“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
As you might expect, toxic people are the ones who always dwell on the negative. The dictionary defines toxic as “poisonous,” and toxic people continually spew their verbal poison. In contrast, the dictionary’s definition of nourishing is “to nurture or promote the growth of.” Nourishing people are positive and supportive. They lift your spirits and are a joy to be around.
Negative people will always drag you down to their level. They hammer away at you with all of the things you can’t do and all of the things that are impossible. They barrage you with gloomy statements about the lousy economy, the problems in their lives, the problems soon to be in your life, and the terrible prospects for the future. If you’re lucky, they might even throw in a few words about their aches and pains and recent illnesses.
After listening to toxic people, you feel listless, depressed, and drained. Jack Canfield describes them as “energy vampires” -- they suck all the positive energy out of you. One thing is certain; these vampires will wear you down and kill your dreams.
On the other hand, how do you feel when you are around people who are positive, enthusiastic, and supportive? You are encouraged and inspired. You start to pick up their attitude, and you feel as if you have added strength to vigorously pursue your own goals.
If you had a choice, wouldn’t you rather hang out with nourishing people? Well, in fact, you do have choice. It’s up to you to determine with whom you spend your time. If toxic people surround you in your daily life, you can do something about it.
To begin with, develop friendships and associations with people who are positive and supportive. In addition, seek out people who are action-oriented and service-oriented. As you spend more and more time in the company of people who have these traits, you, too, will develop the same successful characteristics and put them to use in your life.
Consider with whom you have been spending your time. Examine your friendships and relationships at work and during your leisure hours. Those who occupy your time have a significant impact on your most priceless possession -- your mind! It is your responsibility to regulate what you allow into your mind.
Tips to Eliminate Toxic People
*If you regularly have lunch with toxic people at work, stop it. Find a diplomatic way to extricate yourself from the “poisonous” group.
*If you have a toxic relative, it is important to put some limits on your relationship. Don’t go out of your way to take the person’s call each day or when you do and if he or she is going to pull you down, you can fill the conversation with positive uplifting remarks.
*Form your own positive group with friends or colleagues. Make a commitment to meet with these people on a regular basis to discuss goals, exchange ideas, and offer support. These should be people who accept you as you are and yet challenge you to be the best that you can be.
To regain your mindset fully and skillfully, it is important to surround yourself with positive, nourishing people at home, at work, at play, at church, at all times -- they will lift you up the ladder of success and happiness. Do the same for them!!
Shelly Aristizabal is the author of This Is Your Year to Design & Live the Life of Your Dreams, a leader in the Community Commerce Industry, Motivational Speaker and New President of Business Women Connect. Visit www.businesswomenconnect.com for details on our upcoming events in the Indianapolis area!