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.
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.