Do you feel drained of energy when you mix with certain people? If so, you may be spending too much time in “toxic” friendships or relationships and it may be time to rethink who you spend time with.
If you have been surrounded by toxic people you know exactly how intense the energy can be. Toxic people are often energy drainers in one way or another. Possibly without intending to, they manage to suck the energy out of you and leave you drained, uninsipired and hopeless.
These are often the same people who when you feel you have a great idea, rather than encouraging you, make you “realise” why you can never do it and you’re aiming way too high. These are also those same people who point out your flaws constantly and find some new and different way to make you feel bad about yourself each time you see them. You can detect a level of toxicity in a person by seeing how conflictual they are. Very often, they place themselvs in a situation where they cannot help but fall into conflicts, most likely in the name of some strong principles. They are people who thrive on other people’s failures and like to put down those around them.
Constant complaining and an inability to be happy are also characteristics of toxicity. But above all toxic people can be manipulative in persuading you to act in a certain way that in the end feeds back their toxicity. For example, discouraging you from success and encouraging you into seeing just how “horrible” the world really is so that you can feel as negative about everything as they do.
Unfortunataley, like most people, I have dealt with a fair share of toxic people and negativity. Initially, it can be difficult to spot, but even people whom we love the most might be suffering from this “state of being toxic” at least temporarily when they are in a bad place themselves.
Many self-help gurus recommend distancing ourselve from such characters, especially when we are in a state of “growth” and “flight” as they are likely to curb our development and clip our wings (and our excitement and passion). In the end of the allowing them to exert they negativity over you will lead to your suffering as well. In addition, often we feed on the energy of the company we keep. That’s why when we’re in a state of “self-development” and “self-growth” and we hang out with other in the same state (such as at an event or in a course), we leave there full of ideas that can transform us and others. If, on the contrary, we spend too much time with those who put down growth ideas and see the world as chaotic and negative, we instead feed into that energy and start to also see the dark side rather than the light.
As humans, remember, one of our fundamental needs is to fit into whatever group we find ourselves in. So that if we actively seek out people in the growth phase, we allow ourselves to grow to fit in with them. But if, on the contrary, we are spending a lot of time with those who are wary of growth and change and new ideas in general, we find ourselves also becoming more wary to fit in with them.
Sadly, people who are toxic are often those who are themselves suffering the most. So in a way this advice of distancing yourself from toxic people can seem incosiderate. Are we supposed to leave an unhappy person alone, instead of trying to help them? In some cases there is a very thin line between helping to improve the situation and enabling the situation. The key is to help the person to improve through sharing some of your “light” without enabling them and instead taking of their “darkeness”. Balancing this line is tricky, however, and not for the fainthearted. So if you’re a recovering “toxic”, you may need to leave behind toxic friendships/relationships completely before you’re able to return to them lightly to share your light rather than partake in their darkness.
Obviously, if it’s your family that you find toxic, leaving them is not only difficult but also not suggested. Family is important. Based on theories of reincarnation, we are born into one family versus another depending on what it is that we have to work on in this lifetime. But we can, for a time, reduce our time spent with certain more toxic people while we learn to rebuild. Then come back renewed with a fresher energy. Just don’t expect everyone to appreciate this newer version of you right away. Remember that negative people are often annoyed or intimidated by those who have a more positive go-getter type attitude as it can seem superior or threatening to them. Just approach with baby steps and give them time to adapt. Continue to stay true to who you are and your new optimistic way of approaching life and don’t let them phase you with minor put-downs or negative snide comments.
In nutrition and alternative medicine, we often speak of toxins. Toxins, according to the dictionary definition are “a poisonous substance that is a specific product of the metabolic activities of a living organism and is usually very unstable, notably toxic when introduced into the tissues, and typically capable of inducing antibody formation”. We know that most processed foods, sugars and medications inject toxins into the body which then clog the system. The presence of toxins in the body have a severe and very damagining effects: inducing sluggishness, haze, fatigue, irritability, mood swings and depressed organ functions. This presence of toxins has throughout naturopathic medical history been linked with disease, including mental illness.