Changing Your Script and Letting Toxic People Go – Birds on the Blog

Changing Your Script and Letting Toxic People Go

Is it me, or is there something in the air? Just recently, I have felt an upsurge in toxic people around. But, of course, that should not be a surprise given the times we find ourselves in. People are living with many things bombarding them, and fear has a habit of turning into anger.

When I talk about toxic people, I am referring to their behaviour rather than who they are. And what might seem toxic to me may not to you. So it’s important to first set your boundaries and reaffirm your values. Then, I think it’s important to understand what you are or are unwilling to put up with.

These people, it seems, are blissfully unaware that they are so nasty.  I have been guilty of the ‘it’s not affecting me, so why pick them up on their behaviour’ attitude. Instead, I’ve said to myself, ‘what great fodder for a novel’ while not really paying attention to how their energy has made me feel. The silly thing is it has been affecting me on an unconscious level, even if I don’t want to admit it. It is as if I didn’t want to notice, and the more I ignored my inner voice, the louder the conflict became.

Part of me, the nice part, the people-pleasing part, the one that hates conflict, has irresponsibly sat aside and done nothing. I can see that now. My reasoning has been that since I didn’t really value them, why should I care what they do.

I remember a time when two ‘friends’ turned on me. Not at the same time, nor in any way connected. Out of nowhere, another part of me surfaced, the one that bizarrely declared, ‘great, that’s them out of my life, thank you, Universe.’ I felt relief, not grief. The problem is I feel that I should have not been in a place where I allowed this negativity to happen in the first place. This I kick myself for. Although I do know why I allowed the relationships to continue.

I believe that these people derive great pleasure from knowing which buttons to press. An ex-husband (it sounds like I have a few, doesn’t it) was a wonderful example of button-pushing. I can remember sitting him down to have an assertive adult-to-adult conversation about his bullying. Explaining how I felt as he snided and swiped at me.

He listened intently, nodded and smiled. The following day and for some days to come, he picked and picked at me and endlessly called me a bully.  This became a feature of our relationship. I calmly explaining how I felt, and he turning it on me. I didn’t want to give up because I reasoned that communication was key for a marriage to work.

After discovering his double life leaving his energy was delightful. However, It dawned on me that I was attracting and encountering others who were the same as him. I realised that for me to end these relationships, I had to set strong boundaries, live by my values, change my script and speak up.

Scripts we run

As children growing up, we are influenced by the people around us. Their scripts become ours, or at least some part of these scripts become small embedded commands that out of nowhere floor us. Think of your own parents. Did they utter things like children are seen and not heard or tell you to play with people you didn’t like because that’s what nice girls did? Just think for a moment of some of these people and what they said. Can you now link that to some of your behaviours? I certainly can.

Scripts can be changed

You can change your scripts once you are aware of them. One way that you do that for relationships is: –

  • Identify – notice how you repeatedly behave when you are with certain people – awareness is key
  • Notice – what characteristics these people exhibit – what do you like or dislike – what triggers you?
  • Ask what attracts you to them – become a witness
  • Choose – to change the way in which you react. This is not always easy, but slowly slowly, you will get there
  • Rewrite the script so that you behave differently when with them. Again, baby steps. No is a powerful word that you can use with no explanation
  • Integrate – by choosing a different response, day-by-day, you will integrate this new way into your life. New neural pathways will be created, and these will become your normal ways of being
  • Design a new friendship model and seek more fulfilling relationships

Friendships are dynamic

Think about this, how many ‘best friends’ can you have? Friendships require investment in time, energy and love. However, people do come into your life for a reason, a season and a lifetime lesson. Look at your friends and work out which they are.  Then decide what you will do with each if anything.

Be grateful for whatever other people bring, for they do bring a lesson, and however that may play itself out, it is meant to be. So when you are with someone, and they are reflecting something back, ask (no matter how painful), what did I need to learn about myself in that?

What about what these people may say or do?

A small part of you may now worry about the fallout of being more assertive around people with toxic behaviours. Please don’t. By decluttering your friends’ list, you are opening up opportunities for the right kind of people. Ones who won’t press your buttons. Remember, what you focus on is what you get. Another sharp and salient lesson for me.

Three ways to declutter your toxic friends

1) Walk away immediately and don’t look back

Chose to not be available. I would advise that you are polite when you meet, but make sure you do not accept invitations. Never badmouth them. Simply choose that they are not a part of the onward journey. This may seem like a sissy way out. However, if it makes you feel comfortable, do it.

2) Slowly allow the relationship to die

In this scenario, you slowly find other things to do and are not available so often. So in time, it will die. Again this may not seem very assertive, but if it makes you feel comfortable, do it.

3) Speak with them in an assertive way

Holding adult-to-adult assertive conversations should enable you both to walk away with your heads held high. There is, of course, no guarantee that having an adult conversation with a bully will work. However, you will have done your best. Then walk away.

If you value a relationship, its ending will hurt, but if you are being constantly put down, it’s time to move on because they do not value you.

However, if there is no value and you have come to realise that you do not actually value it, you will, as I do, not feel guilty when it ends.

People will either lift you or drown you, and it is your choice, which it is.

Now choose to refresh your life with energising friendships.

About the Author Dale Darley

Helping over 50's women at a crossroads to rewrite their story and become the CEO of their lives. My role is to help my clients to find purpose, design their life and find inner peace. We all have stories. Stories that shape us fundamentally. How we show up today is a direct result of our experiences. I believe that even in our darkest moments, we are on the right path. Even though it may not feel that way. There are crossroads, transitions and the seemingly endless cosmic roundabouts that we enter. Right now is the perfect time to take stock and look at where you are, where you would like to be and what you would like to create – your legacy. I believe that we are all on journeys to discovering who we are so that we can use those experiences to make a difference and an impact in the world. Our personal leadership skills give us an incredible gift that enables us to be the CEO of our lives. Through my online courses, books and mentoring, I help you get clarity with: ♥ Getting clear on your hearts desires and purpose ♥ Becoming the CEO of your life ♥ Working on your personal leadership skills ♥ Finding inner peace Connect with me Dale Darley

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