Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Dealing With Toxic People

The one thing I've noticed, especially as of late, is that people seem to thrive off of negativity. They can say that their thoughts and actions are justified, but they stir things up, wreak havoc or just throw themselves in a pit of depression. I was one of them. I stayed in my depression for long periods of time. But the one thing I noticed was that my negative energy only fed off of others alike who were also negative. I couldn't get much from the positive people because their frequency was much different. But in the same aspect, because of their higher frequency, they sometimes pulled me out from that dark pit. So in turn, I learned another thing: it's nobody's responsibility to save you. Nobody is obligated to help you in any way. One day, I just decided that I was no longer going to torture myself. I mean, granted -- I still get anxiety from time to time, which leads me in a very exhausted depressive state, but I pull myself out of it quickly now. I try to be very careful and selective with who I spend my time with. The negative energy some people put out there can be absorbed very quickly. I can't chance it.  It's just too exhausting because most of the time, these people actually enjoy staying there. I do believe that happiness and sadness is a choice.

If you have someone in your circle of friends or a family member you are very close with who tends to be negative, or talks about doom 'n gloom or controversial type of topics, remember that they are trying to get a reaction out of you. Remember, misery loves company. Especially if someone knows your weak spots and all the right buttons to push, they'll manipulate you to feel what they're feeling. They need to relate -- they need to feed off from another negative energy, (if they can find it.) It's as if they want to energize your depression and deepest fear just to be on the same level as you, or to have you need them in some way. The ego loves this. People want to feel needed, that's a given, and it's completely a normal process of our human nature. But when the desire to feel needed becomes codependent or perhaps, dysfunctional, it's time to pull back and see it for what it is. There are times when you're having one of those vulnerable and weak moments, that the negative person comes barreling in at the 'right' time.

The other day a friend of mine called me an "empath". I truly didn't even know what it meant. I looked it up and it reads: "Empaths are highly sensitive, finely tuned instruments when it comes to emotions. They feel everything, sometimes to an extreme, and are less apt to intellectualize feelings. Intuition is the filter through which they experience the world." I guess I'm kinda like a sponge in a way. Whenever someone is depressed, angry or just negative in general, it definitely has a huge effect on me. You can read more about it here and see if you could relate. One of the things that it said was that empaths love their alone time -- to which I do so much! It reads, "Empaths need alone time As super-responders, being around people can drain an empath so they periodically need alone time to recharge their batteries. Even a brief escape prevents emotionally overload. Empaths like to take their own cars when they go places so they can leave when they please."  If anyone reading this knows me personally, I'm sure they're nodding their heads in agreement to this description.

Have you ever been at a very crowded place, say dinner with family and friends or at someone's house where it was jammed packed full of people talking 'n gabbing and having a good time? What were your feelings (if you weren't pounding down the fruit punch)? Did you feel overwhelmed? Did you look for the nearest exit? Were you holding your car keys or mentally planning your great escape? That's me all. the. time. And it's not like I do appreciate being invited to special events or big parties, but it drains the living life out of me. For the next couple of days, I either immerse myself in my work or just keep people at bay for a while. I especially get overwhelmed if someone is talking to me and never letting me say one word, nor letting me out of their grip. It's like they're raping my ear. I can't take it and I feel like screaming. Then again, there are times when I'm overloaded on coffee where I can become quite the Chatty Cathy. So there's that. I'm not perfect either. But I always try to let the person respond and I try to never dominate the conversation.

