Most of us have dealt with bullies and toxic people at some point in our lives. Whether it’s a friend, family member, significant other, a stranger, or a cyber bully, toxic people must be dealt with in a healthy way. As they say, “misery loves company,” – but it’s important that you don’t go down the rabbit hole with negative people.
Toxic People Are Hurting Inside
[quote]Toxic people are the byproduct of the inability to handle adversity in a healthy manner. [/quote]
First and foremost, understand that negative people are coming from a place of personal vacancy and unhappiness. They struggle with handling adversity and the only way for them to release their pain is to inflict it upon others. It’s likely they are unfulfilled with some aspect of their lives and they are upset or envious. Generally, genuinely happy people do not feel the need to hurt others. Even those who are unhappy but know how to handle adversity are not inclined to hurt others. Toxic people are the byproduct of the inability to handle adversity in a healthy manner.
Everyone copes differently and negative people may be dealing with terrible circumstances. They may not even be “bad” people, but they are struggling to handle their own doubts and pain. Once you understand that their hostility toward you has more to do with them than you, it becomes easier to deal with. You may even feel compassion for them once you realize they’re hurting.
Second, it’s normal to feel sorry for toxic people and even want to help them. A toxic person can be a family member or a loved one and it’s natural to want to help them through their problems. To be a good friend is to be there for someone when they’re down, but it’s important not to get a “down” period confused with someone who is perpetually toxic. At some point, you have to make the decision to distance yourself after you’ve tried to help to no avail.
Reaction to Adversity is a Choice
At the end of the day, handling adversity comes down to choice. You can either turn adversity into motivation and opportunity or you can let it take you down into the darkness. Strong people do the former. Make a choice not to fall into the hole of toxicity. This takes a bit of counter intuition. We’re all equipped with the “fight or flight” instinct. It’s natural to want to retaliate, gossip, insult them back, and “get even.” But this is not the way to happiness and peace of mind. Always make a choice to rise above negativity. Coco Chanel once said of her adversaries, “I don’t care what you think about me. I don’t think of you at all.” It sounds arrogant, but the core of what she meant was that she chose not to put her energy toward negativity. She stayed intact and kept moving forward.
The world may attempt to break you in a million ways, but the important part is how you deal with it. Maintain your composure and confidence regardless. Class and wisdom is not reared through money or fancy clothes, but through how we deal with adversity. This does not mean you can’t have an opinion or stand up for yourself. It’s quite the opposite. It means have the strength and character to walk away and not allow someone to influence your happiness or confidence. True power is utilizing adversity to make you stronger. Allowing toxic people to hurt you and derail your dreams is giving them power they do not deserve.
Choose to deal with adversity in a healthy way -even when people are at their worst. They may just need a hug.
[photo credit: CMYK]