Many of you who work with me as a Coach know that my philosophy and approach are a bit different. We all know there is no way to control or change other people, however, we invest a lot of time complaining about others behaviors and pointing out their shortcomings.
Being consumed with other people is like pounding your head against the side of a mountain. It has zero impact on the mountain and you end up with a headache.
There are millions of searches everyday about toxic personality types and how to avoid them. What I think is funny, is there isn’t much about making sure we aren’t one of those personality types ourselves! HELLO! How about a little introspection?!
Chances are, if you are someone complaining about other people’s issues, you probably have some of those issues yourself. So here we are. Let’s identify some toxic behaviors. Let’s put some focus on not being toxic people ourselves, and we will talk about how we move forward without inviting more of these people into our lives.
The most challenging toxic person to me is the chronically negative person. This is someone who only recognizes the bad parts of EVERYTHING. You will notice that everything out of their mouth starts with “I hate that”, “I hate it when”, “I can’t stand it”, you know who I am talking about. This person drains all of the energy out of a room when they are there. You feel exhausted when you spend time around them and it makes you want your time around them to be short. I used to be this person.
What I realized is that I don’t want people to feel badly when they hang out with me! I want people to feel energized and happy and inspired. So I had to change. Every time I caught myself saying or thinking something negative, I would immediately make myself point out three positive things. It took a long time, but eventually I worked 98% of that negativity out of my brain. I am much happier, life doesn’t feel so heavy, and my life changed entirely.
Another challenging type is the ultra-competitive sometimes bully type. Competition is healthy and fun. Sometimes people take it too far and can be bully-ish and intimidating. When someone wants you to lose just so they can win, something is off balance. A healthy approach is wanting to beat your personal best and do the absolute best you can. But when someone is sabotaging others or focused on your demise to boost themselves, this is not healthy. Ego, insecurity, and overcompensation. Yuck.
How about gossips? Anyone have a great gossip in their lives? This is a person who will not only tell other people’s business, but remember, they will tell yours too. I believe gossip is a byproduct of being bored or not fulfilled in your own life. If your life was good, why would you be so concerned with other people’s? And, do you want to be the person your friends can’t trust? I sure don’t.
Judgmental. This one is exhausting, and I used to really struggle with this. I had a judgment or a crappy thing to say about everyone. It really is so gross when I think about it now. Here is the truth: When you are expending your energy expressing negative judgments about other people, all you are doing is letting everyone know how negatively you feel about yourself. What I learned is when you are truly happy and confident you have no desire to break other people down. You want to lift each other, support, and help one another. Making other people look bad does not make you look better. It makes you look worse. Sad, unhappy, and angry.
The last one I will cover here is the victim. This is another big one. We get caught up in this state of mind as though everything happens TO us and we have no control. That simply isn’t true. We make choices in our lives, choices about people about jobs, about what we say and how we handle situations. And all of these choices create the situations we live in. Of course there are some events beyond our control, and many of them are difficult. Be we still choose how we let it affect us, if we learn from it or let it drag us down, and how we will move forward from it. No one makes me act like a jerk or stay in a job or relationship I am unhappy in. Those are my choices. No one makes me miss out on opportunities or live a life I don’t like, noone makes me broke or unhappy. Those are my choices to make and my changes to create.
I would love to know how many of you see some of these traits in yourselves! We all have pieces of these. To an extent, it is human nature and it is very much our culture. There are several more common toxic personalities that I get into in my Master Yourself workshop series. Please share your comments, hope you enjoy!