Just a reminder to all of you — you can get all of my Rules for Renegades wisdom in the book — and you can get the book (a NY Times Best Seller) for free! Go to http://www.RulesForRenegades.com — you pay the S&H, I get the rest. Just my way to inspire a little “entrepreneurial bailout” — hey, why not! Okay, here’s today’s Wit and Wisdom:
Let’s talk about toxic people. They come in many shapes and forms. I’ve worked with several people who’ve told me I wouldn’t understand something, not to “worry my pretty head about it,” implying the issue was too complex for me to grasp. In the beginning I fell for this. Later I’d realize I missed out on a cool opportunity because someone had psyched me out. This flavor of toxicity can be particularly lethal because it can come in the guise of protectiveness or helpfulness, but the real result is to make you feel incompetent or insufficient. Another type of psych-out is information withholding. This is when a coworker doesn’t tell you things that are important to succeed at your job—until it’s too late. For a crash course on psych-outs, see the movie BASEketball from the creators of SouthPark. The main thrust of the movie is how a sports team psychs out its competition via personal insults and mind game.
Even friends can be deflators. I’ve had some who’d run an endless tape loop about the same old complaints, over and over. I’d be emotionally drained after each call or visit. Eventually it struck me that they weren’t doing anything to improve their lives; for whatever reason, they wanted a lousy life. I knew I needed friends who shared my desire to be positive and progressive, so it was time to change the situation or say goodbye. In this case there are two things you can do. First, list all of the toxic person’s positive qualities. Hold these qualities in mind when you think of him or her. The toxic person might start to shift to become more positive since you are no longer reinforcing his or her negativity. (You can also use this process with your own fears or bad habits.) If this doesn’t work, then you’ll likely need to let go.
When you have to let go of destructive relationships, do it with compassion. Tell the person that he or she is a fine human being; your life is simply going in a different direction. You need to surround yourself with people who share your goals for self-improvement.