BAD VIBES ONLY – embracing negativity, and toxic people

I was born hyper-sensitive. And by that I don’t mean some kind of indigo child empath mojo, but the not so extraordinary trait that makes any kind of outer stimulation feel really intense. It changes from one person to the other, but you may feel that everyday smells, sounds, colours or even other people’s emotions can be really harsh and affect you greatly. I had bad headaches as a child, my surrounding has a crucial role in how I perform, and that’s probably one of the many reasons I developed a personality disorder.
That is most likely also how I learnt to embrace feelings in general, because they were there all the time. I didn’t just learn how to live with pain, sadness and anger around me, but I began to see the beauty in any kind of strong emotion, instead of avoiding them at all cost, like I see a lot of people in my surrounding do.

And here’s what I don’t like about the „good vibes only” mentality: running away from your feelings doesn’t serve you. You may want to keep up an overall optimistic mindset, but pushing away any form of upsetting emotion is not the way to do it.
Self-help books and blogs may tell you to only focus on the great things in life, to get rid of toxic people, to force a smile on your face. But why? Why can’t you bear to feel bad for once in while? That’s the real question here. Are you afraid of sadness and maybe slipping into depression? Or do you think people won’t like you if your presence is not uplifting? Do you fear becoming the „toxic person”?
The real answer for whatever your problem might be is to actually allow yourself to feel. By denying the existence of negative thoughts, you keep yourself from understanding them, from finding a way to handle them, you may feel like you’re a failure when you give in to them, and when great becomes the baseline, you won’t see a lot of outstanding experiences happening. Not acknowledging unsettling feelings prevents personal growth.

If you take anything away from this post, make it the act of asking what actually makes you feel bad about a concrete situation. Sometimes avoiding it in the future will be the final answer, but don't let this way of coping become the default, it won't be a good way to deal with most of your problems, because in a good amount of time the bad things are not just an outer factor. That's right, as much as we like to shift the blame these days, and like to talk about the government, the patriarchy, a douchebag person or even an illness in some cases (yes, people sometimes exaggerate the effect an illness has on them, as much as I feel like an asshat for saying this), a problem is a lot of times rooted in us, and we can't just get rid of it by covering our ears every time a person or a situation brings it to our attention. 

Excessively chasing positivity not only sends you on a way of denial, but can also rob you from an important tool in your relationships: empathy.
The concept of toxic people is not something I get along with. Simply because I don’t believe that toxic people exist. There are only people with problems. Problems with how they see themselves, problems with how they see the world, and sometimes mental illness. The people who keep bringing you down are probably the ones who are really hurt, and don’t know a proper way to cope with it.

And here’s the plot twist. At the end you’ll be the one who can’t cope properly with the things that hurt you. You’ll instead just throw people out of your life. It’s not searching for what’s wrong, but rather who’s wrong. You are simply judging people. Does that sound toxic to you?

If they hurt you, are a constant bad influence on you, or just take and take without even trying to give back, you should definitely consider walking away. Because sometimes you have to do some things for yourself. I’m not telling you to fight the windmill.
But make sure to let them know what’s wrong. Don’t just make excuses and disappear from someone’s life, be brave enough to tell them why you do it. They might get defensive first, and you don’t have to stand there until they get it, but that’s the only way for them to grow.
If you don’t want them to hurt others, it’s better to take action. I know we’re quick to jump to shouting „hater” at everyone, but I believe in constructive criticism, and I believe that everyone is thankful in the long term for not taking them longer than necessary to figure out what they could’ve done better.

On a side note. If you cut the ties with someone because they go through a hard time in their life, or just a rough patch of depression or whatever: you’re a dick. I can’t put it any other way.
You can’t expect people to never feel bad or talk about the upsetting parts of their life with their loved ones, only because it brings you down. And please never tell anyone that they should have just been positive, and everything would be fine. That’s the most ignorant, infuriating thing, and I hear it way too much.
If you are trying to be positive, do it by helping people, and lifting them up, not by kicking them aside, and making them feel bad about themselves. That won’t make you a better person.

We definitely were all toxic people for someone sometime in our life, but if everyone just burnt the bridges would we still be where we are now?

Spread the right message, people.

- Anna

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