Today is Monday, December 9, 2013.
Those with whom we assemble, we soon resemble! – Anonymous
You are known by the company you keep. -Anonymous
“Look around you at the people you spend the most time with and realize that your life can’t rise any higher than your friendships.”
― Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass
Everywhere we look, we are reminded that the people we choose to associate with say a lot of things about us. We seem to be associated with some people without our consent, such as the family we are born into and the other people who work for our employer. It’s true that, as Soul, we have come into agreement on some level with the experience of meeting and having interaction with certain people, but the fact is that we always have a choice, and even if we agreed to certain experiences before we were born into this lifetime, we can exercise our free will and make changes in our situation. We may not be able to completely avoid dealing with toxic people, but we can choose to spend less time with them, or limit our interactions with them.
Who are toxic people?
Toxic people are energy vampires. They drain your energy to use for themselves. (Actually, what happens is that you agree to be energy sources for these people.) They are people of low vibrations who can lower your own vibrations. (What happens, really, is that you agree to lower your vibrations to be in sync with theirs.) Some of these people may not even realize that they are toxic. In fact, most of them don’t. Their toxic behavior results from subconscious beliefs and feelings that they are not recognizing and dealing with, and they simply seek to use you as a prop in their particular drama. Your association with them is also a function of our subconscious beliefs and feelings. Once you start to look at your own subconscious, you will realize why you are in each other’s lives, and you will be able to take steps to eliminate these people from your life, or at the very least, minimize the time you have to spend with them and learn how not to get hooked into their drama. Occasionally, the person him/herself is not toxic, but it’s the situation that brings out toxic behavior in them and in you. Be aware of this, and do whatever is necessary to defuse the toxicity of the situation.
1. People whose anger explodes suddenly, without much provocation top the list of toxic people to avoid. These people are angry, period. Not just at you, not just at the current situation. They are angry at everyone, all the time, whether they are currently showing it or not. That’s because they’re angry with themselves. It doesn’t even matter why they are angry. That’s their business, not yours. The explosiveness of their anger often catches people unawares, especially at first, and those around the person make excuses for them because their anger seems so uncharacteristic. They may even profusely apologize for their outburst, and some will even cry. They may beg for your forgiveness. But the angry outbursts will happen again. And again. The main thing to do, immediately, is to avoid taking their anger personally. After that, get away – fast.
2. People who hang onto old grudges are ones to avoid. They bring up things that happened months and years ago and talk about them as if they just happened. These grudges might not even have anything to do with you, at first. The person will just have a lot of peeves that they express about other people. If you don’t take note of this red flag, you will soon be included in their list of people against whom they are holding an old grudge. You may not know you are dealing with this type of person until they get angry with you and then bring up all kinds of things you did or didn’t do that you have forgotten all about. You’ll probably be surprised at what they dredge up. (You’re still mad about that?)
3. People who criticize you and bring you down are always making judgments. They even find ways to turn a compliment or an expression of concern into a slap in the face. Essentially, they’re doing this to elevate themselves by putting you down.
4. People who gossip are sometimes fun to listen to for a while because of the juicy stories they tell, but it’s best to remember that if they are talking about their other friends to you, they will also talk about you to their other friends. Give them a miss.
5. People who complain about everything sometimes hook us into friendship because they are complaining about the very things that bug us. Finally, you think, someone who “gets it.” The problem with this is that they are more invested in complaining about things than making changes. These people tend to overreact to things, and they are among the fist to jump on the hate and complaint bandwagon when something is not going the way they think it should. These people are just unloading their anger and frustration onto you. Basically, their behavior is the same as vomiting all over you. Seriously.
6. People who give unasked-for advice might seem, at first, to be good friends, but pretty soon you realize that they have an opinion – a strong one – about everything from what you should eat to how you should dress, what you should read, how you should invest your money, whom you should associate with, whom you should vote for, and where you should take your next vacation. And they never shut up.
7. Old friends with whom you no longer have anything in common are not necessarily always toxic, but they can become toxic to you if they refuse to acknowledge the changes you have made over time. Just because a person is an “old friend” doesn’t mean they have to be a current friend. You don’t have to shut them out completely. There’s no sin in remembering old times. Just don’t associate with them regularly.
8. People who think sarcasm is cool are really complainers and gossips in disguise.
9. People who make you do all the work in the relationship are not your best choice of friends. They never call you to socialize – you always have to be the one to initiate the contact. Or they will go along with anything you suggest, but they never have any suggestions of their own. It’s always up to you to decide what to do. If these people decide to break off the friendship, it will be your fault, not theirs.
10. People who finish your sentences for you seem to be right on the same wavelength, and maybe they are, but what they are really doing is looking for a way to hijack the conversation. Once you give them that opportunity, they will run with it. Pretty soon you will find that you can’t get a word in edgewise.
11. People who are attention-seekers keep the focus on themselves at all times. They want you to drop everything and be with them when they need an audience. And if you tell them your problems, you will soon find that it’s all about them, not you.
12. Alarmists and worry-warts love to create drama in their lives and yours, if only to make them feel more important. They can hold you back if you listen to them and take their warnings seriously.
13. People who support you when they should be telling you an uncomfortable truth are not your best choice of friends. Sure, they’re loyal and all that, but loyalty to someone doesn’t have to mean agreeing with them against one’s better judgment.
14. People who bring up unnaturally negative things for their shock value are often in the thrall of disembodied negative spirits. Get away from them immediately, and stay as far away from them as you possibly can.
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Some of these people can be hard to avoid, as I said before, but you can choose to spend less time with them. When you do have to interact with them, recognize them for who they are, and refuse to be sucked into their drama. Sometimes you can be direct with them and other times you just have to walk away and say away. The very best advice, especially if you cannot remove them from your life completely, is to refrain from interacting with them. This means not taking what they say personally and choosing not to spend any more time with them than absolutely necessary. It also means no getting revenge, no “teaching them a lesson,” and no trying to change them for the better.
The other thing to beware of is becoming one of these toxic people, yourself. When you realize that you are starting to behave in a toxic way, you can step back and decide to turn yourself around. They key is being aware.
A little knowledge goes a long way. Learn to recognize these types of toxic people and be aware of their distinctive vibrations or energy. A friend of mine taught me to see the energy dynamic in groups of people as waves or sinkholes. A wave is positive; it lifts everyone up. A sinkhole is negative; it brings everyone down. People who create waves are the ones that we need to attract into our lives. Those who produce sinkholes are the ones we need to avoid.
If you have to deal with toxic people in your life, a key thing to remember is to stay focused on what you are trying to accomplish, rather than getting sucked into emotional issues. If they seem angry with you or if they are blaming you for something, try not to defend yourself, make denials, or attempt a rebuttal. Try to figure out what they are really angry or fearful about and deal with that, then move on.
When we realize that people mirror us, especially the negative ones, we can look into ourselves to see what it is within us that draws these people into our lives. Are we drawing complainers into our lives because we wish to complain rather than find ways to make changes? Do we spend time with gossips because we also wish to put others down in order to make ourselves look good? When we become aware of our own vibrational energy, it becomes obvious why we’re attracting certain types of people into our lives. Fortunately, we have the power to raise our own energy, and it’s amazing how fast the toxic people begin to disappear once our own energy changes. Suddenly, we find ourselves surrounded by amazing people who are a joy to be around. 🙂