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Distancing yourself from certain people, even toxic ones, can be difficult. But it’s absolutely necessary in certain situations. Jim Rohn once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. It’s crucial to surround yourself with uplifting, positive people and keep a healthy distance from toxic people who leave you feeling drained.
6 Cases for Distancing Yourself from Toxic People
If any of these apply to your relationships, please share this post on Facebook! It could start up a dialogue towards a healthier relationship!
1. The Negative Nancy
We all know that friend or family member who constantly gossips and talks trash about everyone they know. You might have even asked yourself, “I wonder if they talk about me that way to others?” The answer is, they most certainly do talk shit on you when you’re not around. I spent 13 years talking to a certain friend on the phone nearly every day until one day I realized how miserable I was when we hung up the phone. By keeping a healthy distance from negativity, you will most certainly have a better attitude.
2. The Mooch
I have a family member that, God bless him, is a complete and total mess. He wasn’t always that way, but somewhere along the line, he lost every bit of drive and work ethic he ever had. He calls everyone and hints about needing money for his family, his business ventures, etc. One time, a friend bought his kids an expensive Christmas gift, and because his son was snooping and found it in the closet, he sold the gift and kept the money. Any grown man who will steal from his kids isn’t worth helping (in my opinion). I finally realized he’s not my responsibility. As bad as I feel for his kids, it’s his own fault that they’re in the financial situation they’re in. I’ve tried offering advice about budgeting, business, job search ideas, you name it. But sometimes people don’t want your advice. They just want your money. In this case, I had to distance myself. I still talk to this person once in awhile, but I refuse to enable his poor behavior. You have to realize that while you think you may be helping them, you’re only setting them back further.
3. Meddling Family Members
I’m betting I’ve got a lot of friends who can relate to this. Are you constantly trying to live your life but find that your parents, in-laws, siblings, etc are “all up in your business”? It can become super unhealthy if you don’t create some distance either by moving or just having a conversation and letting them know that you’re going to live your life on your terms. Of course, we love these well-meaning (but annoying) family members. There’s a reason the Bible says, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24. Worry about your spouse and if you find that family members are trying to run your life, create some distance and focus on your own family. Contrary to what some in-laws may believe, you didn’t join your husband’s family (and vice versa) when you got married. You formed your own family. In-laws are just a bonus! 😉 Keeping a healthy distance from your in-laws and meddling family members isn’t a bad thing. It might even strengthen your relationship!
4. Toxic Co-Workers
Distancing yourself from toxic co-workers is tough…especially when you have to see them everyday. But no one deserves to be verbally (or otherwise) abused. Workplace bullying is a real thing, and sometimes it’s peers. Other times your boss is the problem. Know your worth, and don’t put up with people treating you like garbage. Don’t feed into the workplace gossip. You’re there to do a job…not to participate in office negativity. Speak to your boss or human resources department if you feel threatened at work. And if you feel like you can’t take it to the top, you probably shouldn’t be working there anyway.
The Joneses are broke, but they want everyone to think they’re better than you. Ya know that one guy who always tries to one-up everything you do? You just bought a Ford F-150 Extended Cab truck, so he goes out and buys a Ford F-350, Crew Cab a year model newer. You know the guy….we all know the guy. Don’t get wrapped up in keeping up appearances and comparing “stuff”. Many times, this guy is up to his ears in debt, and we all know that’s not going to get a person any closer to financial independence. You know your family needs more than anyone else. By distancing yourself from the Joneses, you’ll avoid disappointment and feeling like you’ve got to measure up. Because you don’t. Your life is just fine the way it is.
6. The Self-Absorbed, Narcissist Friend
I have a “friend” whom every time we get together, she spends the entire time talking about herself and her life and her kids and her in-laws. She doesn’t even stop to take a breath half the time. If you find yourself in friendships that seem one-sided, you might want to rethink spending time with this person.
Here are just a few examples of my instances with this friend:
- We’re sitting at a restaurant, and she says, “Oh, I’ve been talking about myself this whole time! How about you? What’s new?”….She then proceeds to cut me off mid-sentence (the first sentence) to change the subject back to her.
- We’re in the car on the way to a yard sale, and I turn to her when we get a second of silence, and I say, “I need some advice.”….And (I couldn’t make this up)…she immediately looks at me with such crazy eyes and starts gossiping about her mother and father in law.
- She texted me asking what me and the kids were doing the next day. I responded that “It’s been a terrible past 24 hours. I don’t know what we’re doing tomorrow”. And you know what she said? “Ok…Didn’t know what you guys were doing Friday or Saturday if you guys wanted to come over Saturday evening for fireworks and to swim”.
Dude…no, I don’t want to come over. I want a friend to listen to my struggles, to ask me about how my family is and my life is and to listen. If you have a friend like this, you can have a conversation with them about it, but it probably won’t change anything. Give it a shot. See if they even realize they’re so self-absorbed.
Conclusion and Invitation
It’s okay to distance yourself from these certain types of people. Just remember, you do need to have some really good friends to lean on in difficult times and also to make memories with. Make sure you have a close-knit tribe, or a bestie, and make sure they know that you love them and you value their friendship.
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Life is a collection of memories and experiences. There are ups and downs. I am so grateful for God’s grace and am on the journey to a renewed spirit, free of perfectionism. Perfection Hangover offers the sober truth – no filter.