Yes, I know – I went there! But hear me out!
You see, for years, I thought there were some people in my life who were just ‘difficult’, who had their own way of doing things or whose values didn’t align to my own. But who was I to judge? What made me right and them wrong?
And then I realised, it’s not a question of being right or wrong. There are some people who just bring negative energy, bad vibes or can drain any spark of positivity by their mere presence. We all have one or two in our lives.
I thought they were a fixture and just something I had to put up with. Until I realised the effect they had on me.
I had two main reactions. Either I became very morose and negative myself. Or bizarrely, in an effort to combat negativity, I became like a high-octane version of Pollyanna, determined to see the bright side of everything.
Both were exhausting!
So, I had to do something. It wasn’t anything too radical – just a gradual pulling away, a refusal to get sucked into the ‘life is terrible, woe is me’ scenarios, make more of an effort to listen sympathetically but not get too immersed in situations I ultimately had no control over. Occasionally – very seldom – I needed to walk away completely.
I know that sounds a bit harsh and that is the main reason why it took me literally years to do anything about it. I thought I had a responsibility to them, or perhaps it was a mis-placed sense of loyalty, especially to those I had known for some time.
But you know what? I also have a responsibility to myself – to live the best life I can, contributing and growing to the best of my ability. I am responsible for the energy I surround myself with. Sometimes, being near negativity is inevitable, but I don’t have to actively invite it into my life.
Now, I’d rather declutter 20 rooms than 1 toxic relationship. It’s difficult and upsetting. But not as difficult and upsetting as continuing to live with it. Physical decluttering is a walk in the park compared to tackling this. But the more I declutter my physical surroundings, the more glaringly obvious it is to me that so much of my real clutter is emotional.
Have a toxic-free week 😊