Are there people in your life who drag you down and stop you from moving forward in your life? Does it sometimes feel like they put a wall in front of you just as you’re feeling confident in yourself to stop you?
I teach that there are 3 Kinds of Clutter, one of which is OTHER Clutter. OTHER Clutter is people. Sometimes people in our lives are distracting, keep us frustrated, stress us out and take us off balance. If it’s really them (and not us) I call them “bucket people.”
People who drag us down, tell us we can’t or will never be successful, tell us to stop trying so hard, etc. These people can be old friends, new ones, family, co-workers, employers, even guidance counselors (I had one in college!). They have “issues” of their own and dump them on others. They’re not bad people, but their issues will help nudge you down the wrong path if you listen to them, believe them and stop following your own path, vision, dream and plan.
Bucket people are like crabs in a bucket. You can leave the lid off the bucket and they won’t get away, though they will try. They will climb over one another in the attempt to climb out of the bucket, but as soon as one gets close to the top and over the side the others pull it back in. Do you have people like that in your life?
LET THEM GO
It’s not easy to let people go, but it’s a must if they are too strong of a negative and limiting influence on us. You owe it to yourself to take time to think it through and find a way to shift your relationship with them to stay in it to work better for you, or to part ways.
WHAT NOT TO DO
In the process of deciding to do it and doing it,
don’t be mean
don’t try to make them wrong or the bad guy
and don’t insult, shame or belittle to them
Just make your personal boundaries clear for yourself and start cutting ties, time and energy with them.
Will some of them be mad? Absolutely. It’s okay.
No matter how you do it, it can feel uncomfortable and even might bring up an argument or two. That’s okay. Just keep moving ahead with your decision to take care of yourself in order to expand and grow in your life.
HOW TO LET GO AND MOVE ON
FRIENDS: Stop calling, don’t spend time with them anymore, or just outright tell them that you’re moving on with your relationship.
JOB: Maybe it’s time to look for a new one!
FAMILY: It’s really hard to break the mold, I know. Really, I KNOW! You have to stay in touch with some of them of course, but I’ve learned that since I’m a very visual person, meaning I can’t listen and read at the same time (!), when I have “one of those calls” from a family member who’s into their “Debbie Downer” stories, I just start flipping through a magazine or grocery list! My brain shuts them out except just to tune in once in a while to see if I need to answer something!
With family, pick your battles and spend less and less time in them (the battles) and with them. Maybe it’s time to reassess the role you play in your family. Can you let it go?
MARRIAGE/PARTNER: Hmmm, couples therapy is a good thing. Or, maybe it’s time to leave.
TAKE THEM OFF YOUR AUTO DIAL!
This has always been my humorous way to say that, “I’M UP TO HERE WITH THEM AND DONE WITH THIS CRAZINESS! They’re ’off my auto dial’!” I then literally remove their number from my auto dial on my phone. I haven’t had to do that in decades, but then, now of course it’s UNLIKING and UNFRIENDING on Facebook. Do it! Feels great, I can vouch for it!
Here’s a funny example of how to do this; make this your next outgoing phone message:
Beep…… “I am not available right now, but thank you for caring enough to call. I am making some changes in my life. Please leave a message after the beep. If I do not return your call, you are one of the changes.”
Can you think of a couple people in your life to whom this could, can, would, should apply? (If you don’t call me back, I’ll know it’s me!)
Feel free to use it today! Have fun “decluttering” OTHER CLUTTER in your life and learning better and healthier boundaries for your best life.
RESOURCE SUGGESTION: FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY!
This is one of the best books on taking the risk to change your life.