'Ello There Dahlings!
So this month we are all about introducing different detoxes in our lives so we can make room and develop the path to The New You. What better way to recognize this journey than to recognize if you're indeed attracting toxic relationships, and if so, how can you kick 'em to the curb for good. There's also a super dope and informative worksheet below that you should download, print, and work on asap. Ready to work are we?!
I woke up one morning very recently and started thinking about how far I'd come in the past year. I mean it completely hit me, like a slap across the face. I was stunned really; perhaps even shocked that I was THAT woman a year ago. And by THAT woman, I just mean someone that I didn't recognize or even realize that I'd become. Who had I become you ask? I'd become a young woman afraid of her greatness, that's who. I was cowering in my own shadow and afraid to be myself. I was lost in the rapture of being someone else's opinion of me, and I didn't see a way out. I found myself unfocused and confused about what I was doing and where I was headed, while constantly asking folks for permission to LIVE. It was like a constant haze for me and truthfully I was miserable #AF (I think you guys can figure this one out).
Are you there right now?
It wasn't until I ended an emotionally draining relationship with a guy that I worked with (don't make my dumbass mistake! It can get soooo messy), that I realized a certain level of toxicity had been lifted from my life. I mean this guy was a real piece of work ya'll, and as soon as we called it quits, I literally started to wear color in my wardrobe. Seriously. I was in mourning over my life before him, and didn't even realize it. Three years with this dude, and I was finally free! So it got me thinking.
What other relationships in my life are toxic and bringing me down?
Am I attracting toxic relationships in my life? If so how can I stop attracting these toxic pests for good?
I'm going to give you the 11 steps I used to detoxify my life from people who would bring any person down, and put you in a permanent state of negativity, or what I like to call an Energy Mourning (#EnergyMourning).
11 Steps To Help Detoxify Your Relationships
(And How to Get Rid of Your #EnergyMourning For Good)
+ a super cool detox relationship worksheet
1. Lists, Lists, and more Lists!!!
Start by making a list of the people you interact with on a regular basis, and ask yourself what purpose do they serve in my life (i.e. your family, friends, associates, and acquaintances).
Think about the relationship you hold with each person. Is it helpful or hurtful to your growth in your opinion? Do they build you up or just tear you down? Do you find yourself feeling negative or positive when you speak to each person? These are all questions you should be asking yourself when you go over each relationship.
Next, it can be extremely helpful to think about if you're the one putting the majority of effort into maintaining the relationship. If you find yourself making all the calls or text, and putting maximum effort into prolonging the relationship, you may be in a relationship that isn't helping you achieve your greatness, perhaps perpetuating life toxicity. This isn't about keeping score of who calls who or who responds to text and email fastest, this is about commitment. Think about where yours lies and where the other person's lies.
Lastly, ask yourself WHY. Why are you in this relationship? How is it benefiting you and what are you getting out of it? What are they getting out of it? The answers are in the WHY.
And since we are on the topic of relationships...
2. (PARTNER), LET ME UPGRADE YOU
Upgrade your relationships. This isn't about your ego or SHEGO, its about building your life up and the supportive system you need in place to make it stick.
Some of the best advice my brother gave me was to surround myself with friends that have accomplished more than I have. He said, "Sis you've got to have friends that are doing bigger and better things than you're. Having people you speak to on a regular basis like this consciously and sub-consciously forces you to strive for more. It almost makes you want to have a sense of competition about it..." And it's so true. If you're the dopest person in your group of friends and associates, FIND A NEW GROUP. If you're trying to reach those brilliant and awesome goals of yours, you've got to sometimes trim the proverbial fat around the edges in order to slip into that new bodycon attitude of yours. Remember growth is the key here and you'd be a fool to think that you couldn't benefit from hanging around people who are 'goal diggers'.
If making nicey nicey with new friends is an uncomfortable and nerve-racking task for you, check out my post here- What a 3-year old can teach us about making new friends.
