Think Twice Before You Cut Out The Negative People In Your Life

Think Twice Before You Cut Out The Negative People In Your Life

Always put kindness first.
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By now, Western culture has acquired a few staple selling points. These consist of a good amount of things including social media - particularly how one’s life appears on social media, our aesthetics regarding our bodies' shapes and sizes, and our self-love. Let me tell you, self-love is in right now. Along with green juices and Instagram themes, self-love is exploding with popularity. And this, in and of itself, is a great thing. I am so in favor of self-love, confidence and doing what you need to do to make yourself happy. What I’m not in favor of is how the media promotes self-love in the form of cutting other people out of your life.

If you’re at all present on the Internet, you’ve probably seen on some blog or forum how important it is to “cut out the negative people from your life to truly be happy” or “eliminate the toxic people.” I used to buy into this completely. I essentially believed that you should do whatever it takes to make yourself happy, even if that meant disposing of someone in your life. I paid no regards to the other side of this process -- that was until it happened to me.

I was cut out of someone’s life in a very precise and efficient fashion. The process of eliminating me from this person's life was executed quickly and easily -- for them. For me, however, it was hell.

But wait a minute, what constitutes a negative person? Is there a universal definition for someone who is no longer needed in your life? The truth is, there’s not. The definitions of these terms are completely up for grabs. For the sake of this piece, I’ll come up with my own definition: a negative person in one’s life is someone who, according to the person doing the cutting-out, is no longer contributing any positive attributes or benefits to the greater relationship and well-being of the other person. Basically, it’s when you realize that someone isn’t making you happy enough anymore that you need to, apparently, “cut them out.”

And defend this process all you want, but I argue that it is cruel by nature. And I’m not talking about eliminating a truly negative and toxic person who is just factually unkind. I’m talking about eliminating someone who you have deemed unhealthy for you because of something that is no fault of their own, but is a problem with the relationship, or better yet, with you.

People use the “cutting out” method as a mechanism to escape their own insecurities and struggles. Blaming someone else for a challenge you are facing internally is easy for you, but is truthfully terrible for the other person, and in general solves nothing.

To be “cut out” feels like going from safety to insanity, from being comforted to being tortured, from being happy to being literally non-functional. When the person who is cutting you out is important to you and your everyday life, that’s when it hits you the hardest. And that’s what happened to me. It changes everything. It has you questioning whether or not you can ever go back to being as happy as you were. You drive yourself crazy wondering what you did wrong and where you failed to make the other person sufficiently happy.

Almost all the time, there’s no explanation, or at least not a decent one. The “cut out” people are left to rebuild themselves while the person doing the cutting out is free to go make new friends who they have deemed “better.”

It’s like getting replaced by something newer and shinier than you. It’s not being good enough anymore, not quite making the cut. It’s punishment for something you didn’t do, and you can never figure out why. And while you can prepare yourself as much as possible and get yourself back to a happy place in your life, the “why” question, and the painful sting of memories cut short, never really ends.

Even now I believe in surrounding yourself with positivity, and people that inspire you to grow and be your best self. But there is a way to do this that does not involve damaging other people. And no matter how much harder it is, it’s worth searching for.

Cover Image Credit: Slate.com

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won’t see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won’t laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won’t go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They’ll miss you. They’ll cry.

You won’t fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won’t get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won’t be there to wipe away your mother’s tears when she finds out that you’re gone.

You won’t be able to hug the ones that love you while they’re waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won’t be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won’t find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won’t celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won’t turn another year older.

You will never see the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You’ll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it’s not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don’t let today be the end.

You don’t have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It’s not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I’m sure you’re no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won’t do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you’ll be fine.” Because when they aren’t, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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An Open Letter To The Person Feeling Everything Is Too Much

The strongest people to exist struggle the most.

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Hey, you.

I heard through the grapevine that life's got you in the dumps. You're feeling overwhelmed by your surroundings, stressed by your responsibilities, sensitive to the things that people are saying; everything just feels like it is too much. It almost feels like you're stuck in a room filling up with water. You know that the door opens, but you're numbed by the circumstances; you can't get yourself to take hold of that handle, so you just stand there, frozen in time. You feel the water rising up around your body, and with every inch it gains, you get even more overwhelmed. Maybe the water flooding in contains your schoolwork, your family dynamic, your drama within your friend group, your relationship status, internal anger about who you are or aren't, or hell, maybe all of these.

You feel like life is throwing rogue waves at you left and right, and you can't understand it. Why is this happening to me? Why is life trying to break me?

Well, let me tell you something that has taken me years to even grasp, let alone fully understand.

The strongest people to exist struggle the most. They are given some of the most intricately woven issues that may not have a black and white solution but live somewhere within the gray. Things pile up and upon them until everything feels like too much. And you know what they do, the strongest people to exist?

They break.

They stand there, trapped in that water-filling room, and let the water seep in. They don't open that door, they don't take the easy way out. They stand there, thinking about what is being thrown at them, not knowing what to do. They let the water overwhelm them, completely filling the room. And right when they feel that they can't take this anymore, like everything is too much, the door breaks... they break. The strongest become the weakest as they float out of the room, carried by the rushing water filled with their burdens. They lay washed up on the shore, weaker than ever... broken and cracked, frozen and numbed by life.

While they lay there broken and numb, weakness does something so immaculate and beautiful: it settles into the brokenness and the cracks like fresh, fertile soil, planting the seeds of wisdom and strength. Over time as it continues to rain, wisdom and strength grow throughout their bones like vines, making them even stronger than they were before they got trapped in that room before they broke. The strongest people to exist break frequently, so that room can be made for more love, more strength, and more wisdom than imaginable.

Now you may be thinking, why this analogy? What are you getting at?

I want you to know, and read this closely: it is okay to break. It's okay to let everything feel like it's too much because you know what? Sometimes it is, it just is. Sometimes, you have to just stand there, and let yourself feel. Let it explode and wash over you. Let it leave you cracked. Once the explosion has ridden its course. analyze the broken pieces you feel inside. Look at them individually and try to find the root of that feeling. Finding the knowledge behind that feeling means that you now know how to fight back. So you know what you do? You piece yourself back together, slowly but surely, using wisdom as the glue, and you come back stronger than ever before.

You have to break before you can grow. Let yourself feel, feel all of it. Break and be grown anew.

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