Have you ever had someone in your life that was completely toxic? Maybe they treat you terribly, but you put up with it out of some warped sense of loyalty or obligation? If so, here’s your sign to say enough is enough and kick that person to the curb.
There’s a quote that recently showed up on my facebook memories because I posted it a few years ago:
“Letting toxic people go is not an act of cruelty. It’s an act of self-care.”
I remember the first time I read that, I was like wow! It was actually mind-blowing to me. You see, there have been a LOT of people that I had to let go of and each time, I had people trying to make me feel bad about it.
I heard it all:
But he’s your dad.
If I could go back and talk to my brother…
You know how she is; you just have to let it go.
But you guys were friends for like twenty years!
You’re just upset right now. Give it a few days and things will go back to normal.
Pick your battles, Danielle.
You’re going to regret this decision.
My overthinking mind and sensitive heart didn’t help the situation either. I was probably just as hard on myself as everyone else was on me. Every time I walked away from a relationship- be it friend, family or romantic, I had that inner voice wondering if I was making the right choice. Then there were the friends and family members trying to convince me that I’d regret my choices. But here’s the thing: I never left a relationship without a good reason. In fact, each person I said goodbye to gave me multiple reasons, and I stuck around for WAY too long before I finally said enough.
The most recent of those goodbyes was in 2019. It was messy and painful and since it was family, a lot of mutual contacts were affected and everyone had an opinion. I started having flashbacks to when I ended my relationship with my father and several people tried to make me out to be a villain for it. That was why when I came across this quote, I had to share it. It gave me the freedom to let go of the guilt; to let go of the pain and the fear and the obligation. Now, two years later, I’m sharing it again because I still think it’s powerful.
I’ve probably written something like this before and I probably will again, but here it goes:
No one has the right to treat you badly. I don’t care how they’re related to you or what your history is or what they’ve been through or what they don’t know. There is never an excuse or reason that makes it okay. Please don’t call it loyalty or try to convince yourself that you deserve it or that it will get better. The only way it will get better is if you start having boundaries and demand to be treated better.
It took me WAY too long to figure that out.
Will you lose relationships when you start standing up for yourself? Yes, most likely. But the people that you lose are the ones who were taking advantage of your kindness and loyalty. And when you think about it, if they were toxic, are you really losing anything? Or are you gaining self-respect? Are you gaining room to breathe?
I was told again and again that I’d regret my choices, but the only thing I regret is not doing it sooner. I should never have let myself be treated the way that I was, and I definitely shouldn’t have allowed it for as long as I did. You can be damned sure that I will never allow it again.
Please, don’t be like the old me. Don’t let your loyalty or your bloodline or your past dictate who is allowed to be in your life. If someone is toxic, let them go. And then let go of the guilt.
You deserve to be treated well, by others and by yourself.
Getting rid of the toxic people in your life is the first step to building a life you love. It’s standing up to the world and announcing that you love yourself, and that you’re not going to be a punching bag anymore. It might take some adjusting, but after a while, you’ll feel better.
I know I feel fantastic. And you know what? I deserve it! Because I matter. And I promise you, you do too.
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