3. Don't Be a Bore
Sometimes in order to build up your life, you have to be willing to tear it all down and re-build.
It's so easy to rest in your comfort zone. You know that warm, typical, known space that you go to when you're scared to move. [Don't act like I'm not speaking directly to you, doll] GET OUT OF THAT SPACE, NOW!!! I know it may seem scary and you not wanting change or not wanting to walk into that unknown territory and take a chance can be anxiety provoking, but I'm going to let you in on a little secret... You know that breakthrough that you're hoping for, that goal that you're wanting to accomplish? Well it's right on the other side of your comfort zone. Tear apart YOUR normal, and focus on creating a NEW NORMAL. You've got to get rid of those bad and typical habits you've developed over time that are holding you back and causing toxicity in your life, and build new and positive habits to grow accustomed to.
4. Maximum Exposure
Expose yourself to positive messages everyday. And yes that means errrday!
Exposing yourself to positive messages everyday, especially within the first 20 minutes of you rising each day will do wonders for your outlook on life, and overall energy levels. These positive messages are really helpful in the form of sound and visual media. Listening to inspirational speeches first thing in the morning as I'm getting ready has changed my life. I'm literally getting ready for the day mentally, emotionally, and physically by doing this each day without fail. In a way it's truly getting me 'hyped up' for my day and puts me in a great space. I notice a huge difference in my mood when I don't do this and try to start the day. Pitty party of one your table is ready :(
It's also a great idea to read at least 15 minutes a day of positive messages. And no IG doesn't count. I mean REAL reading... like from a book. You need to visually see and process positive messages and thinking in print form. The way we absorb information visually [as in reading], is a completely different way of processing information given to us if we were say watching something. Coincidentally its similar to the way we process information that we listen to. Don't play a game of telephone on this tip though ;-D
Want some ideas for exposing yourself to positive messages? Try these on for size.
5. Don't Make That Face!
Save the resting b*tch face for the flashing bulbs on the red carpet.
Not sure what it is but when you smile, the whole world seems brighter (Awwwwww). No really, it does though. And naturally a smile is a deterrent for those frowning face folks. Have you ever been around someone when you're SUPER over-the-moon happy, smiling ear to ear, perhaps hearing birds singing in your ears whimsically, while they're having a bad day? Normally the #1 question they ask you is 'What are you so happy about?' But be careful when you respond, because the question that you think you're about to answer isn't the answer they want to hear. What they really want to hear is why aren't they happy at that moment. Now don't get me wrong here, they may be genuinely happy for you somewhere on the other-side of what they're experiencing at that moment, but my advice to you is to wait until the coast seems clear and they're on that "other" side. Sticking around someone in a negative space while you're in a positive one is a recipe for energy transference, which usually leads directly down the path to our enemy, Energy Mourning. Just 2 minutes with that Debbie Downer will leave you second guessing your happiness, have you doing a 180 degree shift in mood, and going right back to that RBF you thought you needed to perfect. News Flash: Smile your ass off dahling cause you're beautiful and have so much going for yourself!
6. Self Check Yo' Self Before You Reck Yo' Self
Self checks are for the Affirmation Actioneer.
Check in with yourself throughout the day. Step away from your current situation and ask yourself, "how YOU doin'?" (said in my best Wendy Williams voice) Answer honestly with yourself and make adjustments to improve your mood if it's not positive. Have a mental or physical list of positive affirmations in your arsenal that will force you to spring into action and check that 'tude at the door.
You have to be really clear with this action though. Don't just bust out your list and read off the affirmations without belief or faith in them. Now I know you may be asking yourself, if I'm feeling negative how can I believe something positive to change my mood around quickly? Well, have no fear my dear, I got you! Here's some simple ideas on how to develop your Affirmation Actioneer skills and get you in that feel GREAT mood. Cause honestly when you feel great, great things happen for you.
JUST A FEW AFFIRMATION ACTIONEER IDEAS...
