“Never let negative and toxic people rent space in your head. Raise the rent and kick them out.”-Zig Ziglar
Too often people live and stay in toxic situations where they are being constantly degraded and their worth discounted, with family and friends who do not believe in them. Being toxic means there exists harsh, malicious, and harmful unpleasantness that is invoked in a way that spreads like a virus in a slow and subtle way. These situations can keep you stuck because it kills your confidence and destroys your self-belief. If you allow toxicity to continue, you will never live out your true potential becoming a shadow of your original self. You must do everything in your power to set a plan and get out. If you choose to stay, you risk losing your joy for living and your ambition to be more. We all know someone or have experienced it ourselves. I admit mine!
It can be difficult to admit that you have been living in a barrel (workplace, home friends, family, associates, partners, school) with a rotten apple that has taken its toll on your core being. Too many times it happens when you ignore your internal signals of anxiety where something just does not feel right. You are frustrated, sad, or angry after an encounter and find yourself feeling this way often. Or you ignore the external signals like a negative workplace culture of devaluing women. Or in the home, with everyone on edge when a particular person is home. Toxic and difficult people are drawn to reasonable people. And as a reasonable person, you find yourself always overly attempting to please your boss, partner, or friend, never achieving your goal to please them. In fact, they tell you how you are over-reacting, being overly sensitive, or misinterpreting their behavior. You agree in silence constantly adjusting your own behavior to avoid being hurt, but you are hurt anyway. If you are going through this negative churn and you have honestly assessed you, then chances are, it is not you. No matter how hard you try you cannot change what a toxic person has done. However, you can change what you do with what they have done. When you change, your positive energy changes and will repel the toxicity of those individuals and situations. To help avoid being ruined by toxic people, learn how to detect them early.
• Drain your energy making you tense by putting you down for no reason. They are never happy for your accomplishments.
• Talk down to you to make themselves feel better and work to talk you out of your dreams and aspirations.
• Criticize everything you do, will not support your decisions, and make you feel that you can do nothing right. So, you try harder.
• Manipulate situations to control everything and every decision while making you feel that you owe them something.
• Blame others, seek attention, talk about themselves and their misfortunes. They never apologize and will lie first before apologizing.
• Exaggerate important conversations with details that do not matter. It keeps the negative focus off them and on you.
COVID 19 brought to the forefront the increased awareness of toxicity in the workplace. As a result, workers are leaving because they feel overworked and under appreciated. You can love your job but hate the stifling physical and emotional elements of the workplace. Some of the signs of toxicity in the workplace are a) favoritism, b) nepotism,
c) work/life balance issues, d) criticism over praise, e) no internal communication, f) no staff input, g) employee turnover, h) insecure leaders, and i) money shortages.
Are any of these elements within your current work environment? Even when the situation appears to not be toxic, it still is. It keeps you bracing for what negative experience might come. Too often, your focus is getting the person or situation to change but what to needs to change is YOU.
• What is toxic in your life?
• Why did you stay with the job, client, or partner relationship?
• What are your fears and uncertainty about leaving?
• How does that make you feel?
• What can you say with certainty about yourself and what you control to recognize toxicity earlier to act?
This a difficult conversation to have with yourself. It is alright to seek help as needed and be gentle with yourself. Your responsibility is to get to know you better to have an overall better life. There will come a time when you do not attract, accept, or tolerate toxicity in your life or from your workplace. Take ownership of that.
“Sometimes it is better to end something and try to start something new than imprison yourself in hoping for the impossible” -Karen Salmansohn
Author: Gladys Agwai
As Featured in: