The Importance Of The People Around You

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One of the hardest things that people in recovery from an addiction have to deal with is their relationships with the people in their world. While dependency and co-dependency often go hand in hand, there are also more peripheral relationships that can be toxic to a person in recovery. These toxic people are so negative, so dark and so destructive that they have to be removed from your life to allow helpful, positive and supportive people to come in.

Toxic people are all around us in the world. In my book, “The Law of Sobriety”, I talk about the effects of these individuals. Often they are very subversive and covert in their negativity, which can be even more difficult to understand. It may be hard to explain and see the havoc they are causing at first glance. Key signs of a toxic person to your recovery include:

  • A person that always sees that the glass is half empty and never sees the glass as half full.
  • The person that always just wants to “reality check” if something is a good decision, particularly if it is something that would take you in a direction away from them. The reality check always results in you deciding not to do that specific thing.
  • A person that always makes you feel unsettled, unhappy or dissatisfied with your life or some aspect of your life whenever you are around them.

These people often have a very strong influence on a person in recovery. They can tear down all the hard work that the addict and the therapist do, but it is always done under the guise of trying to be a friend. Friends don’t discourage, friends encourage. Friends don’t focus on the negative, they encourage you to stay positive and move forward in your life.

Getting a toxic person out of your life is often a difficult issue to deal with. However, once you have that negativity out of your environment you will find that positive people come in to fill that gap, inspiring you to keep moving forward and seeking new opportunities as you move down the road of recovery.

Sherry Gaba LCSW, Psychotherapist, Life & Recovery Coach is featured Celebrity Rehab on VH1. Sherry is the author of “The Law of Sobriety” which uses the law of attraction to recover from any addiction. Please download your  free E books at   Contact Sherry at for webinars, teleseminars, coaching packages and speaking engagements. Listen to Sherry on “A Moment of Change with Sherry Gaba”on CBS Radio

Creative Commons License photo credit: Bilal Kamoon



  1. So true. I am learning about how to identify "toxic" and "safe" people and how set effective boundaries. I'm learning that I cannot control others behavior but I can learn how to take care of myself! This is one of those "Life Lessons"!