- Go somewhere quiet where you can be alone. Close your eyes softly and think about someone or something you love. Really focus on it, and allow yourself to smile. Hold that thought and smile for one minute. When you open your eyes you'll have a sense of peace and positivity flowing through you. Enjoy it!
- Express gratitude for the small, medium, and large things and sweat them big time. Ever feel down or negative when you're driving? Someone let you in their lane while sitting in traffic? Say thank you and feel grateful for the gesture. Find a parking space? Say thank you and feel grateful for the opening. Be grateful for the fact that you may not have it all figured out, but you're taking the right steps to get where you want to be in life (this one is huge!) Get where I'm going with this? Be grateful for it all. Everything you've got. Don't focus on your scuffed up shoes, but be grateful for the fact that you have them and they fit you just right. When you focus on being grateful more great things will come your way.
- Say hello to a stranger. Being the introvert that I am, this one used to be very hard for me. I always thought people would respond rudely or not at all if I said hello. But on the contrary, the response I get with this one is both shocking and empowering. I've had people thank me for acknowledging them, shake my hand for being considerate, and even tell me their entire life story just off of a simple HELLO. Be genuine about it, and you will be amazed by the responses you get.
These are just a few ideas to get your wheels turning. If you'd like to create personalized affirmations, check out this post How to Create Motivational Affirmations For My Current Needs.
7. Don't Tell On Yourself
You're who you THINK you're.
When you speak negatively about yourself out loud, you're letting those around you (especially energy suckers) know how they should treat you, and also how they should view you. We all do it unfortunately but be conscious and assertive when it comes to that negative chitter chatter. I honestly don't know what's worse, the chatter on the inside or the racket on the outside. I can tell you though that when you initiate and perpetuate the chatter on the outside of your head, don't be shocked when you suddenly hear someone affirming your negative self-talk. For example, I used to let my insecurity about the size of my nose creep it's sneaky little voice outside of my head and into casual conversations with toxic people. If I was suffering from hay fever one day, I'd say things like "my nose is too small to be this congested" or "if I keep blowing my nose every 10 sec I'm going to blow it off." These negative comments were always met with remarks like, "Yeah girl your nose IS super small! How do you breath out of that thing in the first place?!" or "That's not a nose!... you literally have 2 holes in the center of your face!" or even one of my personal favorites, "You've got a nose like Michael Jackson! Is yours fake too?!" Some real original shadiness there peeps :-(
Bottom-line, you're absolutely who you think you're. If you walk around feeling and thinking sorry for yourself or shuffling through each day with a chip on your shoulder and putting yourself down, you're going to be stuck in that place. Why? Because you're investing mental energy into those beliefs. So stop doing that immediately doll face. I know, I know, easier said than done but you've got some tricks now in your back pocket right? Pull out those affirmations from here and focus on re-programming your mental opinion of yourself.
8. Call Me, Michelangelo!
You aren't a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle or a surfer, but you've got to be willing to be RADICAL.
So what are you willing to change in order to end this slump or energy mourning you're currently in? Are you willing to do some radical things in order to change your circumstances? Assuming you answered 'yes' to the last question, you've got to be willing to do some things you've never done before. And truthfully, if you can agree to that and stick to it, you're half way there.
If you're used to doing something the same way all the time, try a new way of doing it, or maybe not doing it at all.
For example I would ask that energy sucking ex-boyfriend of mine I mentioned earlier, what he thought I should wear when we would go out. His responses were always negative and demeaning. It was everything from "wear all black to make you look skinny" to "don't wear anything low-cut because I don't want you to feel insecure about the way your breasts look." Ok, first of all, I wasn't insecure about my breasts until now dude!... and furthermore why am I even asking you?! (Usually my reply) But what these comments would do over time is make me feel bad about myself and my appearance. One day I wised up, and just stopped asking him for an opinion. As soon as I did that, my confidence came back, and we stopped going out. He wasn't happy about my returning confidence, but I sure was. I had to do something radical like end a relationship in order to get different results. I had to ditch a negative relationship in order to make myself available and open for positive ones.
