05 August, 2009

Toxic People

Yesterday, I wrote about taking offense. I know that’s not the customary phrasing that we use. We prefer something like, “I was offended by” because that makes it sound like we have no responsibility in the matter – as if the other person were solely responsible. Most of us would probably like for that to be the case but it’s not. If you’re offended, it’s because you chose to take offense. I’m not judging here. I’m not saying that you were in the right or the wrong to take offense. But I am saying that you need to take responsibility for your decisions, and, if you were offended, it’s because you chose to be.

Yesterday’s blog ended up with the examination of whether or not you should keep someone, with whom you constantly take offense, in your life. This is a pretty big question to explore – the outcome of which has far-reaching ramifications. If you find that you are constantly taking offense with another, and you have worked through the questions I provided in the previous blog, then it would be in your best interest to really examine who this person is for you.

Is s/he someone who currently has a significant role in my life? If I sever ties with this person, what kind of fall-out will I be facing? How do I feel when I’m around this person? Was there ever a time when I felt differently around him/her? If so, what caused the change and when did the change occur? If things could go back to the way they were, would I be willing to remain in the relationship?

After you’ve examined who the person is for you, I request that you look again at how you feel around the other person. (I’m not saying that feelings are everything or that they are always of significance – but I want you to examine your feelings more so as your perceptions around this individual.)

You see, we have within us the ability to read energy-fields that are emitted by others. Have you ever been walking or driving in an unfamiliar place of a city, possibly at night, and when you turned onto a particular block you felt your hair stand on end? Maybe you walked past a person or a group of people and you had a sensation of fear come over you – or maybe just a chilly or cold sensation. Those are our energy preceptors . It’s like a built-in radar early-warning system for humans. If we are sensitive, we can actually get an overall feel for a city or town that we drive through. We can determine if a person we’ve just met is someone who would be good for us or someone to be avoided.

You may have noticed this same sensitivity when, after speaking with someone, you felt completely drained of energy. This is a different type of person – an energy vampire if you will. This type of person drains the energy out of everyone with whom s/he comes into contact. Spending unconstructive time with a person like this will leave you completely drained and void of energy. And, as you are responsible for your body, your emotions, and your health, it is your responsibility to avoid people who drain you of your energy. It’s not productive for either of you.

So are there really toxic people? Yes, I believe that there are. There are people who drain our energy, those who leave us feeling badly, and people who seem to inherently need drama in their lives – so much so, that they create drama when drama isn’t present. These people have the ability to change. And, it’s not our responsibility to change them. We are responsible for our bodies, our minds, our souls. And, we are responsible to keep ourselves around others who lift us up, who make us feel good about ourselves, and people who energize us.

So, yes, there are toxic people. There are energy vampires. And there are genuinely good people. Remember I wrote yesterday that there are always consequences to our actions? If you choose to sever your ties with someone, there will be consequences and if you choose to remain in contact with that person, there will be consequences. The consequences could be positive or negative. Only you know what is right for you. But you do have an obligation to take actions that have positive consequences, or outcomes, for you and your life.

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