• Tara Nichol

What happens when you’re the toxic person?

© Timothy Haynes Photography, 2018.

There’s so much acceptance in talking about removing toxic or negative people from your life... -and that’s amazingly empowering!

It has been helpful for me at times because it reminds me that I am in control and have the power to choose how I think, what I do, who I spend my time with, etc.

...but what isn’t as accepted is talking openly about being the toxic person yourself.

-So what happens then?

When everyone has permission to remove you from their lives but you don’t have permission to simply feel the way you feel everyday.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not excusing toxic behavior or saying it’s something that should be accepted as the norm, but I am saying I don’t believe we need to be shaming negative thinkers into an even deeper, darker mental space.

-Can we not realize that to some, this is their norm?

Can we not allow them to accept where and who they are in this moment? To still love who they are right now?

Most pessimistic people I know don’t enjoy being sad or upset, their thoughts/anticipations have created a cycle of self-fulfilling prophecies that keep them always expecting and receiving the worst.

Our minds not only become comfortable with the predictability of being in a cycle, (though it may not be a happy one) but those stuck in it truly believe that they must prepare for the worst because they know for a fact they may have to endure it.

-Example: “it’s happens to me every time" or “I always have bad luck"...

What they may not realize is that their focus on a potentially negative outcome can influence the outcome itself.

So while it’s not bad to consider the worst case scenario, you absolutely cannot dwell on the negative if you want to learn to break out of your own trap.

-I’ll explain why I call it “your own trap” in a moment.

I also think it’s a little harsh to assume that all people who have compulsive negative thoughts are actively choosing to be inconsiderate, selfish, rude, or negative on purpose or with harmful intent.

[Disclaimer:] I want to make it very clear, I am absolutely not excusing bad or potentially abusive behavior as no one is required or deserves to put up with mistreatment.

What I am doing is asking you simply to consider the current topic from a different perspective. Do you really think "toxic" people want to be sad, negative, or mean all the time?

-So what exactly qualifies a person as being “toxic”?

Based off my own research and experiences, it seems most people believe what makes a person “toxic” is:

A (perceived) lack of desire to change their ways despite (allegedly) being aware of how their words or actions may be affecting themselves and/or others.

I chose to place a couple of words in parenthesis because you only hear them when you're open to hearing another perspective. Earlier, I referenced the idea that we as humans may be capable of influencing our own realities, because of this it's important to think consciously and work toward rebuilding positive thought patterns to break yourself out of “your own trap."

I believe many people the world labels as “toxic” are just stuck in a fog and don’t know how to stop creating problems for themselves.

-They don’t realize that are potentially influencing what happens to them.

I call it “your own trap” because, while I’m positive you didn’t put yourself inside that cage to start with, I know you’ve held the key to your own freedom for some time now, even if you didn’t know it yourself.

People who tend to feel victimized (by the world or whoever), usually were victims at one point in their lives.

It’s not that they are actively choosing to retain that reality and remain victims, it’s most likely just what they are accustomed to. As creatures of habit that perception of reality can be hard to change.

(Especially if you don’t know how to implement change or even realize that you’re influencing your reality at all!)

So next time you read something openly shaming people expressing toxic or negative behaviors (which are likely signs of struggle and/or mental illness...) —please have some empathy.

In the end do what’s best for you, but perhaps we can approach these types of situations with more understanding and compassion in the future.

If you know someone who may be struggling, please remember to be patient and understanding, your love and support can mean the world to those who need it!

If perhaps you are going through hard times, remember to have patience and forgiveness with yourself, spend time with those you love, and don’t hesitate to reach out and take advantage of all the support and/or resources that are available to you!

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 If you are experiencing an emergency or are in need of immediate help please call: 9-1-1

[© Tara Nichol, 4-4-19.]

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© Tara Nichol "A Journey in Self Discovery" 2019.