Welcome to Living A Boss Life where our main goal is to help empower you to live the best life you deserve. Today I want to show you how to identify toxic relationships in your life with 3 easy steps. Once we can identify toxic people we can learn how to deal with how they affect our lives and how to empower ourselves to know that we deserve more.
When we identify toxic relationships we enable ourselves to realize that this is not beneficial to our wellbeing and this, in turn, gives us an opportunity to build confidence.
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Hi, I’m your coach Jenn Summers! I’m the owner of LivingABossLife.com & The Living A Boss Life Tribe Academy where you can find all of our resources and courses. Helping you live confidently, happily and with clarity. Love your guts!
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How to identify toxic relationships in your life
In order to identify toxic relationships in your life, I want to help you gain some clarity on what or whom they may look like in your life. It is not always easy to identify toxic people when we have become accustomed to this way of thinking about our entire life. Sometimes the pain of letting them go is worse than the pain of putting up with their negative effects on us.
Do you have toxic people in your life?
When we identify toxic relationships in our lives we have a few questions to take into account. Do you have toxic people in your life?
Someone who does not have your best interest at heart?
Someone who time and time again hurts you leaving you feel like you are done and need to escape?
I think we all have at least one person in our lives that is toxic to us to some degree.
The person you call to share some wonderful news and they shit on it and make you feel worthless and foolish.
The person who always points out the mistake you made rather than see the achievement you accomplished.
The person who is telling you how you should run your life, what you should and should not do.
The person who intentionally goes out of their way to ruin your relationships.
The person who sets up roadblocks to see you fail rather than succeed.
Do you have someone (a toxic person) in your life that fits any of the above?
I DID, and I have worked very hard to remove them from my life and my family’s lives. I have completely removed some on every level, others I have very limited contact with or set clear boundaries. this was the best act of self-care I have ever given myself.
Now, I’m not telling you that you need to kick their asses to the curb and not look back.
That decision takes a lot of consideration and sitting down and working it out to the best of your ability.
I know you must be wondering what tipped me over the edge and who I cut out of my life. But in all honesty that has no bearings on what I am really striving to explain today.
I will tell you this, there are many things that happened in my life that destroyed me over and over again and I always got back up and kept moving forward because I’m resilient as all F*&%.
I did not distance myself from many of the ones who caused me pain for years. Heck, I still looked to them for guidance. I had still sought their approval for years.
Then I became a mother.
I became a mother to a beautiful little girl and things started to change. However, they did not change in their entirety. I was so conditioned to believe I deserved this toxicity. That toxic relationships were a way of living in this world. Everyone must have toxic relationships in their lives right?
Then I became a mother to two very sick babies and things started to change even more.
I changed. I became a fierce mother fighting for my daughter’s survival.
I did things for my children I never would have thought I had the strength to do. I stood my ground to authority and I screamed on rooftops for help. Things I never imagined I could do. Things I never imagined I had the strength to endure and survive.
My heart changed, my pride changed, my advocacy grew, but most of all my strength.
It did not happen overnight, I still allowed certain people to hurt me for a few more years. I still allowed them to have control over me and how I felt about who I was.
Then one day something happened. Something I knew that I had to change in order to protect my children.
Yes, that’s right I did it for my children before I did it for myself.
I still was not brave enough to protect myself. I was stronger but not strong enough for myself yet. I did not know how important it was to love myself first and foremost.
But I love my girls so much I would do anything for them, I would walk on lava for them, I would literally give them my heart if they needed it. And in that love, I have great strength.
That strength is so great I can protect myself in the same shield of protecting them.
Was it easy cutting these toxic relationships from our lives?
The simple answer… F*&% no!
It is never easy to cut toxic people out especially when these toxic relationships are large part of your life and your children’s lives.
It was a life I grew up in and was conditioned to believe the torment was as natural as breathing.
It was the only life I knew how to live. It was a life that was instilled upon me my entire life.
It was all I knew.
How do you know if you need to let them go?
Ask yourself some basic questions
- How often do they leave me feeling hurt?
- Do they intentionally try to hurt me?
- Are they constantly negative?
- Do they have the power to kill my joy?
- Do they bring me joy?
- What do I feel when I see their number on my phone?
- If I’m happy and joyful can they leave me feeling negative in just one short conservation?
- On a scale of 1-10, how does this relationship make me feel?
As you may have noticed all of the above questions are questioning the feelings that these possible toxic people have in your life.
I have good news for you, you have the ability to control your feelings!
Now that you have asked yourself some basic questions, make a list of the pros and cons these people play in your life.
Once you have completed the list, assign a number from 1-10 on the strength in which each item on your list leaves you to feel empowered.
1 being the least amount empowered meaning you feel this is something you do not want in your life.
10 being the utmost empowerment meaning something in your life that makes you feel great strength and love.
Add up the tally and evaluate which is the most empowering.
Do the pros outweigh the cons of the toxic people in your life?
Now that you see this in a new light and have been able to identify the strength this toxic person has in your life it will help you decide what to do later on. If you are still unsure I have another method to help you identify toxic people in your life.
Do you need more clarity in order to identify toxic people in your life?
I want you to think of a person you love dearly and would do anything to protect. It can be your child(ren), your spouse, your best friend, etc.
Someone who you feel protective over. Someone who you love with every fibre of your being.
Remember that person you chose and put them aside for a minute.
Envisioning a past experience of toxicity.
Now, I want you to think of a person who you feel is toxic in your life. The person you identified in the above steps. If you have more than one. Do this activity for each separately.
Envision the last time this person hurt you, truly envision the situation. Choose a specific moment and situation.
Close your eyes and ask yourself the following.
- What was happening around you?
- Where were you?
- What were you feeling before the climax of the situation?
- What were you feeling at the peak of the climax?
