When you hear the term "toxic person" what does that mean to you?
Ok now how about if I position it this way – can you think of a person in your life who if you could choose, you’d limit your time with them because you have different values and being around them is draining? Or how about a person that is constantly negative – the Debbie and Donnie Downers of the world – the people that find flaw in everything and everyone. What about an employee? On a recent podcast I was listening to the guy referred to a wrong fit employee as a swamp monster – the people that make you want to drain the swamp! Or how about a business partner that in your gut you know it’s a wrong fit – but you don’t know how to part ways even though your time, energy and sanity are zapped with every interaction?! So that is what we’re going to call toxic people! How does that resonate with you?
Now take that a step further – by surrounding yourself with even one person who places a strain on your time, attention and focus – what is that lost productivity worth to you? When you’re stressed out, burnt out and not yourself – how expensive is that?? When I use the term expensive I don't necessarily mean in terms of cash flow but I'm also talking about the cost of lost time... lost energy. You can probably think of a million things you'd rather be doing than spending time with people that drain you!
Here are 3 key ways to help you eliminate toxic people from your life and start surrounding yourself with positive, productive people who help move you towards your goals and dreams.
Free yourself from the bounds that a toxic person places on you.
Ok now what does this "freedom" mean? Take a minute to close your eyes and envision the toxic person or people from your life and all the negative feelings that come with that thought – now imagine releasing that person from your life and the feeling that comes with that. You no longer have to deal with the fear, the anger, the frustration… you’re freeing yourself to go about your life in a way that is no longer interrupted by them. Now open your eyes and how do you feel? Release? Lighter?
There is a quote that I’m unsure of who exactly came up with it but it says “Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.” It’s like Joe Polish, creator of Genius Network, says all the time – don’t be afraid to destroy anything that isn’t excellent!
2. Stop the trend before it starts...
Or at least before it becomes so out of control that you don't know your way back. What’s the saying – it takes you 21 days to create a habit? Well it can take you a lot longer to break one! By allowing even one negative, toxic person to have any merit in your life you are saying it's okay for you to be treated less than you deserve. Before you know it you are dealing with a trickle effect of toxic relationships and at some point you will get to a breaking point. Have you ever had a lightbulb go off in your head where you decide that with every ounce of your being… every part of yourself was going against your personal values and it was ENOUGH?! That is what is bound to happen when dealing with toxic people!
Here comes that F word again… FREEDOM! Freedom should be your why… FREEDOM was what allows you to STOP your bad habit. And it believe me it will feel darn good!
3. Allow yourself to look at the positive
By allowing yourself to look at the positive this is where you see the big breakthroughs and turnarounds in your life.
Have you ever made a decision to turn your back completely on a toxic situation? Were there consequences you faced? Maybe in the severing of relationships with other people you loved and cared for? A simple shift in your thoughts to what you have, or will have gained, can help you deal with these consequences.
Think about it this way - How would it feel to gain the freedom to make decisions on how you handle toxic people without feeling judged? Freedom to set boundaries and limitations on your time and attention.
Decide what your freedom is from toxic people and apply it today. Then take the energy you’ve applied to that negativity and put it to good use. Dive into your passions. Spend time with the people that give you energy and excitement. There is a song that will forever stick with me when it comes to dealing with toxic people. The lyrics say “I owned every second that this world could give… I swear I lived.” (One Republic). Those words speak to freedom. Own every second that this world gives you. This life is yours. You have the freedom to do with it, and share with whom you please.