They’re everywhere - our neighborhoods, offices, governments, hospitals, schools, and sadly, often right among our family members, relatives and friends.
A number of qualities characterize them and their typical toxic pattern of attacking or sabotaging your mental and emotional health:
• they spread negativity about you and life in general
• they badmouth and criticize you all the time
• they play the victim when called out regarding their toxic speech or behavior
• they’re too reactive when jealous
• they hurtfully don’t care about how you feel
• they’re extremely selfish
• they keep disappointing you with their psychological manipulation
• they lack remorse and responsibility, chronically self-justifying
• they make you feel bad by pushing your “guilt button”
• they waste your time, energy, and resources
In the case of Victor, it’s not difficult to see a close link between his worsening anxiety panic attacks and his years of being verbally and emotionally abused by his mother and sister.
The last time I heard from him was after a recent therapy session. He already left home. He found a job and, finally, chose to live freely.
That move alone contributes significantly to the treatment of his anxiety panic. He is able to breathe better, be more focused. His heart is healing faster.
Do you need a “toxic people detox?”
Move on. Avoid or leave their presence. Remember not to take the toxic behavior personally. It’s about them, not you. Stop pretending their abusive behavior is ok. Speak up. Set and defend healthy boundaries. Take time to treat and take care of you.