So, just who are these toxic people and where do you find them? Well, I hope you’re sitting comfortably because they are all around you on a daily basis! Scaremongering aside, I suspect you encounter at least one a day whether it’s online, in the office, in the gym or living under your roof.
Some can be just the run of the mill people that never seem to have a nice word to say about anyone or anything, they constantly snipe and moan, gradually wearing your down. Facebook is a great one to find such melodramatists – they are sick, the weather is bad, they’re not paid enough, those who always find someone to blame for the setbacks in their lives or their mistakes – basically if there is something to have a grip about, they sure as hell will! I, unfortunately, do have such FB friends, but the simple solution is to unfollow them and remove their whinges from your timeline….save your sanity!
Toxicity has sadly a much darker side – I’m on another social network/dating site called Badoo and the vitriol on there can be oppressive, verging on emotional bullying and abuse. Only the other day, I was called a hormonal, psychotic bitch because I simply but very politely refused the invitation of a date – maybe this is just becoming so second nature to some, that their disrespect for others is their ‘normal’ behaviour.
Here’s a link to a great (& short) article about what people do to undermine, discourage and belittle you (http://www.heysigmund.com/toxic-people/) – well worth a read so you can be on the look out, but I suspect you’ll already be thinking of various people who already make you feel uncomfortable in their presence and leave you feeling emotionally drained. There will inevitably always be circumstances whereby you cannot avoid certain people and by the very nature of mankind, some will never be pleased for you and some people just won’t be good for you.
There’s never be an easy solution in the case of those close to you – the ‘unavoidables’ but at the end of the day, self-preservation has to be the key. Start by focusing on taking care of yourself and find ways to protect yourself from their unhealthy behaviours – I find trying to minimise contact the easiest and most straight forward of solutions, and employ those ‘block’ & ‘delete’ buttons whenever & wherever you can. Reflect on the relationship, and consider how you’re caught in the unhealthy cycle of relating to the person – are you making excuses for them and their behaviours?
Remember that toxicity and negativity feeds off attention, don’t give these people the attention they’re seeking, keep contact brief and, if you have to listen to them, don’t ask questions and don’t engage – you don’t need to respond to their emotional chaos – only the facts.
Signs You’re Surrounded by a Toxic Person
- You’re emotionally affected by their ‘drama/s’
- You dread or fear being around them
- You’re exhausted or you feel angry while you’re with them or after your interaction
- You feel bad or ashamed about yourself?
- You’re stuck in a cycle of trying to rescue, fix or care for them.
- The other person doesn’t respect the word “No” as a complete sentence
- When you’re with them, you feel like you’re “walking on eggshells”
- You ignore your own values
- You feel like you’re being controlled, or you’re being overly controlling.