Top 11 Takeaways from “Necessary Endings” by Dr. Henry Cloud

The book, “Necessary Endings” has perhaps been the best book I’ve ever read when it comes to setting boundaries and actually ending things. Many of the other books I’ve read before spoke at great length at how to basically turn yourself into an emotional pretzel trying to get through to abusive people (which I don’t agree with at all). This book really helped to clarify that ending are a normal and necessary thing, and to know when they need to happen. If you are interested in learning more about this book, or any of the other books we’ve read (and things I recommend) you can check out my Amazon page by going here:  www.amazon.com/shop/thriveafterabuse

Or, specially going to this book’s page by going here: Necessary Endings

The book clubb discussion will be on October 26, 2017 at 6:30pm EST over on my YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/ThriveAfterAbuse

My Top 10 Takeaways:

  1. The Good Cannot Begin Until the Bad Ends. Life is about endings and new beginnings. Life has seasons, stages, and phases. This is what growth is about. If there is no growth, then we are stagnant. Getting to the next level always means leaving something behind and moving forward. Some endings are natural and some we are forced into.

 

Endings, even if they need to happen, are Usually Difficult. Some common reasons as to why we don’t end things are:

 

  • We hang on too long thinking maybe things will change
  • We are afraid of the unknown
  • We fear confrontation
  • We are afraid of hurting someone
  • We are afraid of letting go and the sadness associated with it
  • We don’t know how to end it
  • We have already had too many painful endings and don’t want to go through another one
  • When endings are forced upon us, we do not know how to process them, and so we sink or flounder
  • We do not learn from them, so we repeat the same mistakes over and over
  • We lack the courage, discernment, or skills with how to handle a situation that needs to end

 

We tend to have patterns for why we don’t end things sooner. If we can figure out our pattern, then we can work to break it, and end things quicker next time.

 

 

  1. We need to learn to prune off things that are toxic, dead, or simply unwanted. A rose bush only has enough life and resources to feed and nurture only so many buds to their full potential. It can’t bring all of them into full bloom. In order for the bush to thrive, a certain number of buds have to go. There are the buds that are good but not the best, sick but not getting well, and the ones that have long been dead. The caretaker carefully and regularly examines those that need to be pruned off. Ask yourself how you feel about pruning. Do you feel excited or anxious? Does it make your stomach turn? If we accept the premise that pruning is necessary, but have a great deal of emotional discomfort about it, then we will struggle to realize our vision of the future and our potential. We need to understand that endings are normal, and change our mindset so that we see them as normal instead of as a problem. If we see a situation as normal and expected, then the human brain will work towards making it happen. But if the brain interprets the situation as negative, dangerous, wrong, or hurtful, then our fight or flight kicks in and we resist taking action.

 

If we don’t acknowledge that somethings are just dead or unwanted and need to be pruned off, then we will forever be trying to fix the unfixable, solve a problem that can’t be fixed, and work towards a solution that will never be obtained. Endings are normal—they aren’t necessarily a sign of failure. This kind of thinking keeps us trapped in denial and depletes our energy stores.

 

 

  1. What is the purpose you’re pruning toward? Pruning isn’t just cutting back, it’s strategic. In order to effectively prune a rose bush, we have to have a standard, a vision, and an objective that we are pruning toward. In other words, we have to know our outcome, and we have to know at what point are we throwing good money after bad. Many people have the mindset of “fix, fix, fix” which keeps them and their future stuck. Fire the bottom 10% is a good mindset to have in all areas of our life. Getting rid of the dead and toxic are the only ways to promote growth. Not every relationship has the capacity to bloom into a rose. In order to get motivated to do what needs to be done, a person must see reality clearly. In other words, what isn’t working isn’t going to magically begin working.

 

He gives the example of a man who made a major career change in his 40’s because his old business—one that he’d invested a lot of time and money into, was dying because the market for it was dying. The man was able to realize there was no future in his industry, and made the necessary adjustment. He had a growth mindset, even though it was incredibly painful. Had he stayed in his old field, and stayed in denial about it, he would have been only postponing the pain of pruning.

