What impact do the people in your life have on you? If someone makes you feel like sh*t why put up with it? Sometimes, we need to set-up boundaries for our own health. Boundaries that protect you from people who make you feel bad.
Noticing the people who make you feel bad
Someone one once told me about how they know that someone has a negative impact on their life. If they feel their shoulders droop when they see the person phoning them, that’s a sure sign. And, I really like this, as your body rarely lies. Your immediate, non-conscious reaction speaks volumes, even if you want to pretend otherwise!
Another version of this is the happy face, sad face test. Think of the key people in your life. Would you give them a happy or a sad face? If it’s a sad face, what makes you put up with it? What deeper beliefs are at play that might stop you from attending to your needs? Is it a pattern that you recognise from your past? What impact is it having on your health?
Your stuff or their stuff?
Remember also that how you feel about someone is a two-way street. You too are part of the process. People may be perfectly alright, and it may be how you relate to them that is the problem. But, even if it is, you can use the knowledge about which persons make you feel bad to investigate further.
Are they actually toxic people that you are better off without? Or, do you find yourself being emotionally triggered by them for some other reason? A reason that is more to do with you, than it is to do with them.
In your own time
Let’s say it turns out that there are things you need to resolve in how you relate to certain people. It is still perfectly okay to limit contact with them, if you are not ready to face them. If interactions only bring you pain, why do it? It is kinder to yourself (and perhaps to them also) to work through things before having further difficult interactions. Sometimes, things take time and practice. When you feel ready, you can reconnect.
And, if they truly are toxic people, well you can just ask them to get lost. Or, something more polite depending on your own personal style : )
Whatever you decide, it all begins with noticing. Noticing how the people in your life make you feel and in turn how you relate to them.
This is the path of self-knowledge that empowers skilful living.
Harsha is a 1:1 coach and independent thinker based in London. He empowers people to find more clarity, confidence and focus in their lives — to cut through the noise, in a world so full of it. Harsha’s new book, Machine Ego: Tragedy of the Modern Mind, is now available in paperback and Kindle through Amazon.