My good writer friend R.  taught me the phrase, “Talk With Your Feet.” I didn’t truly understand the full meaning of this phrase until recently. In the last two months, I’ve learned some bitter lessons about making assumptions, toxic people and knowing when to start talking with your feet.

When conflict appears in my life, I don’t ignore it. I analyze the situation, thinking of what I did wrong or how I can work toward an amicable solution. I’ve never been afraid of apologizing, acknowledging that I am human, and yes, sometimes I may act or say more words that are wrong than right. My mission is to live an authentic life. What does that mean? I believe it starts with holding your own actions accountable and learning from your prior mistakes. And although it means that you may have to apologize sometimes, it also means that you aren’t always wrong. As much as you may embrace your own accountability, others may not be ready to take responsiblity for their own actions. Sometimes I get so preoccupied by my own actions and accountability that I fail to realize that other people may not be as forthcoming or honest about their own behavior.

I’ve always speculated about others motivation, wondering in my own mind, “Why did he or she say that?” or “Why would he or she act that way?” In situations where you’ve built a trust with someone, those questions are particularly hard. You don’t understand the reasoning behind the behavior, but feel the hurt of their actions over you. And then it is up to you to make the hard call. You have to make the decision to have a hard conversation with yourself and decide whether or not it is in your best interest to continue this relationship. Because part of leading an authentic life is to be free of people who choose  to play games, manipulate and always desire to have the upper hand. You  learn that you will always be the person getting hurt in this kind of of relationship.

As difficult as it is, sometimes you just have to walk away. You have to talk with your feet.

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Have you walked away from a toxic relationship? How and when did you realize the relationship was toxic? Where there red flags? Do you find that you speculate over behaviors you don’t understand?

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