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If You’re Leaving Someone For Not Losing Yourself, Congratulations

If You’re Leaving Someone For Not Losing Yourself, Congratulations

So they’re out of your life for good?

Have you lost someone who has been really important to you, who may even have been the “center of your world”, but who was doing you more harm than good? Have you had to stop seeing someone who intrigued, delighted, or attracted you but ultimately exerted a negative effect on your mental and spiritual health? Have you had to release someone who made you doubt who you were, what you stood for, or even made you feel slightly crazy? Even if you are struggling to see the positive aspects of your situation, at least take a moment to congratulate yourself. Although you will feel a degree of pain that accompanies loss, remind yourself on a daily basis that you have taken an extraordinarily brave step towards healing yourself and improving your life. Maintaining unhealthy relationships is a soul-destroying way to pass your time, so give yourself some well-earned praise for letting go and moving on.

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Why it’s hard to cut even the most toxic of ties

Even when someone has been demonstrably abusive, a persistent liar, or shown themselves to be a thoroughly toxic human being, letting go can still be immensely difficult. If someone has been in your life for a long time or has shared many important experiences with you, your attachment to them may be powerful. It takes great courage to recognize that sometimes, even if someone you like or love has good qualities, they aren’t worthy of a place in your life. You may have considered giving them yet another chance or trying to change yourself in the hope of changing the way they treat you, but to no avail. Listen to your gut instinct, because deep down you know that your decision to leave the relationship was right. Although other people may give you advice, you need to learn to trust your own ability to make decisions. Trust that your past self made the decision to cut contact for a good reason, and remind yourself of this if and when you are ever tempted to reach out to someone you have previously decided to leave behind.

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You’re stronger than you think

It takes maturity to leave an unhealthy relationship and seek out new friends or a new partner. Immature people or those lacking in self-confidence often cling to unhappy or toxic relationships because they are afraid of being alone or making the effort to connect with new people. If you can find the strength to evaluate a relationship and come to the conclusion that it is wreaking havoc with your self-esteem and self image and therefore should be abandoned, you can consider yourself truly grown up. A key skill everyone must learn in adulthood is knowing when to gracefully give up on a relationship that isn’t working.

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If you suspect they aren’t worth it, you’re absolutely correct!

No one worth knowing is worth losing yourself for. When you find yourself feeling “different” or “not like your usual self” around someone, it’s time to seriously consider whether this is a relationship worth keeping. If you have to deny or alter your identity or personality to keep someone around, the situation will never end happily. The world is full of people, and some of them will appreciate and love you for who you are. Why waste your time trying to fit in with those who don’t value who you truly are? When you sense that being in a relationship or friendship with someone comes at the cost of your identity or values, it’s time to leave.

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As one door closes, another door opens

Whilst losing someone close to you takes an emotional toll and leaves behind wounds that take time to heal, the long-term benefits are huge! Think how much time and effort you have probably spent attempting to salvage your toxic relationship. When you choose to stop engaging with the person concerned, you will free up a lot of energy. This can be channeled into self-improvement, enjoyable hobbies, your work, or meeting new, healthier people. The list is endless. In choosing to leave an unhappy relationship, you are also choosing the possibility of a brighter future. Be proud!

Featured photo credit: Cole Patrick via unsplash.com

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Jay Hill

Freelance Writer

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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