Do you think it is wise to remove all negative people from your life, even if some of them are family? If so, why?
Look, I’m luckier than a lot of people. My family has always been kind, loving, and supportive. We’ve also had our dysfunction. We’ve bickered, snarled, gotten physical. We’re human. Emotions are hard to deal with sometimes and life is confusing, but at the end of the day, we’re also empathetic. We love each other. We cry and apologise and promise to do better. And then we stick to those promises.
Some people, they’re incapable of keeping such promises, incapable of empathy. Some people are just downright mean and malicious behind a sweet veneer. They’re manipulative, cruel, and always make you feel like it’s your fault they’re hurting you. Those people can be let go, if it is safe for you to do so.
Isn’t always blood, and it isn’t always worth sacrificing your life, your happiness, for. Keeping them in your life is bound to shorten it. We have to surround ourselves with people that care about us, that lift us up, support us, and we have to be that person in return. It’s a give and take. If you give and give and they give nothing back, you’ll destroy yourself so fast. But on the flipside, you can’t just take and take either. You’ll destroy the other person/people you purport to care for.
Cutting negative people off is healthy for the soul, but it also doesn’t have to be forever. Growth is also important to consider. People can learn from their mistakes. They don’t instantly deserve forgiveness for the things they did in the past, and depending on the severity of their transgressions they may never deserve it, but they can grow into a more positive person, someone who can uplift others.
I always think of parents of closeted LGBT kids who were adamant that it was an illness or something perverse or any manner of derogatory rhetoric that serves as a sharp blade to the heart of the child they claim to love. I think about those kids being fearful to come out, afraid of repercussions, afraid of the rejection they believe is coming based on the things they’ve heard their parents say, but still being brave enough to stand on their own and declare their truth.
I think of the parents who immediately recall every derisive remark from over the years and who come regret their words. The ones who listen, and reflect, and learn, and grow. The ones who continue to accept their child, and love them for being honest with them, and continue to help them to navigate the scary world at large.
Maybe it’s not instantaneous. Maybe they are repulsed and lash out, maybe they reject their offspring and the kids have to figure out how to live on their own. Maybe they manage, and they survive, and they find happiness again as the years go on. Maybe the distance and the time help the parents realize their child was hurting, and they weren’t there for them. Maybe they also come to regret their reaction. They love their kids, after all. They learn, they grow, and they apologise.
In this scenario, I suppose it’s not the kid cutting out the negative parents as much, since they’ve been disowned in my hypothetical, but maybe they weren’t disowned and they left before they could truly be hurt. They cut the negative family members out. I’m forever hopeful that the family learns and grows. They talk to more people like their estranged child, they revitalize their empathy. And one day, when both parties are ready, they reconcile. Maybe it takes a few months, maybe it takes a few years. Maybe it’s even decades before they stand on even ground again. But I like to think that the possibility remains for the family’s toxic traits to be purged.
I’ve known many kids like this. I’ve seen several different outcomes. I still hold out hope for the ones who are estranged from their families, but I don’t begrudge the ones who were hurt, not for doing what they needed to do to live a happier life.
Obviously this isn’t limited to LGBT people. It’s just an easy example and one I’m familiar with. There are also straight up abusers. They have families too, but that doesn’t mean the families have to put up with them. If they can get out safely, they should absolutely cut the abuser out of their life.
These are also kind of extreme cases. To be honest, the prompt kind of reads a bit soft to me, like, “negative” people include those who tease you for your taste in music and it’s asking should you cut them out of your life for something so trivial. To which I say, heck, do what you gotta do. If someone’s making you uncomfortable/unhappy and you’ve communicated your discomfort, and they continue doing the thing that makes you miserable, then you have every right to cut them out.
It’s your life. You’re the only one who can live it to the fullest. If cutting out negative people helps you fulfill that dream, then do it. Just don’t become a negative person yourself. The street runs both ways. If you’re too negative, other people will cut you out of their lives.
Anyway. That’s enough waxing philosophic tonight. The weekend is almost here and I am celebrating a very special birthday with a very special kid who is turning 18! Can’t wait to get some sister time in! I’m very excited. We’ve been trying to get together for months but schedules haven’t worked out, haha. Taking a half day at work so I can get home and start my weekend early!
I still owe you one more prompt for this week, so that’ll go up before Sunday. (I got distracted last night or I would’ve posted this then and written the last one up for tonight.) Have a great Friday! I’ll see you soon!
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