You can’t change the people around you, but you can change the people around you.

-The Minimalists

There may come a point in your personal journey where the people around you become too toxic. Perhaps your life is headed in a different direction than theirs, or their negativity is holding you back from who you are trying to be.

There is little chance of changing these people to be how you want them to be. Change is hard enough from the inside-out, and from the outside-in, unless the person is open to changing, it will often just create more friction.

Sometimes it feels like we can’t get away from these people. Maybe they’re family or close friends or people in need. And in these cases, you can use these people as opportunities to deepen your love, open your heart, and strengthen your forgiveness.

But I implore you to take a good, hard look at yourself and ask why do I surround myself with the people who are toxic? Is it a sense of security? Is it a fear of being alone? Is it a belief that I must be here for this person, family or friend?

It might be time to challenge those beliefs. You might need a break. If who you’re trying to grow into is not, at the very least, OK with those around you, then you may be seriously holding yourself back. Have a very serious conversation with that person about their impact on you, and if they don’t hear it, it may be time to move on.

As the Buddha said, it’s better to walk alone than to walk with fools. And eventually, if you keep seeking, you’ll find a tribe that supports who you’re trying to become.