Drop toxic people from your life NOW!
Wow. This quote really resonated with me. I had a very volatile relationship with my mother and she was the first person I thought of when I saw this.
No matter what I did it didn't seem good enough. Whatever I did it wasn't enough. I felt like a constant disappointment to her. She made it clear to me that she didn't think I was a very good daughter. She was extremely passive aggressive and the fact that I wasn't a very introspective person it would usually take me awhile to figure out that she was showing her disapproval of me in some way or form.
I'm about to tell you why it is so important to remove toxic people in your life as fast as you can no matter what the relationship is. If someone is making you feel like a terrible person...it's time for them to go.
One of the biggest and most hurtful examples was when I bought my wedding dress. I had gone out with a big group on the first outing and tried on like 10 dresses. There was one that she really liked and was pushing me to get. I liked it but didn't love it. I was encouraged by others that keep looking...that I hadn't found my dress yet.
I ended up finding my dream dress at a shop down the street from my house when I just popped in alone one day. I sent a picture of it to all my friends and they all agreed that this was definitely my dress. I had asked my mom to come with me to order and get all the measurements. When she saw me in it she mumbled a very unenthusiastic; "it's very pretty" with a bit of a smirk on her face. Huh. Not the reaction I was hoping for.
She wanted to go to lunch afterwards which I hadn't planned on but she really wanted to go to lunch so I went. During this lunch I was very agitated. She went on chatting about different things but I was super annoyed. I still don't know why to this day I didn't just tell her I was upset at her reaction to my wedding dress. All of my friends told me how beautiful it was yet she couldn't even muster a convincing compliment. But I was never able to tell my mom when she really upset me for some reason. We just kept those things bottled up. So I started snapping at her during this lunch. I did it several times before she got upset and told me she was leaving. Then of course I feel terrible. Would it have been different had I been able to vocalize what was going on in my head at the time? I'm not sure.
But I did call and leave her a message before she even made it home apologizing for snapping at her. She didn't acknowledge the phone call but sent me a long email telling me how horrible I was for treating her in such a way. She got in a whole bunch of things she found lacking in my daughterdom. I sent her an email back saying I had called and apologized and she didn't even mention that. See, that's how it was with my mom...if you gave her an inch by apologizing she would turn into a whole ordeal about what a horrible person I was. Had I not left a message apologizing it may never have even been brought up again.
Unfortunately this is just one of many examples of how our relationship played out. It seemed to get worse over time instead of better. But this quote made me think of that incident. She knew she was downplaying my wedding gown. I mean it was my wedding gown. She was doing it on purpose because I didn't choose the dress she wanted. That's how she was. And when I lashed out I was made to feel like a terrible person.
I had a conversation with my sister recently after I was showing pictures of us as kids and she pointed out that I was a happy kid and she didn't know when I became such a pessimist. Hmmm, the more I thought about it I think she is right. I don't think I was born this way. I think I learned it along the way.
A friend also mentioned to me recently that she thinks I'm so much happier now because my mother passed away a few years ago and she really had f'ed me up. It's sad to say but I think it's true. My happiness level increased tremendously after her passing. I think it comes to down to this: She always made me feel like a horrible daughter which in turn made me feel terrible about myself. I always had a feeling of being 'the bad guy' when it came to her. Which led me to not contacting her as often as she liked which led to more disappointment of me.
I knew that our relationship was toxic for me yet I continued on with it because you know, it's your mom. I had considered severing times multiple times and could never bring myself to do it. The main reason was that I was so afraid that she would just accept not being part of my life and I felt that would hurt me even more. It would be evidence that I was a terrible person and worse, unlovable. If my mother didn't love me enough to fight for our relationship who would?
But what I know now that I didn't realize then is that my mother choosing to stay estranged from me (if she would have chosen to do that) didn't mean I was unlovable. It meant that she couldn't respect my boundaries, acknowledge my sensitivities and consider what I may need from the relationship. And I'm finally at a place where I can say that is a reflection of her, not me. She was the one who had a one sided view of how our relationship was supposed to look. And when it didn't match up to that view she took it out on me.
Having enough distance I can now say that the best thing I could have done is to have cut ties with her. If I would have done it 10 years before she passed I would have been happier 10 years earlier. Because having someone constantly tell you what a bad person you ( and it's not usually said in those words. It's in actions and the way you are spoken among other things) is very draining on your psyche. In short, it's toxic. Don't let anyone, I mean anyone, make you feel this way.
And who knows, maybe my mother would have gotten to the point where she would miss me and want me back in her life. Then she would have had to respect my feelings and boundaries. Maybe. But I'll never know. And neither will you if you don't remove yourself from a toxic situation. But I will tell you what I know for sure...no relationship is worth your self respect and the love you need to have for yourself.
So think about the people you spend time with. Do you have friends that leave you feeling drained and depressed? It may be time to eliminate them or lessen time spent with them. You always have a choice who you spend time with...always. Even if it's a co-worker or a boss. You can get another job. Yes, I know that is easier said than done but there are other jobs. And no job is worth giving up your peace and happiness.
Is this something that touched a nerve for you? Is it something you think may be affecting you? Consider personal positivity training. Remove toxicity from your life is one of the five pillars of transforming your negative thoughts into positive. Stop waiting for your happiness to come. Claim it now. Visit hopefulist.com/training for more information and to schedule a free call.
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Now go have yourself a badass week. I know you can do it. I believe in you. And I'm cheering you on.