 

  1. Everything in life has seasons. Spring is for planting and blooming, summer is for growing, fall is for harvesting, and winter is for dying and rest. It’s important that we continually know which stage things are in. A relationship starts in spring, but then must grow deeper roots and be tended to. Same with business. Some people are in continual seed-sewing mode when it comes to relationships and don’t ever grow anything with real roots. (And we will be in continual seed-sowing mode, if we don’t end things that we know need to end.)

 

To not see the seasons is to be in denial. It’s like banking on throwing the “Hail Mary” pass during the final minute of the game when the team hasn’t been able to consistently advance the ball a few yards during the whole game.

 

(This is what denial looks like—especially in relationships. It’s overlooking the probable and banking on the possible. Sure, everything is possible—completing that “Hail Mary” pass is possible but it isn’t very probable, especially if the way they’ve been playing hasn’t been effective this whole time. This is malignant optimism at its best: it’s thinking that things will change will all evidence points to the opposite.)

 

 

  1. Life always produces too much. We must learn to say no if we are going to have real growth. Everything that we say yes to, is a no to something else. (If we are feeling powerless in a relationship or situation, it’s very possible this is due to either our self-perception, which may come from early childhood programming, or it comes from being ground down by a controlling and abusive person.)

 

Learned helplessness is where a person internalizes events and doesn’t feel that they have any ability to make things different. Events tend to be processed in three disempowering ways:

 

Personalized. I am bad.

Pervasive. Everything I do is bad.

Permanent. Nothing is going to change.

 

In order to help break out of this learned helplessness, take out a sheet of paper and on one-side write out everything that is not within your control, and then on the other side write out everything that you do have control over.

 

If we are stuck in learned helplessness, it’s usually because there’s an error with some core beliefs we have. These core beliefs form a mindmap. When we have a conflict between what we know we need to do and what we are doing, there are some deeper issues going on either within our mindmap or with how we are processing information—especially as it pertains to endings. This is where confusion, avoidance, and justification come from.

 

 

  1. 5 Common Mindmaps that prevent necessary endings from happening: abnormally high pain threshold, covering for others, believing that ending it means “I failed,” misunderstood loyalty, and codependent mapping.
  • Having an Abnormally High Pain Threshold. The solution is to change the mindmap from thinking painful situations are “not that bad” or that we needed to “suck it up and keep going.” We need to become aware of how much pain we have (and had) tolerated negative and how we really feel about the people and situations that are (and were) dragging us down. If we’ve somehow learned that to acknowledge our pain means that we are whining, then, over time, we separate ourselves from those pain signals. We become systematically talked out of our gut feelings, our perceptions, and our ability to use discernment.
  • Covering for others. Many people who cover for others generally learned somewhere down the line that everything depended on them. They usually took responsibility for others—usually a parent or a sibling, and most likely were seen as a very mature child—because they had to be.
  • Believing that ending it means we failed. Perseverance is a great quality to an extent. Your identity has to be separate from any one result. Ironically, a person with this mindset can become a failure because they don’t know how to fail well. Sometimes you have to lose the battle to win the war.
  • Misunderstood/misplaced loyalty. When we place loyalty above all else, even if we outgrow that relationship. If we are thinking that to end that relationship means we are disloyal and ungrateful, then we will stay in it, long after that relationship needed to end. There is something wrong with your map if you are taking responsibility for other adults as if they were children. Usually people with misplaced loyalty were parented in a way that made them feel guilty for choices that did not make their parents or others happy. A healthier new map would read, “I am not doing this “to you.” I am doing this “for me.” Loyalty does not mean we put up with mistreatment or that we are responsible for another person’s life.
  • Codependent mapping. This is caring gone awry and is destructive to the person being helped (and to the care-taker). It is a toxic dependency. Feeling responsible for another person’s pain when the enabling has ended. It keeps adult children dependent upon parents long after they should be independent. It keeps addicted spouses and friends addicted long after they should have been allowed to hit rock bottom. If you are helping someone to avoid responsibility for their actions, then this is a problem. The concept of “we will put up with you no matter how you act, and you will always have a place here” is toxic thinking, and shouldn’t exist within companies or within families. Everyone in the “family” needs to contribute.

 

  1. Hope and wishful thinking are not the same thing. Hope is one of the most powerful forces in the world. However, nothing can distort reality like hope. Hope relies on not seeing the situation clearly. To see it clearly, we need to realize how bad things are and how long we are planning on holding on. Hope is designed to buy us more time with the goal that what we want to happen will eventually happen. If hope is misplaced, it can be the most damaging quality a person can have. We need to be able to discern the difference between waiting for results and being in denial.

