How to Spring Clean Your Relationships
Are you tired of being emotionally drained by toxic colleagues, managers and direct reports? Do other people undermine or control you? Would you like to spring clean your relationships and stop overreacting to other people?
More and more people are coming to me for help to deal with people who have toxic behaviours. The effects of people’s toxic behaviour on others can be devastating to their mental, emotional, physical and financial health, as well as their work performance and their relationships. As you would spring clean your home or office, now is the perfect time to also spring clean your relationships.
Take Stock of Your Relationships
Before you make any major decisions to leave your job, end your relationship or banish people from your life, take stock. Firstly, look at who is in your professional and personal life.
Consider people you interact with:
- at work: colleagues, manager, direct reports, suppliers, customers, etc
- at home: partner, children
- socially: extended family, friends, colleagues, etc
Then for each one, ask yourself:
- How does this person behave around me?
- Do I feel energised or drained after speaking with them?
- Are they affecting me positively or negatively?
Next consider the following and honestly answer:
- to what extent is your anger, hurt, resentment, rejection, betrayal or jealousy from your past workplace or personal relationships affecting your current relationships?
- are your buttons being pushed by other people?
- do you take other people’s comments too personally?
- how much do you dwell or fester over other people’s behaviour towards you?
- are your self doubts (eg. not good enough, fear of failure/success, being judged, fear of being alone, etc) causing you to react negatively to other people?
With the above self-reflection, below are at least 4 options for you to choose between:
1. Keep the Status Quo
The first option is to keep all those people in your life. To stay in the same personal and professional relationships, and put up with these people’s behaviour. This includes changing nothing within you. Not addressing your buttons and continuing to react to other people’s behaviour.
The challenge with keeping the status quo is that you will continue to feel those emotions as those people push your buttons. After a while, those emotions can have a detrimental effect on your mental, emotional and physical health, on your work performance and on your relationships. In addition, by doing nothing differently and allowing those people to keep being toxic around you, you are supporting their behaviour.
If you make this choice, remember to take responsibility for it and any potential consequences. If you choose this option, then do your best to make the most of it for as long as you choose to have those people in your life.
From the assessment above, you can choose which people to keep and which ones to exit from your life. This will be easier professionally eg. changing job roles in the same company or changing companies. It can be more challenging personally eg. with a partner and family.
Be careful! Many people think this is the solution, yet often it is not. You want to avoid securing a new job only to find that your manager, colleagues or direct reports have the same behaviour as those in your current job. Likewise, you want to avoid getting into a new relationship or making new friends only to discover that your new partner and friends behave towards you in the same ways.
Remember the longer you leave your buttons unaddressed, the more you will keep recreating the same patterns with your current and future personal and professional relationships. In turn, this will prevent you from having the relationships you truly desire.
3. Manage Other People
The next option is to keep these people in your life and change how you manage them. Change how you communicate with and influence them. Be warned that this option often requires extra effort and energy. Often it is only dealing with the symptoms rather than the cause.
If you are prepared to put in the effort and energy, pay special attention to different communication and personality styles. Then learn the techniques to be flexible in how you communicate with them. Make sure you have rapport with them and appeal to their unique styles. This is where NLP techniques become very useful in understanding, communicating and managing people with different preference and styles to your own.
4. Transform the Disempowering into Empowering
This option involves identifying and permanently addressing the deepest subconscious causes of your disempowering personal and professional relationships. It is important to identify all the disempowering dynamics between you and each of those people. By the way, there are hundreds of possible disempowering dynamics and my job is to quickly and accurately identify these with you.
Then we can fully address the deepest causes without you needing to talk about the past, refer to or work with any memories. This is ideal because often there are major emotions and traumas in the past, and the mere mention of these past memories can trigger all the emotions and trauma again. So we avoid working with any memories at all.
Imagine never again attracting disempowering behaviours and people, and only having empowering ones instead!
Time to Decide
Which option will you choose to spring clean your past and current relationships?
Looking forward to empowering you!
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