One of my criteria for Defining Happiness is to “Avoid toxic people.” Sometimes this is easier said than done. If you work in an office you can’t always choose who you work with. And as the saying goes, “You can pick your nose but you can’t pick your relatives.” But the two things you can pick are your friends and (whether you run a business, or you’re a conscientious consumer) who you do business with.
In Michael Port’s Book Yourself Solid he discusses the Red Velvet Rope Policy. The policy is simply that you only let people behind the red velvet rope who are going to energize you and that you enjoy being around and working with. It’s written from a business standpoint, but you can apply it to all of the people in your life.
First, you need to establish some type of screening process to determine who gets access to your red velvet rope area. This area is exclusive. You don’t want to work with people who are going to suck the life out of you. The same as you wouldn’t want to be friends with somebody who is going to suck the life out of you either. As much you may love vampire stories, you don’t want them in your life. You want to work with and associate with people who energize you, excite you, inspire you, and challenge you to be better. This can usually be established in a few minutes of conversation. The conversation can be the bouncer.
There may be people in your life that you can’t avoid. Clients you need to take on because you need the money. People in your workplace that you just can’t seem to skirt. Or members of your social circles that you’re not quite sure how they became a part of your friend group, but yet they’re always there. Whatever the case may be it does not mean that you have to let them past the red velvet rope. If they don’t meet the criteria, don’t waste your time and energy on human sponges. Some people in life are like Rogue from the X-Men. They just want to take their gloves off and drain you of all of your power. Avoid those people. If you can’t avoid them, don’t let them past the red velvet rope. And definitely don’t let them touch you.