Don’t let Negative and Toxic people rent space in your head. Raise the rent and kick them out. Zig Ziglar
In the past I’ve covered this very subject but one a listener has asked if I wouldn’t mind revisiting it in a shorter format. As I am always keen to listen to feedback and take suggestions, please feel free to do so via the website’s contact page if you like, I have agreed to do so. The previous episode can been found in the episode TOXIC PEOPLE AND HOW TO DEAL WITH THEM. I did also touch upon it in the 100th show but only in passing.
John Mark Green says “Toxic people attach themselves like cinder blocks tied to your ankles, and then invite you for a swim in their poisoned waters.” Toxic people spread negativity, create problems and stress, manipulate you and worse.
A toxic personality’s power lies in their subtlety and makes them sometimes difficult to spot but if you’re the one who’s continually hurt or the one who is constantly adjusting your own behavior to avoid their angst or whatever then chances are that it’s not you - it’s them.
Being able to spot their harmful behavior is the first step to minimizing their impact. There are plenty of things toxic people do to manipulate people and situations to their advantage so let's just jump in and start identifying their character types.
During my initial research I found articles listing up to 25 different types of TOXIC ARCHETYPE. From the naysayer and the gossiper to the manipulator and the victim. I’ll be listing just a few of them here today and I’ll possibly return to this subject next season to continue the list.
The first archetype I want to shine a spotlight on is the ENERGY VAMPIRE. These emotional and mental energy leeches suck the positivity out of you and bleed you emotionally dry. They usually have something sad, negative or pessimistic to say but they can also just be a chaotic mess looking fro you to sort out their thoughts and make sense of it all. They lurk just as much on the internet as they do in real life so keep an eye open for them. I got caught in the phone by one of them they other day. By the time I was off there I felt like I’d done 10 rounds with Mike Tyson. Id given them advice and listened to their chaotic stream of consciousness for about 10 minutes the day before and they’d guilt tripped me into having a second one which lasted about thirty. I wanted t help them but I was very clear to close the door on further conversations following that one.
They will always choose to suffer rather than trying to deal with their problems ad at first, you may feel for them and their plight, but you’ll soon realise that every interaction with them is negatively charged and you will have to limit or ideally cut all contact. When that happens, you can also expect a blow up as they rage at your denial of their dietary needs.
“An energy vampire can never “steal” energy from us unless we consciously or unconsciously permit them to.” Mateo Sol
The second archetype is THE CONTROL FREAK who for the purposes of this I will separate from THE MANIPULATOR as there are subtle differences. CONTROL FREAKS want to control everything and everyone around them. They attempt to control everything you do, everything you say, and even everything you think and when they discover you’ve done something that they haven’t approved of, they go chicken oriental on your ass. They just FREAK OUT when you disagree with them and will AGGRESSIVELY TRY TO CONVINCE YOU THAT THEY ARE RIGHT AND YOU ARE WRONG.
In a business or creative relationships, they will tie you down to their systems and their way of doing things, and take from you only what they deem to be useful. They will micromanage you to the point where creativity is dead, and no matter what you suggest, no matter how much time you spend on developing solutions, they will only ever want to do things their way.
These character types often manifest themselves as Egotists, narcissists, or egomaniacs which I’ll do into in another episode. They believe that the world revolves around them, they are not interested in anybody and anything except themselves. You may mistake their arrogance for confidence, but there is a big difference between those two things; confident people inspire others, while arrogant people make others feel inferior.
CONTROL FREAKS will go after your emotional, conversational and mental freedom until you have nothing left to give. If you find yourself in regular close proximity to one, then get out while you can!
There's nothing so dangerous for manipulators as people who choose to think for themselves. Meg Greenfield
One of the most common Toxic personality types and as I said before I am separating this from THE CONTROL FREAK is that of the MANIPULATOR. Sarah Nielsen whose book Manipulation: How to Recognize and Outwit Emotional Manipulation and Mind Control in Your Relationships says “Manipulators use diversion tactics such as, not giving a straight answer or steering the conversation to another topic.”
All too often I’ve been tricked by a manipulator because they have a way of sending out the vibe that you owe them something. THEY ALSO HAVE A WAY OF TAKING FROM YOU or DOING SOMETHING THAT HURTS YOU, then they turn around and tell you that they were doing it all FOR YOU. Remember again that you don’t owe anybody anything and if in your heart, it doesn’t feel like a favor, IT’S NOT.
Psychologytoday.com explains that most manipulative individuals have four common characteristics:
They know how to detect your weaknesses.
Once found, they use your weaknesses against you.
Through their shrewd machinations, they convince you to give up something of yourself in order to serve their self-centred interests. Time, energy, money, contacts…
In work, social, and family situations, once a manipulator succeeds in taking advantage of you, he or she will likely repeat the violation until you put a stop to the exploitation.
The same article explains that manipulators will use
PROJECTION. A manipulative technique when the manipulator “projects” their behaviors, thoughts, and feelings onto other people. For instance, a person who is highly jealous may accuse others of acting jealous.
SHAMING. This is a common manipulation technique, but it is also one of the most harmful. The victim is often unaware of the abuse. It usually comes from the person whom they adore and trust.
TRIANGULATION. Toxic people will often bring another person into the mix. They will say something along the lines of “Well James agrees with me. In fact, he thinks that you are the one who shouldn’t be trusted because…” and so on. Good cop bad cop management styles.
DIVERSION. An extremely frustrating tactic where the toxic person will often change the subject as a means to divert your attention from the conversation and avoid taking the blame for their actions.
Daniell KoepkeI founder of the Internal Acceptance Movement says on this subject that “You don’t ever have to feel guilty about removing toxic people from your life. It’s one thing if a person owns up to their behavior and makes an effort to change. But if a person disregards your feelings, ignores your boundaries, and continues to treat you in a harmful way, they need to go.”
I know too, that it is not always possible to walk away from toxic family members, but you can at least hold them at arm’s length and not breath in their toxicity and the damage that they do by limiting contact.
Your call to action this week is to strengthen your resolve and once and for all cut out the toxic person that’s come to mind as you listened to this show. You don’t need to create a drama around it, just close them off and shut them out. If they made you miserable in the last 12 months and you’ve taken it, then why give them permission to do so in the next. Take action and take control.
Remember folks, stay vigilant. Toxic people can be found everywhere and I will do at least one and possibly more follow up shows to highlight more archetypes in future if you like what you hear.
Call to Action
Do you have a subject that you think would make a good topic for the show? If you do then please get in touch via the website or on social media. I am always interested in hearing what my listeners are struggling with.
In next weeks show, which is the final episode of season 8 I will be talking about BRAIN DUMPS and how they can help with OVERWHELM so please tune in then if that floats your boat.
Today’s final quote is from Robin Williams and I have used this one quite recently but it really fits. He said Don't associate yourself with toxic people. It's better to be alone and love yourself than surrounded by people that make you hate yourself.
This episode is sponsored by Anne Lehmann
Season 8 Executive Producer: David Richard Thompson
-IPF- Support Parkour Teachers Teaching Globally… a fundraiser (Including 12 video clips of some of our Peace Through Parkour Ambassador teachers and others)
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