man contemplating on bench When you’ve struggled with alcohol or substance abuse and have worked hard to regain a healthy, sober lifestyle, it’s vital that you surround yourself with the right people to remain on the right track. Negative people have a tendency to promote a toxic atmosphere. They may thrive on so-called drama and cause you to feel bad about yourself or your situation. They can cause you to have a pessimistic attitude and even encourage you to use drugs or alcohol again.

These negative people may be close family members or friends you’ve known for years. Understandably, it can be difficult to cut ties with them. Here are a few tips on ending unhealthy relationships with negative people.

Evaluate Your Relationships

Every once in awhile, it’s a good habit to pause and take a moment to take a critical look at the relationships you have in your life. If you have a negative person interfering with your sobriety after drug treatment, there’s a good chance you know who they are. It’s typical to feel tired, drained or worse-off after spending time with a negative person. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does this person have my best interests at heart?
  • Is this person willing to encourage and support my new, sober lifestyle?
  • Does this person make me feel good about myself, or others?

If the answer is “no” to these questions, this person is a negative force in your life. For your own well-being, it’s best to cut ties with him or her.

Tips on Cutting Ties with Negative People

There’s no clear-cut way to end a relationship with someone. Depending on whether this is a friendship, romantic relationship or a family member, you’ll need to take a number of different approaches to cutting ties. Here are a few tips:

  • Don’t feel guilty. It’s very common for the person who is ending the relationship to feel bad or guilty. Remember that if this person truly cared about you and your well-being, he or she would support your efforts at sobriety — not hinder them.
  • Become less ‘available’. To create distance, one of the first things you need to do is not be available all the time for the negative person. This means busying yourself with positive activities such as hitting the gym, taking a class and socializing with people that are more positive. You may no longer wish to immediately respond to texts or phone calls. This applies particularly to family members who may be difficult to remove from your life altogether.
  • Plan out what to say. If this is a romantic relationship, you’ll need to plan what you’d like to say. Don’t feel like you need a huge, lengthy explanation. Stick to the basics such as saying you’re heading on a new path in life and need a fresh start. You may need to write a letter if this helps to articulate your feelings. If you feel safer, meet this person in a public place.
  • Stick to your boundaries. Whether you need to remove or block this person from social media and other forms of communication is up to you. Once you’ve created boundaries, stick with them.

Cutting ties with negative people may be difficult at first but will set you free on your path to creating a healthier, happier and sober life. For more information about how to sustain sobriety after an alcohol rehab program, call us today at 866-349-1770.