WorldHow to know if you are the toxic person: "You are the...

How to know if you are the toxic person: “You are the bitter one when you go to a meeting and you infect them with anguish”

A toxic person is one who “generates negativity” and exacerbates cortisol in other people at a given time, defines Marián Rojas Estapé, psychiatrist and author of Find your persona Vitamin (“Find your person vitamin”, not yet released in Portuguese), which curiously radiates positivity, although he has dedicated himself a lot to researching the toxicity of human relationships. In his book, he analyzes why some people are full of negativity and points out that toxics are not always others, we can be ourselves without being fully aware of it. We talked to her about how our happiness will largely depend on our ability to maintain good relationships with others and about the emotional wounds we carry that prevent us from connecting in a healthy way.

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Question. How can a person tell if he is the one who spreads toxicity in his group of friends?

Response. She has to get to know herself, make a personal self-diagnosis. You must ask yourself: Am I grateful or do I take everything for granted? What do I like the most about my way of being? What irritates me about my personality? Do people like me? Do I make life pleasant for them? Do they care for me? Are you looking to be with me? Or, on the contrary, I notice that they avoid me, that they treat me badly, speak ill of me, challenge me, I’m always tense… if the second option prevails in a generalized way, maybe those bad vibrations come from it.

FOR. Sometimes we see people that everybody likes. How do you do it?

A. Do not exist. We’ll never look good for everyone. Our way of being can activate some emotions in some and not others. For example, you have a colleague with a ravishing personality and leadership skills. Maybe she fascinates you or distresses you for making you feel small.

FOR. What clues can make me think I’m the toxic person, or, using your language, the one who poisons the environment with negativity?

A. There are different personal characteristics that can tell us that we are generating toxicity. Ask yourself: am I selfish? Do you just do what I want? Do I have to be the center of everything? I find it difficult to be empathetic, don’t I listen to others because I don’t care what happens to them? If the answers are yes, perhaps your attitude is toxically affecting someone else.

FOR. In the book, you speak, among others, of two common profiles among people who suck energy: complainers and bitter people. They might even be funny on social media, but in real life they’re pretty unbearable. How to distinguish the fine line that separates the claiming from the offensive?

A. You are a complainer when nothing totally pleases you. When he sees problems in everything, like “I’m not going there because there will be a lot of people”, “it’s cold here”, “this is boring”… The complainer is who spends the whole day complaining, sees life through a filter dark. The embittered person is the one who thinks “I’m erased and I erase the others”. You are bitter when you arrive at a meeting and it infects you with anguish. The bad thing is that the bitterness feeds back and there are groups of embittered people that form to become even more bitter. To find out if you are one of them, ask yourself how people are before you arrive and how they are when you leave. If they get worse, you’re spreading toxicity.

FOR. There are complainers who go further and feel victims of a conspiracy of the universe. It’s Cristiano Ronaldo’s famous meme saying “what an injustice”.

A. It’s the victim profile. You walk through life as a victim without being one when you have an excuse for everything, and everything told dramatically to be the center of attention. It is a dangerous attitude because it generates a feeling of guilt in others that, if it is not true, ends up causing them to turn away from you. A similar way of having a toxic attitude is what I call people put drama in your life [”coloque drama em sua vida”]. Do you need conflicts around you? At a meal with other people, do you bring up a sensitive subject that ends up sparking an argument among diners? Do you create dramas for no reason because that tension gives you energy? To find out if you are like that, ask yourself if you are a person who runs away from conflict or is the one who provokes it.

FOR. These people are capable of setting up a Red marriage in game of Thrones any time.

A. It’s just that having people like that around is like walking through a minefield. And it can be an indication of a borderline personality disorder, which is the clinical term for people who live in constant emotional instability, who suffer from a lack of control of their impulses, go from love to hate in seconds, have tantrums or very personal performances. conflicts. If you’re like that, you end up pushing people away from you, because we don’t want any surprises in life, there’s enough drama in it. In our personal relationships, we want calm.

FOR. Let’s say that people around you start to get along. They get a better job, get pregnant or lose weight easier than you. Nothing like that happens to you, and it eats you up. Is that being a toxic person or is it natural?

