Please don’t be shocked by the title of this post – it isn’t a warning for any impending disaster, unless you count toxic people a ‘disaster’. And they might as well be.
I just wanted to talk about a certain ‘species’ of people, for whom I can’t think of a better name than ‘toxic’. Have you ever had anyone at any point in your life, who could bring you down with just one snide remark? A person, being around whom always felt like an effort? Well, chances are that most of us have faced one or more of such people at various stages in our lives.
A toxic person doesn’t just harm him/herself. He harms people he meets on a daily basis as well as those he meets one-off. She could be someone you met for a few hours on a train journey, or she could be your grandmother. The first scenario is easy enough to avoid, but the latter, not so much.
Such a person doesn’t really understand or care about the impact of his words. He could be discouraging, negative and terribly biased. It is near pointless arguing with him, because his opinions are written in stone. He carries such an aura of negativity around him that Tweety bird would turn into Ebenezer Scrooge.
This person can hurt your self esteem, trivialize your feelings and make your dreams appear unreachable or insignificant. Just having a (mostly one sided) conversation with this person can make you feel heavy and loaded.
Of course, avoidance is the best way out. But then, this is easier said than done when he/she is family or someone you really can’t avoid. However, you can find a few workarounds:
1. Try and minimize conversation with such people. Limit your responses to ‘yes’ or ‘no’ or (even better) ‘hmmmm’.
2. Don’t disclose your personal goals or ambitions, they are bound to be mocked or discouraged.
3. Don’t give out strong opinions on any subject, especially those that might be deemed controversial by Ms. Toxic. If they offer theirs, just tune out momentarily and think about a vacation in the
Or Bradley Cooper. Or both. Bahamas
4. Remember, such people usually have deep insecurity issues. So don’t flaunt your achievements in their face as well, it could make them even more bitter, which means more negativity in their stock to spare.
Don’t forget, you don’t have to put up with their sh*t. You have every right to live a full, peaceful, ambitious and well balanced life. Don’t let ANYONE take that away from you.
And who am I to give all this advice, you ask? Good question. Only I don’t have a good answer, except that I have been in contact with a few toxic-ians till recently and these have been my coping strategies. They’ve worked for me, so hopefully some other suffering soul out there will find them helpful.
Image Courtesy: amazon
Tell me, have you ever had any toxic personality in your life? How did you deal with it?