10 Best Ways To Remove Your Blinders And See Things How They Are
Sometimes, people may idealize or fantasize about life, love, and social relationships and decline to see and have a full understanding of negative or toxic situations. If you are not a good judge of character, this can leave you experiencing a feeling of confusion and void and prevent you from living in reality, making good choices, causing you emotional pain, disappointment, frustration, and even threats or actual harm to your safety. You may be blindsided or self-deluded because you’re wearing “blinders”. Wearing blinders in life can make it difficult to see beyond what is in front of you.
Life would be great if the world were always fair, but the world is filled with toxic and negative people. Toxic people may always sabotage your efforts at self-improvement. They may, at the very least, slow your progress. More specifically, would you want someone in your life who actively works against making your life better?
Of course, the answer is no. That can be difficult to accept until you begin to recognize the effects of toxicity within yourself.
You may second-guess yourself on an important decision while under the influence of a toxic person. As a result, you may feel sad, uncomfortable, or even embarrassed about your progress and well-being. You may even develop some toxic qualities you despise in others, which happens to the best of us because toxic people have a strange way of making you toxic yourself.
Consider your whiny social media friend, your hurtful adult child or parent who never has anything nice to say, or your partner or family member who can't be happy about your success. These people drain your energy and should be dealt with — and possibly removed — from your life. But, of course, you get to decide when and if someone should be kicked out. After all, everyone has a different tolerance for negativity, and everyone's definition of negativity is different. For example, one person may perceive a comment as hilarious sarcasm, while another perceives it as a total gut punch. It’s important to know when others are helping or hurting you.
So, if you're
tired of dealing with blinders in your life, here are 10 strategies for gently
removing your blinders from your life:
1. Prioritize Yourself.
You may be used to constantly putting your friend's or others’ needs ahead of your own, potentially sacrificing your fulfillment, happiness, and needs. You must be willing to be self-aware and honest with yourself and put yourself first for once especially when it comes to cutting someone out of your life. Invest in your healing after ending the relationship. It may not seem intuitive initially but letting go of a toxic relationship or overly dependent individual who is unwilling to change and improve themselves can free up more brain space for you.
2. Avoid Frolicking In Their Delusional Reality.
Some people are prone to viewing themselves as the victim in every situation or rejecting self-accountability for their misdeeds. If they make an error, they may always shift the blame to someone else or tell a story that portrays them in a more favorable, yet false light.
You may be tempted to nod and smile to avoid an angry outburst or fail to respectfully challenge their illogical reasoning or thought processes. This may appear to be the most secure option, but it may place you in the position of an enabler. Instead of agreeing with illogical reasoning or incorrect facts, consider respectful disagreement. For example, you could say, "I have a different take on the situation," and then explain what happened. Stick to verifiable facts and avoid making any accusations. While your disagreement may irritate them, it may also reduce the likelihood that they may pull you into their illogical thinking again. If someone’s words consistently match their actions in good or negative ways, then you should have no issues with clearly looking into their intentions and seeing them for who they are unless you choose to keep wearing blinders for whatever reason(s) or they’re into being deceptive or playing mind games. Ultimately, your gut instinct or clarity may kick in and you can proceed or withdraw from their delusional reality, accordingly.
3. Recognize That It May Be A Process.
Getting rid of your blinders in a romantic relationship is not always easy; they don't respect your boundaries now, so they may not respect them later. They may return even after you have told them to leave, or you no longer want to see them anymore.
Remaining consistent with your boundaries, distancing yourself, and remembering WHY you left in the first place can prevent you from going back to them and trusting that they will continue to give you what you don’t want or desire because they most likely haven’t changed without extensive therapy. Genuine change is a gradual process and takes time. So, remember that while their “apology” only takes minutes, true change and self-improvement can take months or years.
Easily trusting their charming and enticing words versus verifying that they’ve changed through positive, consistent, and non-harmful actions can cause you to put your blinders back on. False hope and seeking short-term and temporary gratification versus positive and consistent results can leave you not wanting to accept the reality of toxic and dysfunctional love.