 

The author gives the example of Jeff Bezos and Amazon, and how Jeff founded it in 1994 and it didn’t make a profit until 2001. Jeff had hope and a vision that his other investors didn’t—and it paid off. However, this wasn’t a gamble. Jeff was hot on the trail of success. He had more and more people using his site every day. His hope was well-placed because of the results he was already getting. The author tells the story of a woman who was married to an alcoholic for a long time. She finally gave up hope. The strategies she was using to try and change him weren’t working. It was when she was finally ready to walk away and try something different that he began to change. He went to rehab and finally got sober.

 

The definition of hope is the desire or expectation or grounds for believing that something will change.  The problem is when there is no ground for believing things will be different. This is not hope, this is wishing. You wouldn’t go to a lender and tell them that your business is in a financial mess but that you hope next year things would be different, but that you have no plan—you just hope it will be different, so please loan us some money. They would not give that loan. If you were to go in there and say that we have contracts in the works with some major companies, some presales of some products, and more traffic to our website than last year, then they will listen.

 

Hope cannot be defined by desire. It needs to be defined by an actionable plan that shows that any more time thrown at this is an investment and not a waste.

 

  1. The Past is the Best Predictor. The author gives the example of a friend whose daughter’s boyfriend wanted to talk to him about how to propose to her. He encouraged him to base his approval on signs of the guy’s character, and not simply because he liked him as a person. He told him to ask the guy for his credit report and the last two years of taxes. This isn’t about how much he makes, it reveals how well he honors his obligations, obeys the law, has his affairs in order. Both show a person’s character. It shows a person’s promises, commitment, and responsibility. A credit card company doesn’t consult a psychic or look at how hopeful or enthusiastic you are that you’ll pay them back. They look at past results via your credit report.

 

But can’t someone do better than their past? Sure. But there had better be good reason that we think they’ll do better.

 

Ask yourself:

 

  • What has their performance been so far?
  • Is it good enough?
  • Do they have any strategies in place to make things different?
  • If not, am I willing to sign up for more of the same?
  • (Yes, but in continuing with the analogy of a credit card company, they will normally not only look at a credit report, they also protect their assets, and only trust borrowers with lines of credit as they are earned. With an abuser I’d say do the same, if you are considering giving them another chance. I’d move slowly, only give the trust that has been earned through their consistent actions. I for sure wouldn’t encourage a person to resume living with them, or allowing them open access to your life. I’d keep them at arm’s length for 6-12 months so that you can observe their behavior, and even then, I wouldn’t comingle any part of your life with them for at least the next 3-5 years.)

 

  1. Hope dies last. Understanding when hope is appropriately placed in a person.

– Do I want this same reality, frustration, or problem six months from now?

– Do I want this same level of treatment a year from now?

– Do I want to be having these same conversations two years from now?

– What reason is there to have hope that tomorrow is going to be different?

– What in the picture is changing that I can believe in?

 

He mentions the story of a business man who said that he doesn’t invest in other businesses outside of his own. The author said that he knew that wasn’t true, as he knew he was invested in some other businesses. The guy said that he knew nothing about those industries and didn’t invest in those businesses, but that he had invested in the people that run those businesses. In other words, are you betting on the relationship or the person? The horse or the jockey? Your investment is best made on the person.

 

A person’s character is their destiny.

 

What kind of person deserves our trust, and when do we believe that someone can change?

 

  • Ask yourself, “who am I dealing with?”

 

So often we look towards what we wish will happen instead of the reality of the situation.

  • The person who is not bringing results is really “sorry” and promises to do better.
  • The person who isn’t performing “gets it” and tells you that she is really committed this time.
  • You want the best for the person and want to believe that they can do better next time.
  • (You don’t want the confrontation with them or the stress of starting over, so you are motivated to make it work, and are banking on your desire for what could be instead of banking on reality.)

 

Recommitment does not make a person who is unsuited for a position somehow suited for it. Promises of someone who has let you down in the past mean nothing certain in terms of the future. It is irrational to listen to any good idea or plan of change from a person who is a proven non-performer.

