Copyright (c) 2009 Valery Satterwhite

    Do you have people in your life who sprinkle misery wherever they go? When you spend time with them, do these people suck the life energy right out of you? Do you they make you wrong, make you feel angry, deflated, belittled, inadequate or unworthy? If so, you have become their victim. As a victim you can only create more experiences of victimization. As chocolate is poison to a dog, these noxious people have the power to reinforce limitations and low self-esteem within you that will hold you back from the successful pursuit of your creative endeavors – if you let them.

    There is a distinction between someone who’s just having a ‘bad hair day’ and a virulent person. The former is experiencing a moment of stress or anxiety the latter demonstrates chronic toxic behavior. People who are just trying to cope, albeit misguidedly, on a particularly stressful day don’t feel good about lashing out at someone else. Those whom complain all the time or unload their blame or anger upon you and then feel better about themselves as a result are the ones to keep an eye out for and manage. If you don’t they will dump their negativity and pessimism upon you, drain you dry of motivation and inspiration to move forward in your life. The human spirit is like a shark. It has to constantly move forward or it dies.

    “Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.” – Benjamin Franklin

    There is a simple test to recognize whether or not you have a toxic person in your life:

    Examine the experiences you have had with this person. It doesn’t matter much what you were doing together, just reflect upon whether or not your are energized or depleted at the end of the event. Reflect upon more than one instance to discern whether there is an emotional pattern or a single incident. Were you tired or inspired? If you discover that you are left exhausted or weakened by your exposure to this person then you are in the presence of a toxic person. If you feel nourished by the experiences you’ve had with that person this is someone with whom you want to spend more time.

    If you identify a toxic person in your life here are 4 Steps to manage and transform your relationship with that person.

    1. Observe that this person is doing the best he or she can given the light they have to see. A toxic person is in the dark or at least missing a few batteries in their flashlight, their self-perspective and world view. You cannot change or control anyone.

    2. Distance yourself from this person. Limit your exposure to and the time you spend in their presence. If it is a co-worker or family member and avoidance is unlikely, let whatever poisonous babble they expel go in one ear and out the other. Do not react or take on their anguish. Hold onto your personal power by refusing to engage, stoop down to their emotional level.

    3. When they are complaining, finding fault with you, their circumstance, or the world in general ask them what they DO like about the matter at hand. Get them focused on a more positive note; what they like instead of do not like; what they want instead of do not want.

    4. Feed your soul. Do something that replenishes and energizes you after your encounter with a toxic person. Center yourself by taking a few cleansing breaths to ground you as you shake off their destructive residue.

    You and you alone are responsible for the quality of your life. You have the inner resources to rise above any and all adverse communication. As master of your life experience, you have the tools to deliberately create the outcomes you want to have with the people with whom you are in contact in your personal and professional life.

    “You cannot cause a shadow to disappear by trying to fight it, stamp on it, by railing against it, or any other form of emotional or physical resistance. In order to cause a shadow to disappear, you must shine light on it.” – Shakti Gawain

    Valery is an Inner Wizard Mindset Mentor & Coach who teaches people how to be the hero of their opportunity instead of the victim of circumstance so they can fully invest themselves in their creative endeavors. Become the hero of your opportunities instead of the victim of your circumstance.

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