You may be thinking that other people are f*cking your life up.

Your mom…

Your ex-boyfriend…

Your kids…

and maybe even that really difficult client.

Here’s what I learned in the past 10 years.

Other people are not your problem. In fact, identifying toxic people has more to do with listening to your body’s natural response than any other tactic.

Listen here.

People are one of the greatest resources on the planet.

They can lift you up or tear you down. A mentor once told me, “Surround yourself with exceptional people and you will be exceptional.” The prerequisite to this is listening to your gut about who to allow in and to what degree. It also has everything to do with who to shut TF out!

Helping is manipulation or control with a smile.  

Many moons ago, I was homeless for seven months. This came as a direct result of allowing the wrong people into my life and doing the most to build “our life”.

I was prepared with my list of red flags.

I had my values.

But what I didn’t have or honor was my body’s internal response.

Today, you’re going to learn a very important method and subtle distinction as a way to read other people.

It has nothing to do with learning or mastering red flags and everything to do with slowing your life down enough to believe what your body tells you.

I call this method The Peanut Method, inspired by my sister who has a near-fatal allergy to nuts.

You see, I watched my sister almost die as a baby after eating bananas and watched numerous visits to the ER alongside epi-pen sagas after she consumed nuts. It didn’t matter how much she loved nuts or the food that contained them. They were and always are fatal to her. Not sometimes. All the time.

I believe that for sensitive and creative people with a higher purpose, we have similar allergies.

It’s imperative to identify those allergies early on. Otherwise, we risk unnecessary and irresponsible vulnerability that can derail our lives, dreams, and even our health.

Certain types of people, places, and things can create an insane level of chaos and crisis in our own lives.

Do you know what exactly they are in clear and simple terms?

The common way to better understand who to let into your life is often in the aftermath of conflict. You watch Youtube for “10 Steps to Discover a Narcissist” or “10 Ways to Identify a Toxic Boss”.

These tips are helpful as a start.

But the reality is that you began your Google search for a reason.

What is that reason? You already have an inkling— and most likely a very physical experience— that what you’re experiencing is unhealthy.

My goal in this episode is threefold:

  1. Support you to understand how to identify toxic people in your life.
  2. Trust yourself to act in your best interest.
  3. Recognize the very REAL and TRUE danger these relationships pose to your life, your energy, and your dreams.

Thank you, always, for being a part of this community.

Onwards and upwards!


P.S. Wanna dive even deeper? Sign up for my weekly newsletter and enjoy free journal prompts with every new episode!

Lalita Ballesteros is a speaker, comedian, director, and the founder of Haus of Lala, a creative agency specializing in personal branding. She stands by the belief that your voice matters and that authentic self-expression is our most important work. In the past, Lalita’s disrupted the publishing industry with Seth Godin and The Domino Project (powered by Amazon) creating six best-sellers and raising over a quarter million in revenue in only four months. She also worked at the American Embassy in Rome, created a 6-figure Airbnb business, and oversaw ambassador efforts at Lyft. She speaks three languages and is a regular contributor for Positively Positive, a publication with over 2.5 million followers on Facebook. Lalita’s been seen on the stages of TEDx and Comedy Bary as well as in the pages of Fast Company, Etsy, Forbes, Yahoo Small Business, Mashable, and the best-selling book End Malaria. She currently lives in Toronto with her dog, Luna. Follow her writings and comedy here and #100daysofcomedy here.

Image courtesy of Liza Summer.