 

In order for change to happen 9 things must be in place:

 

  1. Verifiable involvement in a proven change process. Over the past few months are they going to two meetings a day in AA, in therapy, stays in constant contact with their sponsor, and stopped hanging out in bars?

 

  1. Additional Structure. New habits require new structure. They need to have their new activities scheduled. A person isn’t going to get into shape just because they tell themselves that they are going to. They need a plan.

 

 

  1. Monitoring Systems. Is their change being measured? How can you verify that they are changing?

 

  1. New Experiences and Skills. They will need to build new skills. How are they planning on doing this?

 

 

  1. Self-sustaining motivation. To they have a sincere and lasting drive to change?

 

  1. Admission of need. They need to see that there is a problem and fully own it, and fully own that they cannot trust their efforts to make anything different because their past performance has shown this to be true.

 

 

  1. The presence of support. They need to distance themselves from previous bad influences and surround themselves with people that are a positive influence.

 

  1. Skilled Help. Someone in their circle of help needs to know how to get results. So often someone will say something like, “It’s going to work out, because he’s meeting with so-and-so.” But the reality is that so-and-so isn’t bringing a lot to the table and so nothing changes. A classic example is when a mental health profession is called to help an addict yet they don’t have much experience in treating addictions (or worse, they think just because they’ve worked with a lot of addicts that they think that they are skilled, but really they don’t know because they don’t look at their results).

 

 

  1. Some success. Change takes time, especially when there are long-standing personality issues involved. This does not mean you should wait forever. There should be movement seen early on. (This change is often part of the honeymoon cycle of abuse.) You need to get clear on how much time, energy, and money you are spending and the results that you want to see so that you don’t hang on forever.

 

Where is the energy of change going to come from? (Generally it comes from pain of past results. This is why it’s so important for an addict or alcoholic to be allowed to hit rock bottom. The problem with letting an abuser hit rock bottom or suffer consequences, is that to them, it’s never their fault. With an addict or alcoholic, in their mind they aren’t they problem, the substance is the problem. With an abuser, in their mind, it’s their target that’s the problem, and it’s the target that gets them into trouble—not their behavior. This is what makes these relationships so dangerous, and potentially deadly.) A person can logically know that they need to change, but if there’s no plan in place they will fail. If they have the energy to see a plan through, but no idea where to start, change will not happen.

 

10.The three types of people. There are three types of people out there: wise people, foolish people, and evil people. Know what kind of people or behavior you are dealing with. You cannot deal with everyone in the same way. Most of us have some of all three categories within us. The labels are not rigid, they are pointers.

 

The wise person. When the truth presents itself, the wise person sees the light, takes it in, and makes adjustments.  (Even if the truth is hard to hear.) They see the truth as a gift. You don’t get resistance or a fight. The result is that they learn and get better at the result of the feedback. Wise does not mean smartest, brightest, most talented, most gifted, most charismatic, or charming. While a certain degree of wisdom may coexist with these traits, it is completely unrelated. There are brilliant, charming fools out there. The main criteria is that they can take feedback and make the adjustment. The wise and mature person meets the demands of life, while the immature person demands that life meets their needs.

They can handle feedback.

They embrace feedback.

They don’t allow problems that have been addressed to turn into patterns. They adjust and fix them.

They own their performance.

Their relationships are strengthened by the feedback.

They empathize and express concern about the results of their behavior on others.

They show genuine remorse. You get the feeling that they are concerned about the issue and truly want to do better.

 

There is nothing to work on if a person that you are dealing with is not wise. And they need all these traits in order to be considered wise and for things to work, not just 3/10 or even 9/10.

 

 

The Fool. The problem with the fool is that they never think the problem is with them. They blame everyone else and not accountable for their actions. “The fool tries to adjust the truth so he does not have to adjust to it.” The wise person adjusts to the truth, the fool adjusts the truth so he doesn’t have to do anything different. There is no point in giving feedback or trying to work as a team with a fool. (The difference between being a foolish and being a fool is the difference between being an event and there being a pattern. Could the fool change? Perhaps. But why stick around and make yourself nuts in hopes they will change?)

