I’m speaking of that negative person or chronic complainer that sucks the happiness out of your soul like a Hoover with only a few moments of exposure. You know the ones that bring you down, by wining and playing the “victim” role. The energy vampires we dread.
I read Rules for Renegades a few years back by Christine Comaford-Lynch which was one of my all time favorite reads. In it she talks about “tossing toxicity”. Get rid of those that suck the life out of you or drain you of energy and happiness. Have you ever noticed that these people have the ability to make you feel bad for avoiding them and they seem to attach to you like a leech. Key here is that you identify this behavior quickly, and start avoiding them before a relationship develops.
Have you noticed that often toxic personalities will use you? They complain all the time or they are always getting themselves into trouble, looking for you to “help them out”. It’s important that you set boundaries to determines the lines you will or won’t cross. What this means is not allowing yourself to be used, to listen to their chronic complaining and refusing to get them out of trouble.
Often, these poisonous people are skilled at making us feel guilty when we don’t do what they want. Toxic people use your guilt as a tool to break down boundaries. Set and maintain boundaries and know that your guilt is pointless and its used against you by toxic people.
When you avoid toxic people and you set boundaries, frequently toxic people resort to complaining and playing the victim. Know that we are each responsible for our own actions. Although, it’s human to try to help, I have tried the same and finally realized this is an internal choice that the toxic person has made and only they can turn their “stickin thinkin” around, as Zig Ziglar used to say.
In the last week I’ve dealt with three different versions of toxic people. I find it interesting, that if we listen with our hearts and our ears, it’s obvious who they are.
Recently, I was in a conversation over the phone with one such person. It started out very good and was a very positive experience. Just as one would flip a switch, it happened. The negative dialog started pouring from their mouth. I’m referring to their outlook on life and how they interpret their experiences. I couldn’t get a word in to stop them. Some people feed on it, you know the “Drama Mamas”. I literally felt the happiness being sucked from my body as they went on and on. I promptly interrupted and got off the phone as quickly as possible.
The second one endured a loss many years ago, and never came completely out from under it. This person used to glow and was the happiest person I had ever met. I feel badly for them, as the road they have walked has been hard and I don’t know how I would have handled such a terrible blow. The sad part is they have been in this hole so long they think this “victim” role they have taken up, is what life is really about. They can’t seem to shed the walls of negativity they’ve surrounded themselves with. They look for negativity in every aspect of their lives and expect the worse. They even complain the face of blessings. Have you noticed toxic people want you to join in their misery? I had to draw the line and start avoiding them. How sad is it that they choose this perception, and I had to walk away to save my self.
The last one professes about their beliefs, but tears people down to build themselves up. You know the ones that act like there is a reward for finding and pointing out the faults of everyone. They ramble about standards of behavior over and over, but rarely apply the same standard to their own behavior. The one that treats the wait staff like they are beneath them. I’m so embarrased to be around them when they behave like that. Does the word hypocrite come to mind? After my experience with them recently, I realized the only thing I can control is my response to these people. After attempting to address it multiple times, you just have to say “enough”, and mean it.
I’m tossing toxicity out of my life and claiming my stake in a fresh new day with endless possibilities. You can too. It’s important to reach out and to help others, but be careful that you don’t put your happiness in the hands of toxic people. If they don’t stand by our side just because; if they don’t lift you up; or enrich your life, then perhaps you should re-examine your friendships and the toxicity levels in your life.