I’ve been alive for 3 decades now. I’ve been around to different places and worked in different environments. One thing that’s consistent to all these, are the existence of these so called “toxic” people. I have probably met all of these types, at some point or the other.
So, what or who are these “toxic” people? Toxic people comes in several types – there are those who are arrogant, self-absorbed, manipulative, judgmental, gossiper, temperamental, full of negativity, and the type who always thinks he’s a victim.
During gathering and/or drinking sessions of common friends, these people most probably take 50% of the gossip topic. And it’s not even something people wanted to talk about, but still do just to let out some of the steam.
These people are emotionally draining and increases stress. They are like the Nazgul from The Lord of the Rings series. They literally suck out your energy – mind, body and soul.
Anyway, if you’ve been reading my blog since before, you’re probably aware that I’ve been suffering from Atopic Dermatitis and several different types of Urticaria since I was young. They are mostly there because of my immune system disorder. They are not life threatening diseases (at least, as far as mine goes), but they’re irritating and very uncomfortable.
These past 2 years, as I visit my doctor on a regular basis (my health card is probably only ever used for mostly dermatology check ups), my Urticaria seems to be getting worse. There are even times when topical steroid creams my doctor gave me aren’t working out well. Before, they only appear whenever the weather changes suddenly or I’m exposed to sunlight, heat or cold in long periods.
According to my doctor, they are probably triggered by stress on the mind and/or body. Then, for several months, I’ve tried figuring out what causes me to stress so much that I’m relapsing to the point where my Urticaria almost not disappearing even when I take medicines.
At first, I thought it was because of stress at work. That time, it was very critical period at work. We’ve been working on graveyard shifts often. Then at times, extending work more than the regular hour. And for a few other times, we were getting calls in the middle of the night. My doctor went so far as to write me a medical certificate to exclude me from the graveyard shift list, if possible, due to health reasons (but I never submitted it to HR). But when they were all over and work is back to normal, my Urticaria still didn’t improve at all and I started to wonder why.
And then one day, I read an article about 10 Toxic People You Should Avoid At All Costs, and that’s when I thought that more than physical stress, my Urticaria may or might’ve been caused by my mental and emotional stress.
When I started hanging out with these toxic people, it began with the thought of me wanting to help them out with their issues, depressions, etc. because they were my friends and I wanted to be there for them in their darkest times. But as time goes by, I realized that helping out them is not really helping them out, rather, just feeding them more. No matter how hard you try to help people, it will only ended up a waste if they don’t want to help themselves. And in the end, it will only hurt you both and will add to your emotional stress.
For some of my friends, however, I didn’t even realize they were the toxic kind until it came to the point where it became unbearable for me. Depression was eating me slowly. There were several times when I feel really terrible, depressed about everything and that nothing ever goes right. I don’t feel like doing anything at all and I felt bad about myself and started self-blaming for a lot of things as well as the things I cannot control.
Thankfully, I’m more of the logical type than the emotional one. I thought that I wanted to change. I thought of doing this in a procedural way like starting with identifying the cause of my depression and the things I should do to improve it.
I started reading stuff about depression. I tried to sort out my feelings slowly. I started with thinking, “What is my problem exactly?” Then, I started to think of things like, “What is wrong with me?” and “What do I want to do?” until finally, I asked myself, “What is my course of action for all these?”
Then I figured out that most of my depression is because of being around toxic people. They were the ones who are making me feel bad and depressed. And for some reason I can’t explain, I seem to slowly adopt their habits of being way to negative.
I thought, I should stop hanging out with these people, and I’m doing this not because I want to make them feel left out. Rather, I’m doing this for myself, and for my self improvement. Then, from that moment on, I decided to “KonMari” (method of declutering/organizing) my friends and the people I interact often. If a person enters my definition of a toxic person, I try to interact less with that person. There are a few people where I don’t interact with anymore at all, unless necessary.
I started this around the end of last year, alongside also doing a “KonMari” on my Facebook friends too. I unfriended people from my Facebook friends list – people that I don’t really know that well, people that makes me feel bad about myself, etc.
In the few months following that, I became more happy. I became less depressed, and started seeing other things in a new light. I learned to appreciate and spend more time to the things that deserve them, rather than spending them in an endless emo session with “friends” who probably also talk behind my back, anyway.
So far, my health has been improving a lot. Now I still take my regular medicine, but lesser. And the topical steroid creams are also used lesser. But the greatest part of it is that it felt like a huge weight has been lifted from me, and I feel really better (about myself) and a whole lot happier!
Photo credit: Gackt.