"Boundaries are a part of self-care--they are healthy, normal and necessary." --Doreen Virtue
Does it surprise you that you're surrounded by toxic people all the time?
They hurt you more than once; you forgive them and hope things will be back to normal only for them to hurt you all over again.
And you have no idea how you got into this mess.
Well, it's because your strongest attributes are leaving you vulnerable to these toxic people.
You are not alone. I have experienced this in my life, too. One of my friends would always call whenever she needed help. And I always said yes to every request.
I became a pleaser. But doing so left me broken, because I allowed my friend to enter my life and subject me to unhappiness.
I finally learned to find my boundaries and say no, without losing myself in the process. I became aware of how my friend was using my strength to her advantage. And this awareness helped me block off the toxic relationship.
I'm not telling you this to suppress your positive attributes, of giving without the expectation of receiving back. I'm just trying to educate you so that toxic people can't use these attributes against you.
Here is why you attract toxic people
1. You are generous with your time.
We can all agree that generosity is an admirable character trait. But watch out--toxic people can be drawn to kind, generous people.
They will hold on to you if you're willing to drop everything for them, answer all their texts, reply promptly to their phone calls. As they demand more of your time, you drown in resentfulness.
Generosity without boundaries is a disaster. Became aware of your needs and feelings, gradually build boundaries, and say no to requests that are likely to cause you to become angry.
Setting boundaries will be hard at first because it will feel selfish. But if you've flown on a plane, you know how the flight attendants instruct passengers to put on their own masks before helping others, even their kids? That's because you cannot help others if you are disabled. You need to look out for yourself first; only then can you truly help others.
Tending to your own needs will preserve the best of you so that you can share yourself with wonderful people, not just the toxic ones.
2. You are trusting and honest with your dreams.
If you aim for big dreams, you're likely to attract toxic people. The ones who, sadly, forego their own dreams.
If you honestly share your ideas with them, they may consider you as greedy, unrealistic, and selfish.
Fear is their companion, and they'll try to sabotage your dreams with words of discouragement.
The harder you work, the more they will attack you.
Never share your dreams with people who have proven to be toxic. Watch out--they'll cunningly ask you over and over. But don't fall prey to their questions, because they'll be ready to offer opinions even when they can't follow their own dreams.
Surround yourself with people who have dreams, because they'll support your mission and encourage you.
3. Your view of humanity is goodness.
Sometimes we assume that the average human being is as kind as we are. But often we run into the darker side of humanity, making us challenge that assumption.
Do you struggle to accept that humanity contains narcissism, deception, and greed?
Are you getting stuck in toxic relationships with narcissists, hoping they will change?
You know the type. These are the people whose dark side you've accepted and settled for. You find yourself giving excuses for their behavior.
I thought toxic people had a place in my life and I was supposed to adjust myself to accept them with their flaws. I've since learned this is not true at all.
Use your intuition to detect danger, both physical and emotional. Don't suppress the pain you feel inside. It might be difficult at first, because your view of others may drown you in anxiety, shock, and anger. But persist, and be wary of these threats to your well-being.
Let your intuition protect you from the emotional pain caused by toxic relationships.
4. You're easygoing.
Do you say something is okay if when it's not okay?
I mean, like keeping your cool even in tough situations. You try to make others feel at ease with your witty quips because you are kind, patient, and non-aggressive.
Your inner peace attracts toxic people who are eager to disrupt it.
They'll take your peace as weakness and use it as an easy target for their controlling behavior.
I became aware that my thoughtful gestures and love for children were making me an easy target. For instance, I would say "I will watch your child anytime you want," and that "anytime" became almost everyday, regardless if I was calling off work or not. My friend monopolized on those words and misused them to her advantage.
Avoid responding automatically. Instead, say, "I'll get back with you later." That way you haven't given anyone the impression that you'll do it. You can respond back later and say, "Sorry, but I can't do it."
Do not let toxic people map the road for you
Be the driver.
Keep up with your positive attributes.
And, slowly and carefully, weed out any toxicity in your life.
In the end, you have the choice to let those toxic people go.
So do it and thrive.
Ann Davis is on a mission to help you identify your true talent, so that you can live the life you've always wanted. Download the free worksheet: Discover your true talent and make it profitable.