Throughout the last few years I’ve made a strong effort to spend more time with the right people and less (or no) time with the wrong people.
Throughout the last decade I’ve shared several topics about dealing with toxic people, or people who drain your energy. It was something I struggled with throughout my illness. I knew that there were people in my life who drained me, and I tried to reduce that as much as I could. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until March of 2017 that I realized that the biggest drain on my energy lived in my house.
In January of 2017 I began to see things differently. I took a 9-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course that taught me to be more thoughtful about what I was experiencing both mentally and physically. For the first time in years I began to focus on how I felt and what I really wanted. Then, in March of 2017, everything changed as I sat at a dinner with the Oska Wellness crew in San Diego.
You see, I went to San Diego to meet them and to be part of their Grand Opening. I fully expected (knowing how my energy often gets sucked by being around people) that I’d attend the Grand Opening and maybe a dinner but otherwise I’d probably hide in my hotel room. That did not happen.
Instead, I hung out with the Oska crew literally (with the exception of sleep) from the time I landed almost until the time I departed. I did spend a few hours with my nephew and his wife, but I didn’t hide in my hotel room at all.
I did wake up on the second morning wiped out from going so much during their Grand Opening and (big fail) forgetting to hydrate. However, we’d set a brunch meeting and I was there.
After brunch, I could have easily excused myself to my room to nap, but I didn’t want to. Even though I was still a bit low on energy, I opted to go hang out at their office with them.
You see, what I found with these amazing people (including a few crazy Australians) is a group of people who didn’t take my energy. In fact, being around them energized me.
They are so passionate about helping people and so positively focused that I couldn’t help but be energized.
And, with the help of hydration by about 2 PM I was back to my bright smiling self and ready to role again.
As I sat with them at dinner that last night, I thought to myself “This is what I want. I want to be surrounded by this kind of passionate people. People who love life and are happy to help others.”I want to be surrounded by passionate people. People who love life and are happy to help others. Click To Tweet
That’s when I made the choice to evaluate the people in my life and remove those who take my energy away, who leave me unhappy rather than smiling.
It was not an easy task. While some people who hang on the edges of my life are easy to avoid, others who are a deeper part of my life, required excision. First, I had to evaluate the people in my life….
How do you know if you are spending time with the right people?
Make a list of the people in your life
Think of everyone you can. Write their names down and write out who they are you to you.
What does having them in your life mean to you? Does thinking of them make you smile or does it bring you stress?
Put a smiley face next to the names of those who make you smile.
Ask yourself why they make you feel a certain way
Look back at the list and evaluate those who don’t make you smile.
Why is it that they don’t make you smile?
Do you need to spend time with them?
Can you avoid them?
If they live in your home with you it may be difficult to remove them. However, if they are someone you can avoid, consider doing so.
Look Closer at the people who surround you
Take a closer look at that list.
I know you just said you can’t remove that person and that person, but can’t you?
You do have a choice who you allow in your life.
The more time you spend with those who suck your energy the less energy you will have, and the more pain you will feel.
By the last day of that trip I knew that I had to make one major excision. Unfortunately, the most negative person in my life, the person who took so much of my energy and left me feeling drained day after day, was my husband.
It took several months to act on what I knew I had to do, but I had to remove him from my life. Once I really began thinking about the situation I realized that so much of my fatigue and depression was tied to my relationship with him.
I dreaded him coming home every evening because I didn’t know what I’d be dealing with but I knew that whatever good day I was having up to that point was likely about to turn bad. I went to bed as early as possible every night just to limit the time I had to spend with him (even though I didn’t realize at the time that was what I was doing).
I identified others in my life that often left me feeling drained or feeling less valuable, or just unhappy when I’d spend time with them. I’ve made the effort to avoid those people. They are easy to avoid.
I’ve been amazed at how much more energy I have. I’m able to go and do things that I wanted to do but that I’d avoided before. I enjoy concerts and live music, I enjoy traveling. Looking back I often avoided these things with the excuse that they’d wear me out (they’d take physical energy) but what I realize now is that I actually avoided them because the person I would have been doing those things with took my energy as well.
Choosing to go alone or to take someone who also brings energy into my life makes things more fun, and allows me to enjoy those things without feeling so completely drained.
- 4 things I avoid to keep my pain levels low
- Avoiding the energy vampires
- Handling toxic relationships
- Why letting go is one of the best things you can do for yourself
- Are you happy? Or just complacent?