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I love Martha Beck.
She always has the most amazing, spot-on wisdom that never fails to make me giggle and go “hmmmmm…” at the same time.
A few years ago she wrote yet another amazing article, and this one paragraph about taming the clutter in your life in particular stood out to me (and sticks with me to this day):
Get rid of squid.
Squid is my word for people who seem to be missing their backbones but possess myriad sucking tentacles of emotional need. Like many invertebrates, squid appear limp and squishy—but once they get a grip on you, they’re incredibly powerful. Masters at catalyzing guilt and obligation, they operate by squeezing pity from everyone they meet. They can make you feel entwined to the point of rage, desperate to escape their clutches, unable to see a means to extricate yourself.
Getting a squid out of your life is never pretty. (Excuses don’t work—tell a squid you’re on your way to a colonoscopy, and they’ll come along to sit beside you, complaining, while your doctor performs the procedure.) Since you can’t make a graceful exit, don’t try. Scrape off squid any way you can. Tell them straightforwardly that you want them, yes them, to leave now, yes, now. This will be unpleasant. There will be lasting hurt feelings. Don’t worry. Squid love hurt feelings. They hoard them, trading them in for pity points when they find another victim—er, friend. Let them go, their coffers bulging.
I remember reading that, dropping that edition of Oprah magazine on the floor, and promptly making a list of the Squid in my life. There were many, and they were sucking me DOWN with their slimy little tentacles…
Now, before you get all pissy and start “de-friending” me, just know that “de-squiding” your life is nothing to be ashamed of. Your life your own and last time I checked, this tweren’t no dress rehearsal. So you can say I am dirtbag for removing myself from the reach of the soul sucking squid, but I can live with it.
The moment I started pulling away from the Squid (or stopped letting them effect me ) my life got better. No sh*t. It really did.
SO, with that thought in mind…are there Squid in your life? Think about it. I also highly recommend your read the rest of Martha’s article You Have The Right To Remain Silent HERE.