4 Tips to Avoid Having Friends Who Suck the Life Out of You

If you are reading this post, you probably have a friend or two that suck the life out of you.  GET RID OF THEM! (Gasp!  Horror!)  If you haven’t ever removed a friend from your life, it sounds so scary.  I remember the first time it was suggested to me that I remove someone from my life, it was a very long term friend…  I thought, what?!?!?!?  How is that even possible?

It’s a really tough concept to wrap your head around, but nobody else can cause you pain.  You are in charge of your own feelings.  You can choose to feel happy, sad, stressed, any emotion really.  When you begin to realize that you can control your feelings and emotions, it is pretty easy to not allow people to suck the life out of you.

 

Shutterstock image

Shutterstock image

 

When I gave birth to my first child, I suddenly saw a few people in my life for who they really were and knew they couldn’t be in my life anymore.  Ugly, life-sucking opinions came out.  Disrespectful drop-ins without a call first, and awful, rotten things said behind my back about my parenting decisions.  I was miserable, yet so blissfully in love and happy at the same time.

A brilliant life coach asked me why I was putting up with these people who constantly made my life miserable.  I thought it was such a strange question and honestly it took months for me to understand what she meant.  I began by taking baby steps.  I decided to build a wall around myself when I had to deal with this small group of people and not let their comments hurt me.  Once I wrapped my head around the concept, I began to stick up for myself little by little and something funny happened: By sticking up for myself, I felt a shift and unknowingly changed the dynamic of our relationship.  Some didn’t like it all and our relationships ended.  It was beautiful!  One other relationship “got it”.  She understood what had happened and worked hard at making our relationship better.  It was the perfect outcome.

I started small.  There were two friends that added nothing but negativity to my life.  It was shockingly easy to let go of those friendships.  Once I got the taste for letting go of negativity, I cleaned house.  There were some major life-changing people I removed from my life, some were expensive, time consuming and emotional, but worth every single penny, minute and feeling.

I tend to volunteer my time on various boards and commissions.  I am involved with my children’s schools and deal with a lot of people at my job.  We all encounter difficult people and sometimes we have no choice but to work with them on certain projects.  That is when you have to build your little wall and not let them get to you and move on when the project is complete.

My husband and I have created what we like to call our “happy bubble”.  We check in with each other on certain people and places that are either in or out of our happy bubble.  Lately we have let some real crap into our bubble and it’s time to clean house.  It’s been a while since I have had to, but life got busy and I got  a little sloppy.

Four tips to keep life-sucking people away from your happy bubble:

1. Go with your gut.

We usually can feel it when somebody won’t add anything positive to your life.  I have ignored that little gut feeling too many times.  It’s not worth it.

2.  Don’t feel bad about your decision.

Letting a friend go is usually what is best for both of you.  Let. It. Go.

3.  Be clear.

The “break up” doesn’t have to be a big emotional scene.

Just be clear and unemotional.  You could say something like, “I think it would be best if we went our separate ways. We don’t seem to agree on many things and I respect you too much to continue to disagree.”  There are lots of ways to let somebody know in a civil manner that you don’t want to be friends.

4.  Learn the signs of life-sucking people and avoid!

Most toxic, negative people have the same traits.  Learn them and run in the opposite direction when you meet them.

Life is just too short to walk around unhappy, stressed, and miserable because of the people you surround yourself with.  The people in your life are there because of choices you have made.  Make better choices and you will see wonderful things happen.

 

You Asked; I’m Answering! My Recommendations to Replace the Plastic Items You’re Afraid You Can’t Live Without.

I am asked everyday for product recommendations. What do I use for cleaning products, which deodorants and lotions are safe, which brands of shampoos are safe, what do I send to school for lunch- and what do I pack it in? I am always happy to be asked these questions because it means that people are paying attention and wanting to make safe choices- for themselves, their children, their pets, and the planet. Since this article hit our Facebook newsfeeds, lots of people are wanting to ditch plastic- YAY!! (Please don’t rush to throw away in the trash though- recycle, reuse, or donate!)

Let’s tackle things in order of importance- For parents, that means:

Baby Bottles & Milk Storage
There are “safe” plastics but I really don’t trust that any plastic is safe, so I chose glass Evenflo bottles. I pumped and stored milk in Evenflow 4oz glass bottles- but you could also use Ball jars! They would stack really well, but you might lose some of the ease of pouring or just popping a nipple on a bottle. Cap rings and sealing disks are made of plastic, but I don’t worry because they won’t really have any contact with the milk. These bottles also pack well with the Medela ice pack (which I still use to pack drinks and snacks for long trips or outings!) For baby and kid food storage, glass is an obviously great choice- tiny Ball jars and plastic lids (for easy use and washing!) are more budget friendly than these adorable Wean Green sets, but sometimes cute is called for! Stainless steel is another great option. If you have a severe nickel allergy, or if you just want to add some color to your tot’s lunch, use silicone baking cups to hold the food in place. I love LunchBots Trio and LunchBots Cinco for packing lunches and snacks. My kiddos have food allergies, so we bring food pretty much everywhere we go (except Chipotle, Blue Dragon, and Lime Leaf, where they can easily accommodate our allergies!) If I’m sending food that needs to be kept cool, I sit the LunchBot container on top of a slim ice pack. To send hot/warms foods, Thermos’s Foogo Line is great. They come in basic blue and pink!

