Channel: Muslim Life Hackers
Series: Muslim Life Hackers - Season 1
We know that who we are is the sum of our closest friends and companions, so when you have someone influential in your life that just seems to drag you down, it is important to identify the toxic relationship and start to deal with it before it affects you further.
In this episode, Maheen talks about what kind of people we should look out for and what to do if we find ourselves stuck in a difficult relationship.
Episode 49 Hey Mary Had you didn't get into that course you wanted Bama the world sucks. I mean, like government is doing things and We're all doomed and welcome to the Muslim law Packers podcast, the weekly podcast providing you with tips and tricks on how to hack your life and maximize its potential. And now for your hosts Mira maroof and Mahima Lake
across the sea of
Assalamualaikum Muslim life, I guess this is main Malik here with today's podcast. This is Episode 49 of the show. And while we are one away from 50, a home villa in today's episode, I'm going to be talking about how to deal with difficult and toxic people in your life efficiently that is, and as usual, you know the drill you can find all the links and resources mentioned in this episode in our show notes at Muslim life hackers.com forward slash 49. And that is the number 49. Alright, so let's get straight into this topic. Now. Imagine that you're at a party, or you're out to get together like a family get together or something. And you're in a you're in a group of like your family, your
friends, and one of your friends strikes up a conversation with you. Now you've known each other for quite a while. And you may have many people in common. But as soon as they open their mouth, you get a sense of dread. like cheese. What is this person going to say to me now? So they open their mouth and like, bam. Oh, man, your shoes look great. Did you buy them secondhand? Hahaha, just joking. But seriously, so last season, or something along these lines? It may it may sound something like this. Look, Jamil. I'm a friend. And I didn't want to be the one to have to tell you this. But you know, you've gained a little weight, you know, just around the just around the middle of something like,
hey, Mary, I heard you didn't get into that course you wanted. Bama, the world sucks. I mean, my government is doing things and We're all doomed. And, you know, apparently, our generation is the worst and most messed up generation ever. And we're gonna be so poor and stressed and lame, and blah, blah, blah, or maybe something like this. Oh, hey, john, oh my God, I hate my boss, my co workers, my life, my wife. I just hate everything you know, enough of like my crazy examples, you know, you get the point, just giving these examples of toxic people is really getting me down to power. But imagine hearing them over and over and over again, from family, friends, your parents,
your cousins, co workers, your boss, your children the whole lot. It can be just one person who's exhibiting these toxic symptoms, or it can be a group all have people within our lives that literally suck sunshine out of you. And over a long period of time consistently, this can take a huge toll on you. But the question is, why should you care about the people around you? that we've all heard this this thing to death, you know, the one where you're the sum total of the five closest people that you hang out with by Jim Rohn. And we've all heard the say, Hadith, which means authentic and found Hadith, or put about Abu huraira, in which it was reported, the prophet said,
peace and blessings be upon him, quote, a man is upon the religion of his best friend. So let one of you look to him, You be friends, and quit. And just to add to that, I'm going to tell you about a study done at Harvard by Dr. David McLennan. He and his colleagues conducted a 25 year long social study, which is like, massive in the psychology field. It's just amazing. I don't know how they did it. But they conducted a study that went for 25 years, and they studied the influence of those around us, on the person themselves on us. And the results were superb martial law.
So what this study found was when you look at a person's reference group, which is as modern soza says, you know, your homeys and your friends, your closest companions and family and things like that monasteries actually has a great video on toxic people, which I will link in the show notes. So the result was that this reference group, your friends, your families, and whatnot, they actually determine 95% of your successes in life. I am just astounded that is a really huge numbers battle. 95% so that's good. But what did the study mean by successes 95% of sickness successes in your lifetime and by your reference group, which is your family, your friends, your companions, things
like that, what actually mean by successes, things that are actually influenced by your circle and therefore your toxic friends that are close to you are things like your health, your relationship, finances, emotions, even the way you walk, the way you talk, your beliefs as an as can be seen by the Hadith mentioned earlier. So therefore, we can see that it's really important to pay attention to those that we surround ourselves with for these reasons for also but but also for the fact that you as a person deserve it to be the best user
You can be. And just a note on this point because I get this a lot like this whole issue of arrogance and things like that. And it's really, really, really important to note that trying to be the best you that you can be is not about being arrogant. 100 a lot, you know, we as Muslims, through our teachings of our religion and our Dean have been taught
to be diligently aware of arrogance, and always seek to eliminate it, because we've been taught pridefulness leads to demise before Allah subhanaw taala. And it's something that we should seek to, you know, extract from ourselves, but the point of wanting to surround yourself with the right people.
