Emotional Intelligence: Identifying The Toxic

When I say the word, “toxic” .. what do you think of?  Do you think of chemical explosives, or death causing substances? Fumes that could cause a person to pass out?  Sounds pretty dramatic, right?  The thing with the word “toxic” is this – it is, indeed, as extreme as it sounds.

When we identify with the word “toxic” we think of horrible people, cruel people.  We think of individuals such as evil villains, very obvious dark clouds, or black sheep.  Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

Toxic, in my life, has been the opposite.  Toxic in my world has been ex boyfriends, people whom I once loved and cherished.  Long time and very close friends, people whom I confided my darkest secrets in.  And, ultimately, myself … someone whom I thought I could trust.

Toxic comes in many shapes, and forms in this world and unfortunately we quite often identify whom or what is toxic at a much later stage – usually much too late for our feelings not to have been hurt, tears to have not been shed, or hearts to have not been broken.  Hey, we are all human, let’s not be too hard on ourselves okay 😉

The confusion for me came when I tried to define the meaning of  “what is a good friend”.  When I tried to figure out if I, myself, was a good friend or not.  I used to think that tolerating all situations, and being supportive of individuals – for the good, and the bad – made me a good friend.  Basically ignoring any ill feelings that I may have had, burying any negative feelings deep down inside and keeping that smile on my face.  Years later, when all of the negative caught up with me, I realized that what I was doing all along was being passive, and I had finally came to conclusion that I was doing no favors to myself!  I became bitter, and full of resentment.  These individuals that were toxic did this to me, and I was becoming toxic myself!

What I learned is that I needed to know my values, my morals, my “right” and become confident in the reasons I believed in them.  At that point I was able to stand up and say what I felt was right, or wrong.  My opinion.  I wasn’t being a bad friend by speaking up, I was being a better friend by explaining to them why I felt a certain way.  I was being honest to myself.  I was creating a better me!

There are certain people who are just plain “toxic” … To me, these people are the ones that cannot see past themselves.  They live in a very self-centred world and only see what works for them.  They are usually not empathetic, and if they are it is usually for some ulterior motive.  Toxic people are programmed to live in a very negative world and unfortunately their world IS contagious which is why it is so important to identify who or what it is as soon as you can.

When you think about the life you want to live, the positives and the joys you want to experience on a daily basis you need to remember that there is no room for toxic in this equation.  Loving yourself enough to know that you do not need toxic people in your life is the first step.  Removing yourself from toxic situations is the most amazing thing you can do.  It can be hard as you do not want to always place blame, or point the fingers.  “Telling” someone they are toxic may not be the best way to approach the situation either.  My experience has been that distancing myself from questionable individuals allows me to find the time to focus on the qualities of the friendships/ relationships that I see.  How do they fit into my world. Am I being honest to myself?

What Toxic People Do

  1. They drain you
  2. They are unsupportive
  3. They are up to no good
  4. Their values and interests are opposite to your own
  5. They are unreliable
  6. They only contact you when they need something
  7. They aren’t meeting you halfway
  8. They are jealous of you
  9. They have zero ambition
  10. They constantly drive you to moments of insanity

When you remove toxic people from your life, or yourself from a toxic situation, you are allowing room for other more positive energies to welcome you into their world.  Never feel bad for re-evaluating your friendships/ relationships.  Always find what works for you.

They say that you are a reflection of the five closest people in your life …. when you look at them do you see what you want to be?  Are you proud to say that they are wonderful, positive human beings or do you feel ashamed, resentment, or any negative energies from them?  When you answer those questions with complete honesty you will then be able to file your surroundings into two categories … positive, or “toxic”.  You just need to be truthful with yourself, and the rest will fall into place!

Taking a Stand Against the Toxic

  1. Stop responding to fake crisis calls
  2. Take positive control of negative conversations
  3. Demonstrate that you won’t be insulted or belittled
  4. Be brutally honest

Removal of the Toxic

  1. Stop taking their calls completely.
  2. Firmly tell them you’ve had enough.
  3. Make new friends worth having.


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