When I was little, I was at a friend’s lake-house and had been swimming in the lake with the other kids. But when I got out of the water I noticed I’d picked up something that hadn’t been there before getting into the water. It was black and icky looking and to make things even creepier, it was attached to my ankle. I freaked out as an human would. It was a leech. My dad took it off and doused it in salt. That was one of my first experiences with a leech from the lake.
My first experience with a human equivalent of a leech was quite different, because I didn’t notice until way later that a leech was using me to get energy. It isn’t fun.
A leech can be any sort of person, workplace, or situation that takes the energy and life you want to live away from you. After running into that leech you feel like you don’t have what it takes to take on your dreams and goals. Everything seems too big.
How Do I Know If I Have A Toxic Leech In My Life?
One of the best ways to find the answer to this question is by looking at your life. Are there any areas in your life where you feel completely and utterly out of energy. Is it in your writing, your personal life, or maybe even in the work place?
In 2016, I dealt with a couple of leeches myself. It wasn’t easy to pick them off, but once they were disconnected from me everything was easier. It was easier not to care and to leave them for the healthier and happier life you want to live.
Are you dealing with any toxic people? If so, here are some ideas on how to deal with them. It’s never easy to get rid of your leech, but sometimes some are easier than others.
The Toxic Friend
In 2016, I learned what it takes to have and be a good friend. Good friends care about you no matter what and aren’t selfish when it comes to your time. I once had a friend that wanted to hang out every week for a couple hours at a time.
It wasn’t possible for me to spend that much time with her, because I work full time and also have a couple of side-gigs as well. But she didn’t understand that and because I couldn’t give up a couple hours every week to get together with her she kind of disappeared and stopped asking me to always get together. I was glad when that happened, because I would have kept meeting with her and letting her drain me of my passion and excitement.
If you have a friend, who you absolutely must get together with once in a while, set aside a couple times when you can meet up and have it set for a strict amount of time. If your leech friend is more energy to keep as a friend, it may be time to say buh-bye to them.
A sign that you may need to say bye is: Whenever you plan a meet up, you sigh and feel like you’d rather not.
If she or he continues sucking your energy or being toxic, it may be time to talk it out with them. Tell them that you can’t be their friend any longer if this attitude continues.
Some people will want to fix things, because they don’t want to lose your friendship, while others will get offended and avoid you later on.
The Toxic Workplace
A toxic workplace usually comes from having a leader that doesn’t know how to lead or doesn’t want to.
“Often times in a toxic workplace there is an abundance of tearing others down, passive aggressive leadership, destructive gossip, conniving politics, and abundant negativity.” said Amy Rees Anderson from Forbes.
It’s unfortunate to be in this kind of situation and honestly I believe that companies should walk their team leads through sessions and lessons on how to be a good leader. A leader doesn’t become a good leader by getting a promotion, they become a good leader when they listen and communicate well with their team. And when they encourage a healthy atmosphere for working and creating.
Unfortunately I’ve dealt with this kind of atmosphere in the past and it wasn’t fun. It wasn’t fair. Some of the things that helped me reconnect to myself were:
- Take walks when you need to get out of the office.
- Have a positive quote as your computer screen decoration.
- Hang positive quotes and sayings up in your cubicle. Have pictures of family on your desk.
Ultimately the best way to deal with a toxic workplace is to be constantly looking for a different workplace. Because, at least you have a job, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be looking for something else. Because you can.
You aren’t a tree. Get up and move if you don’t like where you currently are.
The Toxic Family Member
I’d have to say this is the toughie when it comes to toxic people and situations, because toxic family members are people you love or have a close connection with, so it can be really hard to know how to deal with that.
I have friends and family members who have had to deal with this one. It seriously isn’t easy, because you love your family.
If your family member is someone who is really important to you then you’ll still see them but set cut off dates for when you choose to see them and for how long.
It’s Important That You Take Care Of Yourself
When it all comes down to it, you need to take care of yourself. You only have one life and you need to keep yourself healthy and happy. And if something is causing you to be drained and low on energy or sad, then you need to say good-bye to it.