There comes a time when everyone needs to reevaluate the people they keep close – the people who impact their lives for better or for worse. In my case, I went through a journey of experiencing chronic pain and then later discovering I had tension myositis syndrome (TMS), also known as mind-body syndrome. Throughout my journey, many friends and families members supported me, while others, unfortunately, did not. I had to learn the hard way that sometimes you need to let go of toxic people in your life, even if they are supposed to be close to you. I hope you can learn to do the same.

Recognizing Toxicity

There are many ways a person may be toxic without being outright horrible. They may be negative toward you and your successes, even competing or sabotaging your wants, needs and dreams to make themselves feel better or succeed. They may try to drain your confidence and make you unsure of yourself and what goals you’re going after. No matter how it manifests, toxic people usually get into your head and cause some form of fatigue or damage to your thoughts.

It’s Okay to Let Go

“Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go.” – Hermann Hesse

For many, we may have identified a toxic person a long while ago. We’ve known deep down that every time we interact with this person, we come away deflated and discouraged. There are many reasons for holding off on letting go of that toxic person, most of them stemming from fear – fear of confrontation, fear of closing a chapter, fear of hurting feelings. But, remember: you deserve happiness. You deserve a support system that is loving, kind and excited for you to live your best life.

Not Every Relationship is Forever

“Letting go means [realizing] some people are part of your history, not part of your destiny.” – Steve Maraboli

Part of living your best life is realizing that the relationship – whether friendly, familial or romantic – is most likely going to end. You can keep on enduring the toxicity, or you can move on. You need to realize that not every single relationship is forever. Sometimes people grow apart. Perhaps the drama or discord that feeds one friend is simply too much negativity to have in your life. Just because you’ve been friends for years and years doesn’t mean you need to spend the rest of your life enduring negativity. Once you realize that some people are not part of your future, then you need to address the issue in whatever form that means for you and move on.

Accept the Other Person As They Are

“The most difficult aspect of moving on is accepting that the other person already did.” – Faraaz Kazi

Now, no one said having that “you’re toxic so I’m leaving this friendship” conversation was going to be easy. It may be very difficult. They will most likely get defensive and mad, and worst of all hurt. After this conversation, a part of you may want them to contact you and beg to start again, with them behaving toxin-free this time. Maybe they’d even apologize. That’s an ideal. The majority of the time, they may completely cut you out as well. Any apology you wanted and were waiting for will most likely not be appearing. Do not wait for their apology in order to move on. Accept that the other person has already chosen their path and let them go.

An Emotionally Pain-Free Life

“Pain will leave you, when you let go.”  – Jeremy Aldana

A side effect of removing toxic people from your life is that only those that wish you well and support you will be left. With so much positivity you’ll experience far less emotional pain than before, certainly less caused by people, rather than unforeseen stressful events. In my case, less emotional pain and learning to manage that pain led me back to a pain-free life. If you also want a pain-free life again, you need to fully commit to letting go and then embrace all of the positivity that will come your way.

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