For you to become a bright person is actually a point of God, not arrogance, we as Muslims are entrusted to be the leaders of humanity, and how can we do this, if we cannot perform and utilize the blessings that Allah Subhana Allah has given us, within the people that we are, if we're limited by the beliefs that toxic people, and degrading people are constantly feeding us, we can't be the best us, we can't be the best, you can't be the best you that you can be, if you don't put yourself first in this model that is, let me give you an example. Think of yourself as a sponge. Now, this is not a great example. And I was gonna be like, think of yourself as a plant. But my brain was like
crying with boardrooms, I thought like analysts change it up, I guess you're a sponge, and a sponge, his job is to soak up and then expel what it takes in. So you're a sponge. And if you're sucking in all this bad juice, and from your toxic circle of influence, you're only going to let out the same thing as well, you're going to become a bad sponge. And you go over to the dark side. And no one wants that. So where can we find these toxic people who are these toxic people, I'm going to give you a few categories to look out for. Firstly, you can find toxic people in your work sphere. Now we spend a lot of time at our jobs, because literally, that is at work. So it's important that we have
a look at our workplace and what we could be absorbing from there. Who are the people that we are interacting with mostly, it could be a boss, perhaps your workmates, your customers, your clients, maybe the businesses that your workplace comes into contact with. Maybe you work in a job that requires you to interact with other businesses and other companies. The next view that you need to look at is your friends. This is a really big one, your friends circle is where you could find a lot of toxic people. It's a very interesting group as well as the previous one is because we have a lot of control here in this kind of sphere of friends, we can choose our friends, so we have to be
careful and mindful here. The next category is your intimate relationships. And this is where if you're not already married, that is we need to take great care in choosing your life partner, a negative toxic person, possibly be a chain for you for life, and perhaps even your future generations and children and things like that. Okay, now I know what you're thinking like, seriously, my name is Dr. Phil marriage advice. What? Well, to that I say no, my friend sitime er, because Luke's and wealth are all well and good. But they're not everything. And when the dust settles and you look around at who you are, who you're with, and who you have become and if you
don't like it, this is where cracks start to form in our psyche. And they start to become evident and it could lead to destruction is parallel. Don't take it lightly. So moving on, from spouses to the biggest and most influential category, which is your family spell. This one is one of those things where it's really big, and plus we do not have any control over it. Parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, even your children, having someone within your family who's constantly putting you down, degrading you, making you feel miserable is truly a trial span a lot in my heart, it goes out to you. It's one of the most stickiness of relationships, one that we need to treat with caution. As
first and foremost, we need to recognize that our kin and our family have many rights upon us. And with that being said, I'm going to be giving you five steps on how to deal with toxic people within your life. Also with the mention of the last category of people that you need to have a look at and see if there's any toxic people there. I want to point out that the next steps will be most suitable for the category of your job slash workplace influences and your friends circle with regards to your family circle, these tips should inshallah help to alleviate but I would be I will be following up this podcast with one about a family of influences and how to deal with difficulties. They're much
more in depth in a future episode inshallah. It's quite a complex issue and I want again, we want to give it as much attention and research as we can. So do look out for that one.
So moving on to our five steps, step number one diagnosis. How do you do this? How do you know if you are in a toxic relationship? Well, like you do when you are when you feel like you're getting a flu or a cold, you look for symptoms is the person that you suspect always, you know, depressed. They always like, you know, bringing you down, like always like doom and gloom and things like that. Are they the kind of person who's always playing the victim role saying things like, Oh, you know, I can't do this because of circumstances and this and the economy's so bad.
By the way, for really good podcasts and victim mentality, do check out my first one, on that I they are very dogmatic person. And what I mean by dogmatic is they always have to have things their way it's their way, or the highway kind of thing. And no other view is correct. For example, john likes chocolate chip cookies, and he believes that you'd like them to, but I haven't had a bad experience with chocolate chip cookies and his childhood, and is afraid of them. And so he doesn't like them. But john insists that he is right and must love chocolate chip cookies as he does, and that avid is wrong, and how could you not like them, and who cares about his past experiences and so on lame,
lame example, I know, but you get the point
is not going to be left left off the hook by john who insists that he's wrong. That's the kind of like dogmatic person that you can look out for that kind of dogmatic person could possibly be a toxic relationship for you. Other questions you should ask yourself, is the person you suspect always an angry person? Are they overly dramatic is a life always a drama? Maybe they're always gossiping about what's going on within their family. Maybe they're involved in illegal activities, criminal activities, maybe are these are clear bellowing ads for toxic relationships, these kind of people tend to be leeches on your life. Perhaps even your workplace may be involved in some shady
activities. And this is really getting you down and draining. You also have a lookout for people with addictions. This could be to anything such as like drugs, gossip, food, TV, whatever. People who are severely addicted to anything are always going to be a drain. So there are a few things that you should look out for. And people also look out and diagnose how you feel when you are with these people. Ask yourself things like how do I feel when I am with this person? Does my friend always put me down all the time? Are they always looking for things to change in me? Are they jealous when I spend time with others? Do they take more than they give? Are they constantly walking over me and
only do what they want. So that was step one diagnose situation, if the person you suspect in the relationship that you're that you suspect is toxic, and aligns with some of these questions that I mentioned previously, and fall into some of these symptom categories that I mentioned. And it's a clear sign that this is a kind of relationship that needs to be paid attention to, and you need to do something about it fast before it gets out of hand. So there was some really great questions that I got off. Our watch will cost video which I will also link in the show notes super cute and helpful questions to ask to help you determine if you're in a toxic relationship.
