Spring Clean Your Life!
Recognizing and Removing Toxic People
“ No one wants to hear your story. No one cares about you or what you have to say. You don’t have any value to give.” …
This is the lie I believed…those were the words in my head keeping me from being able to share my stories, ideas, victories, funny mom fails, epic dinner experiments, and life inspirations with you. I thought I was just intimidated by the blogging world and had a little writer’s block. I had no idea I was carrying that false idea around with me still. It was time to spring clean my life.
Unkind words that lingered in my head.
I had been stuck in my head for a few weeks. All the brain chatter was taking me down so many different tangents and mental rabbit trails. I had so many ideas that I wanted to share, but I wasn’t able to find a way to put my thoughts to paper…or keyboard rather. But why? I was afraid of telling my story thinking no one would want to hear it, or afraid of people would think. It was self-doubt.
“No one wants to hear your story…you don’t have any value to give...”
There is was plain and simple….the big fat lie I had believed. I had fallen back on an idea that had been ingrained in me by someone else…I didn’t have worth.
Toxic People Will Use Their Words to Steal Your Worth.
Although there are many situations that I could pull from as an example, this particular conversation is where I can pinpoint when I gave this person influence and control over how I saw myself.
It was pointed out that one of my problems was that I was selfish, self absorbed, and lacking in social skills. I was wrong to want to connect with others through life experiences and foolish to think that anyone cared about my story or my life. It was explained to me that in order to be successful in my life both personally and professionally I would have to hide who I was and just be whatever the other person wanted me to be. I just needed to tell them what I thought they wanted to hear about themselves and the situation. Lastly, I was told that I was probably going to fail because my character was flawed.
I can now tell you with 100% confidence that none of that has any ounce of truth nor any control over me. Those of you who do know me might be shaking your head right now because you know how ridiculous this is, but the crazy thing was…I had let it get to me and I had given it power over me.
Have you ever had someone speak lies into your life that stuck to you?
Cleaning out the Untruths
How many of us operate from a place where lies that people have spoken to us have been adopted into our thinking? How do you know what is true?
Toxic people will do and say anything to keep you down and undermine your chances of success both personally and professionally.
It took several years, but I eventually started to see things for what they were, and I removed myself from that person’s influence. Once I stepped back and muted the sources of negative input and lies of condemnation I started to regain my confidence. I realized that I had a choice, I could choose to accept that nonsense, or I could choose not to accept that mindset into my life.
Do not believe the lies. You have a choice!
I did, I really did throw off all the words of negativity that were spoken over me, but sometimes those little whispers of doubt come back, and you have to shut them down all over again.
Removal and Recovery
“Removal and Recovery” is what I call the next stage in overcoming a toxic relationship.
It can be a long road recovering from a toxic and emotionally abusive relationship. I know it is not easy…believe me, but once you have removed the source it becomes so much easier to clean out the clutter in your mind that the toxic person left behind. You might not even know the extent of the damage to your heart or mind, but as you start to remove the junk and find your own voice again you begin to see what is true and what are lies that have been fed to you. That revelation is so liberating.
You start to be able to stand up for yourself and be confident in who you are. Even better, you start to believe in your own worth again. You can tell those words that were designed to break you to kindly, push off. You are not a slave nor a victim to that mindset anymore.
Know this, you have been beautifully and wonderfully made with purpose and in love. You have incredible value, and anyone who has tried to tell you otherwise doesn’t truly see you and doesn’t want what’s best for you.
Bold Truths Based in Love
There will be times, at least there have been for me, where someone who loves you will pretty much call you out for something or speak some bold truths into your life in some way or another. It’s not always the most comfortable situation. You will not always agree. You may not like it or even like them at the time, but what I really narrow in on is this…Evaluate the source and the heart of what is being said.
There is a significant difference between someone saying something to you out of love because they care about you, and someone coming at you with negativity, tearing you down. Most times, toxic people will tell you that they care about you and that is why they are giving you “constructive criticism” aka tearing you down and belittling your character. They often times will contradict their own words and actions, and you will start to see a very clear double standard if you start to look for it.
Know Who is Really on Your Team!
People who love you want to help you grow. They challenge you because they believe in you and want to encourage you. Tough love is still love and is coming from a place of genuine care for you. People who are toxic, on the other hand, are self-serving. They aim to belittle you, control you, and tear you down for their own gain. They may tell you that they love you and that they care, and they may even believe themselves when they say it; however, they are not capable of unconditional love and care. They will always put themselves first.
There is something broken inside toxic people and you need to know the signs.
- Desperately crave affirmation, attention, and validation.
- Need to be needed and they often times tear others down in order to lift themselves up.
- Seem to obsess about being recognized as better than everyone else.
- Are quick to find ways to pick apart and humiliate successful, kind, and happy people.
- Accuse you of emotions they intentionally provoked.
- Focus on your mistakes and ignore their own.
- Label your character as a very clear projection of their own.
- Have superficial charm.
- Are egocentric.
- Seek to dominate and win at any cost.
- Feins like or love to get what they want.
- Are expert storytellers and manipulators.
- Present themselves as misunderstood unrecognized heroes with high morals and philosophy.
- Will oftentimes play victim to get attention.
- Deflect blame or blame shift and do not take responsibility for their own mistakes.
- Are quick to share gossip in an attempt to look important and “in the know”.
- Spin stories and slander people behind their backs in order to save face.
Loving people want you to see how powerful you are. Toxic people want you to see how powerful they are.
It is vital to learn how to differentiate between the two and to be able to spot a toxic person. Take some time to evaluate your relationships and don’t be afraid to establish some boundaries. If you are beginning to realize that you may in a toxic relationship, please, take steps to cut that off. I can’t even tell you what a relief it was to remove that level of toxicity from my life. Let level of oppression I felt was tangible, but I didn’t realize just how great it was until I was free of it. I also didn’t realize how much it had affected my attitude and outlook. Negativity was taking over my mindset. You know, I actually think the stress of that relationship started to take its toll on me physically as well. Another thing I dealt with and something that is very common in toxic relationships is isolation.
A toxic relationship can make you feel alone and isolated.
The more I catered to that one toxic relationship, the more my other friendships and relationships suffered. I always put that person first in fear of reproach from them. I set aside my own needs for theirs. Often times I ended up having to make excuses for them and apologizing for their unkind and unjust treatment of others. I was becoming guilty by association, and people assumed I was like the other person or becoming like the other person.
It is also very common to feel like you are running damage control all the time. You give more than you receive. Sometimes you may even push your own values a bit to cater to that person’s requests. You probably were the life of the party at some point, right? Charismatic with loads of friends. You were confident and could always gather a crowd, but that slowly changed…. and you are left feeling defeated and alone.
Do you have a toxic person in your life?
I encourage you to start creating healthy boundaries in your life and in your heart. You can be a good person with a good heart and still say no! Do what you can to remove the negative inputs, person, or people from your life. Surround yourself with relationships that will support you and lift you up.
If that is hard to find, maybe take some time to yourself. Reset and remove that life drain so that you can start to heal, re-center and rebuild your inner strength. Find your own voice again.
I’m here, too, if you need. You are not alone.
Has someone altered how you see yourself? It may be time for some Spring Cleaning!