Stiff-Arm the Toxic People in Your Life

Do you have a friend or colleague who embodies everything that is toxic? Do they make you feel small or depressed or anxious or simply negative? Yeah, so did I, several in fact, but around a decade ago I made a concerted effort to cut loose my ties to these poisonous people who were contributing nothing to our relationship but suffering.

I learned then, and I bullhorn it now to you, that pushing the toxic people out of your life can be incredibly rewarding. I found myself looking forward to meeting any group of friends, instead of dreading seeing that one Danny Downer who would likely kill the good vibes.

And I also learned awhile ago to embrace the creative people in my life, be they friend, lover or acquaintance. See, I’ve always being around creative folks, especially writers and poets whose approach to the arts and community aligned closely with my own thinking. I’ve opened the door to other creatives too, such as guitarist Maneli Jamal who continues to inspire me today. When we collaborated on a piece together, him on guitar me on the ol’ wordbox, that energy we created, that fusion of disciplines, was energizing. And powerful. That relationship made me once recognize how valuable I find the creative people in my life who want their voices heard, who want to share their craft with the world if only to bring some lovely light into it.

So my advice is to dissolve the toxic relationships albatrossing around your neck, and seek those who inspire you. For me, it’s the wild dreamers and artistic daredevils who make me smile inside and out.

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