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“I Don’t Need Your Situation”: 4 Steps To Spring Cleaning Your Toxic Social Circle

Spring is here and that means it’s time for spring cleaning! When most people hear the term “spring cleaning,” they think vacuuming, giving away old clothes, and doing a physical overhaul of your living space—but sometimes we need to do some “cleaning” in regards to our social circles.

Toxic relationships can be just as unhealthy as non-hygienic living situations. Here’s how to eliminate the toxic people in your circle and really start spring cleaning.

Evaluate Those Around You

Often times we are blind to the toxic behavior from people we are close to, especially if they’ve been in our lives for a while. For some people, the definition of “toxic behavior” can be ambiguous and unclear. According to Huffington Post, some basic indicators of toxic behavior include but are not limited to:  lacking empathy, acting self-centered, and friends that gang up on you as opposed to addressing things one on one. If someone is exhibiting behavior that is questionable or doesn’t sit right with you, do NOT let it slide.

Address The Problems

If there are any problems that have gone unaddressed in your social circle, bring them to the forefront, and directly talk to the person whose behavior has impacted you negatively. Not all of us are perfect, if you have demonstrated toxic behavior to other people, now is the time to own up to your mistakes and apologize.  

Take Some Time To Think

If you’ve addressed the issues within your circle, the behavior hasn’t changed, you’ve apologized for your less-than-perfect behavior, and things are still awkward— maybe it is time to decide whether or not those relationships are worth saving. At the end of the day, your peace is the most important thing.

Officially Cut Them Off

Creating distance between yourself and problematic people is very helpful, not just physically, but online as well. When it comes to social media, you are under NO obligation to follow anyone you don’t want to have a friendship with. This doesn’t mean you have to end on bad terms, but if you don’t want their energy around you, you are well within your right to disconnect with them.

None of us are perfect, but we can make self-improvements and change the people we keep around us.  As someone who is graduating in just a few short weeks, I’ve started taking inventory and deciding who I want to take with me into my post-collegiate “adult” life. Full disclosure, it might not be the people I thought it would be, but that’s part of growing up. Always remember to protect your energy at ALL costs.

Ray Elise Rhodes is a Communication & PR major at Rutgers. Originally from San Francisco, California, she has completed several internships and programs pertaining to her career goals in journalism, content creation and digital marketing. In her free time, she enjoys exercising, modeling, and curating content on her Instagram page. She pretty much lives on social media, follows numerous news and entertainment Instagram accounts, and is on top of trending stories almost as soon as they happen. Ray has been an avid HerCampus reader since her senior year of high school and walked in two shows for HerCampus' College Fashion Week in 2017. Although her focus is in the entertainment industry, Ray also uses her various platforms to advocate for the black community, women of color, and other marginalized groups. For suggestions, hate mail, and/or compliments, send her a direct message on her Instagram or other social media accounts provided below.
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