One of the most difficult transitions we make in our lives is to let go of the past. We may be letting go of a friendship, a personal relationship, a professional setting or a slew of other things that have held us back from fulfilling our potential. If you listen to many of the self help gurus, they tell you to not let the past define your future. This means letting go of the things and people who have not allowed you to meet your full potential. It can be one of the most difficult things in your life if you let it. But you have to determine what you want out of life. Here’s a few tips that I have found very helpful when wondering who to cut out and why.
1. Cut ties with gossipers.
I was guilty of this for a good while. When you spread gossip, you create drama. When drama is created, there’s a lot of negative energy that floats around. Stories get misleading. Versions change. People wonder why everyone has turned against them and have no recourse of getting their reputations back. Many times gossipers have caused people to lose a job or friendship and for what? No one needs this when life is confusing and frustrating enough.
2. Cut ties with your co-workers on social media that bring you no value (but plenty of headaches).
This is true! Everyone you deal with that is bringing others down on social media and don’t deliver value are not worth your energy. I see many political and religious posts on social media. While some of them are uplifting, others seem as if they are judging those who don’t agree with them. This political race has been a nightmare with both parties attacking each other. Families and friends are being divided because they don’t agree about issues and instead of talking through situations, wars are being created. It’s sad when society has nothing better to do than to attack each other.
3. Cut ties with judgmental people.
If there were awards issued for judgmental folks, I think I know quite a few who should be given them. Maybe we should have an Academy of Judgments because I see many who have very little empathy and compassion for others. If people don’t believe the way you do, that’s actually a good thing. It takes diversity to make things work well. When we stop working together on goals and dreams, that means we are all being geared towards a robotic mentality. It’s time to think about how our actions affect others and why it’s important to move forward with inclusion rather than exclusion.
4. Cut ties with people who lack accountability.
These toxic folks lack some serious self-awareness. They don’t exercise responsibility and own up to “their stuff” when “their stuff” is at fault. Remember the old saying “For every finger you point, there are three pointing back at you”? They are critical, can’t admit to their own mistakes, and they will blame their colleagues (or subordinates, if it’s a manager) when something goes wrong, even if it’s not based on reality. They are simply not accountable for their own actions. They never follow through with anything. They talk a good game but can not fulfill their goals and dreams. In fact, the air has more dependability than what they say. At least the air is a necessity in order to live. False statements and lack of accountability are not necessary.
5. Cut ties with people who kiss up to management.
These are the people who run to upper management with every little thing and don’t handle anything on their own. Their sense of delegation and being a snitch or a whistle blower are their ticket to getting ahead. If management falls for it, then management deserves it when they are on the receiving end of the backstabbing. If you know people like this, get away from them. You don’t need their toxicity.
6. Cut ties with people who are not being fully upfront and honest.
There are a lot of people who fall in this category and sometimes those people can’t tell you everything they know. There is a reason that many people hold cards close to their vest but if you find things that are questionable in character, you have every right to say something to them. Don’t ghost them. Be honest with them as to why you are walking away. When you ghost others, they have no idea what they did wrong. Assume nothing.
The solution to the problem
As a front-line employee, if you’re wondering how to avoid these people in the first place, since you work and may be stuck with them, well, this is a good question deferred to management. It should be their responsibility to keep a finger on the pulse of the organization to make sure the environment is safe and productive, and that people are getting along.
Use your judgment. Everyone deals with things in a different way but if you have approached the person/s that you have an issue with and things don’t improve, then yes, management needs to be alerted. However, if you find that management isn’t working with you, then you may need to re-assess your approach. I’ve left jobs in the past where the environment was toxic and didn’t regret it.
Most of us spend more time at work than we do our homes. It’s important to recognize that people and things that hold us back are just an excuse to not move forward. Set your goals and stick to them. Quit talking about the things you want to make happen and just do it. When you cut ties with the things that hold you back, you’ll find that there are new opportunities that come your way. Be willing to grab them and use those opportunities to create the future you want for yourself.