By Motivational Keynote Speaker and Human Behavior Expert Connie Podesta
Toxic people? Should come with a warning label. You know, like those hazardous materials signs you see in hospitals or demolition sites? Because they are hazardous to our health. To our well-being. To our emotional state. Our mental state. Our ability to succeed at high levels. To the good relationships they are bent to erode. Our sense of self-worth. So why do we do it? Why do we keep people like that in our lives? Well, because change is tough, really tough for most people. But change is a good thing – even a great thing. Especially when it involves ridding yourself of the people, habits, and mindsets that hold you back.
- Quit Living In the Past. I know. Things may have happened in the past that are hard to forget. Or forgive. Unfortunately, too often those memories affect the way you feel, act, think and behave today. And not in a good way. Negative memories can set us up to expect and accept negative people into our lives. Good news is: you do NOT have to repeat your past. YOU can change the dysfunctional cycle and create a new life for yourself. You may not be able to change what has happened to you, but you can certainly change what WILL happen to you. It’s all up to you.
- Quit Underestimating Yourself. We tend to attract the kind of people that are a reflection of how we think of and treat ourselves. Wow! Be honest now How do you view yourself? If you believe you are unworthy. Undeserving. Then those feelings will illuminate a huge sign that everyone who meets you can read. Toxic people are NOT attracted to confident, self-assured, assertive people. Too scary for them. They don’t have the guts or the ability to deal with healthy people. What does your sign read?
- Quit Expecting Others to Make You Happy. Let me say this loud and clear. There is not another person in the world that can make you happy. That’s your job. Your journey. Your puzzle to figure out. Are you waiting for others to validate you? Love you? Accept you? Approve of you? Then you are in for a long, lonely wait. YOU have to do all of those things for yourself FIRST—before anyone healthy and sane will want to hang out with you. As long as you need outside validation to make you happy you will only attract others who expect YOU to make them happy. Two unsatisfied people who can never love others because they haven’t figure out how to love themselves.
- Quit Excusing Bad Behavior. No one has the right to yell at you. Ridicule you. Betray you. Humiliate you. Neglect you. Scare you. NEVER! Stop making excuses for them. It’s not because they are working too hard. Or had a bad day. Toxic people look for people they can mistreat and get away with it. Don’t be that person. Walk away. Say no. Demand respect. You deserve it. Bad behavior cannot be rationalized away or justified. You deserve to be loved. Cared for. Treated respectfully. IF………you expect no less.
- Quit Putting Yourself Last. Toxic people are usually selfish, ego-driven narcissists who are attracted to people who are willing to put themselves last and always give in. Give up. Or give out. They don’t like to compromise. They want to do what they want when they want it. And will blame you when life doesn’t go the way they planned. They will use either ANGER—getting mad and making you afraid of what’s to come. Or use HURT to make you feel guilty or responsible for them not being happy. Put yourself first and make sure your own needs or met and they won’t want any part of you.
- Quit Being Afraid to Be Alone. Don’t confuse lonely with being alone. There is nothing lonelier in the world than being with someone who doesn’t like you. Love you. Care about you. Or respect you. Enough said.
- Quit Refusing to Forgive Yourself. Ok. I get it. You haven’t always been the best person yourself. You’ve done or said some things you aren’t proud of. Well guess what. So, have we all. It doesn’t mean you can’t change. Or make different choices. Or decide you want to be a better person. And attract better people into your life. Forgive yourself and move on. Life is too short to continue paying a price. Toxic people love people who dislike themselves. It’s an open invitation for them.
- Quit Refusing to Set High Standards. What kind of people do you want in your life? what traits, behaviors, attitudes are you looking for? But — before you go after those ask yourself: are you exhibiting all of those things yourself? You can’t expect others in your life to be any better than you demand of yourself. Be the person you want to date. Live with. Be friends with. Work for. People pick up clues from us. They often match our own beliefs about ourselves. Fix yourself first. Do NOT be the toxic person. Be the opposite. Then toxic people will avoid you. And how great would that be?
- Quit Ignoring the Clues and Settling for Less. Most toxic people are unable to hide their crazy-making, energy-sucking personalities for very long. In other words, there will be clues right in front of your eyes within a short time of meeting them. Too much to drink. Too busy to call. Too quick to get angry. Too possessive. Too full of themselves to listen. Too flirty. Too critical. Too ……something! And I know that a little red flag will go off in your head that says, “Hmmm. I don’t really like that.” And then you’ll convince yourself that it doesn’t really matter. Look at everything else they bring to the relationship. But listen to me. Please. It DOES matter. Because it’s never ever going to stop! And every time you try and convince yourself it’s OK– you are setting yourself up to accept less than you want. You are SETTLING. And settling is awful. For you. And for the other person. You’ve doomed the relationship from the beginning. Raise your standards. Go after what you want. Watch for the clues and run as fast as you can when your gut says, “No way is this OK!”
Happiness is SERIOUS business, and yours should be a priority. Toxicity is everywhere in our world, but you always have a choice as to what you allow into your life. Make great choices – your happiness, success, and wellness – all depend on it.
Ready to help your team learn how to get the best from life, leave toxicity in the dust, and feel stronger and more confident? Invite me to speak at YOUR next event!