A. To find out if envy is your problem, consider how you receive the triumphs of others. Are you sad when the person next to you is doing well? Do you think of yourself first and then congratulate you? Remember that people don’t like people who are envious, they like people who rejoice in their achievements.

FOR. We all have an opinion about everything, with or without support. But there are some pretty irritating people who don’t hesitate to voice their judgments, whether they like it or not. Is freedom of opinion valid for everything or, in everyday life, is it better to keep certain opinions to ourselves?

A. It is inevitable that we form an opinion about our surroundings. You meet a friend and judge how she dresses, how she speaks… The problem arises when you verbalize it without her asking. Do you have an opinion about your friend’s partner? Do you intrude on how she raises her children? Do you judge your hair, your clothes? Do you say, without embarrassment, that she has gained weight, that she looks bad, or that she has a terrible hairdo? These people exhaust others, and what’s more, this attitude is often considered impolite.

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FOR. We hate manipulative people and run away from them whenever we can. But can you be one of them without realizing it?

A. Yes. It occurs very often in people with ancestry over someone close, a friend, their mother or their partner. They develop a prodigious memory and retain all kinds of data to discuss, criticize or get you to do what they want. If the other is not aware of the manipulation, he does not suffer. The paradox is that we often do this without meaning to, without realizing it. We manipulate our partner into doing what we want, when we reprimand him because he was with such people two months ago…

FOR. Another very toxic type of manipulation is that of the dependent person. How does a person move from normal preoccupation with loved ones to harmful addiction?

A. The limit is crossed when you suck their energy. It’s this mother who can’t live without you, who calls you three times a day and if you’re not there, she gets upset. Or the friend who makes a fuss if you have another plan that doesn’t include her. That’s when you need to control everything the other person does, otherwise you can’t be calm. And what happens is that the other person feels trapped in your spider’s web and ends up running away.

FOR. From the outside, it seems easy to detect who this non-vitamin person is, but when it’s yourself, is it that easy too?

A. It costs a lot to discover and accept this. Sometimes you notice when you read a book or an article like this and see that it is. Or because you listen to your family or friends when they say that you are changing your environment a lot, that you have become very moody or that you are very down. But if it’s not for something like that, it’s difficult, because you’re so caught up in this cycle of stress that you can’t connect with yourself.

FOR. Telling a toxic person that they ooze negativity everywhere is a high-risk action. Can you give us some advice?

A. You have to do this tactfully. Saying to your face “you are toxic” is not the same as “I notice that you’ve been discouraged, sad, I see that you don’t appreciate things the way you used to, what’s going on?”. How you talk to a person determines how they respond. If you attack her by saying something negative, the first reaction is to get defensive. It is necessary to say things with affection, think beforehand.

FOR. Let’s say you realize that you’ve been a negative person for some time. But other people don’t say anything, so you don’t get mad at them. You want to redirect your relationship with your surroundings. Where do you start?

A. A good tactic is to say “I notice that I’m very negative lately, I create a bad mood, I don’t know what’s happening to me”. You open the door and in doing so allow others to say what they see.

FOR. We’ve already detected the problem and asked for help. But why does this happen to us?

A. Nobody is born toxic. We are born full of oxytocin, the hormone that neutralizes cortisol. It’s life that turns us into more or less negative people. Sometimes it’s because of a bad event. A common case is when you are bullied at work. Or when you are going through a stressful situation, such as during confinement. If it is a circumstantial situation, it is normal for this negativity to disappear as soon as this situation is diluted. That doesn’t mean there aren’t people who are more likely to create crises.

FOR. The bad thing about being toxic is that you end up being harmful. Is it possible to fix what’s broken with other people?

A. I always advocate forgiveness. Both asking for it and forgiving. Sometimes it’s instantaneous. Other times it takes time. But this must be done because a resentful heart cannot be happy. Anger has a huge biochemical impact on the body. It makes us tense, activates the sympathetic system, causes us to secrete cortisol, and increases inflammation. You end up living in a state of constant alertness, you don’t enjoy life, and you are more likely to get sick. When you forgive, you are free.

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