9. You Deserve What?
You deserve better. Period.
Know your worth and ask yourself, "Am I doing what I want to be doing?" A toxic relationship is going to convince you that the stuck feeling you're experiencing right about now is perfectly normal. Not only that, it'll convince you that this is all you get so deal with it. But it's not what you deserve. Believe that you deserve better and much more. Develop a strategy about how you're going to get it. The strategy should consist of micro and macro goals. Your macro goals are the large goals you're trying to reach (i.e. lose 30 lbs, finish college, buy a new car, start a business, etc.) whereas the micro goals are all the little steps you take in order to achieve the macro goal (i.e. work with a nutritionist and build a regimented diet plan, meet with guidance counselor and find out how many courses I need for graduation, sign-up for a business networking group on Facebook, etc). Planning and goal-setting is a repellent to toxic relationships.
10. Strike a Match
Don't be afraid to burn some busted bridges. Especially when they're dilapidated in the first place.
One of the reasons I feel I stayed in that #EnergyMourning 3-year relationship was because I was scared to burn the relationship. I was holding onto something that was completely busted and toxic for me; but I thought that if I stayed in long enough I would be rewarded for my patience and loyalty. I couldn't have been more wrong.
Are you in this spot right now? You might be feeling like if you just hang in there a little longer you'll get exactly what you deserve, but the truth is if you haven't gotten it already, it ain't coming. If you're too afraid to cross that bridge in the first place, recognize that there must be something wrong with it in order for you to be afraid to move across it. It's OK to come to that realization too, because relationships don't need to be complicated like this. Girl Scouts honor! It's not going to be easy... it never is. But don't be afraid to grab a box of matches and burn those metaphorical bridges if you have to.
BONUS TIP!!! (in 5, 4, 3, 2,1)
11. SHUT UP
Silence your haters. Even when that hater is you...
You remember tip #5 (Don't Make That Face) and tip #7 (Don't Tell On Yourself) right? Well this last tip is a double dose of those two and can be the most helpful when trying to detox your relationships. Silence is golden, but the power of saying Shut Up is pretty darn awesome too.
When you've got a great idea about exploring your greatness on your hands and you share that idea with a toxic person in your life, they immediately want to tell you why it'll never work or why you shouldn't be doing it. Well tell them to SHUT UP! Or in my case I say shut the hell up, but I don't recommend you going that far unless you curse like a sailor the way I do. Your naysayers don't know what you're capable of, only you do. And this goes for anyone. Someone you love, and even YOU. That's right, even you (see tip #5). Toxicity can come from all different directions and all different people. Sometimes it's unintentional and sometimes its meant to jab and hurt. Regardless its all purposeful in helping to build your voice and your greatness up.
So if you're being your own hater and that inner dialogue you may be having seems to be louder and louder each time you want to explore that greatness of yours, say to yourself, 'I know what you're saying, so shut up!' Say this phrase and mean it. That voice in your head is going to be shocked, and silent. If you say the phrase out loud around people you'll definitely get some weird stares, but just remind yourself that radical people often get weird stares because they're straying from the norm. And if you're reading this post, the norm ain't your thang.
Ready for some relationship detoxes?
Well... then you should totally download and print this super cool and useful relationship detox worksheet at your earliest convenience. It's designed to give you that motivational boost to help you not only analyze the current relationships in your life, but also to gain the much needed courage to do something about them. You already know what you need to do, but this worksheet is really going to help get your wheels turning.
So what relationship detox ideas have you tried that you'd like to share? Please comment below what has worked in your life. I'd love to hear from you and other Natural Born Frenemies of #EnergyMourning. Cause hey, we weren't born drained of our precious energy and greatness. We were all born with vitality and an unrelenting need to LIVE. Oh and before I forget, Tweet me. Deuces.