I stole that heading from a quote of one of my favourite motivational speakers, Les Brown but it sums up everything to do with toxic people so well.
Leave dead people alone.
This quote hit hard.
Really hard and as Les Brown continued he started to make points that I would never have thought about but clearly needed to. One year ago, I may have undergone a big clean up of my friends. Where i got rid of all the toxic people out of my life and made a decision to never hang around those kind of people again. But how was I monitoring it? How was I making sure that never happened again?
The answer is I wasn’t and to be honest, a couple of negative people had snuck back in.
So I asked myself:
Who’s hand am I holding?
When I first started chasing my goals, I did what you could call a ‘Friend Audit’. Where I got rid of anyone negative or toxic from my life. I did this to make sure no one was holding me back and to create the best environment I could.
Which was really hard to start with.
I stopped hanging around 95% of the people I spent time with. Just like that. I topped all communications and I didn’t provide an excuse, unless they actually asked. If they did I told them the truth. I said I had other things I needed to focus on and didn’t have time to hang out anymore.
Which was true.
I had goals to work on and had to make sacrifices. One of those was my social life.
Yes, people took it the wrong way and yes, rumours spread. My personal favourite was that I had depression. I have no idea how I found out since I wasn’t really talking to any one. Regardless, rumours started and people were saying horrible things.
Which was expected.
As the year progressed people got the message and eventually all was forgotten.
Which brings me up to now. Well actually, up to a couple days ago. When I was listening to one of Les Brown’s speeches.
As I sat there listening, I got to thinking about the people around me. As I started visualising the people who were around me, I noticed that some of those toxic people had started to sneak back in. They aren’t necessarily the same people from a year ago but I had slightly dropped my guard and they’d crept back in.
I’d started giving my time to those who shouldn’t get any. I realised I was offering to help people without themcoming to me, even though I’d made a promise to myself to only ever help those who ask.
I’d gotten weak.
You need to be assessing the people you spend time with regularly to ensure that you’re only hanging out with people who make up for your weaknesses and compliment your strengths.
I naively thought that because I’d done it once it would hold forever. As it turns out, it’s a thing that needs to be managed. It’s a never ending task.
Develop A ‘Personality List’
In the last couple of days, I developed a list that would keep me spending time around the proper people and it also helps me avoid those who I don’t want to be around.
This will only take you a few minutes but will keep you in check.
It’s going to serve 2 purposes:
- Tell you the kind of person your strive to be.
- Tell you the kind of people who will get your attention.
Notice how I said ‘get your attention’. You need to start treating your time like gold and you are in full control of who gets some of that. It sounds stuck up, I know but everyone and everything wants to take all of your time.
You’re going to get a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle.
At the top of one column right ‘Desired Traits’ then at the top of the other, write ‘Undesirable Traits’.
The rest is obvious. Fill out the column.
The hard part is enforcing the one rule that comes with the list.
If a person has ANY of the Undesired Traits you’ve listed, they’re automatically blacklisted.
I’m still in the process of doing this but so far so good.
I literally want you to get rid of anyone who even shows signs of any of the negative personality traits you’ve identified.
People here this saying all the time but how many actually use it?
You are the product of the 5 people you spend the most time with.
A year ago I addressed this problem. Now I’m re-addressing it and so should you.