And then you have good ol' social media. Isn't it interesting to see your own friends reveal their true nature right before your eyes? It's kind of strange, because most people wouldn't say half the things they say in person as they do on the web. I find these people to be complete cowards, only because they aren't brave enough to say what they say to whoever's face they are mocking. While I was online responding to a friend's post regarding a transgender girl's involvement in the girl's track and field, I came across this other woman who is also friends with my buddy. We have very different views, but my friend and I always discuss things with respect. But once I saw this comment, I was kinda wondering if this same woman would have the courage to actually say that in public, or to someone who was transgender. Karen Gavin-Edwards responded to my friends post and said, "And for the record "she" came in 3rd & 5th....Beaten by REAL GIRLS....f*ckin' LOSER!!" It's like -- where does that anger come from? Why are you so upset over this? And how does this affect your life at all? I don't understand that kind of cruelty and negativity. Do people actually think that their comments are private? I understand having a strong opinion against this topic, but to go above and beyond the call of cruelty is just so toxic. I'm really disappointed in people these days. For someone who works for the NYPD, (as listed as her employer on Facebook) -- this scares me a lot. We already have enough problems with our officers being bigoted and racist. Hopefully the more you expose these people, the less they'll be likely to post such hatred so publicly. But even if they don't post the bigotry publicly, they'll secretly have this hatred in their hearts. God forbid she has to pull over someone who is from the LGBT community. Would she give them more of a punishment? Probably so, but I don't like to assume.

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The negativity, especially on Facebook has gotten so toxic, that now friends are de-friending each other over politics. Listen -- you vote for Sanders, you're a "communist". If you vote for Hillary, then you're a "murderer" and if you vote for Trump, then you're a "racist". So who wins? And for those people who are publicly displaying their candidate of choice on their Facebook walls -- do you truly think that they're trying to inspire or provoke a reaction? Most people want to provoke a reaction. From the many Trump supporters that I have encountered, most of them are racist. I'm gonna put it out there right now. But not all! My wife, who is Latina AND gay is a Trump supporter. So there's that. As I witnessed the riots, most of them come from the left because they are so outraged that most of America seems to be siding with someone who is invoking violence and bigotry. "Seems to be" -- who knows? This year -- I am not involving myself with politics. In fact, I'm not voting. I know, I know -- people died for our right to vote, but I also have a right not to vote. I don't want any part of politics because it's become such a vile and toxic waste of time and conversations with other people. It tears people apart. It doesn't bring people together anymore as it did years ago. And even then, there were still fights over the left and right.

When people discuss politics and religion, especially debating about it -- this is all ego driven. It no longer becomes a belief about "this" or "that". It becomes their identity. So if you insult a candidate, or say you insult their god in some way, then you are directly insulting them. In fact, the mental illness, "paranoia" is a huge element of very own our ego. The ego has to be right, but the ego is also a fear-driven self-preservated beast driven by personal agenda only.

An excerpt from Eckhart Tolle's book, A New Earth says, "The collective ego of tribes, nations, and religious organizations also frequently contain a strong element of paranoia: us against the evil others. It is the cause of much human suffering. The Spanish Inquisition, the persecution and burning of heretics and "witches," the relations between nations leading up to the First and Second World Wars, Communism throughout its history, the "cold War," McCarthyism in America in the 1950's, prolonged violent conflict in the Middle East are all painful episodes in human history dominated by extreme collective paranoia. The more unconscious individuals, groups, or nations are, the more likely it is that egoic pathology will assume the form of physical violence."

Those are examples on a much larger scale. But think about how the ego works when we are dealing with other people with different opinions and lifestyles that we may disagree with. It no longer becomes about the presumed "right" or "wrong" -- it now becomes a personal matter. And then, it'll manifest into some form of paranoia. "I need to get them before they get me." And that's how these political arguments on Facebook are. The ego always needs to be right. But what if we put aside our ego? What if we truly believed in God and realized that politics as well as "religion" is all a worldly thing that ultimately separates us as humans? Nobody can do that because they can't get out of their own way.

I guess it's safe to say that I'll be taking a much needed break from my personal Facebook page. I don't find anyone to be vile or toxic on social media platforms such as SnapChat or Twitter.  I don't understand why the first rule of conversation in public is "no politics, no religion" -- but the first thing that springs up on Facebook is exactly that. And sometimes, you just need a break.

How do you deal or respond to negative people in your life?

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!