What makes someone in your life toxic? According to Nancy Irwin, one way to tell you have a toxic person in your life: Every time you encounter or hang out with them, you feel exhausted, emotionally drained, and negative. … Irwin describes a toxic person as anyone who is abusive, unsupportive, or unhealthy emotionally—someone who basically brings you down more than up. (Source http://bit.ly/2TEr0Im).
Does this describe anyone you know? Here’s the tougher question. does this describe you?
If you live with mental health challenges (e.g. ADHD, depression, anxiety, bipolar), becoming toxic is common. It’s difficult to be at home and feel confident in this world when you haven’t fiured out how to do it in your own mind/body.
There sure was a time I was toxic. Always negative, quick to find the downside of things. It cost me every friendship and one romantic partner after another.
It cost me the support I desperately needed from others. I imagine they grew tired of seeing their efforts to help me find perspective, hope, getting them nowhere. So they stopped trying.
I guess this is one reason I don’t give up on anyone. I knew I wasn’t hopeless. I was terrified of a world that could inflict bigger hurts than I knew how to deal with.
Its easy to point fingers at those around you and check off items on a list that make them the problem. It isn’t to say your assessment is incorrect. But change MUST start with you.
Communicating your needs, setting boundaries, monitoring the things you say and do that keep things as they are between you.
For example, have they become reactive to you? Do you trigger their reactivity? When you have a pattern of reactivity it becomes a hardwired habit in both of your brains that can be changed with conscious, deliberate, new action.
An important first step is monitoring the way you talk to yourself.
A tendency to go negative and defend that position isn’t about being cautious or covering all your bases. It’s about trying to convince yourself that safety is to be valued at the expense of risk.
The truth is, growth only occurs when you risk. Risk being hurt, mistaken, failing, loving.
You can go through life playing it safe, sure. That will leave you with one of the most toxic experiences of all, regret.
So what do you do? Take an honest look at how you show up in life. Are you a downer who always needs to be cheered up?
Do past hurts have overwhelming influence on present life?
Detoxing your life begins with your own mind/body. I know from experience that changing how you think, feel, eat, breathe and be, can change everything.
It begins with one step toward better. What step will you take?