4. Don't Feel Obligated To Explain Everything To Them.
It can be tempting to coddle or go overboard to maintain a relationship when you really like or love others who are toxic and mistreat you. If true and genuine explanations you provide someone hardly or never suffice, that is a red flag, and you should not deceive yourself to believe otherwise. Constantly believing that you must explain every minor detail for minor or trivial situations may mean that you may lack confidence, are insecure, see them as superior to yourself, could be in an abusive relationship, and/or may like hearing your voice. If it’s not something that could negatively or significantly impact them or you choose to keep certain aspects of your thoughts private, then remove any blinders that may be causing you to believe that they must know every small detail of your day or past unless you and they don’t mutually mind. You may choose not to share with toxic individuals your opinions and perspectives, which is a non-debatable subject. If you prefer, keep it simple: by telling them politely and calmly that you don’t wish to share, no longer want them in your life, and then leave it at that. It is entirely up to you.
5. Consider Establishing Distance.
It’s okay to take a step back from others when you need time for yourself. This can help you to remove blinders and see things how they are in your relationship with them or others. You may not be able to cut all toxic people out of your life completely, especially at work. Instead, it would be best to distance yourself from them by occupying yourself with positive friends and productive activities.
For many toxic relationships, especially with friends and coworkers, you may only need to make an internal decision to create space rather than having another larger conversation with toxic individuals. Remember, you owe no one an explanation. You can withdraw from their life to the extent necessary until you are no longer affected by their toxicity. That may seem obvious, but it is easy to believe that you must make you're distancing obvious and vocal when most of the work is on your side of the equation. Then, you can stop feeding the flames, just like a fire. Learn to accept that some people never nor want to change.
However, one situation in which you may need to act differently: is when toxic people are your blood relatives.
6. Place Your Relationship With Toxic Family Members Into Perspective
A toxic relationship with family members is a difficult situation to be in. Unfortunately, there are no easy answers, nor are there standard answers appropriate for everyone.
Managing the toxicity of family members may be one of the most important moves you may make. No, we cannot choose our blood relatives and family members, but we can certainly choose our behaviors and reactions when it comes to them.
Sometimes, some family members can have an uncanny ability to get under your skin and directly influence your thoughts, behaviors, and decisions. Relatives do not own you simply because they are related nor are they superior to you. Universal respect can go a long way in maintaining and building positive and close family relationships.
However, being a family member does not confer any special immunity from toxicity. Relatives do not have a magical right to ruin your life, especially for any unresolved issues or disagreements. Keep that in mind. The important thing to remember when dealing with family is to work on making rational decisions and remove any blinders so that you can work on having a close and loving relationship with everyone in your family. At the end of the day, there are no guarantees that this may happen, but at least you can gains some peace or closure knowing you have good intenttions.
Sometimes, briefly and respectfully greeting a family member you see in passing may be as good as your relationship will ever be. That’s okay if it maintains peace and avoids ongoing hostility, resentment, arguments, and fights. You cannot force blood relative family members to act like close, supportive, and loving family.
7. Say No And Walk Away If Necessary.
Do you have trouble saying no? If so, you're not alone. Maintaining a refusal can be difficult, especially when someone tries to guilt you into changing your mind or because you’re wearing blinders and refuse to see things how they are. How can you say “No” when you’ve always said “Yes” because you like or love them so much?
It may be easier said than done, but if you must say "No," then don't back down. This may be difficult, especially if someone uses a dramatic outburst to get their way. However, the more you practice saying "No" to things that make you uncomfortable, the easier it can become. Plus, when presented with strong evidence or consistent proof of change, a “No” can turn into a possibility if you’re irrefutably convinced that you’re “Yes” will be safe and worth it.
You can also consider and weigh your options and circumstances based on your history and track record when dealing with someone. If you’ve caved into unhealthy demands from someone in the past, then remove your blinders and realize that it’s likely that you’ll do it again unless you have some proven, trusted, and/or practiced techniques or intervention that you can utilize to effectively manage your interactions with questionable situations, individuals, or groups.
