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Oh boy, I could write volumes on toxic people! They seem to be ever present in my life. I do believe that lessons will continue to present themselves in our lives until we "get it" or absorb the lesson so I've always tried to find the value in all situations, even the negative and toxic ones. For me, after all these years, I think I'm finally getting it. I CAN actually choose not to have toxic people in my life, regardless of who they are.
Toxic people drain you, sap your energy. Everything is about them. They see the world from eyes that see only themselves and how everything relates to them and their needs. No one else's feelings or thoughts ever carry much weight. True empathy does not exist.
There are many different types of "toxicity" but they all in some way drain you. Toxic people have not learned to fulfill themselves and have little self love so they in essence must "steal" your energy. Unnecessary drama, mountains made out of molehills, rage or blow ups over inconsequential things - who needs this? Life is too short to subject ourselves to toxic people. I will literally get stomach aches and/or headaches if I'm around negative people too long.
Many toxic people exhibit the following traits;Narcissism
These are tough traits to be on the receiving end of. I think the key in finding balance for your life if it includes a toxic person is to understand the toxicity better. Here is a wonderful 60 page excerpt from a book entitled, Malignant Self Love: Narcissism Revisited by Sam Vaknin. Someone explained to me recently, that you should view a toxic person in your life much like you would a wasp. You don't want to be around it much, will avoid it but you don't put too much of your life energy into it. You don't hate the wasp, you just don't want to be around it because it adds nothing to the positive aspects of your life. What a wise woman (wink to Alicia)!
These pages and links pertain to the toxicity that is present in my life. I hope that in some way, it can help others deal with their toxic people.