 

Conversations with a fool never get resolved. The same issues continue to come up. Living life with a fool is living a life full of frustration, crazymaking, despair, and hope deferred. Just like a wise person doesn’t equate to being smart or gifted, a fool doesn’t equate to being dumb or lacking talent. The fool may be the smartest, most gifted, or most charming person in the room. It’s often our attraction to their good talents that keeps us hooked in thinking that one more conversation will change things.

 

Traits of a foolish person:

  • When given feedback they get defensive and immediately come back with reasons why it isn’t their fault
  • When a mistake is made they blame someone else
  • Unlike with a wise person, with whom talking through issues strengthens a relationship, with a foolish person, attempts to talk about problems creates conflict, alienation, or a breach in the relationship (stonewalling, silent treatment, or other abuse)
  • They spin it and make it your fault, and now you find yourself the object of correction
  • They minimize your concerns
  • They rationalize why given certain reasons their performance is understandable
  • They give excuses for everything
  • Their emotional response has nothing to do with remorse. Instead they become angry and attacking, or become manipulative, saying things such as: ”You never think I do anything right.” “How could you bring this up after all I’ve done.” “I guess I can’t do anything right” (Which is a prompt for you to rescue them and point out how good they really are.)
  • They shift the conversation off topic and point out all your flaws
  • They have little or no awareness or concern for the pain or frustration they are causing to others
  • They see themselves as the victim, and the people that confront them as the enemy
  • Their world is divided into good guys and bad guys. The good guys are the ones who agree with them and the bad guys are the ones who don’t think they are perfect.

 

The important theme is these traits recognize a lack of ownership and a refusal to take responsibility to change their behavior to meet the demands of life (or of a relationship). They want the outside world to change instead of changing themselves.

 

Strategies for dealing with a foolish person: see them for what they are and stop talking. The definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If you have had the same conversation 63 times what makes you think that 64th time will be different? It’s time to have a different conversation. It’s time to examine a new problem: the new problem to examine is that talking doesn’t help. The fact that they aren’t changing isn’t the problem. The problem is that no change is happening.  It’s now time to examine limits and consequences so you can limits the fool’s collateral damage.

Examples:

“Suzy, I have tries to get you to see the issue and change it, and that has not helped. I have to make sure that this issue is not affecting me or the team anymore, so I’m giving this responsibility to someone who can do what needs to be done.”

“Sam, I cannot allow myself to continue to be hurt or endangered by your drinking. So the next time it happens, I will leave the work event or the house and go somewhere where I am not affected by it.”

“Keith, your anger is hurtful to me, and I can’t allow myself to be yelled at anymore, so the next time it happens I will leave.”

 

Consequences are often the next essential step. Whereas feedback has not helped, and limits will protect you from the damage, consequences can either end things or be the point at which they hit rock bottom, wake up, and begin to turn things around.

“Dave, I want to live in a sober house. Since you have not done anything about your addiction, I will be moving out.”

“Barbara, your numbers at work are not improving. I have tried giving feedback and that has not helped. You continue to fight me and blame others. You are fired.”

“Mary, we have had several gatherings where you drank too much and ruined it for everyone. Until you can control yourself, you will no longer be invited.”

 

You cannot control them or get them to change, but you can break the pattern. (In terms of abusive relationships, we refer to this as low contact or no contact.)

 

Bosses and family may fight about this and say, “But he needs to change this.” The author’s response is apparently he doesn’t need to change that because if he did, he would. Just because you feel he needs to change this, doesn’t mean that they feel the same. The only way to transfer the consequences off your shoulders and onto theirs is with consequences. When the spouse says, “You need to go to AA” the addict often doesn’t agree. But when the spouse says, “I am moving out and will be open to getting back together when you are in treatment” then the addict might feel that they do need to change or they will lose their marriage.

 

Hoping that someone who is in denial is going to get it and change, but nothing points to them changing, then this is a wish and you are the one that is in denial. A plan that has hope is one that has limits, consequences, and awareness of the problem by both people.

 

With a wise person, when you talk to them and give them resources, you will get a return on that investment.

With foolish people, stop talking to them about problems, for they are not listening, and you are wasting your time. Stop supplying them with resources such as your time, energy, and money, as they will waste them. Instead give limits and consequences.