- What were you left feeling at the end of the situation?
- Did you cry?
- Did you scream?
- Did you become silent and withdrawn?
- How did it affect the rest of your day?
- Did it change your perspective from the beginning of the situation to the end of the situation?
Now replace YOU with the person you love dearly that you thought of at the beginning of this activity. The person you would walk through fire for.
Put them in that exact situation you just played out in your head. Start at the beginning and play it through.
- What are you feeling as your loved one goes through the peak of the climax?
- What are you feeling as they are left with the situation and the aftermath they feel?
- How do you feel watching them go through this?
- Are you outraged by the pain this person just caused your loved one?
Often times we lose the ability to love ourselves enough to identify toxic people in our own lives.
Changing Perspective To Identify Toxic People
Sometimes we need to replace ourselves with someone we feel strongly protective over to gain the clarity to see how much pain this person has caused us.
When I put my daughters into one of the past experiences I had I did not even need to play it out in my head.
It was a complete no brainer. I could completely identify toxic people in my life using this method.
I would never allow that person to do what they did to me to my children. NEVER!
Just that change of perspective on one situation out of so many was the turning point.
Reframing and envisioning someone I have complete love for in place of myself and my whole view changed.
Yet, I had allowed that toxic person to destroy me my entire life, to hold power over me.
I’m not sure I knew until then, that I did not love myself enough to cut the toxicity from my life.
I have learnt so very much since then. With much work, I have learnt that I am someone who deserves to love themselves with every fibre of my being. I’m not talking about egotistical, I’m talking about self-love and confidence.
Our Lives, My Life changed completely!
Now before this turns into a novel, long story short, I cut out these people from our lives and we began our lives as a family of 5 with every intention to protect ourselves from toxicity. So what happened?
Honestly, I can not even begin to tell you all of the good things that have happened in my life since I cut them out from ours.
So much good, so much happiness and when I look back it was like a light switch.
I remember the exact moment I decided to stop the toxicity.
I remember the moment I decided I needed to love myself enough to remove the toxic people from my life.
I remember the wave of change washing over me and I could envision a life without them in it and it was so much more freeing and stable.
What to do now that you know how to identify toxic people in your life?
Now, not every relationship is quite that toxic and not every relationship will need to come to a complete end.
The situation I used is very extreme. But I wanted to prove my point and get it across in a powerful way.
Sometimes we have people who are just too negative all the time but we still want them in our lives.
Now is a great time to change those relationships.
Our lives have all changed drastically in the past weeks and the world is full of negativity right now because, well, that is just how things play out when we are in times of uncertainty.
But, you do not have to allow that toxicity to bring you down.
You can begin to limit contact with these people who hurt you.
You can distance yourself from their reach.
You do not need to cut them out completely in every situation.
When our lives get disrupted as they have right now it is easier to change our everyday habits and behaviours.
It is easier to break the cycles when we have been forced to change direction by a major event in our lives.
Perhaps you can instill some positivity in their lives too. You obviously have some amount of love for the person you are considering to be a toxic person in your life. If not they would not be in your life.
Or maybe you just need to take a break from them right now. Sometimes some distance is all we need on a short-term basis. Sometimes that distance needs to be more long term.
If it needs to be more of a long term basis then how can you limit your contact with them?
What can you do to not allow toxic people to hurt you?
These people may not have your best interest at heart but they are someone you will have in your life forever if that is what you have deemed necessary. In which case, you can protect yourself by not sharing things with them that they have proven to use to hurt you in the past.
Assess your past situations with them so that you can plan prevention from future hurt.
Brainstorm what went wrong and what hurt you in the past. Was there something you could have done to prevent it? Is there something you should no longer trust them with? Are you ready to tell them how they have made you feel?
Empowering one’s self to know they do not believe this treatment is essential.
Did the pros outweigh the cons now that you know how to identify toxic people?
Can you start to rebuild the relationship with new boundaries?
Sit down and use the questions and methods above if you need some help to gain courage and clarity. Once you identify toxic people in your life you can then begin to save yourself from that negative, restrictive influence. Use one of the methods above to help protect yourself from future pain and move towards self-love.
What happens when the toxic people you are trying to escape are inside your own head?
Sometimes the toxic person in our life lives in our very own head. Our fixed mindset can be just as toxic if not more than the toxic people in our lives.
If you feel
- stuck in a rut,
- you lack confidence,
- you can’t find the clarity,
- you don’t have what it takes,
- fear of taking action
then this Complimentary Module will help you to empower your awareness so you can feel
In my Complimentary Empowering Self-Awareness course, I teach you the foundation to empower yourself to a better life.
- You will learn exactly what a fixed mindset and a growth mindset is.
- I help you to raise awareness of your fixed mindset and how it affects you and when it rears its head.
- In the course, you will learn how to reframe negative thinking to empower yourself to live a more positive life.
- You will learn how to uncover the lies your mindset tells you that hinder your success.
- I will teach you the importance of forgiving yourself for past experiences that have altered your mind into negative thinking.
I want you to love yourself so much that your heart fills with joy when you look in the mirror!
Actionable Step: Identify toxic people in your life
I hope that you have been able to identify toxic people in your life and have some clarity on how it affects you.
It is time to act now, whether you sign up for the free course above or whether you use the tools in this post, the time to change your life is now!
I think you may also like our how to retrain your brain to nurture positivity post!
Identifying what holds you back is the first step to achieving the greatness you are destined for.
Stay safe wherever you are and know that I am thinking of you.
Drop me a comment below or reach out to me in The Living A Boss Life Tribe Facebook Group and let me know if you were able to identify toxic people you feel you have in your life.
Please do not ever feel you can not reach out to me.
I’m always here for you,
We can and we will get through this together!
Love your guts!
Take care and chat soon;
Living A Boss Life