Decluttering toxic relationships

Yes, I know – I went there!  But hear me out!

You see, for years, I thought there were some people in my life who were just ‘difficult’, who had their own way of doing things or whose values didn’t align to my own. But who was I to judge? What made me right and them wrong?

ToxicAnd then I realised, it’s not a question of being right or wrong. There are some people who just bring negative energy, bad vibes or can drain any spark of positivity by their mere presence. We all have one or two in our lives.

I thought they were a fixture and just something I had to put up with. Until I realised the effect they had on me.

I had two main reactions. Either I became very morose and negative myself. Or bizarrely, in an effort to combat negativity, I became like a high-octane version of Pollyanna, determined to see the bright side of everything.

Both were exhausting!

So, I had to do something. It wasn’t anything too radical – just a gradual pulling away, a refusal to get sucked into the ‘life is terrible, woe is me’ scenarios, make more of an effort to listen sympathetically but not get too immersed in situations I ultimately had no control over.  Occasionally – very seldom – I needed to walk away completely.

I know that sounds a bit harsh and that is the main reason why it took me literally years to do anything about it. I thought I had a responsibility to them, or perhaps it was a mis-placed sense of loyalty, especially to those I had known for some time.

But you know what? I also have a responsibility to myself – to live the best life I can, contributing and growing to the best of my ability. I am responsible for the energy I surround myself with. Sometimes, being near negativity is inevitable, but I don’t have to actively invite it into my life.

Now, I’d rather declutter 20 rooms than 1 toxic relationship. It’s difficult and upsetting. But not as difficult and upsetting as continuing to live with it. Physical decluttering is a walk in the park compared to tackling this. But the more I declutter my physical surroundings, the more glaringly obvious it is to me that so much of my real clutter is emotional.

Have a toxic-free week 😊

  13 comments for “Decluttering toxic relationships

  1. April 18, 2019 at 9:13 pm

    Hi there, thanks for reading and commenting 🙂 I’m a huge fan of the Minimalists and they have been so influential for me. Thanks for the tip re their podcast on toxic relationships, Lxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. April 18, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    Listen to The Minimalists podcast #141 and it helped me figure out in my mind how to let go of toxic relationships.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 18, 2019 at 9:13 pm

      Hi there, thanks for reading and commenting 🙂 I’m a huge fan of the Minimalists and they have been so influential for me. Thanks for the tip re their podcast on toxic relationships, Lxx


  3. April 11, 2019 at 10:54 pm

    So important to minimize our time with toxic people and put in place proper boundaries. We create space for those relationships that are the most nourishing when we can eliminate those that don’t sustain us. Thanks for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 12, 2019 at 7:47 am

      Thanks Cristy, you’re so right. It took me years to find this out for myself! But you make an important point about making room for those relationships which make us thrive instead. Thanks for reading, Lxx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. April 8, 2019 at 12:26 pm

    This post could not come at a better time. Reinforcement….thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

    • April 8, 2019 at 3:18 pm

      Hi Laurel, I’m so pleased that this post may have helped in a small way, best of luck to you, Lxx

      Liked by 2 people

  5. April 7, 2019 at 5:18 pm

    Your high octane Pollyanna made me laugh too. I find any relationship disruption upsetting, but using the boundary word again, once they are place the actions and responses seem to be easier xx

    Liked by 3 people

    • April 7, 2019 at 5:28 pm

      Hiya Nik, thanks for the comment. Yes, as some of my lovely subscribers have pointed out, using a term like ‘boundary’ is very helpful. I, like you, find this kind of thing upsetting and disruptive but I’ve found I can no longer ignore it. But you’re right, it does become easier and actually more logical, when boundaries are in place. Lxx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. April 7, 2019 at 11:56 am

    Took me decades to have boundaries but I’m a stickler for adhering to them. While difficult to do (having boundaries), it’s made my life simpler. Wonderful post L! Once your surroundings are simpler, you then want your relationships to be. But as with everything, if sticking with your boundaries fails……use good earbuds. They may not minimize “the toxic relationship” but you’ll still feel good lol. Hope you have a great day L.🌸

    Liked by 2 people

    • April 7, 2019 at 12:55 pm

      Hi Erin, thanks so much for reading and commenting. Again the word ‘boundaries’ has arisen – such a useful term to use and a useful tool to apply. I like the way you talk about a difficult step leading to an easier, simpler life. Lxx P.S. Love the tip about earbuds!!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. April 7, 2019 at 10:52 am

    Such a useful post, Lol. It’s not until we take an inventory of our friendships that we realise some are just not working for us and we need to reassess our boundaries (or identify them in the first place). As you quite rightly say, it’s our responsibility to ourselves – it’s OK to keep our distance from negative or demanding people for the sake of our wellbeing. Although, I do love the idea of you compensating for negativity by becoming a “high octane version of Pollyanna” – that really made me laugh.

    Liked by 3 people

    • April 7, 2019 at 11:04 am

      Hi Julie, thanks so much for the comment. I really like the use of the word ‘boundaries’ here. I had never thought of it in those terms before but you’re absolutely right. I created some boundaries for myself, for my own sanity and self-preservation. Glad you got a laugh out of it as well! Lxx

      Liked by 2 people

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