Hi everyone, hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Today’s topic can be a little harsh to some, but it is with your wellbeing in mind. All of us know about toxic people, and most of us even have some lingering around in our lives. I’m sure you know what I mean – the people whose attitude and actions rub off on you, and the nice day you were having suddenly takes a 180 degree turn.
Like it or not, you should try to steer clear of such people. I talk about it in detail in the Winning Psychology Manual, even though it is worded slightly differently and with weight loss antagonisers in mind. It is true that some of us are stuck with at least a few such people, and that is indeed unfortunate. However, there are ways to minimise your contact and deal with them, and more power to you who are willing to learn how to!
The first thing you have to do is recognise the toxic people themselves. This can be tricky, because the reality is that we do not know who is actually toxic, and who is just having a bad day. I mean, if you are honest, bad days put you in a foul mood and makes you feel like a toxic person, right? The key here is to identify toxic personalities, not just day-to-day variations in mood that can be due to circumstances.
It might take a while, but here are some of the things you should look out for in a toxic person: anger, sadness, clinginess, cynical or nihilistic worldview, nervousness, constant whinging, always criticising other people, excessive pessimism. Starting to see a pattern yet? The more toxic a person, the clearer all of these are.
If you think that paying attention to energy is unnecessary, I’d challenge you on this one! Think about the last time you went to a shop where people were upbeat, they greeted you happily and were enthusiastic. Contrast that to the last unpleasant experience where the staff was rude, cold and unfriendly. Starting to sense the difference yet?
With that in mind, take a bit of time to think about where the people whom you spend time with stand? How do they make you feel? Are you constantly whinging and feeling antagonised? Or do they instead motivate you to reach your potential. They say that birds of a feather flock together. So if you are always around one type of person, you may slowly morph into them too. What a scary thought.
What do you do if you are forced to be around some toxic people? The answer is to try to accept them as much as you can. You can’t control how people act, but you can control your response to it, and you can train yourself not to be affected by them firsthand too much. Some things you can do to deal with negative people are to show empathy, learn to ignore the negativity or simply switch the topic of conversation.
So then that also begs the question of what you should do if you are in a toxic relationship. Well, try to shut the person out of your life. It is harsh, but it is the best way forward. If they come back and ask what the issue with, you can be blunt with them. If they stop disturbing you, then you know that they don’t value you that much in the first place. This is tough talk, but it is real talk also.
Another think you can do is identify what your own individual needs are. You need to know your values to determine what kind of people you should spend more time with. And you have to be honest about it. Know what your goals are, and stick to them. Resist any urge to backslide into negative habits again.
Take charge of your own life! I know that this is easier said than done because I sometimes have trouble with that too. Everyone does! But always know that you can’t change other people and their actions. You can, however, change your attitude, behaviour and response towards them.
Finally, be the change you want to see. Try to become a positive person wherever you go. Bring the sunshine with you and don’t allow it to be affected by a negative environment. Be the inspiration for others. Try doing this for a while and you will find out how empowering it really is. See the best in others and compliment them. Be grateful and thankful for what you do have and life will start becoming better!
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