Many of us make the mistake of thinking that when our lives are full of toxicity, it is coming from “out there”. It very well may be but it should not always be a forgone conclusion. Below are the steps to take to remove toxicity from your life and since this is a blog created with Black women in mind, that should be our starting point:
1. Self Check
Before you start blaming other people for the state of your life, consider that you are the one person who affects your life more than anyone else. Maybe that toxic woman you need to remove from your life is YOU. Reflect on your thoughts, your words and your actions.
If you harbor negative thoughts about yourself, your life and about other people, that may be the source of the toxicity in your life. Do you gossip and spread rumors? Do you constantly complain about other people? If so…stop! There is no point in trying to change your life if you are not willing to change your negative thoughts, words and habits.
2. Physically remove her
After you have done a “self-check” the next move is to identify the people who you regularly associate with that are toxic. They can be toxic because they drain you of energy by putting you down, putting others down or just because they gossip and do and say unkind things. Stay away from them! Just because you’re Black and she’s Black, for example, it does not mean that you’re bound to that negative woman. If you can not entirely remove that person from your life, at least reduce your contact with her (or them).
3. Don’t Talk About Her
If you remove someone from your life because you have decided it is the best thing to do or because she has betrayed or hurt you in some way, make sure that you don’t continue to talk about her (or them) after you have removed them from your life. It makes no sense to remove someone from your life if you’re going to carry them with you by involving them in your conversations in their absence. Yes, what they did may have have been awful but the sooner you forget about it, the sooner you can enjoy your life, free of that toxic person.
4. Don’t Think About Her
Just in the same way you should not continue to talk about a negative and toxic person, don’t think about them or what they did or said that hurt you. Again, if you remove the person from your life, don’t carry them with you in your thoughts.
5. Forgive Her and Forgive Yourself
No matter how hurtful what someone did to you is, you have to forgive them. This, of course, does not mean that you let them in your life and give them the opportunity to do more hurt or harm, but it does mean that you release them along with the hurt and pain they have caused you. You also have to take responsibility for the fact that you let that person into your life and forgive yourself for that.
At the end of the day, if someone shows you who they are and what they are capable of, you always have a choice to allow them into your life or to keep them out. You also always have the choice to change if you find that you are your own worst enemy. If you don’t remove toxic people from your life, they will inevitable destroy it or make you miserable.
Nomalanga helps Black women thrive in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , a former College Professor and the reigning Mrs Botswana. Visit Nomalanga’s Facebook page or Follow her on Twitter