Kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul. Proverbs 16:24
I have been slow to share more of the detox series since my closet clean out, as these next areas take significantly more time. There are still two more parts to this series, but for now I would like to share with you how I chose to leave behind negative social influences in this new year.
What am I getting at exactly? It’s simply the people with whom you surround yourself and choosing those people wisely. From friends to family to strangers on the internet, you have full control over who you let in.
In 2020 I experienced some of my biggest lows socially. I had people in my life who (I realized) were not meant to be there forever. The reason why I am writing about all of this is because it took me such a long time to not only let go of these relationships but also to accept that it’s all ok. So here is what I did to set healthy boundaries because ultimately what matters is your space and how you manage it.
First I will say this: the relationships I am referring to were a mix of intimate, professional, and distant therefore I intend to keep my advice general as it does apply to all scenarios. These situations were all toxic and I do not call them that because the people were toxic (they were not at all) but because the relationships added negative energy to my life and impacted my struggles with anxiety and other issues. Now for some concrete advice:
Detox Your Social Media
If you really don’t like an account but feel guilted into following or whatever, let go. Personally I used to feel connected to too many people I didn’t really know that well, but I never unfollowed because I would feel so stressed over how they would react. This year I realized that in the grand scheme of things this sort of worry really does not matter. If there are things you do not want on your news feed, literally remove it. If you worry about what people think like I do, maybe try muting things that upset you. Trust me, you feel so much freedom when your news feed is actually for you.
This sounds super vague, but if someone I love upsets me (and I mean in a big concerning way), I change my personal boundaries. This can apply to a situation you confront or do not confront, but ultimately you get to decide how you interact with this person and how often you see them. For me, limited interaction helps me when I care about someone but need space from the relationship. You can then use that space to cultivate other relationships or the relationship you have with yourself, and just grow!
It is never a bad thing to want space and you are not a bad person for setting boundaries. Needing to work on yourself is not a reflection on the other person and has everything to do with your energy and your growth.
There Is No Need To Ghost
Unless we are talking about Joe Goldberg, then great idea! If there is someone who you do not want in your life if is ok to explain why, especially if they ask. Ghosting someone is rude and only causes unnecessary damage.
Stand Up For Yourself
I feel like this one applies more to familial or work relationships, but it is still very important. If you have a problem with someone I recommend handling the situation directly and kindly. Explain how you feel and structure your point so you are easily understood. Do not be afraid to stand up for yourself because that fear may only hurt you. This circles back to the idea of letting someone know you need space from them. It may feel weird, but as long as you are vocal about what you need and keep conversations kind and respectful, you can accomplish a lot more than you think!
Whether you have faith or not, taking time to meditate on your relationships is a really good thing. This reflection will help you find peace and understanding if you are going through a tough time. And with this kind of calm thinking you can find the best course of action for you.
Do Not Get Petty
I feel like I have already said this but just because a relationship is toxic doesn’t mean either party is toxic. Therefore if you do need to reevaluate a relationship in your life, you do not need to be unkind in making space for yourself.
Look For The Good
Here’s the good part and this is where I am in 2021 (keep in mind I spent a solid 6 weeks detoxing socially): find good influences FOR YOU. Now that you have made space from things that do not bring you joy, you can seek new things to help you grow into a better person! Sounds cheesy or whatever but follow people who encourage you, find groups of people who act how you want to act, and put out positivity while you wait for all the good things coming your way!
I know this sounds simple but look for the good things and people you want and go after them!