People who value their happiness commit to creating a loving environment. They do this by steering clear of toxic people and things. In this excerpt from Chapter 7 of Color Your Life Happy: Create Your Unique Path and Claim Your Joy, discover three ways you can do what happy people do.
Avoid letting toxic people bring you down
Toxic people always make you feel unhappy, depressed, discouraged, and tired. They enjoy dumping their negative stories, adventures, complaints, and fault-finding on you. Once they do, you may notice that they seem relieved, maybe even relaxed and cheerful, but that’s only because they’ve given you their poison. If you tried to comfort them, maybe they sucked up some of your positivity and left you empty.
Psychic vampires are not good for us if we want to be happy people. The problem is that after they’ve gone away, you’re still feeling down and their negative energy is still reverberating through your home (and life.)
Just as you wouldn’t knowingly expose your family to harmful viruses, poison ivy, or caustic fumes, don’t unknowingly expose them to the negativity of toxic people and psychic vampires. While it may be true that the ones you know are suffering from mental problems, it isn’t your job to cure them, and you certainly can’t drag them to therapy.
You owe it to yourself and your family to keep these toxic people away because there is no way to have them in your space without being poisoned by their negativity. This is true even if some of your relatives fall into this unfortunate group. While it’s tougher keeping negative relatives away, it’s critical to your happiness.
Draw clear boundaries
Drawing clear boundaries is one way to keep these folks away. Maintaining your positive attitude and countering their negative talk with positive talk is another way. But for the hardcore bottom feeders who only get pleasure from releasing evil thoughts and behavior, you may have to tell them clearly and in easy-to-understand language that they are not welcome in your home (and life).
I used to lament the fact that I only saw certain relatives at funerals and never socialized with them otherwise. As I grew older and wiser, I realized that there was a good reason for that. They were toxic, and I didn’t want my children exposed to the ones who enjoyed dredging up painful events, gossiping about whoever was absent from the gathering, and reveled in recounting how that person had cheated, hurt, or maligned someone.
Fortunately, they didn’t want to be around my efforts to be cheerful, positive, and happy, so we stayed apart.
A friend of mine who was a social psychologist once told me that when you feel bad after having been in someone’s company, you have just been emotionally abused.
Choose carefully the company you keep
Toxic people certainly have a right to live their lives as they wish, but so do you. Make a decision to invite positive and uplifting people into your home and your life. Expose your family to people who are living wonderful, inspiring, and engaging lives. You didn’t get to choose your relatives, but you can choose the company you keep. If some of your relatives aren’t people you want to spend time with, love them from a distance.
This is an excerpt from Chapter 7, "Harmonizing Family and Work" in Color Your Life Happy: Create Your Unique Path and Claim the Joy You Deserve, 2nd edition. Pre-order your copy(ies) at http://coloryourlifehappy.com before October 3rd and receive an autographed copy after the book is released on Amazon and other major booksellers.
How do you keep toxic people from poisoning your environment or mood? Tell us about it in the comments.