I had the chance to be around very “interesting” people. They had opinions that I didn’t share and they gave me advices that I didn’t follow. I understand that everyone has his own path, and sees the world through his own prism. And that’s great! We should respect that. But quite often, people who want us to forget about our values are just TOXIC ones. Below are some statements that sound quite “weird” and difficult to integrate (at least for me). These are “tips” I received from acquaintances, friends and family members, that I finally considered as toxic to my personal evolution. Allow me to share my experience. This is what I’ve been told:
1 . “If your work gives you repetitive headaches, then it’s a good sign. That means it’s challenging.”
This is the first one. A friend told me that as I was experiencing repetitive headaches because of a work I was doing for a company. In my opinion, maybe the headaches were the sign that this job was slowly killing me. Stress and extreme fatigue are becoming the norm. I had another friend who enjoyed telling things like: “I didn’t sleep for days because of my work; I don’t have time to relax because I need to work”. I see that many people don’t understand the importance of sleeping and relaxing. If you think it’s a luxury, then think twice. Our body sends us signals when something is threatening our health. If you keep ignoring these signals again and again, the consequences might be irreversible.
2. “Never stay at home, always chase something outside”.
The one who told me this knew exactly what staying at home meant to him (since he had experienced it). He would watch Netflix for several hours a day while eating popcorn and drinking coke. Because he knows that this kind of behavior is quite unhealthy, he came to the conclusion that staying at home is unhealthy. What he didn’t take into consideration is that people are different. I know many individuals who work from home, and keep a very strict schedule. They exercise, take online courses, work freelance, create amazing content, etc. It’s dangerous to assume that the way you behave constitutes the norm.
3. “Just do anything they want. That’s how you get the job”
Awesome! That means getting a job is more important than following my core values. Sorry, but I don’t think that the pursuit of money justifies everything. If I have to betray, hurt, lose my piece of mind, then the price is too high.
4. “She is very powerful. Become her friend or she might stop your from succeeding”.
The only way someone can stop you from succeeding is if you give him/her such a power. If you start doubting, if you become fearful, if you REALLY think your success depends on a particular person, then your power is no longer yours. The quality of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts and belief system. This asset is priceless. Take care of it.
5. “You can’t create anything. Everything has already been created”
This statement came from a successful industrial engineer I know. I assume that for him, all the researches conducted by laboratories and Top Universities are a waste of time. Believing that everything has already been created means:
- Mankind has achieved its Highest Potential (If so, then it’s a shame for Humanity)
- Creativity is no longer part of our Earth journey.
My opinion is that creation never ends. As Deepak Chopra said: “Your Brain Is The Universe”. There are so many things to discover about the World that you have to be VERY close minded to think the opposite.
Believe it or not, EVERYTHING I am talking about here comes from personal experiences. Anyway, everyone has a choice. And mine is to believe that a better world is possible, and that I am responsible for my success.
THEY KNOW HOW TO PULL US DOWN
Sometimes we hang out with friends, colleagues, or family members who constantly belittle us. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. I’m talking of these individuals who see our actions as insane, our dreams as unrealistic, who in fact see our entire being as inferior. Once again, I refer to them as TOXIC people. Let me share with you what a big brother told me during an internship as I was trying to find creative solutions to a process engineering issue: “Ella, I hope you know anyone here can do the job you do. You won’t discover anything. Everything has already been discovered. Try to sympathize with your boss and other decision makers. It’s the ONLY way for you to start a career”. I don’t know if he thought that his words were encouraging. I don’t know if he thought he was helping me or what. What I know is that I felt insulted. For years I’ve been surrounded by this kind of people. People who ask me to accept a date I don’t want because they think I was lucky to get such a proposal in the first place. It’s not difficult to identify these people in our lives.
WHAT TOOLS DO THEY USE TO KILL OUR VIBES ?
Example: I’m not sure you have what it takes. From what I see you aren’t that good.
They criticize e-ve-ry single thing you do. None of your accomplishment is good enough for them. YOU simply are NOT good enough for them. Don’t kid yourself. Some do it on purpose, because they don’t want you to succeed. For your own good, get away from them.
Example: You want to create your own business, lol. And I want to go to space.
Irony in this kind of situation is even very disrespectful. You should NEVER allow anyone to laugh at your dreams. NEVER! It’s already hard for us to keep faith and keep believing. Self-doubt already shows its face from time to time. No need to add extra difficulties.
Example: I am just trying to help you. I’m disappointed you can’t get that.
Don’t fall into this trap. THEY ARE NOT TRYING TO HELP YOU! If they tell you something like that, the moment you start questioning your reaction, is the moment you let them enter your mind to create chaos and confusion.
Example: Don’t be so proud of yourself. You didn’t accomplish anything that great.
Even if what you’ve accomplished was effectively not that great, if someone is supportive, he should enjoy the fact you’re proud of yourself. He should encourage you; tell you how you are making progress. This is how we support each other. We acknowledge small improvements, and see them as a step towards something even bigger.
Ok, so how can you react then?
Stop and reflect
It’s not about you but them. They are projecting their own insecurities on you. Putting you down give them a sense of power over you. However, it’s quite possible that some are unconsciously doing it, unaware of the way they make you feel.
Be honest, talk to them
You have to tell them that you don’t appreciate the way they treat you. Express how you would like to be treated instead. If they don’t change, then you should probably think of taking the following step.
Take your distance
You have to protect your energy and set strong boundaries. For me, taking some distance has been the most productive tool.
There are many other ways to react of course, but the ones I’ve shared are my best weapons.
I have experienced everything I am talking about in this post. They have tried again and again to undermine me, to subtly break me, but I’m still here. Rather than destroying my self-worth, they are inspiring me to write and deliver this kind of content. My interactions with them are very limited now (some no longer exist). They kept pulling me down, I got away from them.
7 Types of Toxic People and How to Spot Them