In society, and therefore, everyday life there exist that cluster of people that one might call….toxic. Now these people aren’t like you and I; these people do not want to partake in pleasant rhetoric, and then go home and be happy, because these people are unhappy, and they want you to join them.
So what do they do? They spread misery and displeasure wherever they go. An example of this toxic breed (TB) is a guy I know at work…let’s call him TB. Now TB seems to revel in making backhanded comments about people (including me) at every turn, most likely in an attempt to boost his weak ego/lack of self-esteem. It’s an issue of insecurity, jealousy and resentment, feelings that most probably make this guy incredibly miserable, and in order for him to achieve any kind of pleasure, he has to ensure everyone around him is miserable too. Of course, there are likely a whole number of factors that have shaped him into a critical, derisive, passive-aggressive, jaded, and negative personality. But, it is difficult to care enough to find out, when this is how TB presents himself.
Now you might think, this guy would be easy to see for what he is, but you’d be surprised. Indeed, oftentimes TBs can go undetected for quite some time, gradually and insidiously working beneath the surface, chipping away at your self-esteem like a virus, without you even realising the problem is them and not you. Indeed, a friend of mine recently told me about how she was second guessing herself when it came to one of these individuals. She actually thought she was being overly-sensitive, and ultimately she was going home stressed by the burden of carrying this monkey on her back, who was creeping into her headspace and preying on her mind in a way that a colleague or friend should not be.
So how do we extract these tumours? The first thing we must do when we feel bad around another person, or at the mere thought of them is to trust our instincts and recognise that the feeling, or vibes we are getting from the TB are legitimate; as only when we see the problem for what it is, can we guard against the TB’s manipulation and mind-games.
So now we’ve recognised this person for what they are, we have a few options: we can feel bad for them, sorry that they’ve most likely become this way through a series of less than optimal circumstances, but then what? Well, this is where one has to judge how important this person is. If, like in my situation, it is a mere colleague, and not one worthy of friendship, well, then, it is time to restrict your exposure to them, distance yourself, minimise interactions and even when they happen, maintain your boundaries at all times. This ensures a good measure of defence for your own ego and consequently, mental wellbeing. However, if this is someone we care for, someone we want to help, then gently talking to them might facilitate; attempting understanding, rather than blame and sensitively explaining how they make us feel. If, however, this does not work, then perhaps relegating this person from the inner-circle, to the outer one might be better. Remember, vampires need permission before they can enter your home, in much the same way, TBs can only enter your headspace if you allow it, so who’s more important – them or you?