“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudice, and motivated by pride and vanity.”
Dale Carnegie (American Speaker and Author, How To Win Friends And Influence People)
“Be grateful even for hardship, setbacks, and bad people. Dealing with such obstacles is an essential part of training in the art of peace.”
Morihei Ueshiba (Founder of the Japanese Martial Art of Aikido)
“Stop letting people who do so little for you control so much of your mind, feelings and emotions.”
Will Smith (Producer and Actor, The Pursuit Of Happyness)
I thought I was strong.
If I felt someone wasn’t treating me right in life, I’d get angry and tell them what I thought.
I’d verbally annihilate them for their wrongdoing and effectively end the relationship.
But this ending came at a price.
Drama that wreaked havoc on my mind and my emotions.
Drama that often upset my entire life for weeks and even months.
(Everyone does this when they’re young, though — right?)
Over time, I realized that there were better ways to end a relationship.
Whether it was a friendship that had become fake or a relationship that had become stale, dependent, or manipulative, I realized that there was a right way and a wrong way to end a relationship.
There was an ethical way and a not-so-ethical way to end it.
Very often, the most ethical thing to do was to just walk away.
Not to place blame.
Not to call him a narcissist.
Not to call her a victim.
Not to explain myself.
But to just walk away, guilt-free, without worrying about what others might say.
Why Cutting People Out Of Your Life Is A Skill
Cutting someone out of your life is a skill.
You have to sharpen it.
You have to practice.
But most people don’t have the stomach for this.
As a result, these people let anyone and everyone into their lives, and they let these people stay in their lives forever, no matter what they do.
No matter how negative or manipulative these people are, they’re allowed to stay.
Somehow, there’s a myth that’s been perpetuated through society that’s made you think you have to let other people walk all over you.
That everyone who enters your life should receive all of your attention and earn a place in your inner circle forever.
Somehow, you’ve been convinced that people who play the victim are actually victims, and people who act dramatic have real drama in their lives.
Not everyone was meant to be in your life forever.
This means that some relationships need to end.
Unethical ways of ending relationships, on the other hand, can ruin your health, wealth, and happiness levels.
For example, the journal of Ethics and Education published a study on friendship endings and found that there are often four common reasons for connections to be dissolved, including: estrangement, change, mistaken friendship, and false friendship.
What this study found is that staying connected for the wrong reasons negates the important health benefits of friendship.
The study also found that refusing to end a friendship can cause you to lose perspective over the relationship and perspective over your life in general:
“…friendship can also blind us to the faults of others. We may believe the friend to share the same set of values and commitments, but we can be wrong: we may see our friend through the proverbial rose-tinted glasses and fail to spot the ways in which the friend actively damages our well-being.”
Poor friendships not only impact our emotional well-being negatively, they also negatively affect our physical health, immunity, and longevity.
Being around negative people will make you negative no matter how imperviously positive you think you are.
Multiple studies confirm this because emotions are contagious like diseases.
Emotions infect businesses, social circles, intimate relationships, and families.
The infamous Framingham Heart Study showed emotions and states like happiness, sadness, loneliness, optimism, and even bad habits are not only infectious, but impact mortality by cardiovascular death.
Even worse, negative states go socially viral faster and more often than positive ones.
For as many positive people as you have in your life, you need more of them to combat just one negative person.
It’s time to start being very deliberate with who you let remain in your life.
Your overall health and well-being depend on it.
How To End A Relationship Ethically
There’s nothing enlightened or morally right about keeping awful people in your life.
In fact, keeping these people in your life often makes you a crutch, which enables their behavior, and further prevents them from helping themselves and improving their own lives.
It’s not just about them holding you back, it’s about you holding them back in life too.
By acting as a crutch for their toxic behavior, you become just as toxic.
Does this mean that everyone that isn’t where you are doesn’t deserve your time?
Of course not.
There are people who need a helping hand in the world.
There are people that deserve it.
When you come across them, help them.
Help them by choice, not obligation.
But don’t help them forever.
Teach them to help themselves.
Or step back and let them find their own path.
You’re not anyone’s savior in this world.
Choose to give where it’s meaningful and matters to you but have good boundaries to prevent being an enabler of negative behavior.
When you come across someone who tries to make you feel guilty for not doing what they want you to do, or someone who subtly undermines you or your goals, or someone who just plain drags you into drama over and over and over again, get rid of them.