Be sure to get non-biased feedback from trusted family, friends, and others, and assess whether you’ve experienced more positive or better results from your dealings with them in the past. Avoid scenes and remove yourself from situations that threaten your improvement and progress or if you haven’t put in the adequate and appropriate work to properly deal with and address your challenges and weaknesses. If you cannot physically leave, make it clear that you are no longer participating in the discussion. For example, say "Excuse me" and turn away. Essentially, you will need the time, boundaries, effective techniques, and preferably, support to help you remove your blinders and see things how they are. You will also need to learn from your past and the errors of others and assess and reflect on your past interactions with others to help you remove blinders and make better choices moving forward.
8. Take A Glance At Their Social Media.
Contrary to opposing viewpoints, social media is not all bad. This technology can help you get a closer glimpse into the life, character, and personality traits of others whom you deal with, dealt with, or wish to deal with (again) in real life. We do not condone stalking (someone’s physical location) or cyberbullying so make sure that you responsibly use and interact with everyone on their social media page if it’s public, private, or restricted to just friends or acquaintances.
If you know without a doubt that the social media page is authentically theirs and you see what looks like inconsistencies or untruths from what they’ve recently shared with you then depending on whether you wish to pursue a social, business, or romantic relationship with them, then you may want to remove any idealized circumstances, fantasies, or narratives you have of them, address the matter(s) with them for clarification, or just walk away altogether.
Oftentimes, someone’s social media page is pretty clear-cut in its presentation. So, make sure you don't give someone the opportunity to bully, deceive, or manipulate you. Regardless, be sure you've established ground rules and keep to them because although someone’s social media page may be clear-cut in its presentation, an individual or group can be the same, similar, or different in person. Remove any blinders and see things for how they are if it’s unmistakable or clear that their comments, images, and pictures are not in alignment with your goals and values. This includes, if applicable, preventing them from contacting you via social media or blocking them. Closing email and other lines of communication with them may also be necessary.
9. Consider If You Wish To Speak With Them In Public.
Sometimes, visiting social media can lead to real-life hook-ups, dating, relationships, and marriage. It's not uncommon for people to meet someone through social media. However, someone may appear innocent or harmless on their social media page and be toxic, belligerent, or violent if you meet them in person. Meeting someone in public can even be risky but may significantly reduce the likelihood of this happening. If you encounter difficulties, get up and leave and make sure they don’t follow you home or to other places you visit. You may even meet someone on social media through a trusted family member or friend but don’t wear blinders and overlook the possibility that the man or woman you were introduced to may have a hidden or dark side. Never easily dismiss any red flags and especially a series of them.
10. Speak With Someone.
You might not think of it this way, but whenever you remove someone from your life, it can be like breaking up with them whether it’s a family member, friend, love interest, or spouse. As a result, you may be saddened or disappointed by the breakup. Connect with your support system or a trusted mental health professional to help you cope with these feelings. Be open to hearing truthful facts and uncomfortable opinions and perspectives that you may not have considered that can help you gain clarity and remove any preconceived notions, barriers to accepting reality, and blinders that prevent your change, progress, and growth.
Taking the blinders off in a family, social, dating, and/or love relationship can help you with separating fantasy from reality. Removing your blinders may appear to be the only way to escape the toxic behavior of others as well as your self-denial or self-delusion (at times).
Choosing to remain in the dark willingly or ignorantly can leave your mental and emotional well-being at the mercy of negative and toxic individuals or groups especially if the results are hurting you rather than consistently helping you more. If you must spend time with someone who engages in toxic behavior, remind yourself that their actions are neither your fault nor your responsibility.
They must understand what you will and will not tolerate and know your non-negotiables. Taking initiative and charge of your life to see things for how they are and not how you wish them to be can help you remove your blinders and be a better man or woman to increase and improve your personal growth and development.