Removing Toxic People: Why We Need To Let Go

July 11, 2017
Removing Toxic People: Why We Need To Let Go

Like toxic relationships, toxic people in general are not only detrimental to your emotional state, but they slowly start to take a toll on your soul.  Realizing someone in your life- whether that be a boyfriend, best friend, or family member- is no longer good for you, can be a devastating blow. All the “what ifs” and “what could of beens” suddenly become “no longers” and you may see your bright glimmering future come crashing down before your eyes. This awareness can be one of the hardest pills to swallow. Sometimes the person who you love the most, can cause you the most heartbreak. So why do we allow toxic people to stay in our lives long past their expiration date? Obligation? The fear of a future without them? Or do we simply not realize that someone is toxic for us?

Sometimes you never really see how toxic somebody is until you breathe fresher air. Someone can come into your life who is so filled with happiness and love that it’s like a burst of fresh air into a hot muggy room. All the darkness that may surround you is brought to light and you are smacked hard with the realization that you’ve been wrapped up in a relationship that has a cloud of doom lingering over it.  Cutting people from your life that not only bring you down, but exploit you, and take advantage of your empathy and compassion is something that you should never have to apologize for. You can love them just the same, from a safe distance.

It’s hard to make the decision to cut somebody special to you out of your life, but if the only experience you have with them is toxic, then it’s time to create some distance. I know we are supposed to love everyone, and help those who need it, but lines need to be drawn at some point if someone continuously takes advantage of your love and affection. What you allow will always continue when it comes to these types of relationships. If boundaries are never guarded, then toxic people will continue to trample all over them. Stand your ground and realize its okay to put distance between yourself and someone who does nothing but use and abuse you. So how and where do you start to remove the toxicity from your life altogether?

Start with forgiveness…

Forgiving someone that has hurt you can not only be mentally difficult, but it can be emotionally difficult. It’s hard to not want to get even and hurt them back, or be rude to them when you see them on the street. Isn’t the old saying “don’t get mad, get even??” I’m not saying you have to verbally express to every single person who’s hurt you that you forgive them, but getting your heart and soul to that place is important. Allowing yourself to let go of the emotional pain you’ve experienced takes some deep inner exploration and healing. It takes endless self control and it takes an intensely strong will. Carrying around the anger and bitterness you’ve felt towards people who have hurt you in your past not only eats away at your soul, but it seeps into the relationships you have in your present and will have in your future. If you continuously think everyone you meet is going to betray you, you miss out on the true intimacy that relationships are meant to have. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, and I’m not saying it’s going to happen right now. But the sooner you rid yourself of all the negativity you feel you can learn to leave the pain where it belongs, in the past. By forgiving you’re letting go, and by letting go you’re opening yourself up to a whole new level of freedom.

Create boundaries…

By creating healthy boundaries with toxic people you will find that toxic relationships and friendships will slowly fall to the wayside all on their own. You’ll have less tolerance for bad behaviour and certain actions will no longer be acceptable. You get to decide what behaviour you deem as acceptable and what behaviour is not. The scariest part of instilling these boundaries is the thought of losing people who you care about. But if someone is continuously exploiting and taking advantage of the love you so freely give by continuously breaking promises and hurting you, it’s time to draw some lines. It’s easy to become a doormat to people who don’t care about your feelings all because you care about theirs. I’ve come to learn that there is a difference between being kind and being nice. Kind people have no problem with setting boundaries, and respectfully let others know when they’ve been crossed. Nice people tend to put on a fake smile and pretend that a loved one’s negative words or actions never hurt them, even when they did, leaving themselves open to being an emotional doormat.  Always be kind, but know it’s okay to distance yourself from toxic people.

Love Yourself …

You’re not always going to be everyone’s cup of tea. Just because someone doesn’t see or value your uniqueness doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you! Some people prefer puppies, and some prefer kittens. You never have to explain to anyone why you do what you do, and why you are who you are, as long as you are living your most authentic life! You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You have a purpose and you deserve to experience happiness in this life just by being you. Don’t ever let anybody make you feel bad for not being what they think you should be. Never apologize for being true to yourself. When you learn to love yourself the opinions of other’s become less and less important and you’ll find it easier to stop allowing toxic people from controlling your opinion of yourself.

Find your happiness…

Happy people are deep-down truly happy for other people. Someone who tries to tear you down for living your life, guilt’s you into feeling bad for setting boundaries, or tells you you can’t accomplish something you’re passionate about is the definition of a toxic person. Misery loves company after all. Everyone has a right to live their life how they want, to find their passion, and to live a joyous life! Never let someone else’s view of what should make you happy become your view. By removing yourself from situations and people who no longer fit into your plan for your life, you allow yourself to live your most authentic life. Doing something just because it makes somebody else happy, doesn’t always mean it’s going to be what makes you happy. It’s okay to say no. So find what you love, pursue it and never apologize, no matter what anyone else thinks or says. It’s not their life to live, it’s yours.

Trust in something bigger…

The moment I started growing the one relationship that I had neglected for so long, was the moment I realized that the only validation I needed was from God. When I took a good hard look at how I had been living my life, and the hole I had slowly dug myself into, I realized not only was it not glorifying to the God I claimed I had a relationship with, but it was definitely not what He had planned for me. As I kept surrounding myself with certain people who continuously tore apart my values and did nothing but exploit my feelings, I found myself stuck in a rut of unworthiness. My self esteem had taken blow after blow and somewhere along the line I had lost who I really was. I had become so unhappy with myself that I was constantly looking for someone else to validate my worth. Seeking this validation got me into some fairly unhealthy relationships.  I had created a life for myself that I had become embarrassed of and I started to realize just how far down the rabbit hole I had gone. I decided that I was no longer going to be people pleasing my way through life anymore by allowing toxic people to control it. By allowing the control to be given to something bigger than me, I finally found the peace and healing I had been looking for.

Personally, I have found that cutting toxic relationships from my life was one of the hardest things I have done this far. I have a huge people pleasing side when it comes to people who are not good for me. I have a soft spot for people who are “broken” and I find that I continuously want to fix them. It’s hard for me to throw in the towel on a lost cause, especially when I feel a deep connection to them. But what I’ve learned is that by not allowing someone to take advantage of your empathy and compassion is just what the doctor ordered… for you, and for them. It’s okay to let-go of someone who continuously exploits you, it doesn’t mean that you don’t care, it just means that you have to disconnect yourself from a path that wasn’t ever meant for you. It’s okay to take charge and turn the car around. This may be an ah-ha moment for the toxic person, or it may not matter to them at all. Either way there is only so much you can do to help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. You’re allowed to take a step back, or remove yourself from a situation that is going to lead you down a detrimental path. “Let go and let God” has become my personal mantra these days. I’ve learned to remove myself from toxic people physically, but find my self continuously praying for them to find the happiness that they deserve to experience as well. The only person you have the ability to change for the better is yourself, the rest is out of your control. So focus on yourself and never stop searching for opportunities to grow yourself emotionally and spiritually.

1 Corinthians 15:33

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