 

With evil people, get out of helping mode and get into protection mode. The strategy is the author recommends is: lawyers and force, which are the things that usually get their attention. Meaning, have all communication go through a lawyer if need be, also keep a paper trail of all communications (voice mails, texts, etc. so you can more easily prove your case). Don’t confront them or follow them where they are trying to lead you, call the police, and have a person with force/weapons be between you and them.

 

 

Evil people. Evil people are not reasonable, and to think that you can reason with evil is foolish. Foolish people don’t intend to hurt people, but evil people do. Anyone who has shown that they are intentionally hurting you needs to be avoided at all costs. The longer you try to help evil to turn into something good, the more vulnerable you are making yourself. Sure, they may change, but they won’t change by you reasoning with them or giving them another chance to hurt you. They often need severe consequences to get them to wake up and see the light. Jail does some people good. Do not talk to evil people at all. Period. If you must communicate with them, let them know that they can communicate with you through your attorney.

 

 

11.Changing Requires Urgency. Human beings are wired for consistency, and to avoid change. And people resist change when there is no reason to make it. If you were comfortable, and I told you to get up and go for a run, you would probably resist doing it. If I told you the building is on fire, run! You’d be a lot more motivated. We make changes when we feel pain. If you normally shop at a certain store, you have no real desire to stop shopping there, if I told you that the store a few miles away was having a 75% off sale, you’d be a lot more motivated. Getting your brain to create an ending often takes fear of the negative and the pull of the positive. We need to realize something bad is going to happen if we continue down this path, and something good will happen if we do something different. You were not designed to cope, but to thrive. You can’t thrive without pruning.

 

Strategies for creating urgency. Make your mind feel the urgency by playing out the movie. Do you want to feel this same way in a year from now? Go look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself if you want to lie to yourself or tell yourself the truth. If you are ready to tell yourself the truth then think of all the realities of the situation you have been avoiding. Think of all the frustration. Think of how you will continue to feel this way, and will feel this way a year from now. In the day-to-day you may be able to numb yourself, but thinking about it long term it might make you realize how awful feeling this way really is.

Create a compelling vision for the future. He talks about taking his kids to the new house in order to get them to want to move, and showing them all the great things about the new house.

 

Human brains are designed to create what they visualize. Our beliefs=our behaviors and vice versa. Mission statements for CEOs, NBA stars visualize shooting baskets. Vision boards. If you can see it, (and believe it), you can create it. The vision has to be created strongly and often in order for it to happen.

I can’t have A if I hang onto B. Where do you picture yourself in 5 years? Line your walls with pictures of your new reality. Use pain and pleasure. What kind of changes do you need to see in order to not continue wasting your time? What are your deal breakers? How will you know it’s time to move on?

 

Measure and evaluate what you want to grow. He gives the example of report cards for kids, and how many parents don’t often realize how their kids are doing until they see a report card and then there is urgency. Seeing weekly grades will help them keep their kids on track.

 

Resistance and how to tackle internal barriers. Odds are there are two incompatible desires at work. And hanging on to both keeps you from either. The author tells the story of a woman who wants a man who is an achiever, but wants to keep her current non-achiever boyfriend. Or the CEO who wants to make more money but the products aren’t selling. Wants to get the team moving, but doesn’t want to have to deal with the conflict that it is going to bring up. Wants to achieve more goals, but wants more time off. Wants to eat brownies, but wants to fit into jeans. We all want. Wanting is wishing. Having takes action, and everything comes with a price. Maturity is in knowing that we have to let go of one thing to have another. Which one am I willing to give up? Don’t be attached to a particular outcome. Stay flexible in your approach. Do the right thing, make the best choices, and let the chips fall where they may. Know your desired outcome but don’t be attached to it if the conditions aren’t right. We must do the right things and then let the chips fall where they may.

We hold onto things because we think “I might need that” or “I might miss that.”  Since when did “missing” something mean that something has value? (The author gives the examples of hoarders, and how the mindset is often, “If we had some ham, then we could make ham and eggs…if we also had eggs.” And so they compulsively hoard everything just in case, or to give themselves the security of a false abundance.

 

Holding onto something based on mights and ifs is not a reason to hang onto something. It’s wishful thinking. You have to look at the whole picture, and not just see parts of a person’s behavior. He’s charming and funny, but he’s not invested in this relationship. Or he’s great in bed, but he’s abusive. The biggest negative means the situation won’t work. It’s like being thirsty and drinking a glass of water that has been poisoned. It doesn’t really matter how much poison is in there, it will still cause a lot of harm to you.

