Removing toxic people in your life cannot be done in just a snap of your finger tips. It takes more time than you anticipated and tremendous self understanding. It’s not a very quick process but it is all worth it. Why is it worth it? Try it and tell me your story. Here’s how I did mine.
1. Remove them from your contact list.
2. Block them from all your social media accounts.
3. Delete people on your list that are related to them who are equally as toxic as they are.
This is only applicable to those people you’re not blood related with like friends. Stop thinking about what they will think about you or what rumors they will spread to your colleagues after you removed them in your life. What they say doesn’t define you. You don’t need to justify your actions. Let them judge you, but as long as their judgments doesn’t reach your heart, what they say wouldn’t really matter.
Now, how do you deal with toxic family members and relatives? This is where the hardest part enters. This part of the detoxifying process was the most difficult for me, because compared to your friends, your family is permanently a part of your life. No matter how you want to kick them out of your life, you will always be a family. You can never cut your relationship with them, but you can cut some ties and replace them with knots.
As much as possible…
1. Avoid any form of communication with them. If there is nothing really important where you need their opinion or knowledge, don’t talk to them because for sure they will say something that will get into your nerves.
2. Don’t attend the same event with them. For example, it’s a family member’s death anniversary, instead of visiting your late family member in a group, pay your own visit ahead or the day after they came.
3. If 1 and 2 is very impossible for you to do, then talk to them, set boundaries with them and do not compromise.
In my own personal experience, this is where the quote, “What you don’t see will not hurt you.” can be applied. If you don’t see anything related to them like their post, comments, messages, recent events, pictures or the person themselves, your brain will eventually forget about them. How? Because they don’t remind you of their presence. There are regions in our brain that works together in retrieving specific memories which are the prefrontal cortex and the hypothalamus. If they are not triggered they will not recollect memories that you don’t want to remember.
It is not a completely bad thing to tell people that you don’t talk to one or two person in your family. It doesn’t only happen to you. A family will always have an antagonist and a protagonist. Don’t be ashamed about the current reputation of your family unless you’ve done something disgraceful. If someone asks you why you don’t talk to a certain toxic family member… Save yourself some respect and answer them, “He/she is busy and I am busy so we don’t really have time to talk. If you have questions, it would be great if you do some catching up with him/her. That would be fun.”
It took me 3 months to completely detoxify myself from all of the mess that I’ve been through for having them around. The idea of stopping them from renting a space in my mind and in my life terrified me, because they’ve been a part of me for several years. So how did I execute the elimination round? I started from a couple of long time backstabber friends one at a time before I moved to the family situation.
You know the feeling that you get when you won a game? That’s what I felt after 3 months. What did I gain after removing the toxic people? I gained more control in all aspect of my life. I was so relieved, less stressed and more positive. Besides being positive, I learned to refrain from being aggressive in dealing with different situations. I surrounded myself with positive and goal driven individuals. I had more time to invest and focus all my energy to the right people who really cared for me. Most of all I became more resilient in dealing with problems and my self-awareness about what I really want in life increased.
There are still few moments when those people pass by my mind but unlike before they don’t have a home in my life anymore. Even if they knock the door down, they will never be able to enter again because they will be knocking down unlimited doors. That’s how strong I built the barriers between us. It won’t break unless I allow them to.
If you don’t protect yourself from toxic people in your life, they will weaken your immune system like a virus and slowly destroy you from the inside. Don’t allow them to stop you from sleeping peacefully at night and waking up motivated every day. If I can do it, you can do it too… We may not have the same personality or tolerance but we have the same goal which brought you to reading this.