Monday, December 12, 2011

Observe But Don't Absorb Other People's Messes

Give Off Joy
I'm spending a great deal of my time of late studying, reading about, playing around with the concept of happiness. And one of the big topics that often comes up is how to deal with toxic people and situations in our lives. Let me start by telling you how I use to deal with things.... most of my life I have been a rather optimistic person, so it pained me to see others in distress so much so I would try and help (read: fix) the situation. The dangerous thing is that I was pretty clever and wise even at a young age so I would often be able to help people out which led to more people, more fixing/helping.

Why is this a bad thing? Well, because I had no detachment instincts- if people told me their problems or came to me with their messy lives I took it on as it was now my problem. How can I help this person? And I totally got off on helping and thinking how nice and wonderful it was of me- not to mention I loved the adoration I got from them after. But, it's a trap.

With maturity, heartache, and finally being drained by others, I wised up. What I finally got is that people's stuff is their stuff. They need to clean up their own mess. Do people need a helping hand? Sure. But we must be aware not everyone is salvageable or wants peace in their lives. There are people surrounding us who are pessimists that thrive on drama, they're taker, drainers, true narcissists... and they will never change- that's just who they are.

It is up to us who we let in our lives. I want to have people in my life who are inspiring, happy, healthy, loving, humorous, working on themselves, giving, etc. I want to absorb the lessons they have to teach me, the energy they emit, the love they give, the good company they provide.

For the others I use this bit of wisdom from my pal:
     Observe, don't absorb.
                                ~Brandy Agerbeck
We can't get rid of all the toxic people in our life- they're everywhere: at work, in our family, in line with us at the movies. But we can decide we will observe what is going on with them without partaking in their negativity, drama, hostility, bad vibes. If need be just put on a magical suit of rubber and like we're taught in 1st grade let it bounce off of you and stick to them. It is no longer (really, never was) any of my business how people decide to live their lives, all I can do is try and be a good person, work on myself, clean up my own messes, and live at peace with my choices.

Now when someone comes to me with anything I see if they are open to a suggestion, appreciative of my time, willing to take on the bulk of the burden, and then I help when I can. But I get their issue is theirs to figure out and just because someone drops their mess of a life at your feet doesn't mean you need to pick any of it up. We decide what we absorb into our lives and so do others; I've chosen to absorb the good and observe the rest.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your very interesting post. Excellent advice. Something to practice...