When You Should Breakup With Your Mother

There are only two types of people in this world, and the sooner you discover this the happier, more fulfilled, and successful you’ll become — even if it means dumping your best friend, neighbor, or yes, even your mother.

The first type I call Energizers. These are people that lift you up, give you energy, make you want to be a better person, inspire you, make you feel good about yourself and your life, encourage you to take risks, and motivate you to achieve your goals and dreams.

The second type I call Leeches. These are people who suck the energy from you, that make you feel bad about yourself and your life, complain, are negative, gossip, talk you into doing nothing, and bring you down.

Anyone and everyone from your father and brother to your neighbor and boss to the checkout person at your grocery store can be classified into one or the other camp. The more time you are around downers, the more miserable you’ll become. But how can you tell who’s an Energizer and who’s a Leech?

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Step 1. Make a list of all of your friends, colleagues, associates, family members, and people with whom you regularly come into contact.
  • Step 2. Now put an “E” for Energizer or an “L” for Leech next to each (one friend uses happy faces and sad faces while another uses up arrows and down arrows instead of Es and Ls). For 95 percent of your list it will be quite easy to identify those who give energy and those that take. The other 5 percent might be more challenging — sometimes they might make you feel good and other times they might not. How should you classify them? Close your eyes and picture them. What’s your gut telling you? Energizer or Leech?

Now that you’ve categorized everyone in your life as either uplifting or draining, it’s time to pluck the leeches from your life. Think of these people as having a nasty and contagious disease. Your goal is to avoid these people at all costs, but what if you can’t? What if you work with these people? Since you can’t avoid them completely, do whatever you can to spend as little time with them as possible. When do they lunch? Choose a different time. Don’t volunteer for projects in which they are involved.

Is there an annoying parent at your kid’s school that does nothing but complain when you run into them? Drop your kids off earlier or later. Get creative. Come up with a list of automatic responses you can tell them for why you don’t have time to talk to them. Here are a few examples:

I have a call in five minutes.

I’ve got to get back to a client.

I’d love to talk but I have to read this report.

I have a meeting I have to get to.

I wish we could talk, but I can’t right now, so feel free to shoot me an email.

You can’t eliminate all the Leeches in your life, but you can decrease the time you spend with them and the damage they do. But what if your spouse, adult child, father, sister, grandma, girlfriend, cousin, neighbor, priest, best friend, or mother is a Leech? Eliminate them from your life! If they are bringing you down, sucking the life from you, and making you feel like crap, dump them. Sound extreme? It’s not. Life is too short to be around people that suck. You might be forced to work with Leeches, but your other 8 hours are yours. You can choose who to spend those precious hours with. Don’t feel guilty or obligated to talk to or friend anyone who doesn’t encourage you. Demand more from the people you let in your life.

Your challenge is to spend at least one hour this week with an Energizer and to dump one Leech from your life. Cut the cord.

So, who are you going to dump?

(Never again Mr. Onion image by Dollen,CC 2.0)

Are you ready to create more money, time, energy, and passion in your life? Learn how to live your best life now with thesefree resources:

Get the “Achieving Peak Performance” ebook and video now!
(free for a limited time)

You can also join a community of passionate people at Richer Life who want to achieve more in life and at work. With your free membership, you can participate in conversations I have with experts, celebrities, authors, and thought leaders that are laser-focused on practical ways to drive more money, motivation, and meaning into your life. Take the first step toward creating a better life by joining Richer Life for free now!


Teresa Cowley
Teresa Cowley6 years ago

I thoroughly enjoyed this article, though it was a trifle "simple". But, simply put, we need to rid ourselves of the constant energy drainers, negative elements--in this way the article was so right! There are some people who are never happy, and want to pass on that unhappiness to everyone they meet--like a cold germ.
Some situations are draining, but cannot be avoided--to visit a sick or dying relative is, of course draining--but the situation is draining, not the person!
Like I said, I enjoyed the article--I found it to be both simple and sensible.

Ra Sc
Ra Sc6 years ago

I'm all for breaking up with anyone who is abusive. But removing people because they are draining is too simplistic. One of the most draining things I used to do was visit my grandmother after her mind started to go. But it would have been worse if we all stopped visiting, even though it certainly was hard on all of us.

Sweetboy Sam
Sweetboy SaM6 years ago

Biggest Mistake of Life of a Person is to Breakup with Mother.
Mother is that Personality which your today
and you think to Breakup with person who is reason of your personality today
try to be with Mother you will reach Peak of everything

Tahni W6 years ago

My mom.....I love her, I care about her, I have compassion for her because something really messed her up, but I spend as little time as possible with her because she has no capacity for love or care or compassion for anyone close to her. She was physically, emotionally and verbally abusive to both me and my dad.
She's the type of person who will help a total stranger by filling their gas tank if they are stranded (provided they are dressed nicely and don't look too poor !?!?! ), but she hasn't yet even learned the names of her granddaughters who are almost 4 years old.
I'm done being mad over my sucky childhood, but now I'm a little sad on behalf of my children.
She once had my son stuttering (at 4 yrs old) because of a relentless attack on his phone manners because he didn't say "thank you" quickly enough.
She's toxic. My kids have a right to know their grandma, but we keep visits to a minimum so she can't hurt them the way she hurt me.

Sonny Honrado
Sonny Honrado6 years ago


Jane Warre
Jane Warren6 years ago

Thanks George M.

Chief M.
Chief M6 years ago


Kieran B.
kieran Beeston6 years ago

my mothers terminal so ive learnt its not the breaking up that changes a relationship. im not compatible with star signs with nearly all but one relative, so i just accept it. virgos and Scorpios and im an Aquarius. then we have Pisces who'd id do great in business with:-) oh id say space and a healthy distance, and a break

Robert Hardy
Robert Hardy6 years ago

Very interesting view of the world of social interaction. I think this a bit simplistic.

Peter Mengos
Peter Mengos6 years ago

thanks for posting