It's Hard To Say Goodbye
As we go through life, we encounter so many people that change our perspectives on not only the world but ourselves as we continue to develop and grow. Sometimes along the way, those people aren't always positive or looking out for your best interest even if they seemed to at first. There is this old saying that goes something like "Birds of a feather flock together", meaning that you inevitability end up like the people you surround yourself with. What do your feathers look like?
Personally, I've encountered so many people in my life who both enhance it and negatively effect my life, but it's not always easy to know when you should stick it out or part ways with those negative influencers. What if they have been your best friend since second grade? what if they are your cousin or even more challenging, someone in your immediate family?
As we rapidly approach the New Year, you owe it to yourself do do some soul searching on what and who is an enhancement or hindrance on your own personal happiness, well-being, and success. I'm not saying to cut someone out of your life entirely, but you can control how often you surround yourself with those who you have chosen to be a part of your life, and in turn how that effects you as a person.
Below I've broken down some characteristics of traits and signs of both toxic and positive people. Although we ALL display all and more of these, the important thing to pay attention to is consistency of behavior.
Signs of a toxic or negative influencer:
A pessimistic person is one of the easiest things to dismiss. "Oh, they are just having a bad day/week/month/year" is the easiest way to justify this behavior. What you don't realize is that over time, you start taking on this negative view, whether you realize it or not. Staying positive and having hope is the number 1 way to attract other people who share that same outlook and help keep you on track.
Someone who is demanding is the person that always needs to make the decisions or set the ground rules but aren't necessarily willing to meet the same demands of those around them. They need to be in full control of others including you. Once they have this control, you are easily susceptible to manipulation of all kinds. Someone who is truly looking out for your best interests will include you in conversation!
Envious people are the scariest in my opinion. And I'm not talking about wanting a better life, or even wanting what someone else has. It's natural to see something cool and want it. It's those who show envy through not wanting others to have what they have OR to get more at the expense of others. These people want to be the person who has it all and thrives off of having more than anyone else around them. What makes this so scary is that you you may see it happening to others, but let me be the one to tell you, You aren't special. If it is happening to others around you, it's happening to you too. You just don't know it yet!
Signs of a positive influencer:
People who display acceptance typically do so quietly. They aren't overly vocal about it nor display it. If someone truly practices acceptance is a listener and asker of questions. They seek to understand you because they LOVE you, not because they need to know. These are the best allies you can have. This is also the person who seeks to make connections outside of their own friend group and not alienate others. Acceptance isn't the same thing as agreeing. These people can let you know where they stand while still accepting others.
My least favorite thing I've heard people say is, "I'm just honest, deal with it.. If you can't handle the truth you can't handle me". What that really is saying is "I'm going to say anything I want with no regard or care to how it impacts you or anyone else around me and I don't want to be confronted about it". Honesty isn't a disease to excuse off being tacky or being able to say whatever you want with no repercussions. True honesty manifests through *Surprise* listening first, then offering up honest feed back with the best interest of the other person in mind and they really want to help. Yes sometimes the truth doesn't feel great, but the delivery is what is important.
This goes in conjunction with acceptance and true honesty. When someone is supportive, they are both accepting and honest. They are able to support you when you need it and challenge you when you need it. Being supportive isn't being a yes-person, it's being able to in the moment know what that person needs and figures out a way to deliver.
So who do you have in your life? Spring cleaning isn't just for the closet! Time to take a hard look at those around you and see who is and isn't truly on your team!
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