This is your life and it’s time you said good-bye to the nay-sayers – the whiners – the bitchers – the phony friends – the pity partyers (I don’t think that’s really a word) and basically anyone who doesn’t have your best interest at heart all the time. Isn’t it time that you spent your precious time with family and friends who actually want the very best in life for you?
Yes you say? I couldn’t agree more, so why do so many of us spend time with Negative Nellies? I used to have a whole tribe of Negative Nellies and I’m here to tell you; my life was heading towards the pits. I knew these women were inherently bad for me, but I was in such a bad place after my divorce that the thought that I might bring value to anyone never even entered my mind. So I settled for a group of women who complained about everything – took advantage of me – made me feel less than and had not one kind thing to say about anyone.
It was a dreadful time in my life, but I learned HUGE lessons from it. My ex-husband had broken me – not just financially, but emotionally too. My marriage didn’t last long, but the scars from the emotional abuse definitely took their toll. He came from a wealthy family. I did not. For most of our marriage he’d say things like – “What’s a poor girl from the Valley doing at a place like this!” He belittled me at every possible opportunity.
I wasn’t poor, but somehow his words found a way to my soul and stuck around for a long time. If you missed my story about being a single mom, it will help you understand why I ended up with the so-called friends I did. After the divorce, I had no friends. I had abandoned my best girlfriends when I married him because he didn’t want me hanging out with them anymore. I tried to sneak time with them, but in the end, the punishment was worse than the happy moments we shared. He wanted total control over who I was spending my time with. It was ugly on so many levels, but when I left that marriage…and I left…I had no friends. I had no self esteem. I had no money. I worked a lot and so, I settled for whomever would have me. When you settle – you end up with Negative Nellies and nay-sayers.
What happens is that fear steps in and tells you that you might be alone and have no friends and because you don’t want that, you stick around way longer than you ever should have. Has this ever happened to you? Please tell me I’m not the only one.
Fast forward many years…lots of heartache…lots of unanswered questions and lots of feeling sorry for myself, but THIS hanging onto nay-sayers is NOT a part of my life. In fact, the second I hear the negativity flowing from someone’s mouth when it comes to my life – I run the opposite direction.
It all began when I started listening to my inner voice – the voice that almost always knows what’s in my best interest and so often in all the noisiness of life – we forget to listen to her. But she knows.
Set the Nay-Sayers Free
You know when someone is good for you. You can feel it. The conversation flows and you feel better when you leave than before you arrived. Even if you’re trying to solve a problem or discuss a new idea, the conversation is constructive and doesn’t beat you up. Conversations can beat you up and when they do, pay attention. If you have friends or even family members in your life who zap your energy and make you feel bad, you’ve got to take the high road and move on. If you don’t, the risk is that you become them.
I totally get wanting to receive feedback from family members and friends, but you have to own the conversation that’s going to take place. If you really, really want someone’s opinion then say something like, “I have this idea about (whatever it is) and I’d like to run it by you, but I also want to have a discussion about the pros and cons. Do you think you can do that for me?” This way you set the conversation up for success before ever beginning.
Tune in to language. Words like “You should do” are never helpful. If someone tells me what I should do, the conversation comes to a screeching halt.
You don’t have to engage in a dramatic departure. You can simply distance yourself from people who bring you down. In this case, take the high road. For years I thought I had a best friend. She really wasn’t, but I convinced myself otherwise. She seldom told the truth. She lived her life in gossip and drama and when she needed something she called in her “Sherpas.” This is how she referred to friends who were helping her out. And she required A LOT of help. One morning she flat out lied to me and I had had enough. I stopped taking her phone calls and eventually she stopped calling. To this day, she still doesn’t know exactly what happened, but it doesn’t matter, because my decision to walk away was not about her. It was about me.
When you decide that it’s finally time to surround yourself with positive, supportive friends and even family members…your world will open in new and astounding ways. Life is fragile. Life is short. Life is difficult. Life is also this glorious journey through highs and lows, successes and failures, sorrow and love and thus, spending time with negative people is counter-intuitive to living your best life.
It’s not only okay to set some people free – it’s an absolute life saver!
Have you ever had to set someone free and if so, how did you do it? Leave a comment below.