For better or for worse, we are influenced by the people we associate with. When our energy is being drained by those who are negative, critical, or selfish, we may find ourselves feeling stuck. Take courage knowing there are things we can do to cut ties with people who do us no good.
Know what you deserve: Do you understand how adored you are? How cherished, worthy, and deserving you are? Stand firm in that truth, knowing that you deserve positive and healthy relationships. If you have trouble believing this, I challenge you to reach out to someone who loves you and ask what you deserve. Write down their response, and read it until it becomes what you believe. Compare it to the reality of the relationships you have. You will find the strength to distance yourself from unhealthy relationships, and your actions will align with what you know you deserve.
Replace the bad relationship with good: As you cut ties with negative influences, you will need to fill the void in some way. Consciously choose to put your time and energy into positive relationships and activities. Spend time with people who make you laugh and inspire you. Take time to do things that bring you joy. Nurture you. Doing these things is a reminder to yourself of all the good that is out there, and that positivity is now a priority in your life.
Let go or be dragged (Zen proverb): After you have stopped spending time with people who bring you down, it’s important to mentally and emotionally let go. If you don’t, you are allowing the relationship to continue to drain you. Imagine getting off a wild horse, only to keep a tight grip on the reins: even though you have dismounted, you are still being dragged all over the place! When you value and respect yourself, you will instinctively know that your mind is too precious to fill with negative thoughts. Let go.
Move to a place of understanding: Eventually, you move past a bad relationship when you come to see the person as someone who also experiences suffering, joy, fear, and love like you do. While you never condone the hurtful behavior and will never again give that person a place in your life to bring you down, you understand they are figuring out life just as you are, and that they just might deserve happiness, too.