Monday, 20 April 2015

How To Remove Poisonous People From Your Life

In social media land, Mondays are usually dedicated to motivation. What better motivation could there be than to remove poisonous, toxic people from your life?

Recently I have found myself sleeping in more often. This fine Monday morning was another such day. Formerly this was a very rare occurrence. Whether it is my reaching the half century mark or, as I rather believe, it is the freedom that is now mine. One is never sure.

My life really geared up around my 35th birthday. When I turned 41 year, things took a nosedive. Throughout those years, sleep and I were estranged. That would remain the case for almost a decade until recently.

As is often my practice, weekly in fact, during my reflection time my thoughts went to this bout of sleep-iness that I have been experiencing. Assessing the changes in my life circumstances, including my living arrangements, my marital and economic statuses and my career choice at this time, one thing stood out.

Hardly, if any, toxic people are in my immediate circle.

This past week was a bit emotionally perplexing, however, things soon sorted themselves out and what could have been poisonous interactions were detoxified. Reading Heidi Priebe's article earlier this morning was confirmation of my own conclusion about where I am in terms of relationships at this point. The seven markers of toxic and poisonous relationships are nowhere evident in my experience - not anymore.

Here are Priebe's seven types of toxic relationship and how I removed them from my life:

  1. "The friend who’s always there when you are down (But disappears as soon as you’re happy)." What did I do? I stopped talking with her. After the last message she sent me that was a complete downer, I stopped messaging, calling or initiating any form of communication. My heart, however, remains open to her and should she ever need me for whatever reason, I will be available to support her. 
  2. "The partner whose whole entire world revolves around you." What did I do? I left him. After his last tantrum over my friendships and how isolated he felt from my relationships of 10+ years, so much so that he flung a can at my head, I had the cops escort him out. 
  3. "The friend or family member who is always 'Just being realistic.'" What did I do? I thanked her for her realism and went ahead and followed my heart. 
  4. "The friend you are constantly comparing yourself to." What did I do? I grew up. 
  5. "The partner you’re keeping score with." What did I do? We divorced and now, 25+ years later, have a good friendship. 
  6. "The loved one you’re putting ahead of yourself." What did I do? I cut the ties, more like the noose. This was the longest and most difficult poison to remove from my system but it has been the most freeing. 
  7. "The relationship you have with yourself." What did I do? I healed my wounds through professional but more spiritual counselling, the unconditional love and support of friends and my own desire to live my best life.

Bottom line in removing toxic relationships or getting out of situations that are corrupting your growth is first knowing what it is that you want from life. By this, I do not mean stuff - at least not necessarily or primarily.

If you have not done so already or if dust is gathering on it, a first step is to create a vision statement for your life.  It can be as simple as: "I want to be happy in all that I do and bring joy to every interaction." What I found was that as I created and fine tuned mine over the years, my boundary setting skills were honed, my tolerance for slow poisoning by so-called friends and supposed loved ones diminished and my acceptance of relationships that only served to curb my living as I craved disappeared.

There are times, more rarely than frequently, that poisonous people like bad gas will secrete into your life. Do not beat up on yourself. I do my best not to when it happens and instead, I step back and see which window I left open for them to have crawled through.

Learning to clean the air, detoxify your life is a daily endeavour. Should you need support as you do quality control of your life, feel free to stop by my coaching page for tips.

Have a great poison free day!

Claudette is the Founder of Daughters of Sheba Foundation and offers practical spiritual support through her coaching services, social media including Twitter and this blog. She lives in Edmonton, Alberta and is a proud Member of 

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