If you clicked on this post, you probably think you have some toxic people in your life, and you also probably don’t know how you can set yourself free from them – ergo, here I am 🙂 .
What you need to keep in mind is that most toxic people don’t realize they are toxic. Also, they can be someone really close to you, or just an acquaintance, and they can say they mean well, but act completely opposite. The possibilities are endless, all cases differ from one another, but usually, if you know what classifies as ‘toxic behavior’, you can easily spot them.
Toxic behavior usually consists in a negative mindset, a negative outlook on life and different situations – and they spread that negativity all around them. It can also manifest itself as a constant criticizing of someone (enforcing the “you’re not good enough/nothing you do is good enough” idea on someone is also very toxic and dangerous to that person’s self esteem), and also as a constant source of disappointment – when someone keeps disappointing you over and over again, you keep going back to them (maybe they’re someone very close to you), only to get hurt again – which I don’t have to tell you it’s bad for you.
Another example of toxic behavior is when someone keeps playing the victim in different and multiple situations. It’s even worse when they make you feel like you’re “the bad guy”, even if you couldn’t have controlled the situation (this is very common in emotionally abusive relationships).
Just like the common saying “fake it ‘till you make it”, in time, the emotionally abused party ends up believing they are to blame, because this is what they have been told for so long. When you read it on some blog, I know you tend to think “but that’s so obvious, of course that behavior is toxic!”, but can you honestly say it doesn’t ring any bell? (If it doesn’t, my apologies, it means you are surrounded by awesome, positive people).
Now that you have an idea about how toxic behavior looks like, it’s time to apply 4 easy steps in order to detoxify your life.
Where is the toxicity coming from? Is it something you co-worker is doing, that you don’t feel positive about? Is your mother constantly criticizing your choices and belittling your achievements? Is your brother/friend constantly disappointing you, to the point where you already know how they’ll break your heart? Do a little soul searching, and find out what’s the source of your toxicity. And, if after all this searching, you reach the conclusion that you might be the source, start working on it. “The first step in solving a problem is admitting you have one”, right?
There are some things in this world, which we cannot change. Like I said, if you are the source of the negativity in your life, by all means, do not accept it “as is” – because you can do something about it. But if the negativity is coming from the people surrounding you, accept that you cannot force someone to change (true change only comes from inside). Once you accept you cannot change it, things will get much simpler (and you can move on to the next step).
You need to understand that some people don’t mean to be mean. They might just not realize it – in which case, a simple talk could do wonders. On the other hand, some people thrive on other people’s pain and suffering. No matter what category your negativity source is a part of, you need to forgive them. “Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die” – I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but I’ll say it again, just in case. If they did not mean to hurt you, you need to forgive them and start with a clean slate on your friendship/relationship/whatever it is you two have. If they did mean to hurt you and feed off your energy, you need to stop allowing them to do it – forgive them (because karma is a b*tch, and she’ll take care of their payback), and release yourself from that relationship. And move on to the final step…
- Move on
Did you see that one coming? Yes, move on. Distance yourself from the source of your negativity, and stop allowing them to have any say in how you feel – you are your own master, and no one can say otherwise. I realize it can be hard, especially when the toxic person is a family member, but you have your own life, and you cannot let anyone dictate how you should live your life. In your mind, thank them for the lesson they’ve taught you, but let them go – keep the lesson, not the pain.
Just like a snake sheds its skin to make room for its new body, we must shed our past over and over again, so we can make room for the present.