Wherever you look for tips regarding confidence, the same piece of advice seems to follow – Cut off all toxic relationships. I believe this to be true, if the people you are surrounded by do not support you or encourage you at the least, then you should definitely leave them be for your own wellbeing. However, cutting off toxic relationships is easier said than done.
Snappy quotes and instructions of how to identify and discard toxic relationships seem to surface my newsfeed whenever I am scrolling through.
I strongly believe that toxic relationships have an overwhelming influence on an individual’s self esteem and perspective, and have experienced this myself. Toxic relationships are exhausting and patronising and demeaning. But it’s cutting off these relationships where I find trouble, and is abandoning these relationships the only way forth? I don’t think that it is.
Traits of toxic relationships are ongoing, but for me, it’s been the tiniest traits which have had the largest impact and I write this post hours after having a mini revelation towards the topic. Snappy negative comments made towards me are the ones that stick with me, comments that are easily passed or shrugged off, but with repetition overtime have nagged their way into my thought process and self-esteem.
Sometimes, I will stop myself from being proud of my work or promoting my work because I don’t want to appear arrogant or self-centred. In fact, when a friend complimented my work at a poetry night, I was convinced that I was arrogant to the extent of only deeming my work as ‘alright‘.
When I was a tad younger, as most young people do, I struggled massively with my confidence. I really hated myself. It started when I began High School, and when I was fourteen I began to see a counsellor. According to the 2017 Dove Global Girls Beauty and confidence report, 61% of 10-17 year old girls in the UK have low self esteem, confidence is a huge issue among young people.
Personally, I don’t remember social media being as prominent and influential in my own build of finding confidence. But when I look at social media now, it’s power and influence, it’s hard to ignore the strength declarative posts such as “if you want confidence cut off all toxic people in your life” may have on young girls or boys who are now in the position I was once in. The same memo is everywhere, it doesn’t matter what social media site you are browsing.
It is easier said than done to cut off all toxic relationships, especially for young people. Sometimes, it may be a family member performing toxic traits. Sometimes cutting off toxic relationships might not be convenient. My mini-revelation came from this thought. It’s not that easy.
This evening, I was going to upload a promo of ‘GRACE’ to my Instagram. I stopped myself for two reasons, one of them being that nagging voice in my head saying “you will come across as arrogant, people will think you are self obsessed“. I genuinely stopped and cancelled all of my promo plans for that one post. But I asked myself, why do you think you are arrogant? And imagined my more optimistic self looking at me like, seriously?
Cutting off toxic relationships is hard. Sometimes you will find those relationships will eventually drift apart anyway, but when it comes to toxic relationships in your immediate circle of family or perhaps friends, discarding them encounters a great extent of difficulty.
Confidence can be achieved without cutting off toxic relationships. It really can. Eventually, when the time comes, you will be willing to leave those relationships. But given circumstance or situation, sometimes you have to see those relationships through.
It is important to acknowledge the ‘toxic traits’. Question yourself when your confidence becomes a barrier. What makes me feel this way? Who? Acknowledge the cause and effect, and continue to reject that effect.
Going back to my anecdote earlier- I felt that my confidence would be interpreted as arrogance. My second step was to acknowledge what made me feel this way or made this issue apparent. And so, I rejected it. Being able to identify the impact of toxic traits, and when other people are impacting your feelings, leaves you ultimately in control of your own emotions. This should then allow you to build your confidence.
When the time comes, make sure to cut off toxic relationships. Eventually, the time will come.