Sippy cups & water bottles
These are a big source of leaching chemicals because the drink inside sits, exposed to the plastic, for long periods of time over varied temps. I’m a big fan of letting kids drink from real sturdy glasses at home. When your out and about, you can use glass with a Lifefactory silicone covered bottle. I have dropped mine from above my head, onto the pavement and not had a break, but if you prefer another option- I also love the thermos line of water bottles- they have sleek 16oz and 24oz bottles for grownups and cute Phases and FUNtainer bottles for the kids. The grown-up versions are great for water or coffee or tea! These are all super easy to clean with the OXO water bottle cleaning set or a soapy pipe cleaner if your feeling crafty!

Meal Time
Being a believer in trusting kids to learn to use real glasses, I also think stainless steel child size utensils are the best way to go- nobody needs to be chewing on plastic utensils! (If your kiddo has a nickel allergy and will be chewing on them, you can opt for this great wood set.) If you feel strongly about not risking your dinner plates, or if your little one insists you “keep it separated” try this cool divided dish. It’s sturdy and can go right in your fabulous dishwasher!

Food Storage
Plastic wraps is something I hear so many people say they can’t give up-but it’s not healthy and it’s terribly wasteful. I love covered glass dishes for food storage. My favorite is Snapware by Pyrex. You can see what’s inside, they’re stackable, and they just pop in the dishwasher to wash. If you must wrap something, opt for aluminum foil (it’s recyclable,) parchment paper or this nifty bee’s wax wrap. (*contains jojoba)  Instead of plastic snack bags, opt for unbleached paper snack and sandwich bags by If You Care or this really cool silicone sandwich bag!

Other Things to Consider

  • Choose restaurants whose take-out containers aren’t styrofoam. If they use solid plastic, transfer the leftover food to glass as soon as you get home. Opt for compostable take-out containers whenever possible. Read more, interesting info about chemicals used in take-out and food storage containers here.
  • Skip canned food and opt for jarred or frozen. It tastes better and won’t be soaked in the chemicals that line the cans.
  • If you’re a smoothie or juice fanatic, consider a glass vessel instead of plastic for your blender. Even if you’re ok with the plastic while you’re making your drink, store extra in glass in the fridge or freezer. I like the tall Ball jars. I also love to freeze smoothies in silicone popsicle molds like these.
  • Use stainless steel or cast iron cookware. I love the stainless steel pan the lives on my stovetop and my Le Creuset enameled cast-iron!. The less expensive Lodge skillet gets good reviews, too.

If I left out what you were hoping I’d answer for you, let me know. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have or recommend my favorite products in the comments below.

 

This is not a sponsored post, but Amazon Affiliate links are included in the text. All opinions and recommendations are my own. If you choose to purchase any of the products I recommend, Mommy Business will receive a tiny portion of the sale price at no additional cost to you.

A good habit that has stuck! NaBloPoMo challenge day 5

Today’s challenge question…. Do you have any good habits that were hard to start but you’re happy you worked to build them?

My family went GMO free about a year and a half ago. Reading about what this country does to our food system makes my blood boil. For a few years, I would read about GMO’s and get mad. Read and get mad, read and get mad. I was walking around mad which wasn’t helping anybody, especially myself.

I had been searching for a solution to the GMO problem but it just seemed so overwhelming that I would just kind of give up. Three out of four of my children have food allergies so I felt like I had to make a choice, purchase products from the big companies who are excellent at labeling ingredients but use all GMO’s, or go with the smaller companies that are organic/GMO free and risk cross contamination and not so great labeling. (Legally companies only need to list ingredients that are IN the food you are eating. They do NOT have to label what else is made in the facility or on the equipment. When dealing with nut allergies and anaphylaxis, this is not optional.) I felt I had to make my purchases through the big companies and just eat the GMO’s. I did this for a long time.

About a year and a half ago I decided that I would choose one product at a time and do my research on it. I chose products that we use the most of first, like cereal and bread, figuring I could make the biggest impact there.

anti gmo

I spent a lot of time on the phone and on the internet and found out that eliminating GMO’s wasn’t going to be as difficult as I originally thought. I started with Kashi’s “non Gmo certified project verified cereals”. More info on that here. There are a few that are nut safe and non GMO that we use.