 

Postponing what we know we need to do only postpones hurt. We make internal negotiations to avoid the loss. We justify to ourselves why this could work. If it could have been fixed by now, it would be fixed. Loving relationships cannot happen if we don’t let the toxic ones go. Trying to turn a toxic relationship into a loving relationship is a lost cause. Discernment and deal breakers are often what’s missing. You need to do what’s right for you. Other people cannot be in control of you or your decisions.

 

You might need to make a change but encounter resistance from those who don’t want to deal with what that change is going to mean to them. When an addict tries to get sober, their addict friends will often try to get them to come back to the party because they see that person making a change they know they need to make but are afraid to. (Same with losing weight, or trying to get out of an unhealthy relationship—but all your friends are in one too, they will most likely try to talk you out of it.) If you are getting unstuck, it makes them look in the mirror and realize how stuck they are, so they talk you out of it so they can be comfortable again.

 

You get to decide the kind of person you want in your life, and that person gets to decide if they want to be that. A university has a bar for admission. Students either meet the requirements or they don’t. The ending is created by the standard.

 

Learn to say no to yourself. “No you can’t have that.” “If this business isn’t profitable in a year, I will shut it down.” “If I have not found the job I want by June 1st, I will move.” “If Diana doesn’t quit drinking and start going to AA tonight like she promised, I’m leaving.” You need to know how much time and resources you want to spend on something before all these resources are spent.

 

Begin with the end in mind, this way you won’t get derailed. “I want to terminate this person’s contract, but leave on good terms.” “I want to leave this conversation letting the person know that if they contact me again, I’m calling the police.” If the relationship isn’t right for one person, it’s not right for the other either. Get in touch with the truth and be sensitive to the other person. Practice and role play if you think it might help. (For example, if you have to be around a toxic person, it can really help to rehearse what you are going to say to them, and what they are most likely to say to you. Practicing what you are going to say under ideal conditions is good, but practicing it while being knocked off balance is better.)

 

Grief (like any other emotion) has energy in it. To work through that energy, we can have some sort of ending, whether it be a tribute or a letting go ceremony.

 

Analyze what happened. Tells the story of a CEO who ended up being forced out of one company and was ready to start a new one. Don’t just shake things off when things go bad, examine what happened. Do an autopsy of the event. We all have patterns that we repeat, and that we will continue to repeat until we examine them, and get to the root of what’s going on. Metabolize it. Examine what is useful and necessary and what is waste. We eliminate waste, and if we don’t we get sick. Experiences are the food of life.

We either waste, spend, or invest our time. If we are putting our time into something that isn’t sustainable, then it is a waste. Avoid being pot committed to a losing hand.

The next step always depends on two things: where you are now and how ready you are to do what is necessary to get to the next place, and often times that means for the right tomorrow to happen, some parts of today must come to a necessary end.

 

 

 

 

 

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Dana

I am a self-help junkie, former advocate for victims of domestic violence, current psychiatric RN, as well as being a recovering victim of Narcissistic abuse.

My goal is to educate, empower, and inspire other abuse victims in understanding more about what happened to them (and how to prevent it from happening again), as well as how to go on and rebuild an amazing life.

Even though I have had a lot of "in the trenches" experience with highly manipulative people of all kinds, I consider myself to be a student of Narcissism, mindset, motivation, healing, and life in general, and am by no means an expert on any of these topics.

It's for these reasons, that when you are reading my information that I encourage you to hold to what helps, and let the rest go.
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About Dana 308 Articles
I am a self-help junkie, former advocate for victims of domestic violence, current psychiatric RN, as well as being a recovering victim of Narcissistic abuse. My goal is to educate, empower, and inspire other abuse victims in understanding more about what happened to them (and how to prevent it from happening again), as well as how to go on and rebuild an amazing life. Even though I have had a lot of "in the trenches" experience with highly manipulative people of all kinds, I consider myself to be a student of Narcissism, mindset, motivation, healing, and life in general, and am by no means an expert on any of these topics. It's for these reasons, that when you are reading my information that I encourage you to hold to what helps, and let the rest go.

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