Step number two, identify your role. How are you facilitating the bad slash toxic relationship that you're in? Now the first these first two steps are really for you to get really clear in your head? Who, why and how.
Ask yourself How am I aiding? How am I playing a part in this toxic relationship? Perhaps I'm always accepting invitations to go out with you know a certain toxic colleagues or friends. Maybe after work or something like that. Maybe I'm always letting a certain person will call over me all the time. Maybe I'm always lending money and not saying no. Am I always looking the other way with someone something is being done? Am I always agreeing to the criticisms being made of me? Perhaps I'm always listening at all the gossiping said maybe I even join in on activities that I just know I should not be doing.
Someone is stealing your sunshine man. Think about it. What pot? Are you playing in this toxic relationship? What's your role about it, identify it. Next Step number three, change your behavior and set boundaries. you've identified whether or not you are in a toxic relationship. you've identified your role, how you're even facilitating it, while your part is next is for you to change your behavior and set those boundaries into stone. What are you going to do about this bad relationship? Perhaps After identifying your role and what's relationship is doing to you? It may mean the end of a certain relationship, it might mean that you have to explain to someone that you
just can't hang out with them anymore. It's bad for me and I just can't do it, man. It's leading me down the wrong path. Look, you mean a lot to me and I do respect you and things like that. But this relationship is just not working out for me and it's really not going to benefit me in the long run. Please do understand, but I do
Can't like hang out with you further, if I want to be the kind of person that I want to be. So it may mean having like a tough conversation like that, and just ending in the author relationship. It may mean, you know, just not taking certain polls late at night, maybe it may mean you know, having your lunch at your desk instead of down at the coffee shop, that certain person that always centers tends to gossip, maybe it means you know, not getting involved in certain business deals, perhaps not being involved in that workplace at all. Whatever you decide your boundary will be with this toxic people in situation, define it and stick to it diligently. You will shape your environment you
habits will be formed. You may even shake people out of their bad habit and give them an epiphany like, Hey, I should stop being mean to that person, people will adjust, life will adjust and you will prevail inshallah to be a better year.
So that was step number three. Step number four, acknowledge that you can't change people. You know, as Viktor Frankl mentioned in his awesome book, you know, we only have control over our actions. And that gives us certain amount of freedom, that we can choose what we what we do and how we react to certain situations. But that doesn't extend to others. And that's okay. It may be your hope that by you know, having new by changing your behavior with the center someone or certain people, by having you boundaries with people, this will somehow change them and you know, show them light or something. But to understand that this is not our job, we only do our best and strive to be
excellent and the things that we do, but the true channel of hearts is Allah subhanaw taala. And you need to come to peace with the fact that you know, you cannot change people change comes from Allah subhanaw taala. Just do your part, change your behavior, set your boundaries, that's your job, be respectful, don't be judgmental, and make to offer that person perhaps are involved in a bad habit. Continue to make to offer them, you've had a conversation with them, you've advised them. Now it's an illustration with Ellis hands. So step number four, acknowledge that you can't change people. Step number five, surround yourself with better people. This seems like you know, intuitive, but
keep the company that you want to be like have more positive influences in your life. I know, when I felt that I needed to, you know, be in better company, I started attending events that I knew people who I wanted to be like, attended. And in turn, I gained friends from those events and things like that. And I'm still to this day, like, you know, like they are some of my closest friends now. And I think an umbrella I have changed for the better by just changing my environment and the people that I hang out with and who I call my friends. So start to maybe accept invitations to people that you want to be like, or sell going to events that you know, you know, people who you want to be like go
to go places where, you know, go places that have a positive impact on you. Like the thing is, go with a fisher
and if this isn't available to you, like if for example, you know, you're in a remote society where you know, there's not a lot of like variety. Consider a virtual influence lectures, books. A good book is just amazing courses, no audio books, videos, DVDs, these are also influences and if you're exposed to them enough, they can become a big determining factor in the successes that you have later on in life. They can change your personality, they can change the person that you are. So that was step number five, surround yourself with better people better influences in your life. Alright, so they will my five steps for how to deal with toxic people in your life. And just to recap them,
they were step number one, diagnose. Step number two, identify your role. Step number three, change your behavior and set boundaries. Step number four, acknowledge that you cannot change people. And step number five, surround yourself with better people. So those are my five tips of how to deal with toxic people and relationships. And just before I let you go, be sure to join our mailing list with some laughs hackers.com forward slash newsletter. It's where my friend I come and we share our thoughts and experiences exclusive Muslim life is content material, its stories, and also previous to future projects that will be coming up almost and laughing is that's only shared without mailing
lists, so be sure to get on there and join the craziness at Muslim left I can still come up with slash newsletter. And as usual, you can find all the links and resources mentioned in today's episode in our show notes at some lifehacker.com forward slash 49 and that's the number 49. All right, folks, until next time, aim high take action and be awesome.
Change your behaviors change set boundaries. What