Toxic People

Last week I spent three days trading the Handmade Fair at Hampton Court. It’s our fourth year at this busy show, and this year I met the lovely Kirsty Allsopp who presents things which made my day!

One morning, I had coffee with a friend who I haven’t seen since last year. She used to do shows week in week out, and I miss her bubbly energy and warm, sweet nature.

As is often the case with old friends, the conversation soon turned to our love lives or in my case, lack of them!

I couldn’t help thinking how challenging relationships can be as she described the ongoing difficulties with her ex-partner. She still cares for him and probably still loves him, but the anger and constant jealousy became too much.

When a relationship becomes toxic, whether it’s a partner or a friend, then you must take decisive action to resolve things. This can be in two stages. First, you might tackle it head-on with the other person, thereby attempting to change the behaviour.

If this fails, as likely it will, then you are left with only one course of action, and that is to distance yourself from the person or relationship.

Of course, you are going to wish things were different; you hoped the person would change. But in your heart, you know they probably never will. People are people and change is exceptionally difficult. Especially when it involves learned responses and behaviours they have adopted over many years.

When you find yourself in a situation that is not making you happy, where another person is affecting your mood, your well being and most likely your self-worth then sadly often the only course of action that works is to cut that person out of your life.

Don’t allow them to keep upsetting you. This is a hard choice, as the forgiving part of you will always want to give one more chance in the hope that they can change. But those extra chances lead to a lifetime of unhappiness. You are not their shrink or their social worker.

You have a responsibility to yourself and your wellbeing. Sometimes the best kind of friend you can be is to distance yourselves from people who drain your energy, sap your will and bring negativity to every interaction.

Not an easy pathway, but in your heart, you know what must be done. Together, we climb the mountain, not in giant leaps but one small step at a time.

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