One of the components in Oprah‘s Master Class Series is called “The Connections that Sustain Us.” Oprah is quoted as saying, “You cannot survive in this world by yourself.” And, that’s true.
But you also won’t survive if you stay connected with toxic people.
In this same segment, author of the wonderful book Finding Your Own North Star, Martha Beck does an excellent job of explaining how to screen out and set boundaries from toxic people.
I can tell you from personal experience that the tricky part is getting past guilt and not folding to peer pressure, “What do you mean you divorced your mother? But she’s your mother. You can’t do that!”
Trust me, you can and you should if your mother or any relative is that toxic. If you can’t avoid them completely, then at least limit your interactions with them.
Make sure you check your motives. Some people practice avoidance as an act of revenge, to get even. If you do this, you are simply promulgating the same toxic energy. The only good reason to avoid toxic people is self preservation.
So get out a sheet of paper and make a list of the five most toxic people in your life. Then decide if you can completely cut them out or if you are going to have to find a way to limit your interaction with them. You don’t necessarily have to let them know you are cutting them out. But, if you do, and they really want to be in your life, they could change their interactions with you.
I had that happen once with my best friend. She went through such a negative time in her life and I was under so much stress with starting a new business that I simply couldn’t be around her. Eventually she got past that phase and has never been as negative. I’ve also not been as stressed. So, in reality, we both changed.
Just remember: Doing what is right for YOU is never a bad thing.
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