Article Contributed By: Diane Marion Eunice (aka DE)
Diane Marion Eunice is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She has had a private practice specializing in RelationShift Counseling and Consulting Services for eight years. She’s also a Radio Co-host, Motivational Speaker, and Life Transformationist who is passionate about inspiring others to Live, Love and Enjoy their best lives.
There are four seasons that occur throughout the year; yet, spring seems to be the one we look forward to the most. During the spring months, there is a vibe in the air — one of rejuvenation, renewal or rebirth. We see this during the transformation of leaves as they turn from dull brown to emerald green, and with the weather, as it turns from harsh cold climates to crisp sunny climates that elicit a smile, once we step into it. In fact, as the environment changes, so do we. We’ll shed the heavy winter clothing and start rummaging through our closets for lighter and more colorful clothing. Thus, the initiation of the infamous annual spring cleaning ritual begins. As we start in our closets, we’ll stand in the mirror and try on several articles of clothing, and probably laugh, while we squeeze them over our heads, lie on the bed to button or zip them up, stretch the elastic on some and pop buttons on others. You all know what I’m talking about! (I’m smiling)
Sometimes, it is hard to let go of things that once served a purpose in our lives. For instance, we may be in denial or reject the notion that our clothes no longer fit; and then, we often reminisce about when they looked good on us and had sentimental value. We’ll go so far as to convince ourselves that we’ll be able to wear them again with a few alterations of the garment or ourselves; thinking, we can’t believe we bought clothes and end up having to donate them. But ironically, if we feel that way about clothing, can you imagine how difficult it is to let go of people in our lives, who like the clothes, no longer serve us well?
You see, spring cleaning is not always easy when it comes to people because we can get so attached to the ideal of SOMEDAY we’ll need that person again. In other words, we will justify, deny, compromise, defend, excuse, pretend, procrastinate and refuse to accept the reality that a change is needed. Truthfully, as it relates to clothes, it’s so easy to slip into something old and worn because it’s familiar, comfortable, and doesn’t require any maintenance. Likewise, we hold onto people for the same reasons. In fact, we tend to accept a person whether the relationship is functional or not. Keep in mind, a relationship can be a friend, family member, boss or significant other. And for most people, stepping out of their comfort zone can be scary, which is more of a reason why they allow the person to stay in their life.
With that said, just like with clothes, there has to be a change in your mindset in order to eliminate the things or people that are out of alignment with who you’re striving to become. So often, we cling to people out of guilt, fear, and a sense of obligation or because we have convinced ourselves we don’t know who we would be without them; but the question should be, Why not be who we’re supposed to be without them?
During spring cleaning, we are moving furniture around, cleaning blinds and ceiling fans, washing baseboards, and shampooing carpets. When we’re finished, we smile at our Lysol smelling accomplishments because we are clutter-free, and have a fresh start. With spring in the air, we can feel the positive vibes everywhere. Imagine what would happen if we exerted the same amount of energy with re-evaluating and cleaning toxic people from our lives, so our lives can be clutter-free of people’s negativity, drama, and judgments. For starters, we have to stop accepting “constructive” criticism from people who haven’t constructed anything, and learn to disregard other people’s toxic opinions about our lives and journeys. However, before we get to that point, we have to delve deep within ourselves, below the surface, to examine our own deep-seated, unhealthy beliefs, and toxic behavior patterns that keep us going back to people who are out of alignment with our purpose.
In essence, it’s about digging beneath the surface and dissecting your story, and that means unpacking any unhealed emotional baggage and trauma with the thought in mind that we attract others at the level of our self-esteem. So, until you get honest about yourself and do your own personal transformational work, then toxic people will continue to have a place in your life.
Here are 6 signs that a person is toxic:
- They are unsupportive of your dreams and goals and employ tactics; such as, using discouragement, manipulation, criticism and your insecurities to keep you under control. This can stem from them being jealous and self-absorbed, as well. For example, they may say “How is your LITTLE business plans going?”
- You can’t be the best version of yourself around them because you don’t know if it’s acceptable to them. And sometimes, you feel guilty if they are not where they want to be.
- There is no reciprocity – it seems like you’re the one consistently pouring into them and being what they need you to be when they need it. You are always compromising and giving more than taking, which results in a deficit for you.
- They are inconsistent in word and deed.
- They carry around emotional baggage and unresolved issues, and project them on to you in order to escape accountability.
- You start feeling anxious whenever they are around because of their negative vibes and energy.
For this reason, it’s time to take back your power, so they can no longer interfere with your growth. You deserve a life that represents your highest self, and this may require loving people from a distance and implementing boundaries.
If you have people in your life who criticize your goals and ambitions, put you down, spread negative energy and project their own shortcomings on to you, then they are not your people. If you find yourself shrinking who you are to make other people comfortable, compromising your standards and values, settling for less than you desire, constantly questioning who you are when with them, then they are not your people. Your happiness should be non-negotiable.
Remember that being uncomfortable is part of the process, but you have to move forward anyway. As you continue to grow, you will find that Everyone Can’t Go With You. The vision for your life is just that – YOURS – it was not given to anyone else. You have to know when their chapter in “your story” is over.
Spring cleaning means more than just environmental changes. It also refers to the renewal, hope and growth of SELF. When we rid our lives of toxic people, we not only have the resilience to survive, but we have the ability to thrive and live a purpose driven life.
If you have questions or want to reach out for more information, her contact info is below:
- Facebook Group – “Off the Couch” Therapist Corner Straight Talk, No Chaser – Join group to discuss all things relationships! No relationship topics are off limits! Over 500 members are having open, meaningful dialogues everyday about how to be a better version of themselves in their relationships!
- Facebook Page – DE Speaks
- Facebook Business Page – RelationShift Counseling and Consulting Services
- Professional Page – Diane Marion Eunice on www.psychologytoday.com
** She can also be reached at: 682-201-8175