From time to time, I come across people who say that we need to let go of the toxic people in our lives. So who are all those toxic people we talk about?
These are the people who are known to criticize your work and goals. They throw curve balls and scenarios to you that can eventually wear you down into submission and you eventually end up doubting yourself.
Those who say things like, “I never imagined you would become a…”, “I don’t think you’ve got the skill to…” or “But you can’t even…” are Put-Downers. Whether directly or indirectly, they typically don’t see you as an individual with goals and have a hard time seeing past themselves.
Negative Energy Carriers
This one is a tricky one to detect sometimes and I’m not one who talks much about energy. But typically there’s a negative aura or mood created when the person talks to you. They can be morose and usually are more concerned about their own suffering than those of others. They also use statements such as “At Least…” to minimize your experience and boast theirs at the same time.
These are people who are afraid of change. They wonder and question new ideas and can sometimes take on the form of the Doubters by trying to prevent change from happening. They’re often in denial about their own challenges and can be very defensive when it comes to themselves.
I had a conversation tonight with a friend over coffee about toxic people, and despite the negativity they bring, it’s equally as important to give ourselves a good hard look and determine whether we are toxic as well. If so, that’s a deeper discussion to be had with your counsellor or therapist to help you identify what’s preventing you from becoming your best self.
One other thing to note is that despite letting go of people in our lives, I believe there’s no absolutes to that timeline. I don’t believe that we need to cut people off at the knees and sever the ties forever. I believe there’s optimism and opportunities to come full circle with people who come and go in our lives, if you feel there’s a greater purpose with them. If everyone uses their time wisely and fosters change, there’s no reason why people can’t come back to be a part of each other’s lives again. It may not be to the same capacity as before; may be more or may be less, and I take comfort believing in that.