Just as we wish to remove toxins from our food, peace of mind requires removal of toxic people from our daily experience. Absorbing repeated doses of negativity counters your efforts towards personal growth and happiness.
Identifying toxicity in others is crucial but it’s just as if not more important to identify these traits in yourself. After all, you’re with you 24 hours a day. That little voice in your head better be in line with what you want out of life. Here are five characteristics of toxic people to help you recognize behaviors to avoid:
1. They always see themselves as the definitive realists.
Phrases such as “get real,” “come to your senses” and “I told you so” live on the edge of their lips. Although these sentiments may at times be warranted, toxic individuals derive a sense of unmistakable pleasure from uttering them.
They will swear they’re doing you a favor or saving you in some way, but not one ounce of compassion will drip from their words. Condescension paired with satisfaction is their hallmark. Always pay attention to the energy beneath someone’s words. Toxicity is always palpable.
2. They tend to hate everything.
Negative people rarely see goodness anywhere. Finding the downside of anything is their specialty. They tend to negate without discrimination even when they haven’t experienced the things they talk about.
Their lens distorts all aspects of life and as a result they leave no room for wonder or possibility. Do not allow their shadows to block your light.
3. They believe their experience is for everyone.
Toxic people have a habit as using their experience as the benchmark. They will recount their sad stories to serve as proof of life’s injustices. Not only will they use them as a compass for their own navigation, they will use it to judge yours as well.
If their business failed, it’s the reason you shouldn’t start a business. If their heart was broken, you need to run the other way in your relationship. Do not allow their past to dictate your future.
4. They suck the energy out of a room.
There is an unmistakable drop in vitality when toxicity enters a space. The longer the interaction with such an individual, the more drained you feel upon leaving.
Strong, negative personalities draw us out of ourselves. They siphon our energy reserves especially if we meet them head on with resistance. Rather than engage their toxicity, gracefully bow out where you can. Self-preservation is key.
5. They detest genuine optimism.
Being positive doesn’t mean ignoring the ugliness that life sometimes offers. It just means understanding that things don’t have to remain the same. People who strongly believe in this perspective ultimately keep toxicity away.
Optimism is the ultimate threat to negative people. Why? Because it challenges their whole worldview. The mental shifts they would have to make are enormous, so rather than be around positivity, they try to poke holes it in and then run. (Note: This behavior is often exhibited by internet trolls.)
In conclusion, toxicity is usually easy to recognize, although some are exceptionally skilled as disguising their toxicity as genuine concern for you. It takes a little more discernment to see these individuals clearly. It takes even more discernment to recognize these traits in your own behavior.
If you don’t see these characteristics within yourself, congratulations. If you take a close look at your circle and that’s all you see around you, you may not be being honest with yourself.
Whether it’s them or it’s you, it just may be time to detox! Happy healing!
Ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? Join our 5-Day Inflammation Video Summit with mindbodygreen’s top doctors.