Here are some simple strategies to help minimize or eliminate toxic people from your life:
1. IDENTIFY THE EMOTIONAL VAMPIRES IN YOUR LIFE. Scan your life and notice what friends, family, colleagues, co-workers or romantic partners sap your energy, clog your life and bring you down.
2. TELL TALE SIGNS SOMEONE IS SUCKING YOUR BLOOD:
you begin feeling tired and depleted
your eyes are droopy
your posture starts to collapse (rounded back, hunched shoulders, collapsed middle)
you notice yourself getting irritable, anxious, antsy
you feel insecure, unsure of yourself, off-kilter and are not sure why
you crave carbohydrates, sugary or ‘comfort food’
you can’t get a word in edge-wise
3. BASIC SPECIES OF VAMPIRE TO AVOID:
NARCISSIST: You can’t get a word in edge-wise, everything is about them, even if you tell a story – they spin it back to themselves in relation to their experience, you have been hanging out with this person for hours and they haven’t asked you one question about yourself.
VICTIM: Negative Nelly. All blame and “woe-is-‘me'”. Down on their luck, nothing is their fault (conspiracy theorists, anyone?!?). You wind up feeling depressed and equally negative. Making those around them feel guilty.
CONTROL FREAK: Always dominating, righteous, thinking they know best and trying to fix your problems, inundating, pushy.
4. SET HEALTHY BOUNDARIES:
CLEARLY DEFINE A TIME LIMIT FROM THE BEGINNING. If you must be in contact with a vampire (family or co-worker) – immediately state the time limit that you have. i.e. “I’m running into a meeting in 10 minutes, so our conversation has to be brief.” or “I am on a deadline and have to get back to work…is there a quick question I can help you with?”
3-4 hr. TIME LIMIT WITH FAMILY. If you’re home for a holiday or on an extended trip with a vampire (alcoholic brother-in-law, pushy mother, critical co-worker) limit yourself to no more than 3-4 hours together.
USE BODY LANGUAGE. Stand a few feet away from them so you’re not ‘caught up in their space’, cross your arms, wear a hat to seal your energy in, wear shiny objects (jewelry, gem stones, metal) to deflect their energy, lean away from the.
KNOW YOUR EXIT STRATEGY. Make up an errand you have to run or a phone call you must take (outside!), go to the store, for a run, do a brief meditation, call a friend or therapist for support. Have a friend call you at a certain time to interrupt. Do whatever you need to do to return to center. Return only when your head and energy field is clear and strong.
Please leave a comment and share the specific strategies that help you deal with toxic relationships and create healthy boundaries.
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About the Author:
Ashley Turner is an innovator in personal development bridging yoga, psychology and neuroscience. She is an acclaimed yoga–meditation instructor, registered Marriage + Family Psychotherapy Intern, writer and Initiated Priestess in the 13 Moon Mystery School tradition. She has graced such lists as MindBodyGreen’s “100 Women to Watch in Wellness,” DETAILS magazine recently named Ashley Turner “1 of the Top 6 Trainers to watch in 2014,” and Dr. ShareCare.com calls her”the #2 Online Influencer for Stress Relief”. She is the creator of the wildly popular MEDITATION 101 Virtual Conference (over 25,000 participants in 2014), creator of several online courses, co-creator of the Urban Priestess Modern Day Mystery School, has 10 best-selling yoga dvd’s, and is co-author of Aroma Yoga. She also works with clients worldwide via Skype and leads transformative events to power points around the globe. Ashley lives by the ocean in Marina Del Rey, CA. www.AshleyTurner.org
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