Bread was trickier. There aren’t a lot of bakeries that are nut safe. I did manage to find two that are organic (GMO free), nut safe, and most importantly, that my kids like.

Organic and GMO free is more expensive for sure! I have had to cut other expenses to make sure we can afford non GMO food and it is worth it.

Instead of walking around angry, I know that each and every purchase I make is making a statement. I am creating a demand for non GMO products and not providing funding towards the companies that use GMO’s and don’t label them. I have also dug a little deeper and have created a list (in my head) of companies that not only use GMO’s but also fund the campaign against GMO’s being listed on products. I will not buy anything from them either. You can find a good list here.

I am so happy I turned my anger into something positive. My youngest son who just turned 7 had the most positive allergy appointment he has ever had, just last month. I think there is a direct link to the choices we have made these past two years and his allergies. That is a different story for another day but I am so very grateful for working hard to build this good habit of ours :-).

We are far from perfect, nor are we 100% GMO free.  My kids still eat pizza and they have snacks that are not all GMO free.  I would say we are closer to 85% GMO free and that is SO much better than we were two years ago.  I hope more people will consider joining us with building this good habit and really cut out GMO’s and having your dollar matter.  🙂

 

*Image from shutterstock.com

That little negative voice in my head…. NaBloPoMo day 4

Daily challenge question: Have you ever tried to break a habit and failed? What made it so difficult to break?

This was a tough question to answer. It stumped me for a few days. I am usually pretty good about breaking habits. I have had some bad ones but have dumped them along the way. How is it that I can’t think of one bad habit I have had but failed? I am so far from perfect, why is this so difficult?

Then it struck me. I am far from perfect, that is what I said to myself over and over again. Then I started to listen to that little voice speaking to me. It never has anything good to say. NEVER. I consider myself a pretty self confident person. I am not all that thrilled with my appearance at the moment but over all I am happy and optimistic.

Then there is that voice. Right now it is telling me this blog post is stupid and makes no sense. It is also saying that I should be cleaning (my house is a mess). It is also telling me I have too much work to catch up on then to sit here and write. It also just reminded me of my laundry, and how I didn’t call my mom back, or visit my mother in law today like I planned. I also didn’t eat healthy enough today. According to this voice, I am a major failure.

Unfortunately I think this little voice begins for a lot of girls when they are relatively young. We are taught to hate ourselves, not sure how it happens but it does. I hear young girls all of the time stating how much they hate their hair, ears, nose, eye color, thighs, belly, height, weight, etc…. It is so wrong but so prevalent. I felt that way about myself for a very long time. Obviously that voice is still there so it is a hard habit to break.

Thank goodness I don’t listen to this voice very much. Or maybe I do listen too much and it is this voice that pushes me to constantly try and better myself.

I think this negative voice is the habit I can’t break. I am trying to incorporate meditation daily in my life. I am trying to quiet that voice and replace it with the positive. This past September I had the honor of attending a Hayhouse weekend seminar called “I Can Do It”, with Wayne Dyer as one of the headliners. It was amazing! Over and over I heard stories about being positive and attracting better things into your life. I have incorporated a lot of what I learned that weekend into my life and have a very long list of books to read that were recommended.

I do not put myself down in front of my children, never have. I am constantly explaining how believing in yourself is how to live. One of my favorite quotes is by Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”
Whether-you-think-you
Now that I have really thought about this and put it in writing, I have a feeling that little negative voice will soon be a thing of my past.

My Worst Habit…..NaBloPoMo Challenge day 3

I am challenging myself to blog daily with NaBloPoMo’s prompts. Today’s prompt…

Tell us about your worst habit?

This is a question I have grappled with. At the moment I don’t feel I have any bad habits worth writing about. Which is kind of shocking and good.

From a very young age I dealt with lots and lots of abuse. Whether it be sexual, drugs, alcohol, verbal and violence I have had my fair share of them all. By the time I was in middle school I was so miserable with my life I wanted to end it. And I tried.

The good news is I got my act together by my junior/senior year of high school. Although I still enjoyed boozing it up with my buddies the rest of the stuff was a thing of the past. I don’t even like being in the same room with people who do drugs. I am one of the lucky ones.

By far my worst habit in all of my 44 years on this planet was smoking cigarettes. Man oh man I loved them for a very very long time. I started smoking as a teen and continued until the age of 29. I “practiced” quitting for at least a year before I actually did it. My boyfriend (now my husband) and I took the red eye home from Vegas and by the time I got home I had been awake for 24 hours. I was hung over and exhausted. The next two days were a sleepy, hazy blur. By the time I was actually feeling awake, I realized I had gone 72 hours without smoking. I went with it and never picked it up again.

butts

I am grateful every day that I got butts and so many other bad habits out of my life.

*Image credit from shutterstock.com