Social Cleansing: The Best Decision I Ever Made
I’m sure you’ve heard of several types of cleanses: juicing, herbal detoxes, fruit and veggie cleanses, the list goes on. But what about a social cleanse?
After going through a few ups and down with relationships, friendships, and my career over the years—I finally realized that I have a significant amount of say in the people I let in and out of my life. After years of associating with toxic people, I decided it was time for a mortal cleanse—sounds like something out of a horror movie but trust me, this is a happy story.
And here’s what I discovered:
The people I associate with impact who I was am a person.
Just like the phrase, “You are what you eat – so don’t be fast, cheap, or fake,” the same goes for the people you let into your life. If you are surrounded with negative or ill-moraled people, their behaviors can start rubbing off on you.
Once I parted ways with the negative people in my life, I started to see a change in my attitude. The world started to look a little more bright and filled with opportunity, and not a big black hole of sorrow and failure. And when I did run into negative influences I was able to brush off their poor antics, surprisingly, with little effort.
Inspirational people are a huge part of my success.
For the longest time I listened to people complain about clients, their jobs, their bodies, their relationships, and everything in between. And don’t get me wrong, I have my days, and everyone needs to vent once and awhile. But there is a difference between sporadic lulls and just a piss-poor attitude. SO! I finally took to networking, Pinterest, Instagram, and any other place I could find people who inspired and motivated me.
Once I found these individuals, I realized they had several common denominators: they didn’t let failure define them, they turned their hobbies/passions into business opportunities, they were open meeting new people, they cherished friends and loved ones, they were always finding ways to help others succeed, and they respected themselves and others.
Failure is not scary.
When you are around people who are always negative, or “fun suckers” as I like to call them, you feel like failure is equivalent to death. If a project or idea doesn’t go exactly to plan, you’re doomed and you might as well just give up right then and there.
Once I began associating with successful and positive people, I learned to embrace failure. I started to look at obstacles as opportunities, and failures as lessons. We are all human and we are all going to make mistakes.
So wouldn’t you want someone there to pick you up during those times instead of holding you down? Think about it.
People are not stepping stones.
During my dark times, as I like to call that ignorant point in my life, the people I associated with were all about getting ahead. And I mean getting ahead in any way possible—no matter how ugly it got. It didn’t matter if they had to shove their mother under the bus or steal candy from a baby—they were going to do anything to get where and what they wanted.
I learned that you cannot use people. And if you do it’s going to blow up in your face. You need to have mutual respect and build relationships that are two-sided. Once I started building real relationships, instead of just going after the “goods,” my whole mindset changed. My network started to grow and those relationships turned into amazing business partnerships—some even turned into some of my best friends!
One of the biggest things I’ve learned is if you are genuine and are there for others, if the person is a decent human-being, it will be returned.
People with common interests are the great, but people with common morals and ethics are the best.
Yes, I love nothing more than chatting with people who love dogs, photography, health and fitness, music, and food. But I’ve learned that those conversations can be pretty surface-level if they are with the wrong people.
Being able to have in-depth conversations with individuals or groups who have the same views as you? Now that is rewarding. And even if there some things you disagree on, it’s a respectful and enlightening conversation, not a brutal debate that turns bloody by the end of lunch. “Um, check please! And bring a body bag.”
There are a lot of good people out there.
I went through a time when my favorite phrase was, “I hate people.” Of course I said this jokingly, but every joke is based off of some point of truth, is it not? And I do still say this nasty phrase from time-to-time when I run into bad apples, but I’m working on it.
After I stopped hanging out with the rotten-apples I realized, “Wow there is a lot of really sweet, fresh fruit out there!” The world is a big place, don’t think that a few inauspicious people make up the majority of the population.
Don’t let someone make you their shadow.
Selfish people are toxic for many reasons. One of the biggest is that they believe everything in this world should be about them and it’s their way or no way. Gotta love those narcissists!
But if you allow these types of people to control you 24/7, you will always be in their shadow and you will never shine. Sadly, if this happens long enough, you can lose your sense of self altogether. But when you have a healthy relationship with someone—it could be a significant other, a friend, or a coworker—there needs to be a team dynamic there.
Do not walk in others shadow, walk beside them. And if they don’t allow that to happen, there are many others who will, trust me.
Me-Time is just as important as You-Time.
This goes along with my point above about narcissists. Positive, confident, and respectful people realize that other peoples’ time is just as important as their own. They do not cancel on plans last minute because a better opportunity came along; they do not keep you waiting at lunch dates or meetings; and they respect your need for personal space.
Having someone always demanding you to be on their schedule is exhausting. Yes, you need to make some exceptions for certain things, like in the workplace with meetings deadlines and doing what is asked of you. But otherwise, this can be controlled. If you need time for yourself, take it. Do not feel pressured to always be the “Yes Man.”
People who are in your life for the long haul aren’t going anywhere, they will understand and respect your needs.
There’s always the next one.
May it be a job, a significant other, a friendship, or whatever—there is always going to be another one that will present itself, if need be.
And most of you are saying, “But he was my dream guy!” or, “That job was the best one I’ll ever get.” And that may be true, but there are also billions of people in this world and billions of job opportunities—there will be others. And though they may not be the same as what you had before, they can be just as good. Maybe even better!
When you lose something/someone, or your life changes without warning, it’s extremely difficult. But just remember that everything in this world is like a bus, “There will also be another one to come pick you up.”
I am me. And that’s actually pretty great.
Don’t make me out to be the holy grail of females just yet. I still compare myself to girls on Instagram with flawless skin (even though I know that’s a filter, you sneaky Barbie dolls, you)—or I see another other 25-year-old traveling the world experiencing new things. But with the help of the great people in my life, I have realized that being Heather is pretty fantastic.
So I encourage you—if you are looking for a positive change in your life, look into doing some cleansing!
Cut out the people who bring you down or do not bring out your best qualities. Surround yourself with people who make you want to be a better version of yourself—and love you for every bit of you. Trust me, life is a pretty wonderful journey when you have the right passengers along for the ride.