When was the last time you cut an onion and slowly the tears poured, your eyes ached and you said never again?
Have you ever felt the sting from a toxic relationship? We repeat the unpleasantries over and over again, thinking we are stuck with the virulent relationships that suck our soul from our being.
Years ago I enjoyed the company of a dear friend. We spent quality time together encouraging each other over lunch, an occasional movie or a simple walk in the park. Our moments were precious, but I noticed when we began to spend time with a group of girls, her demeanor would change. The snarky looks behind my back, which she naively thought I never saw, the gossip about other girls that could be quite cruel – you get the idea. I think we have all been there.
Our friendship had become a crispy, ripe, bitter onion. I felt the sting in my soul every time I returned home from a group luncheon. I would ask myself, why do I keep going back for more?
It actually took me years to break away from the friendship as one on one, I felt recharged and often had the ignorant thought I boosted her spirits, too. I don’t know. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe she had the duty to be a mean girl for the sake of the gals, but I had enough drama in my life to last a lifetime and whatever the reason, my direction was peace.
Peace for our sanity. Peace for our souls. Peace for our mental health. It matters. You matter. We all matter. Don’t sell yourself short. Set boundaries in those toxic relationships.
Depending on our unique personality, sometimes we are afraid to say “no” to that lunch date – either we do not want to disappoint or we are physically ill at the mere thought of confrontation.
Once you set boundaries, you will find freedom from stress and a sense of control within your life. It may not always be necessary to eliminate a toxic person from your life but there are times you will have a feeling in your gut that it is time to let go of that onion.
If you feel comfortable enough, establish clear boundaries that will bring you relief. If you discover the person does not respect your boundaries, it may be time to let them off your elevator.
I was raised a child of the 1970s when unfriending others was unheard of. In those days we were taught to play nice with others and make it a priority to be friends with EVERYONE. At least that was taught in my house.
People who sincerely want to remain connected as your friend will understand your boundaries; usually adjusting their unfavorable behavior. Follow through is up to us.
The benefits of healthy boundaries can also grace you with self-esteem and a greater sense of identity.
Just remember that while it is pure bliss to grace another with joy, you are not responsible for anyone’s happiness but your own.
An onion inventory may be well overdue.