Let go of relationships that you cannot improve

toxic influences

Let go of relationships that you cannot improve

Chitra is a highly-qualified investment banker. After specialising in finance post marriage, she started her own consultancy and earned remarkable success and recogition.

This made many of her friends and family members jealous. They were often sarcastic or mean to her at parties and family gatherings. They constantly put her down to make themselves look better in the eyes of other people.

Among such people was Chitra’s husband who had not done so well for himself. Not a day went by without him verbally and emotionally hurting her, but he had no qualms in taking advantage of the luxurious lifestyle that her impressive income made possible. Also, to complete Chitra’s trauma, her son and daughter fought among themselves to get most of her wealth.

Like Chitra, countless Indian women tolerate toxic friends and family members because they fear loneliness. They put themselves through the stress of maintaining such relationships so that they can maintain the image of a happy community.

We need to remember that we are in charge of safeguarding our peace of mind. To that end, we need to carefully screen the people that we commit to spend time with. Break the pattern of emotional abuse and let go of relationships that you can never improve.

Accept that they are bad for you

The first step towards getting rid of such relationships is accepting that they have the potential to ruin your life and happiness. This acceptance makes you wary around such people, hence protecting you from the traps they lay at every turn. They want to provoke you more than anything else. Strive to maintain nothing more than a formal relationship with them and do not share personal information about your life and ventures that they can use against you.

Understand that in most cases, your success makes these people uncomfortable. So, they want to destroy what they cannot build. Expect that they will try to sabotage your plans. Calling them out on their behaviour helps you control, manage or negate the damage they try to cause.

Recognise toxic people

Learn to recognise these demons in disguise. They are foes in the garb of friends who undermine you constantly. You need to be able to identify them and keep them at a safe distance at all times.

You have the right to set boundaries with the people in your life. However, toxic people tend to cross the line at every chance and do it without remorse or regret. They often drain you with their demands made under the guise of friendship. They interfere in your affairs when you need to be left alone. But they are almost never there when you need a friend or supporter.

They always need to be right. They love saying ‘Didn’t I tell you?’ when you’re down in the dumps. They play mind games and lie to get what they want. Most of them demand power and attention because they are male, rich, experienced, helpless or just know how to solve problems. Many of them are permanently angry or dissatisfied with their own lives that they feel the need to constantly boss other people around saying, “I know best”.

Here are some suggestions to control or remove such demons from our lives:

Keep such ‘friends’ away – They will create obstacles in the path to your goals. They love to argue to defeat you somehow and you would be a fool to give them the opportunity.

Make important decisions using your own judgment. Do not allow them to lead you to disastrous decisions. Remember, they want to stymie your progress or simply keep you on the edge to satisfy their ego. You should not lose confidence due to their talk-down tactics.

Do not become like them. If you spend a lot of time arguing with them, you could become like them, at least temporarily – brash, slimy or temperamental – with your real friends who supported you through thick and thin.

Never give them access to your professional or personal life. Keep conversations with them inconsequential. Meet them in public so they cannot get personal and satisfy their idle curiosity. Block them on social media. If they get aggressive, feel free to say bye and leave.

Under no circumstances should you argue with such a person. This is exactly what they want you to do. Trying to have a healthy debate with them is impossible.

Once you succeed in controlling the menace, stick to the decision and share your space only with true friends.

It becomes incredibly complicated when the ‘hidden demon’ is a member of your family. The best way to deal with this is to keep them at a distance. With our dignity intact, we can offer them good conversation and hospitality. But any discussions of unpleasant nature are a no-no.

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