You Don’t Have to Pick up the Phone, Answer That Message, or Accept That Invitation

Avoiding toxic people is absolutely essential for maintaining your wellbeing, and maintaining your wellbeing is essential to accomplishing your goals. I can’t tell you how many Internet arguments I’ve had, how many times self-destructive family members have tried to snare me in their chaos, or how many times I’ve gone to events with people only to fret the night away wondering “why am I here!”

I'm sorry if I seem uninterestedOr I'm not listenin' or I'm indifferentTruly, I ain't got no business hereBut since my friends are hereI just came to kick it but reallyI would rather be at home all by myself not in this roomWith people who don't even care about my well beingI don't dance, don't ask, I don't need a boyfriendSo you can go back, please enjoy your partyI'll be here, somewhere in the corner under clouds of marijuanaWith this boy who's hollering, I can hardly hearOver this music, I don't listen to and I don't wanna get with youSo tell my friends that I'll be over here~ Alessia Cara

Alessia Cara’s song, “Here,” spoke to me with Biblical significance the first time I heard it! I have found myself being somewhere I didn’t want to be and really didn’t belong several times trying to make other people happy.

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My father, Earl Griffin, told me once, “You know you don’t have to respond.” Truer words have never been spoken and taking that lesson to heart has made a huge difference in my life these past few months. I’m an empathetic person, one of those people that gets caught up in whatever others around me are feeling. Other people’s negative energy is my kryptonite. It makes me defensive, unfocused, and lethargic. Being around negative people just zaps the life right out of me, making it difficult to function in a healthy way and enjoy my life.

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Now, I take serious stock of the people around me and I ask myself what am I getting from this relationship. If the positives don’t out-weight the negatives, I remove them from my life. Over the past few months, that has meant a much smaller circle of “friends,” less interaction with some family members, and less time spent engaging online with people and groups that give me nothing but stress. Carefully cultivating a social circle where you are surrounded by people who appreciate, nurture, and motivate you is a key component to a successful life.