a revisit on toxic people
we can’t escape them, maybe we are them – toxic people and how to protect ourselves. Now we are coming out of our caves and back into contact with one another I recall the traffic light system.
learning from others
Several years ago at the beginning of the discovery of my mind, my upbringing, my society, who I was, wanted to be and what I wanted to say to the world, I met a man from the East End. It was my art gallery days. He came with his pal to buy a painting. A heavy weight champion boxer back in the day. We clicked and became unlikely friends. Sharing our stories thus far. Highs, lows and coping strategies for our somewhat similar and sometimes, lots of times, erratic ways and characteristics.
One anecdote he shared with me remains embedded. I implemented and continue to share his advice. Particularly if friends come to me for thoughts on challenging relationships both professional and personal: how to deal with toxic people!
The Method – protect yourself from toxic people
There are three categories of people in our lives, red, amber and green.
The toxic people in our relationships or those that make us feel dreadful about ourselves are reds. No go. Share nothing.
The ambers are the less toxic people, maybe family, that we don’t want to or can’t sever contact with. Maybe ‘know it all work’ colleagues or those that constantly put us down in underhand ways.
We might like them. Maybe even love them. But their behaviour or delivery makes us react in ways that we’re not proud of. So we limit what we share with ambers.
Then there’s green. No matter what we do or say there is zero judgement. No negativity only acceptance of who we are. And supporting us to where we want to be.
Toxic people discussion
There is, of course, the other side of the coin. When we consider what colour light we might be to others…it’s a two way street and we can all play our part. that goes for the different parts of myself to myself also. sometimes i need to action the traffic lights on my evil twins. have you ever read the chimp paradox?
my sanity is mostly protected through the traffic light system. though some toxic people jump the lights and i have a crash. but that’s my own fault. i need to stop, look and listen a bit more and be acutely aware that even though i desperately want to see the good in people, not all people are.