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.
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 their dependencies on other people more. Sometimes, 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 also 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. I felt really heavy in my heart. There were several times when I feel really terrible and about everything and that nothing ever goes right. I felt bad about myself and started self-blaming for a lot of things as well as the things I cannot control. I don’t even feel like doing anything at all – I just wanted to sleep everything away. I thought I was really really tired, even though all I do is lie around when I’m not working.
One night at graveyard shift, I was chatting with a friend. We weren’t really close. It just happened that she was awake at that time and I needed someone to talk to to keep me awake throughout the night. Throughout our conversation, we figured out that I’m actually depressed, I just didn’t know about it.
So I started reading stuff about depression and went for consultation afterwards. With a few people helping me, we tried to sort out my feelings slowly. In the end, I thought that I wanted to change. I thought of doing this in a more procedural way like starting with identifying the cause of my depression and the things I should do to improve my mental state.
Long story short, I figured out that the root of most of my depression is from 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 that I should stop hanging out with these people, and I’m doing this not because I want to cut my ties with them, or make them feel left out. Rather, I’m doing this for myself.
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, and only do when it’s really 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. I also started talking and hanging out more with friends who have positive outlooks in life, so that it may rub off me too.
In the few months following that, I felt that a huge weight has been lifted from my heart. I became happier – the kind of “happiness” that is not just a temporary feeling, and started seeing other things in a new light. I learned to appreciate little things 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.
I’m also trying to strive for a more positive outlook in life, so that I may share the positive energy to other people!