If there is someone in your life who saps your energy – makes you feel used, abused, and put upon – it is high time to break free.
If there’s someone in your life who saps your energy — makes you
feel used, abused, and put upon — it’s high time to break free. And if
you’re spring-cleaning your closets of clothes that no longer fit, it’s
the ideal time to toss out (or at least pare down) toxic relationships
that no longer work for you.
I know you probably want to scream, “Get out of my life!” But that
usually just brings on more stress, especially if you’re giving the boot
to a family member. Instead, I recommend these three subtle — yet
super-effective — strategies. You’ll be amazed at how liberated they’ll
make you feel.
1. Pull back. Suppose your sister-in-law is the
source of your strife. Instead of letting her vent to you 24-7, make it
clear when she calls that you only have a few minutes, or just don’t
answer the phone. Instead, send her a text or email saying that you got
her message, but you’re too busy to talk this week. The more time you
put between speaking to each other, the more likely your problem person
will find another ear to bend.
2. Stall. I never accept an invitation on the spot
that I’m not wildly excited about. Instead, say something like “I have
to check my calendar” or “I don’t know my schedule yet.” Be
matter-of-fact, but don’t give a reason why you might not be able to go.
There’s a chance the person inviting you will not even follow up. But
if she does, you can say, “Sorry, I looked at my schedule and I couldn’t
make it.” You can do the same with invitations through social media,
such as Facebook and LinkedIn. You’re under no obligation confirm
everyone who sends you a “friend” request. I’ve hit the “Ignore” button
on more than one occasion.
3. Call her on it. If you’re in a situation where
it’s hard to avoid the person making you miserable — say she’s a
co-worker — the next time she complains, tell her what you’re thinking.
It’s not mean to say: “I’ve heard this compliant so many times before.
Why don’t you do something about it?” Your challenge might actually
prompt her to take action. But if she still has that woe-is-me attitude,
chances are she’ll find somebody else in the office to listen to her
Richard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com,
a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single Father with children.
RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents
“Make Life Happen…Again!”