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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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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In Real Life, 'Plus Size' Means A Size 16 And Up, Not Just Women Who Are Size 8's With Big Breasts

The media needs to understand this, and give recognition to actual plus-size women.

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Recently, a British reality dating TV show called "Love Island" introduced that a plus-sized model would be in the season five lineup of contestants. This decision was made after the show was called out for not having enough diversity in its contestants. However, the internet was quick to point out that this "plus-size model" is not an accurate representation of the plus-size community.


@abidickson01 on twitter.com


Anna Vakili, plus-size model and "Love Island "Season 5 Contestant Yahoo UK News

It is so frustrating that the media picks and chooses women that are the "ideal" version of plus sized. In the fashion world, plus-size starts at size 8. EIGHT. In real life, plus-size women are women who are size 16 and up. Plunkett Research, a marketing research company, estimated in 2018 that 68% of women in America wear a size 16 to 18. This is a vast difference to what we are being told by the media. Just because a woman is curvy and has big breasts, does NOT mean that they are plus size. Marketing teams for television shows, magazines, and other forms of media need to realize that the industry's idea of plus size is not proportionate to reality.

I am all for inclusion, but I also recognize that in order for inclusion to actually happen, it needs to be accurate.

"Love Island" is not the only culprit of being unrealistic in woman's sizes, and I don't fully blame them for this choice. I think this is a perfect example of the unrealistic expectations that our society puts on women. When the media tells the world that expectations are vastly different from reality, it causes women to internalize that message and compare themselves to these unrealistic standards.

By bringing the truth to the public, it allows women to know that they should not compare themselves and feel bad about themselves. Everyone is beautiful. Picking and choosing the "ideal" woman or the "ideal" plus-size woman is completely deceitful. We as a society need to do better.

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