My last two blog posts were the first of this three-part series on detoxing your life. In case you missed those, they were about detoxing your brain and body, and your environment. You can access them here.
This is the final part of this series, and it is probably the most difficult area for many of us to clean up in our life. Remember, the purpose of this life detox is to rid yourself of any negative energy in your life, and unfortunately, a lot of that comes from other people. Often, it’s the people we are closest to who expose us to a lot of negative energy…sigh…
There are three main ways to detox your life of negative people and the first way is to figure out who those negative energy creators are. You determine this based on how you feel when you’re with them, and after they are no longer in your presence. It’s similar to what I talked about in the last post, about the places and spaces where you spend time. Ask yourself the same questions about the people you’re with: Are you calm, happy, or feel open and expansive when you’re with them? Or do you feel drained, tired, and “off”? What about when you finish a conversation with them? Happy and energized? Or, drained and deflated?
You want to limit your time with these people who drain you of energy. I don’t mean you have to never see or speak to them again (although that actually works best sometimes), but I do mean setting clear boundaries with how often you are with them and how much access you allow them. This brings me to the second way to detox your life of negative people:
Set Clear Boundaries
How? Decide how much time you can and want to spend with this person or these people. Or, get more specific and figure out exactly what drains you of your energy or makes you feel “off” and then limit time with them in those instances. For example, when I first started my business many years ago my mom, who is a natural worrier and who I am very close to, was constantly questioning me about my client flow and constantly reminding me how long it took to get a business up and running and how long it took to find clients. I love my mother dearly and there is no way I would limit my conversation time with her, but I needed to establish a boundary around the topic of my business. Her chatter about it created anxiety for me, which was not what I needed in the early days of launching my company! I told her I didn’t want her asking me about my business anymore. I assured her it would be fine and her anxiety about it was making me anxious so that topic of conversation between us needed to stop. Guess what? That was over eight years ago, and she still does not bring up my business. I sometimes share things with her, but she never asks about it unless I open the conversation first. Not everyone will honor boundaries as gracefully as my mom did, but you must be clear and honor yourself first. Set boundaries with those who bring negative energy to your life and commit to yourself that you will keep them.
Finally, if you’re really struggling with someone and you need to eliminate them from your space for a period of time (and maybe forever), I highly recommend a F**k You F**k Off Campaign. I wrote a blog post about this last year in the context of forgiving someone; however, it works for many things, including clearing your space of negative people. I won’t rehash the details of this topic because you can read about it here; however, what I will say is that this is a powerful way to give yourself time and space to decide whether or not certain people are worthy of being in your space (and life). And, it is a powerful way to decide whether or not you want them in your life or not. Once you experience time without them, you may realize you are much better off without them, or you may realize you can set a different boundary and allow them access. There is no right or wrong answer! Read more here!
Eliminating negative people from your life can sometimes be the hardest area to detox because we don’t want to hurt other people’s feelings. There is no reason to be hurtful when setting boundaries or eliminating negative people from your life. What you are doing is honoring what you need over what they need. You are honoring your feelings over their feelings. And, when you’re detoxing, that’s exactly what you need to do: put yourself and what you need first. Finally, remember that nothing is ever the be-all end-all answer for detoxing any area of your life. Anything you clear out can always be brought back in, if and when you decide the time is right!
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