… And how they Can Change the Trajectory of Your Entire Life
Scene Setter: You are with a group, it could be a family get together, a group of co-workers in a meeting, or with a group of your friends at game night. It is awesome, everyone is having a great time. Conversation is flowing, stress is low, and then that one person – the same one it always is – loses their temper or makes a selfish proclamation that squashes further conversation, basically a complete change in atmosphere.
The opposite is also true when you think of that one person who walks in to a room and positive energy flows for everyone, they actually lift the whole mood of the room. This is an example to demonstrate that you do NOT have a choice if people have power in your life – they do. You do have a choice about what kind of power they will have. Be very deliberate with who you allow in your world and learn to set appropriate boundaries. Setting proper boundaries will help you take the necessary steps to reduce negativity, drama, pain and stress. Choose people who lift you up, cheer you on and make you believe you are capable of more. Choose people who also have high expectations of themselves.
The Startling Effect Other People Have On You.
In a book by Dr. Henry Cloud, The Power of the Other: The startling effect other people have on you from the boardroom, to the bedroom, and beyond, he lays out some of the variables that change, depending on who is in your life. Here are a few of the variables:
- How long you live
- If you reach your goals or not
- How much money you will make
- How well your kids will do in school
- How much you trust people
- How you cope with stress and failure
- What mood you are in
- How much physical pain you experience
- How and what you think
There are few types of people who will change the entire trajectory of your life as much as a romantic partner. Love is good and right when you are with a true partner who will work with you on common goals and plans and is willing support your individual dreams and goals. You also support them, as you move through life. There is no question, if you are patient and wait for this type of partner, and pass on the selfish, brooding, drama-filled or controlling love, that your life will move forward faster than you can say, “I do.” This type of love is worth waiting for, you will change SO MUCH between the ages of 20-30 years old, and it will be really easy to make a mistake if you decide you have to get married in your early 20s. I am not saying those marriages can’t work, I am just saying that they are A LOT harder, for many, many reasons.
Even as late as 20-30 years ago, when women were just rising in the workforce, it was very common for girls to think they were supposed to graduate from high school and get married, that is a powerful cultural expectation that is starting to shift, but it still happens a lot. If you are young, especially if you are still in high school or college and you feel like you should have a serious boyfriend, but don’t have one yet – coming from someone who has lived 2-3 times longer than you – your life will be MUCH happier if you are single than if you settle for a boyfriend who is not right for you. This is even if they are nice. If you think you made a mistake and get stuck in a relationship, you will feel like a prisoner in your own home.
The Delany sisters were quoted in a New York times article. With the death of their youngest sister, Laura, in 1993, they were the last survivors among their parents’ children. When asked in a 1993 interview if she could account for her and her sister’s longevity, Dr. Delany replied, “Honey, we never married; we never had husbands to worry us to death.”As for mortality, she said, “I haven’t been afraid to live, and I won’t be afraid to die.”
I am not saying to join the man-haters club, I am not saying to never date, or even to stay single forever – none of that. I am only asking you to treat yourself like a queen! DO not settle, wait – even if you think you are 25 years old and it feels like you will be 92 years old tomorrow, be patient – the right love will come and it will be so worth it when it does.
It is possible that the toxic people you have to deal with, in your life, will be your own family. Family dynamics can be very difficult for a number of reasons. First, if you have anything you are holding on to from your childhood, try to forgive your parents – in most cases, they were doing the best they could, at the time. If they were the cause of something traumatic, then please seek out professional help to work through the issues so you can move forward as unencumbered as possible.
In a lot of cases, the biggest problem is that appropriate boundaries have not been set, and parents or other family members may try to impose their opinions on you, or even manipulate and control you, using their relationship. When this is your close family, this can be very hard because it gets very emotional. It will be hard, but you must set boundaries. If they are going to yell, or spew venom, you tell them, very clear headed and without emotion, “I am not going to discuss this issue with you like this, I think we need a break, and I am going to leave (or hang up the phone) for now. We can discuss what is at the root of this issue, later – at a less emotional time.” You can give them a chance to calm down if you like, or let them say goodbye, but if the drama continues – you need to end the conversation, no exceptions.
If you stick to this, talking to them when they are reasonable and supportive will be a good thing and when they slip back into toxic mode, you calmly end the conversation. Eventually – they will either modify their behavior, or they will miss out on your life. Especially if you are 100% independent and taking care of yourself – no one has the right to bring their poisonous attitude into your life. You can take control of relationships like this and you will find freedom when you do. This is another very strong reason to get yourself financially independent as quickly as you can.
Why do we keep people in our lives when we know they need to go?
- We wonder if we are wrong about the person, we question what we do know
- We think we can fix people
- We are afraid of life after this person (who took SO much time) is gone
- We know we are going to be sad, and know there will be challenges moving forward
- We might hurt that person
- We don’t think we are capable of actually ending it
- We are afraid we will make the same mistake again
In the book, “Necessary Endings,” by Dr. Henry Cloud, he uses the analogy of a rosebush and that you need to prune the unneeded or unwanted parts so that you can focus your energy on where you want to go. He gives the example of three areas to prune on a rosebush and these relate to three different types of endings you may have to consider in your life:
- Healthy buds or branches that are not the best ones,
- Sick branches that are not going well, and
- Dead branches that are taking up space needed for the healthy ones to thrive.
Dr. Cloud discusses three things you should accept to help with your decisions to end certain relationships:
- Life is full of cycles and seasons
- Life produces too much life, and
- incurable sickness and evil do exist.
Here are some tips on how to deal with toxic people – in a healthy way
Set Boundaries – Work out what is important to youand make sure you don’t budge on it.
Treat others with respect, maintain your composure – Do not lower yourself to the level of the toxic person you are dealing with. Remain calm and let others see toxic people for what they are.
Don’t trust a toxic person – They will remember everything you say and they will throw it back at you. My grandma used to tell me, you don’t have to tell people anything you don’t want them to know. (And remember – apply this idea to Social media!)
Do not let a toxic person dump all their problems on you – Do not spend hours listening to a toxic person go on and on about everything that has gone wrong or the people who have betrayed them. You will only feel worse and they will not change. You cannot help them, something is wrong deep inside them, and unless they realize they are willing to admit they need help, there is nothing you can do. Toxic people enjoy being a victim, they enjoy being angry. Save your energy for people who make you feel better, not worse.
Be firm – toxic people want their own way at any cost. You will need to stand your ground when dealing with them. If you’re not giving them what they want, they’ll try all kinds of underhand and emotionally manipulating tactics to get it. So be prepared and be firm.
Conclusion: It is time to take control of YOUR Life
Remember, if you want to be a woman who is successful and is ready to take on the world, it is very important to decide who YOU allow in your world. Who do you already have in your life and with whom do you need to make some changes? The sooner you take the steps to make the changes, the sooner you will be on the path to be who YOU want to be.