By Claire Walton, Executive Leadership Coach and Founder of Leaders Are MAD – Making A Difference https://www.leadersaremad.co.uk and Best-Selling Author of ‘Super Neuro You’.
“Our relationships influence our feelings and our thoughts, and our thoughts will determine our actions and our success. To increase your chances of positive wellbeing and success in life the people you choose to spend time with should positively enhance your feelings and thoughts. They should encourage you to feel calm, confident, courageous, creative, compassionate, curious, & clear. You should feel connected to them and to the rest of the world, whilst being true to yourself. You should feel you have choice in the relationship.” says Executive Leadership Coach and Founder of Leaders Are MAD – Making A Difference, Claire Walton.
Claire has recently released her debut book ‘Super Neuro You’, which became a best-seller overnight. One of the topics that the book explores is the impact toxic influences can have on your health and potential – Claire shares with Friendly Family Working her thoughts on the impact of toxic relationships and also, offers advice on how we can tackle these…
Claire continues; “A person’s toxic behaviour can often be subtle. We have a fundamental human need to feel valued and treated fairly. When you regularly spend time with people who do not demonstrate they value you and who do not treat you fairly you can feel the pain of this just as much as you feel physical pain. This pain is your nervous system warning you against the ‘toxic’ danger of spending time with this person. It will often appear as muscle tension, headache and stomach ache. It will stop you being able to be your best as your energy goes to the source of this discomfort rather than to fuel your emotional intelligence, cognitive ability, or physical strength.
“Appreciating the impact your relationships have on your performance at work or as a parent or in any other significant role, will hopefully motivate you to choose your relationships wisely. And remember, you always have a choice. Making this choice isn’t always easy and will have consequences, but in the long-term you will benefit from tackling the toxic influences in your life.
“A helpful strategy for recognising these people in your life is to consider all your key relationships. Try this
Make a list below of the people you spend time with.
Against each name put a + (positive) if you feel morecalm, confident, courageous, creative, compassionate, curious, clear, and connected when with them.
These are often people you look forwardto spending time with.
- Put a – (negative) if spending time with them makes you feel less calm, confident, courageous, creative, compassionate, curious, clear, or connected when with them.
- Consider the people who you scored as having a negative impact. Add a further – (negative) score if these people also cause you to feel stress unnecessarily before or after seeing them. You probably already have a gut feeling who these people are. You need to take action to tackle these toxic relationships.
- Consider the people you scored positively, who from this list can support you when you tackle the toxic relationships.
If you think any of your relationships are toxic, you may want to start by trying to influence a change in the relationship, the person, and their behaviour. Perhaps, they are suffering in some way and their behaviour is a response to this. If they are not willing to or do not change you will need to end the relationship. You are likely to feel better about yourself if you tackle the end of a toxic relationship with a conversation. I know this is easier said than done so here are some tips:
- You may need some support to help you see through this change, so lean on your highly positive relationships when ending toxic ones
- It may help to write down what you plan to say beforehand
- Choose a safe place for the conversation or make it virtual
- Share your observations about their behaviour and ask if there is anything you can do to help
- If they accept responsibility and open up to you, identify what you can do to ease their suffering which does not cause you further distress
- If they do not accept or take responsibility for their behaviour do not continue to accept the impact their behaviour has on you.
- Be firm about your intentions and do not allow yourself to waver
- Be respectful but hold your ground
- Remember, leaving a toxic relationship is a success not a failure
- If you continue to suffer from the effects of the toxic relationship after it ends you may need professional help of a coach or therapist to help you move forward.”
To find out more about Claire please visit https://www.leadersaremad.co.uk/ and to purchase a copy of Claire’s best-selling book please visit Amazon.