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Day 2 – People who inject toxicity in conversation

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Ok so I will be first stating that I am very prone to doing these and have a lot of experience in causing these types of issues. With that said, I have been more and more trying to break this habit every chance I get as it leads to nowhere special and never solves the underlying issues. Toxicity in conversations and the people who do it. This type of person actually makes you feel worse from the inside out. Toxic people tend to feel better about themselves by making others feel worse or by talking poorly about other people in order to create unity among a people in a group setting.

2799055684_7ea6a8eeb7 Take a party gossip person or an office gossip person. You will meet these people where any group of three show up. They will attempt to steer the conversation in one direction via talking about (in work) a coworkers poor performance or poor attitude in an attempt to get coworkers to side with them. At a party this is the person who you will meet who will be willing and able to stab another person in their back in order to feel social acceptance with the group. They will usually talk poorly or denigrate others as a form of entertainment and place many people at the forefront of ridicule for their own advancement or to avoid discussing issues about one’s own self importance or lack of success.

bullies-kids-110208 The sad truth of it is that we are all usually guilty of this one, and it is more of a habit then a permanent state of a person. We learn at a very young age that kids can gang up and cast out one member to be the focal point for the group in an us-versus-them setting, so that the group can feel unity and avoid dealing with the real issues. You see this in modern world politics (terrorists, with us or against us, or class warfare), religions (good vs evil, the devil as the reason for the bad things, the sinners or devils helpers causing evil, or every other religion and nonbeliever being wrong), and in schools (the clique phenomena and sports team support). My guess is that evolutionary development made this a trait needed for survival. As hunter gatherers were moving about, they needed to stay focused on making ends meet and on avoiding other tribes and their customs in order to preserve themselves. As time went on and groups became more numerous, it became a matter of food/resource security that caused this trait to continue (one castle vs another castle). Today, with most of the food security problems solved, with more science eliminating religion, we see talks of tolerance and peace and acceptance at the same time we see our innate genetic material telling us, and helping us group and categorize people according to sets of traits for the express purpose of intimidation. Since we realize now why this happens, maybe we can eliminate it.

office_politics_master The next types of toxic people are those that attack others/other things indirectly. They will constantly complain, they will criticize generally, and make others feel worse for their guilt or shortcomings without offering a solution or help in solving those issues. They reason (again I am guilty of a lot of this) that by pointing out the flaws that they will shed light on the issues. The problem is not that they do those things but that the underlying incentive is for them to feel better about themselves by shooting down other peoples concepts, dreams, lifestyles, careers, and mistakes. What happens is that when a toxic person does these things, they literally deplete energy, desire, and happiness out of the people they are hurting. You will notice it the next time you see it: at a group you will see a few people having an ok conversation (some good some bad) and enters the toxic person. He/she will focus on the negative in the conversation, elaborate and expand on it and begin the cycle. The group will feel uncomfortable and try to change, at which the toxic person will defend his/her conversation as necessary or in a desire to understand/help/solve the issue that is causing pain. The conversation will end after a bit, with the toxic person feeling happier, the group feeling empty and powerless or with self doubt.

Many people are toxic people or do toxic things without realizing it. The problem is that the theory of talking about/criticizing others and making judgments about life and what people do is good, but the end result of solving the problem is never reached. It is like going to a shrink, telling them your history, and then they point out your faults without offering a therapy or solution that might help. The toxic person and toxic conversations only get halfway to their goal. The end result is that one side feels better, the other side feels worse, and the problem remains waiting to be brought up again!

If you are like me, and have a tendency to fall into the toxic person trap, don’t feed into it. Don’t allow the conversation to continue because it won’t have a solution. If you can, politely excuse yourself and reset your thoughts (if you are the one, like me, who does the toxic generation).  If you get into an argument with a toxic person or cause one yourself, take yourself out of the situation. Toxic conversations usually end up becoming personal insult fests and hit emotional buttons so to avoid feeling worse, take your heart and emotion out of it when you are talking. Remain calm, firm, and don’t play into the verbal logic traps. Once the conversation has finished, let it go or you will continue to be affected. Lastly, if a toxic person is someone you know, or like me, yourself; take some responsibility for the pain that happens and fix it. Remember that if you tend to be toxic, that it isn’t helping anyone. If you allow toxic people to continue and even promote their rants, then you have only yourself to blame for your mental health woes and those of your friends.


We have enough problems in the world and in our day to day lives. Toxicity in our friendships and conversations shouldn’t be one of them!


Written by Josecito

March 1, 2011 at 7:43 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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