too) but some people just ARE  one or a combination of the above the majority of the time. It’s just a part of their being. Don’t be fooled by the occasional times they are on best behaviour because you haven’t seen them in a while, they soon slip back to their real selves as soon as they’re feeling comfortable.

So once you have identified who these people are, you have a choice. You either assert your boundaries and try to change their behaviour towards you (good luck changing these types of people, if you can then you deserve a medal) or you can cut them loose. Being too lazy to try and change somebody and knowing I couldn’t, I chose to cut them loose and see how it affected my life. By cutting them loose I don’t mean going cold turkey and never speak to them ever again. Instead I began phasing them out day by day, week by week, month by month. If you cut somebody loose by just totally ignoring them then sometimes this isn’t effective and leaves a bitter atmosphere. Unless they’re really toxic, in that case boot them the hell out of your life. I just started ignoring their negative comments on my Instagram or Facebook posts, not meeting up with them very often and genuinely not involving them in my life.

Negative and toxic people all seem to have the same problem which is rife across most cultures and types of people… lack of empathy. Empathy is ‘the ability to understand and share the feelings of another’. They just don’t have the ability to think about what they do or what they say and how it might affect other people. They have their narrow minded personalities which prevent them from ever thinking outside the box.

“The older I get, the more I realise the value of cultivating your circle and only letting certain people in. You can be open, honest and real, while still understanding not everyone deserves a seat the table of your life.”

As I phased these people out, I found that consequently my life improved. I no longer had to take shitty comments personally or be left feeling like they had dropped my confidence with their toxic personalities. I then re-invested this time and energy I had freed up with the people who really mattered to me. Those who had been there for me while I was away and those who leave me feeling uplifted after I’ve seen them. Positive people. Thus strengthening those relationships and leaving us all happier.

Recently I let my guard down and felt a bit guilty about cutting certain people loose because they were old friends or we had some good memories along the way and what happened? They slipped right back to who they really are and the negativity began again. That’s why I said earlier that I am no longer willing to try to change people. You just can’t. The types of people I mentioned are incapable of self-reflection or self-criticism. Even those who realise they are a certain way will rarely take it upon themselves to change who they are and just generally make excuses for their behaviour. Feeling guilty about cutting these people loose is you caring more about them than yourself and while being selfish is bad, there are times in your life where you NEED to be selfish and look after number one. Who else is going to do it for you? If you’re lucky enough to find a negative person who does genuinely and sincerely change for the good then keep hold of them.

Common excuses you might use for negative and toxic people…

  • That’s just the way they are.
  • They’re obviously not happy in their own lives.
  • They were brought up that way, it’s not their fault. 
  • They’re nice some of the time. 
  • They will change one day.
  • I’ve known them for ages.
  • They are family. 

Our time on this planet is short and you should surround yourself with those who lift you up and make you feel good and remove those who bring you down. While I could waffle for hours on this topic, instead I will end with some of wisdom of others which I’ve read along the way and has held true in my experience. I hope you find the courage to edit the circle you surround yourself with, you won’t regret it!

“What you allow is what will continue.”

“When a toxic person can no longer control you, they will try to control how others see you. The misinformation will feel unfair but stay above it, trusting that other people will eventually see the truth, just like you did.”

“I am slowly learning that some people are not good for me, no matter how much I love them.”

“You are allowed to terminate toxic relationships. You are allowed to walk away from people who hurt you. You are allowed to be angry and selfish and unforgiving. You don’t owe anyone any explanation for taking care of yourself.”

“I stopped explaining myself when I realised people only understand from their level of perception”

“Surround yourself with people that reflect who you want to be and how you want to feel, energies are contagious”

“I think its funny that people who treat you like shit, get offended when you finally do the same to them.”

“Confidence is silent. Insecurities are loud.”

“I knew I had matured when I realised that every situation doesn’t need a reaction. Sometimes you just have to leave people to do the lame shit they do”

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