Just make sure you get rid of them ethically.
Here’s the best way to end a relationship…
1. Don’t be so emotional.
When it comes to making relationship decisions, you need to start being more objective.
You need to start putting things like loyalty and obligation aside so you can accurately analyze the people you’ve allowed into your life.
Who makes you a better person and who makes you a worse person?
Who are you making a better person or a worse person?
Is there a clear pattern in their behavior or your behavior?
By objectively answering these questions, you can quickly identify who you need to walk away from, for your benefit AND for their benefit.
When you walk away, don’t cause any drama.
Instead, own up to the role you’ve played in inviting the other person into your life and in keeping them in your life.
Take responsibility for the part you played in enabling their behavior.
Take responsibility for your decision to walk away.
Be objective about everyone’s position in your life and the value, reciprocity, support, and positivity they bring into your life.
Be equally objective about the level of negativity, lack of value, and dysfunction that they bring into your life.
Be objective about your own contribution to these dynamics.
Let’s face it, people change.
You will outgrow some relationships.
Or, you will need to start outgrowing them.
Stop feeling bad about this.
Stop hiding from the fact that you need to walk away.
Get objective, take responsibility, and make a plan for living your life apart from those who are not right for you anymore (or who you are not right for anymore).
2. Don’t be a wimp.
Don’t be a passive spectator in your life.
Don’t be the weakling or a beggar either.
Once you realize that someone doesn’t belong in your life, you need to step up and end the relationship.
This might mean having a one-on-one conversation and telling the other person that you need to focus on yourself or a personal project for a while.
Or it might mean just walking away silently, blocking their phone number and email, and letting time take care of the rest.
The worst thing you can do is be weak about it.
The worst thing you can do is be passive-aggressive or pretend like you’re not really ending the relationship.
Step up and be straight.
Show conviction in your decision.
Don’t go out of your way to hurt the other person emotionally, but don’t let fear of hurting someone make you pull back on your decision either.
If you’re unsure of what to do, simply tell the other person that you need to get refocused on your goals and won’t have time for their texts, emails, calls, conversations, or whatever.
No other explanation is required.
Keep it simple.
Above all, be unwavering.
Not only do you avoid feeding more drama this way, you actually command respect for your choice.
You communicate confidence and health.
You might think that trying to teach the other person a lesson about what they did to get cut off is the morally superior thing to do, but it’s not.
Thinking it’s your job to teach people lessons about their own behavior is ego-maniacal and a waste of your time (and theirs).
It’s not your job to change another person so don’t bother with a soapbox speech.
Any further explanation by you is just a waste of time that will create more drama.
Stay off your high horse and just walk away.
3. Feel good about your choice.
It’s okay to feel good about ending a relationship.
You don’t have to feel guilty about it.
You don’t have to mourn.
Sure, you don’t want to rub your decision in someone else’s face, but you are certainly allowed to celebrate your decision on your own time and in your own space.
Very often, when you eliminate a negative person from your life, you will feel better.
You will feel an increase in joy, health, and vitality.
You will feel as though a weight has been lifted.
This is a good thing.
Enjoy this moment.
Soak it up.
This is the ethical (and authentic) thing to do.
Remember, you’re eliminating this person from your life because they are unhealthy for you in some way.
Or, you are unhealthy for them.
Either way, they aren’t right for you, they aren’t right for your purpose, and they aren’t right for your life.
The key is to use these feelings of joy and of weights being lifted off your shoulders to keep moving forward.
Happiness creates momentum.
Happiness will keep you from getting sucked back into that same person’s cycle again.
Happiness will keep you from attracting someone new that brings the same crap into your life.
Let yourself live the life you’ve always wanted without anyone dragging you down.
Let yourself be free and focused and surrounded by people who support you.
Let yourself be happy.
It’s the ethical thing to do.
Some people should not be in your life. These people are toxic and holding you back. The problem is most people don’t know how to remove people from their lives without feeling bad about it. You can ethically cut someone out of your life in a way that will benefit everyone. If you’re sick of suffering from toxic people overload, identify who needs to be in your life and who needs to be cut loose. Then, ethically remove the people who do not belong.
To learn more about how to end a relationship and cut people out of your life, and to get instant access to exclusive training videos, case studies, insider documents, and my private online network, get on the Escape Plan wait list.