Over the past several days, we’ve gone over ways to improve your relationships with others.
Most of your focus should be on the positive relationships in our life. That’s why it is important to free yourself from bad relationships.
A bad relationship, as I will define it here, is any relationship where you tend to feel bad more often than feel good when you interact with that person.
That is a very general definition, but it provides a simple way of determining if a relationship is bad or not.
If you don’t have any bad relationships, great!
But if you do, it’s important that you realize it.
Oftentimes we can have a difficult time thinking about this kind of thing rationally.
You can backwards rationalize that if you are still hanging out with a certain person, then you must have a positive relationship with them. If it was a bad relationship, you wouldn’t still be in it, would you?
That’s why the definition above is so important.
It cuts through the rationalizations. If you have more bad times than good times with a person, then it is a bad relationship.
A very common type of bad relationship is with people who discourage you.
You tell them your dreams, and they tell you they are unrealistic. You suggest a particular activity to do that night, and they shoot it down.
Another type of negative relationship is with complainers.
No matter what happens, these people seem to find something to complain about. Ugh. Sadly, complaining is contagious, and having these people around is a surefire way to drag yourself down to their level.
Of course, there are more negative types than just the discouragers and the complainers, but that should get you thinking.
You can’t always remove these people from your life immediately.
For example, if your coworker is a complainer and never takes responsibility for things, that doesn’t mean you have to find a new job.
But you usually have people in more voluntary relationships (like friendships) who are so negative that the relationship is actually toxic to you. As you go about your interactions, pay attention to how you feel so you can figure out who these people are.
There is no need to make a huge scene about removing these people from your life.
Just stop making any effort to meet up with them. You can gradually phase them out, or you can stop talking to them altogether if they are really that bad.
Focus your energies on the positive people in your life. They are worth far more.
By eliminating the influence that bad relationships have on you, you can spend more time with the people who contribute positively to your happiness.
Continue to Day 30: Don’t Stop Now!