A few years ago, I attended one of Debbie Ford’s ( No1 NY Times Best Selling Author and Self Development Expert) Shadow process workshops in New York. One of the biggest light bulb moments I had on this course was when Debbie led us through a process where we learned to accept that ‘ There are people out there who are toxic and will screw with you’. Being a coach and a ‘People Pleaser’ this was a new thought process for me as I had got into the habit of making excuses for other peoples poor behaviour and also, forgetting that sometimes we need to put limits on toxic people in order to protect ourselves.
Toxic people can come in all shapes and sizes and can be someone in your family, a boss, work colleague or friend etc. Usually they know no boundaries and will often dump their bad moods, anger and emotional baggage onto YOU without giving a thought to the effect their behaviour may be having on you.
They can often be extremely negative, inconsiderate, selfish and nasty and are usually pretty easy to recognise as you will end up feeling anxious around them. They can also be that person who continually puts you down, laughs at your dreams or is always complaining to you about how miserable they are feeling ( without doing anything to change it!). I often call these people ‘ Energy Vampires’ as I end up feeling sucked dry of all my positive energy after spending anytime with them!
I have also found the following to be a good indication of a toxic person:
1) They will often live in a state of perpetual doom and gloom
2) They are quick to gossip about other people and make snide remarks behind other peoples back
3) They can seem to be excessively friendly at first in order to trap you into friendship
4) They are very negative and use lots of negative language. E.g What’s the point, it’s just the way it is, why me?
5) They are the first to rain on someone else’s joy or happiness and often will fail to celebrate your successes with you.
6) They very seldom as about YOUR well being or how YOU are.
If you have such people in your life, it is important to recognise that you need to set limits. Remember that we can’t force others to change their behaviour but we can change the way that we deal with them. This could include one of the following steps:
1) Having that frank conversation with them about how their behaviour is effecting you. E.g. In an effort to care for myself, I need to speak with you and tell you the truth. When you put me down I feel angry and upset. In order for us still to be friends, I would like to ask you to stop doing that. Are you willing to do that?
2) If an individual tries to bully you verbally, state ‘ I don't allow people to treat me this way." Then calmly walk away.
3) Reduce the amount of time you spend with this person
4) If you can’t physically remove them from your life, then mentally remove them and give yourself the gift of detaching from them emotionally. Remember, if someone starts to complain or be nasty around you, you don’t need to buy into it.
5) Release them from your life entirely
Whoever it is, remember, nobody has the right to treat you badly and sometimes we need to show people how to treat us. Also, just because somebody has past hurts or unresolved issues, it does not give them the right to put us down or drain us of our positivity.
Affirmation of the Month
I now choose to take care of myself
Lisa Phillips is an experienced Life Coach and NLP Practitioner. She contributes to many successful magazines and her hugely popular DIY Coaching Manual reveals everything you need to know from achieving exciting goals, to identifying and releasing toxic emotions. http://www.amazingcoaching.com.au/diy-ebook.html