The Most Valuable Life Skill


Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”
1 CORINTHIANS 15:33

In life, you need many skills to survive and thrive. A work ethic is one. Brains are another. Fortitude is a key one. But if I had to pick one that is the most valuable it would be this. You have to have or develop the ability to remove bad people from your life.

I have numerous stories and tales of people who had their lives turned upside down and destroyed by the people who "loved" them. For instance, a man who batters his wife may claim to love his wife, but we know he doesn't because love doesn't smash his wife's face in until her jaw is broken and her eyes are swollen shut. For that woman, the problem will not be finding a shelter for abused women but resisting the urge to return to him as he says he is sorry and manipulates her back into his clutches. This is when the most valuable life skill is needed.

When you are in a situation like that, you have to learn how to cut it off inside. You have to learn to forgive, but forgiveness does not require you to trust them again. Once someone does something heinous like this, you need to remove that person from your life. It could be the cheating spouse or the drug addicted relative. These people do need help, but that help is not coming from their victim which is you.

The measure of a person in your life is simple. Does this person make me better? Or, does this person make me worse? You can't merely write someone off because they are annoying. They have to make you worse as a person or put you in a bad shape. It behooves the wise person to surround himself or herself with good people while expunging the bad people.


I find that it helps to do a visualization when it comes time to get someone out of your life. Imagine the person who does you harm as a small pebble in your hand. You are on the deck of a great ship, and you let that stone drop into the vastness of the ocean. Now, think about retrieving that stone again. Impossible? You bet. That is how it should be with that bad person. That person should be like that pebble in your mind. They are gone. Always return to this visualization when you consider the hurt or the temptation to have them back in your life. Let it drop into that black sea. In time, you won't even remember what that person looks like.

There will be other people in your life who are mutual connections between you and the bad person. They may urge you to patch things up. These people are not your friends. Sometimes, to remove a cancer, you can't just take out the tumor. You have to cut out an organ or a limb. Likewise, these false friends and family members need to be cut out as well. This will seem severe, but the cancer will be back before you know it.

If you are successful at the bad person removal, you will find yourself in a zone of peace and tranquility. Cherish it and protect it at all costs. I find that most people got involved with someone bad because they could not handle the boredom of this tranquility. But after living through the horror, you learn to appreciate that living in peace is about as good as it gets in this life.

As a postscript, what do you do when the bad person stalks you? This becomes a matter of law enforcement and also personal protection. I believe strongly that people should learn martial arts and lawfully carry a concealed weapon. Pepper spray and stun guns are also helpful. It is a rare thing to have to resort to such means, but we know that it is not unknown. Most murders are committed by someone close to the victim.

Bad people do not belong in your life. Learn how to cut it off with them and get them away from you. Peace requires strength and vigilance. Become strong. Remain strong. You will survive and find yourself in a better place.