Dear Jane, Am I the Problem?
Over the past few years, I’ve been intentionally eliminating toxic people out of my life. My brother is super negative and always has something to say about me and how I live my life. I mean, we all make mistakes here and there, right?
I also used to have a close group of girlfriends but once they all got married and started popping out babies, they became a bore. I just didn’t have anything in common with them anymore since I’ve been dating the same guy on-and-off for the past five years and I don’t see myself settling down any time soon.
They just don’t understand that I like my freedom and independence and I was sick of their judgmental stares over brunch, so I quietly just stopped responding to their invitation to hang out, and then eventually, the invites stopped coming altogether.
Now don’t even get me started on my pesky, nosey, and no-good co-workers. I used to go out to lunch with them and for happy hour drinks from time to time, but when I was passed up for a promotion that I deserved, I just couldn’t stomach hanging out with them anymore. They should have had my back and fought for my promotion with me. Since they are a bunch of backstabbers, I work from home as much as possible now.
But if I’m being honest, I’m starting to feel a bit lonely and isolated. How did I attract all of these toxic people? Jane, am I the problem?
– Alone & Confused
You might have to eat some crow and apologize to a few family, friends, and co-workers and start to work on repairing those relationships by being open to ownership for your life.”
Dear Alone & Confused,
I hope you’re ready for some tough love, but yes. You’re 100% the problem. But not for the reason that you may think. You’re not the problem because you attract the wrong or toxic people, but because based on your letter, it seems as though that you might be the toxic person in your interpersonal relationships.
It seems as though you blame and project your insecurities, shortcomings, and moments of emotional discomfort onto everyone else around one, rather than looking inward and accessing what was the role that you played in how your life is turning out.
I know this might be a bitter pill to swallow, but don’t fret, I’ve got an idea on how to stop being the problem, get out of your own way, and start rebuilding some of these fractured friendships.
Practice Radical Accountability
Okay, my friend, it’s time to take a long hard look at yourself and see in what areas of your life are blaming other people for you not being where you want to be.
Step #1: Grab a journal, a pen, a box of soft tissues, and a 24 Hour Magic all-natural supplement bundle to prepare for this mental and emotional exercise.
Step #2: Get a peaceful and restorative night’s rest, so that you are mentally and emotionally refreshed before doing this exercise as it might bring up some uncomfortable feelings. So I would suggest taking a Nighty Night all-natural supplement from the bundle the night before to ensure that you’re refreshed in the morning and ready to dive into the exercise.
Step #3: In the morning, about 30 minutes before you start the exercise, take a Hello Mellow all-natural supplement from the bundle to calm your mind, steady your thoughts, and soothe your energy.
Step #4: Find a quiet place to start the exercise. Take out your notebook or journal and write on the header of one page, “Past Romantic Relationships,” and then start writing down an honest assessment of your past relationships when it comes to your love life.
Be brutally honest and get real, and write down the pros, cons, pitfalls, failures, successes, and so on. Why did the relationship end? What could you have done differently? What was your role in the demise of the relationship? Who did you blame and why did you blame them?
Step #5: On another page, write down “Current Romantic Relationship.” On this sheet, take an honest assessment of the current state of your romantic relationship. Are you happy? What’s working? What’s not working? What role do you play in the good and the bad? What unhealthy patterns are repeating themselves in your current relationship from the past?
Step #6: On another page, write down “5 Things That I Commit to Doing Differently.” On this page, get clear on a few things that you can take accountability for in your romantic relationships and what you commit to doing differently so that you can start to get better and healthier results in your romantic relationships.
Step #7: Call your ex or current partner and have a direct conversation with them about how they experience you. What I mean by this is to ask them how you come across to them
Step #8: Enjoy your favorite beverage, light some candles, and run a hot Go Away, I’m Fizzy CBD-infused bubble bath to gently wash away the emotional residue from the exercise and as a way to take care of yourself. You deserve it and the journey to taking accountability for your own life might be a difficult one but it is definitely worth it.
Step #9: Repeat this exercise for every area in your life that needs to be reexamined, for example, you can do one on “Career,” “Finances,” “Friendships,” “Family,” “Co-workers,” etc. Then you’ll have a blueprint for how you want to do things differently in these areas of your life.
This exercise also empowers you to take responsibility for your own life and to stop blaming other people for what you perceive to be mistakes, failures, and not getting your way. It might be emotionally challenging to look at yourself through a critical yet compassionate lens, but in the end, there’s nothing more rewarding than knowing that you are the author of your own story.
P.S. You might have to eat some crow and apologize to a few family, friends, and co-workers and start to work on repairing those relationships by being open to ownership for your life and not blaming them for things that are only in your control. Gifting them with an I Feel Good bundle as a way to say mea culpa might be a good idea. You got this girl.
Jane is the fictional heroine of the Betoken lifestyle blog, Good For Jane. Think of Jane as your virtual BFF. She lives a healthy lifestyle, but not like, over the top. When it’s not a pandemic, she loves hanging out with her friends, dating, and exercising in public. Throughout the pandemic she has baked her fair share of sourdoughs, gotten more than her fair share of takeout to “support her local restaurants”, ordered wine online and taken plenty of CBD to keep the anxiety at bay.
Jane is also the editor of the Dear Jane column. If you have a question for Jane, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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