There’s an expression that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. One way to get more of anything in life (happiness, money, a sense of peace and calm) is to surround yourself with people who already have that thing you desire and to avoid people who bring you down. Here are five kinds of toxic behaviors to avoid at all costs. This is the opinion of the writer, see if it rings true for you.
Abuse and criticism
If anyone in your life is physically, mentally or emotionally abusive, it’s important to distance yourself from them. Take care of yourself by avoiding those who hurt you. Criticism is incredibly harmful in any relationship. If you’re receiving more judgment than appreciation, something needs to change.
Is there someone in your life who always seems to drag you down or deplete you? It isn’t rocket science; if you spend a lot of time with someone who brings you down, you’re going to feel worse. The solution is quite simple. Spend less time with that person.
Relationship expert Dr John Gottman has shown that contempt is one of the main predictors of unhealthy relationships. If someone is dismissive, rolling their eyes at you, or treating you with contempt, it is not OK.
Many years ago, I was excited about an opportunity with my business. I called my mom, and she immediately asked several skeptical questions (from a well-intended place). After I hung up the phone, I felt dejected. I complained to my mentor that this kept happening with my mom. My mentor said, “Vanessa, when you have good news with your business, why is your mom the first person you call when you know she’s not going to celebrate the good news with you? Why are you choosing to call her first?”
It was a big ‘ah ha’ for me. I realized I can have a good relationship with my mom, and she doesn’t have to be the first person I call when I have positive news with my business. Now, I call a girlfriend who is bursting with excitement for me, and who can celebrate my good news in a way that makes me even more excited!
Do you have someone in your life who always needs you but doesn’t give back in return? It’s time to get real about the “takers” in your life. If someone is always asking for a favor without reciprocating, unless it’s your very young child, it’s time to set some stronger boundaries.
The content is based on insights from different sources and express the views of the writer.