Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Getting rid of toxins
The latest media hype is the toxic relationship - get rid of the people or relationships which are unhealthy for you. I can understand this. Do you have a 'user'/toxic friend? You know what I mean - the one who takes and never gives? Or the one who always talks about themselves and never wants to hear what is going on in your life? Or the one who constantly makes everyone wait on them? Or the one who never can get together - they say they want to get together and constantly cancel? Or the one who criticizes you and your choices continuously? Or the ones that are deceitful or untruthful? Some times it is the boss who motivates their employees through public humiliation. Or the co-workers who throw you 'under the bus' constantly or present your ideas as theirs? I can go on and on. These relationships can also occur between siblings, family members and spouses as well as friends and colleagues.
Toxic relationships are ones which hinder your happiness and cause stress and other problems. It is not a good relationship if they never do their share to help support it. A relationship is a two way street and both sides need to contribute. A relationship doesn't require daily contact to be a good one but it requires a level and quality of communication with which both sides are comfortable. Sometimes we need to take a step back and regroup and focus on getting rid of toxins in our lives. This may include cleaning out your kitchen cabinets or refrigerator, quitting a job, and ending other relationships.
I may have changed in the past few years and my feelings on this may have changed as a result. Through cancer treatment and then ensuing periods of recovery from gall bladder surgery and restrictions in my life due to my back issues, I no longer feel it is important or required that I waste time on toxic relationships or situations. I require a certain level of quality in the things I do in the more limited time that I have. I weigh opportunities to socialize and interact based on the physical and emotional effort required to participate. I can't just run off for a day of shopping with a friend as that would result in a few days of pain after to recover. If I go to a party, I can't stand around for hours chatting, I will need to sit down. But if I am sitting in the living room in the only chairs and all the action is in the kitchen (why do parties always end up in the kitchen), why did I waste my energy on a situation which causes physical pain? So correspondingly, why do I want to spend time with someone who causes emotional stress?
Sometimes relationships end because our circumstances change. Maybe we move far away. Maybe we change jobs. I have friends who I used to see regularly on hiking, snowshoeing, or skiing trips. Now because of my back I don't participate in those activities so we have grown apart. If I see those friends, I am happy to spend time with them but since our activities don't intersect anymore, we get together much less frequently.
Life goes on and we change and need to accept that. We re-prioritize the important things in our lives. We do not mean to offend or hurt others but sometimes we need to move on. A social 'detox' is sometimes what is needed to regain or retain a feeling of happiness in our lives. Just was we clean out the toxic chemicals in our cabinets, we clean out the toxins in our address books.