So, you want to write a book, but all the people around you say you’re crazy?
Don’t listen to them.
Easier said than done though, right?
It’s easy to listen to the toxic talk, go with the flow, and forget your dream of being an author. On the other hand, it’s really difficult to ignore the toxic people in your life, follow your heart, and write your first book.
Like it or not, peer pressure has a huge impact on our thoughts, feelings and behavior. If you’re constantly spending time with people who think it’s impossible for you to become a published writer or best selling author, chances are you’ll end up believing it too!
Why You Have to Get Rid of Negative People and Toxic Relationships
As writers, we all have to face our fair share of negativity, from bad reviews to criticism and even ridicule from time to time. The rise of the internet and technology have only made spewing toxicity and trolling creative people more common. We may not be able to fix the system or change the world in an instant, but we can certainly improve our lives by learning how to better handle negative comments and criticism.
I was right where you are now. And it wasn’t until I reflected on what I was going through that I realized other writers, artists and innovative people were probably facing the same challenges. It was that epiphany that made me realize my voice had to be heard.
I couldn’t possibly be the only person being held hostage by toxic people filling my head with negative thoughts. Suddenly my experiences and my story weren’t just about me anymore.
I couldn’t stand the thought of other people dealing with the extreme negativity that I dealt with, and I wanted to help.
Sharing Your Story
If you’re on this website and reading this article, I bet there’s a story in you. I know you want to share it with the world, but something or someone is holding you back. I understand where you’re coming from because I was like you not too long ago.
I also understand the worst feeling in life is regret. If you regret not writing your book, don’t wait another minute. It’s never too late. Get your story out of your head, off of your computer hard drive, and into a manuscript so you can publish it.
Getting published on Amazon Kindle is the easy part. Everything you need to get started is right here on this website, including a free Kindle Self Publishing Checklist.
The difficult part is changing your mindset and knowing you can make it happen.
I did it. You can do it too.
If you’re ready to deal with the difficult people in your life, save your sanity, and share your story with the world, let’s get to it.
1. Defuse the Situation
If you happen to be in the middle of an argument with a toxic person, you’re going to want to lessen the tension as quickly as possible. If you’re anything like me, these situations stress you out.
You might think that saying nothing would be the best course of action. After a while the other person should run out of steam, right? Or, maybe you think talking over the other person would work to show your dominance? That may only cause them to yell even louder.
Give them the upper hand
Instead of doing what you did before and getting the same result, try this little trick. Say something like, “You’re right.” Not only will you get their attention, but also they’ll end up quieting down a lot faster. They may even stop talking altogether. Let’s face it.
Who can continue to argue with someone who agrees with them, right?
In the case where you don’t agree or you have a tough time playing the part, you could also say, “I understand,” or “Can you explain that?”
All of these responses show you’re listening. They also get the people to focus on themselves instead of you. Chances are, they’ll be flattered you’re actually listening and taking their suggestions seriously.
It’s pretty awesome to know you have the power to change the dynamic of the conversation with just a few words.
Key takeaway: You’ll need a quiet spot free from your anxiety to write.
2. Understand It’s Not Your Fault
In most cases the toxic people taunting you have issues themselves. They are unhappy. And they incorrectly think taking it out on you might make them feel better about themselves.
You’re not screwed up. You’re just reacting to a screwed up situation.
Toxic people treat you badly because that’s how they feel about themselves
What I’ve learned is that these toxic people are generally dissatisfied with something in their lives. Maybe their career didn’t turn out as they envisioned. Maybe they had a fight with their significant other. Maybe they’re upset they’re getting older.
And they’re taking their bad feelings and emotions out on you, even though it has nothing to do with you. It just doesn’t.
Key takeaway: However the toxic people in your life criticize you, don’t believe them. Keep going.
3. Embrace Your Emotions
When these difficult situations arise, it’s important to truly understand how they make you feel. If you’ve been in these toxic relationships for a while you might feel numb to it or you might have an unhealthy go-to response at the ready.
I used to comfort myself with food. Sometimes I ate so much, I made myself sick because I held on to the pain and didn’t let it go.
Don’t hide or ignore how you feel
Whatever you do, don’t internalize it. Embrace it. Express it however you can. Grab a notebook and write it down so it’s no longer eating you up inside.
When my father would tell me I was fat or my coworker put down a project I was working on, it would make me feel sad and dejected. It could also make me angry and enraged. Just remember that however you feel is okay.
Key takeaway: When you’re writing, make the reader feel how you feel. The only way to do this is to truly embrace all your emotions and translate them into words.
4. Put Yourself First
Don’t go drinking or try to hurt yourself as punishment. Those things only make your situation worse. Instead, do something to improve your situation. Something you enjoy. Something that makes you feel better.
Indulge in something that makes you happy
If you don’t know what will lift your spirits, try something new. I like to hop in the shower and just let the water run. I also write to get my feelings out of my head and onto paper. I like learning so I started to study Spanish. Some people might exercise or plan a weekend getaway. Get lost in a book or a movie.
Try something new and if you don’t like it, try something else. Keep trying new things until you find something that works for you.
Key takeaway: Celebrate your wins – even little ones, such as writing a little bit everyday.
5. Plan Your Next Step
Once you’ve taken care of yourself and you’re feeling a bit more centered, you’ll be in a better position to think clearly and figure out what to do next.
Depending on how you feel, do you want to try to save the relationship? If so, you’ll need to muster up the courage to talk candidly with the person driving you crazy. Honestly, they may not even know they’re driving you crazy. Speaking up may be the best thing you can do.
What are you getting out of the relationship?
If you don’t feel the relationship is worth your effort, end it. There’s no shame in cutting off contact with someone if they constantly make you miserable.
If you live with them, minimize your contact. And make sure you have a healthy number of ways to soothe your soul so you can start living the happy life you were meant to live.
Key takeaway: As you’re writing, start researching how to get your work published. This website has a lot of information that will take you far.
Fulfill Your Dreams
Those are my 5 steps you can put into practice today to deal with the toxic person in your life, save your sanity, and clear your path to becoming an amazing author. After decades of trying to figure out the best way to move beyond these difficult people, this is the basic framework I use every time.
I’m sharing it here because if you’re stuck in a toxic relationship and it’s preventing you from writing and publishing your work, as it was for me, this might just help you too.
About the Author
Gayle Katz writes to help others discover they’re not as fat, ugly, and stupid as they may think they are. She is a recovering self-deprecator who works hard every day not to let her past dealings with problem people interfere with her happy present life.
If difficult people have put you through the wringer, chances are Gayle’s been where you are right now.
When she’s not writing, you can catch her watching vintage TV shows from the 80s and 90s.
Check out her Freedom From Toxic People blog at GroundedGirlsGuide.com/blog
Want more? Her books can be found online at BooksByGayle.com
More Helpful Resources for Writers and Authors
Here are some articles that can help you learn more about writing and publishing your book.