Kicking The Habit Of Toxic People - 883 words

Abstract: Toxic people are everywhere and connecting with them is inevitable.  But, we don't have to let it determine what our life will look like.  We can avoid the suffering of their lifestyle choices with compassion and emotional intelligence.

Whether a person is toxic or not is a matter of opinion. However, our individual opinions are the ones that matter the most. People can easily have a negative impact on our mood, space, health and well-being unless we recognize who they are and what we can do to remove ourselves from the circumstance compassionately.

Toxicity will show up in our lives through friends, colleagues, family, random acquaintances and so much more. They are everywhere! To recognize them and head them off before they cause any damage or drain us of our well-being, we need to know who they are, where they come from, how they show up and how to avoid the suffering that accompanies their lifestyle choices.

Toxic people are categorized in many different ways, but, they come down to three specific types, Controllers, Drama Queens and Narcisstics. All of them have individual traits. However, they all have the same impact on us. Interacting with them is draining as they suck the well-being out of people for their benefit. At the end of the day, it is overwhelming and exhausting. It can leave us to feel anger for being taken advantage of, shame for having been involved, resentment for the effect they have and, depending on the severity of the circumstance, fear of engaging other people in protecting ourselves. This is no way to live a life that is conducive to happiness, peace and freedom.

The toxic people that we struggle with are conditioned to be who they are, and for the most part, are trapped in a vortex that continually whirls them around in a space that justifies their motives and behaviours. They are victims. This conditioning started through teaching received from family, friends, teachers and any other source that would have been something that had power over them or that they looked up to. The pattern continues as they age in that they maintain the habit of conditioning themselves. Toxic people genuinely believe that they are right in what they choose to think, say or do. They are feeding their own beliefs and fueling the ongoing path of destruction that they are permitted.

Deep inside, even if unaware, they know that they are taking something from others in a manipulative manner. However, they show up in our lives as someone we want and eventually need to connect with. With time, it isn't difficult to determine what we need to compliment our lives and this knowledge is a powerful tool. Once they have that knowledge, they can dangle our desires an inch too far from our reach, and we can easily become trapped.

There is a way to rid ourselves of the toxicity that shows up in our lives through others and, while we can be caught in varying degrees of intensity, the same method applies. We have to consider two things.

The first being that we need to put a stop to the circumstance. That doesn't mean that we have to rid ourselves of a person. Jumping to conclusions and running from every aspect of negativity is toxic in itself. To stop the impact of toxic people, we have to handle each one individually with boundaries. Knowing our core values, we can utilize them to draw a line that we are not willing to cross or allow others to step over. This takes courage that stems from owning how we want to experience life.

The second is recognizing that the same toxicity shows up in different ways for a good reason. We cannot grow if we don't face a new challenge and overcome limiting beliefs. Like a bee to honey, toxic people will continue to show up in our lives because we let them. They are attracted to us, and we are drawn to them. We may not even be aware that there is a pattern but, it is there. If we don't recognize the issue that is our own, these people will continue to show up and reap havoc on our well-being.

To recognize the pattern and limiting belief we must take a look at two things. What is it about these people that we are running from and what is it that we are running to? If we are tired of being taken advantage of, we may move towards people who are generous. That in itself means that we are still in the same pattern as what we are doing is taking from others and allowing the toxic energy to exist still. Taking a more in-depth look, we can identify that this example can indicate the limiting belief that we are unable to provide for ourselves. Whether it be concerning love, attention, resources or any other form of a symbol that includes fulfillment, to overcome the toxicity that continually shows up with the pattern is to determine why we can't provide fulfillment autonomously.

Being involved with toxic people is a choice. There is no reason to believe that we are bad people because we choose not to engage someone that clearly isn't good for us. However, we need to own our part in every aspect of the circumstance, allow space for forgiveness and stand up for the quality we want in our lives. Otherwise, we are mere victims of the times we call a part of life.


Leigh Burton: Author, International Speaker, NLP Practitioner, Cognitive Behavioral Therapist, Emotional Health Coach, Acceptance Commitment Therapist, an expert in letting go, and a lover of life.

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