When deciding how to network more effectively and connect to the right people, we have to remember that our lives and careers are greatly influenced by the people we spend the most time with — those people include parents, children, siblings, friends, and professional colleagues.
Jim Rohn brilliantly stated, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
But, what happens when you recognize that one (or more) of those people can be sabotaging your career and personal happiness? There are key personalities that are considered “toxic” for us and sometimes it takes those defining moments to withdraw from the relationships for your own personal happiness and progress.
How do you recognize when it’s time to cut the cord and not look back?
Research points to specific personalities that are toxic for us and quite often, these personalities are inter-connected: the negative “Debbie Downer,” the one who argues and causes friction consistently, the one whose life is in constant turmoil and plays “victim,” the one who can’t accept responsibility or take ownership of his/her wrongdoings, the “user” who simply only wants to take and not give, and then there’s the personality who is a bad influence on our actions.
Think about a defining moment in your life when you realized that your own personal happiness mattered more than continuing this toxic relationship. Maybe it was when you moved forward from one job to the next. Maybe it was when you ended a very unhealthy relationship or friendship that simply did not pave the road for personal fulfillment. Perhaps this person was so utterly destructive to everything around him/her that you realized it was best to withdraw from all contact.
Many times it is hard for us to take off the blinders and recognize that the toxic personality is from someone who is in close relation to us. It can be someone who you have a deep personal relationship or friendship with or it could even be your boss. Remember that remaining connected to toxic people precludes us from moving forward with our personal progress and goals. Sometimes it’s best to cut the cord for the sake of our own happiness. We don’t owe explanations. We owe the happiness to ourselves.
Here are a few tips to establishing boundaries to relationships and ensuring that we connect to the right people:
Recognize how this person is affecting you. In work situations, it make require deep introspective thinking and realizing that you are better off pursuing different career avenues. In personal relationships, it may require disconnecting from this person in all forms of communication and creating a wall of distance. Not every situation needs to be confronted. Sometimes it’s better to just take the higher road and walk away.
Consult With a Coach or Other Professional
It may take a few sessions with a career or life coach or a licensed mental health counselor to help point you in the right direction of the types of environments that best suit your personality and how to best cope with toxic personalities. Many times, toxic personalities cannot recognize the destruction they bring to situations.
Journal Your Feelings
Don’t be embarrassed to journal your feelings. Journaling is a great way to release personal tension and to help redefine your focus on what is important to you. It also promotes personal self growth and allows you to reflect on your own progress.
Change Your Circle and Look for Common Interests
Look at your inner circle. Look to who you are spending time with and cultivating relationships with. It may be best to re-define that circle and expand into new ones that align with your common interests. This can bring forth new networking and business opportunities, new friendships, or even new career opportunities.
Your career and personal happiness matter. Don’t allow others to take away your self-worth or pride in your goals and progress.
Struggling with toxic co-workers or a toxic work environment? Book a career coaching session with Wendi Weiner, The Writing Guru to review and identify how to move forward for greater progress in your career.