“We teach people how to treat us.” – Dr. Phil

It is up to us to truly find out what feeds us and what doesn’t.  Along our journey in life, we sometime realize that situations and even worse, sometimes people we not only like or better yet love just are toxic in our lives.  It’s so not an easy conversation to even have with ourselves.  It’s not any more easier to decide how to best deal with the toxicity.

Toxic people are energy drainers – they suck the life out of you.  These people usually don’t deposit any good energy back either in our lives.  Toxic people leave you drained, exhausted and wondering what just happened.  Sometimes, you can feel their ‘down energy’ when they just walk in the room.  Toxic people can be overly judgmental and/or negative about most things, let alone life.  They can maybe be argumentative most times.  Maybe they are ‘right fighters’ – everything they say is ‘right’.  Other times, we are not able to put our finger on just what it is about our interaction with that situation or person.  We just know that we don’t feel good most of the times that we are around them or it.  That’s toxic.

Toxicity can come not only from a person, but from for example one’s work environment.  I had a job that I really enjoyed.  I was an admissions counselor.  There were so many students that I feel I positively supported and helped get the education they needed to move up in their career.  One of my students just graduated.  While she got not only her Bachelors, but her Masters, she’s been promoted several times in her chosen career.  Another student, I just reconnected with is about to graduate.  While she put all of the hard work in, she felt that our relationship that we built helped her be supported throughout her completion. Both students were on the Dean’s List. It’s students like these two is why I even stayed at that job.  I loved my students!

So, as you see, I knew I was making a positive impact in some of my student’s life.  The work environment was horrible, though!  It was the worst I had ever experienced.  When I look back, I really wondered many times how I dealt with such a hostile toxic work environment.  I’d always remind myself how much I loved my students!  Additionally, I remember doing quite of few rituals that I use to help me function in the midst of chaos.  Some of them were meditating, affirmations and journaling, just to name a few.  Ultimately, I had to severe that toxic work relationship.

Toxicity can come in many forms.  We have to be able to recognize it, evaluate it and decide what to do about it.  While you can forgive the person for being toxic, it still doesn’t mean you are required to be around it.  So, stop, look and listen to see just what supports, feeds and nourishes you and what just does not.  What we allow, we help keep alive and thriving.