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Monday, January 15, 2018

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. – Eleanor Roosevelt

I recently had a heart to heart with one of my oldest friends/clients who was having a tough time with a friend. This was a childhood friend who always seemed to zap my client’s energy, focus on the negative, and reduce my client’s excitement about her work. When I asked her why she allowed this person to remain in her life, she responded that they had been friends their whole lives, they had history, and no one knew her better.

So, I challenged her to step outside of the situation, and together we came up with a list of toxic people who, in the interest of self-care and personal growth, need to be jettisoned from ones life immediately.


1. Critics – Those who only criticize with zero thought of helping you grow.

2. Time suckers – Those who don’t view your time as precious.

3. Jealous people – Those who see your good fortune as their misfortune.

4. Those who play the victim.

5. Self-centered/self-serving people.

6. Negativity spreaders.

7. Crazy makers – Those whose energy creates chaos in your life.


And then we came up with a list of people who deserve to be in one’s life.


1. Honest, real talkers.

2. Those who respect your time and schedule.

3. Uplifters who celebrate your accomplishments.

4. Those who take responsibility for their lives and actions.

5. Empaths.

6. Positivity spreaders.

7. Healthy forces – Those whose energy creates happiness and calm.


As soon we we finished our two lists, she was able to realize that it was in her best interest to separate from anyone who didn’t align with the second list.

Getting rid of toxic people, no matter how long they have been in your life, doesn’t mean you are a jerk. It means you care more about your own happiness and emotional safety than making someone who is harming you happy. By doing this, you are creating a positive energy force field around yourself. Think of it as your very own “safety bubble”. And the more good people you have in your life, the more that bubble become impenetrable.

So, my dears, take charge and responsibility for those you allow in. Make sure they lift you up and help you shine!


Join the discussion One Comment

  • Michael Laman says:

    Dear Ms. Shaw–

    I am 61. Your advice to rid yourself of toxic people is priceless. I see it as setting boundaries. I lost lots of money and wasted much time being kind to losers and misfits only because I didn’t know how to kick them aside. It’s a lesson all parents must teach their children. When you help losers they never pay it back or show any gratitude. My parents raised me using emotional blackmail and that dynamic really set me up for lots of grief in my adult life. There is no morality out there, there is only survival. Don’t set boundaries, and you can be destroyed quickly.

    Over ten years ago I took acting classes here in Houston. They weren’t much, and no one encouraged me to pursue the career. I was 46, and it was too late. I was a librarian, and I had to retire at 56 due to cancer. Acting is harder than most people can ever imagine. It’s rewarding on many levels, but you must start early, train hard, and be physically attractive. I did classes with Price Hall, Cathy Henderson Martin–now deceased, and Barbara Brinkley. Ms. Martin told me “you’ll be difficult to cast”. That ended it for me. Your studio sounds great. Wish you and all your students continued success.

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