Shannon ended the phone call with her friend and breathed a sigh of relief. She’d spent the past hour on the phone and she felt drained and weary after the conversation. Every time Shannon tried to share something positive or upbeat, her friend countered with a negative reaction. The whole exchange made Shannon wish she’d never answered the call.

Sometimes, Shannon found her friend enjoyable to talk to. But most of the time, her friend was negative and wanted to argue. She was easily offended and constantly involved Shannon in her latest drama.

Toxic People Steal Your Joy

One day, Shannon looked up the definition of toxic people online. As she read articles on the topic, she discovered that her friend shared many of the traits that are commonly found in toxic people.

Shannon learned that toxic people are often thieves, but what they take aren’t your possessions. They take your energy and your time. Because toxic people are good at distraction, it can be months or years until you realize that a toxic person is negatively affecting you.

Toxic People Take Your Energy

It’s common for toxic people to have frequent catastrophes. When Shannon discovered this, she thought of her client, Bob. To him, everything was one big emergency. He called late at night, even when she was supposed to be off duty. He never gave her advanced warning about projects that were coming up so Shannon found herself routinely working on rush jobs into the wee hours of the morning.

When it comes to toxic clients, there is always a crisis looming. As a result, you feel like you have to be at their beck and call. You’re constantly shifting your schedule to accommodate their latest problem and you feel helpless to change anything.

Toxic People Swipe Your Time

Toxic people don’t respect your time and have no problem taking it when they want to. This might be the friend that shows up on your doorstep after you’ve told her you have to work on a big project. It could be the client that expects you to help her with her responsibilities, regardless of how much work you already have on your plate.

The same toxic people that want to take your time usually don’t have time to help you when you need it. They have no problem fiercely guarding their time because they think their time is valuable, which is the exact opposite of how they treat your time.

The important thing to remember when you’re dealing with toxic people is that they subtract things from your life. But in healthy personal and professional relationships, you feel like things are being added to your life – more hope, more energy, and most importantly, more joy.

Do you think a personal or professional relationship might be toxic to you?

Often we wind up in scenarios with toxic people without being aware of how we got there.  In my one hour session we will go back and look through where this toxicity started  and create new coping mechanisms for a calmer more peaceful life.

For those of us who were bullied in childhood it is much more likely that we accept toxic people in our lives.  We learned that we are not in control.

As adults,  we need to retrain our mind and bodies to recognize and eliminate toxicity.

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