My Secret Weapon Against Toxic People

This weapon is incredibly potent, and the main reason it works: it helps you restore what the toxic people try to take away.

This weapon will give you strength even when the toxic person is trying to break you in every way possible.

This weapon is an absolute necessity for anyone who has to navigate toxic people.

Now this is a tool that most folks, even those outside of toxic relationships could benefit from BUT it is NOT NEGOTIABLE for those of us navigating toxic relationships. Why, you ask?

When you are in a relationship with a toxic person,

you are on the receiving end of an experience that is fundamentally designed to convince you that you are unloveable.

Toxic people grow their power by convincing you that you are weak and you need this toxic person in order to be even vaguely acceptable.

Spoiler: all of that nonsense they tried to teach you was and is total crap. You are worthy of love and happiness and all the good things you've only dreamed of. The toxic person was or is...

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Season 2: The Insider's Guide to Protecting Yourself Against Toxic People

Season 2 Officially Begins March 1st!  

Folks over on our Instagram voted on our topic of the month and they chose: "The Insider's Guide to Protecting Yourself Against Toxic People" 

In this Season, we are going to cover four different subtopics: 

My Secret Weapon Against Toxic People

Ancient Wisdom Applied to Defending against Toxic People

The Exact Survival Tool I Used To Defend Against Toxic People

An Unspoken Truth about Surviving Toxic People 

This season, we are switching things up a bit and going for more bite-sized content. To be get in all the goodies, be sure to check out our YoutubeInstagram and the Podcast 

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5 things dealing with toxic people taught me

(1) Trust your gut!

If something feels off about a person, trust your instinct! While it can be hard to figure out if someone is toxic, your gut often senses stuff is weird before your brain can figure it out

(2) Nobody is going to protect me but me

While I always wished someone would understand my situation and help me out of it, that never happened. The only way I got away from toxic environments is because I decided it was time. Nobody else will do that hard work for you, but the good news is you have the power to do it yourself.

(3) Get support as often as possible

Support can look like a lot of different things. The main idea here is that you can talk all the weird stuff out with someone trustworthy while going through toxic environments and after you have removed yourself from them.

(4) The healing process lasts long after the toxic person is out of your life.

It is a huge relief to get away from toxic people, but the truth is there is still plenty of hard healing work to do...

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3 Tips For Talking to Family About Toxic People

(1) Don't expect them to understand

Unless these family members have previous experience with toxic people, they probably aren't going to understand what you are telling them. That doesn't mean you shouldn't talk to them. It just means you need to be prepared for them to say things that reveal they don't really understand.

(2) Let them know when you are seeking advice and when you just need to vent.

Family will often try to give you advice no matter what. Given most family members aren't really going to understand what you are dealing with, you may not want to hear their advice.

We all need safe spaces to vent, so if that's what you need from your family member, just let them know that before you launch into whatever toxic person thing you need to get off your chest. That can save you heartache and take some pressure off of the family member.

(3) Choose what you do and do not talk about

Because family members are often well-meaning but don't really get what is happening with toxic...

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10 Things You Didn't Know About Toxic People

1) Toxic people often go completely undetected by others.

This often causes those of us who know this person is toxic an immense amount of stress. Unfortunately, toxic people are really great at appearing non-toxic.

2) Toxic people are usually completely uninterested in or incapable of working on themselves

Improving yourself means acknowledging that you aren't perfect. That is not on the agenda for most toxic people.

3) All of us sometimes engage in toxic behaviors. Toxic people take that to a whole different level.

It's human to sometimes do toxic things; however, toxic people engage in this kind of behavior so often they don't even recognize that they are doing it.

4) Toxic people can often be high powered and successful individuals.

Although toxic people usually have a very low quality of life, they do not necessarily suffer in terms of their career aspirations or income goals.

5) Toxic people often attract other toxic people.

Good examples of this include the attraction between...

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What can you do to determine if you are the toxic one once and for all: Action Items

In our last post for Season 1, we are going to cover two different action items you can pursue to make progress on your journey to determining once and for all if you are the toxic one. 

How badly do you need to know?

To determine once and for all if you are the toxic one requires seeking help from mental health professionals. That is an investment bot of time and most likely at least some money. In order to know if that kind of investment is justified for you right now, we need to take a look at how badly you really want to know the answer to "Am I the toxic one?" 

This activity comes in a three-step process. 

(1) Free Write - Just let yourself stream of consciousness respond to the following prompts. 

  • How different would my life be if I had an answer to this question?
  • How much peace would knowing the answer bring me?
  • Will knowing the answer help me make informed decisions in the future? Do I want to be able to make those kind of informed decisions?
  • Would...
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What can you do to determine if you are the toxic one once and for all: Examples

In this post, we are going to walk alongside Shannon's journey to determine once and for all if she is the toxic one. 

Shannon is a fictional character I created based on my own experiences and the experiences of the folks that I have worked with. Shannon is a 35-year-old elementary school teacher. 

Shannon has been having a lot of tension in her personal life. She keeps trying to become closer with folks, but things always seem to go wrong. She is beginning to wonder if the reason things keep going south might be because something is wrong with her. 

Shannon is really eager to figure out why she can't seem to find the peace and fulfillment she longs for in her personal life. She turns to her typical haunts on the internet- YouTube, and Instagram, to try to find some answers. In her research, she discovers that some of her problems line up with the way folks discuss toxic people. She begins to wonder if she might be a toxic person. 

Shannon begins to see that...

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What can you do to determine if you are the toxic one once and for all: Theory

To close out our exploration of the question "Am I the toxic one?" we will tackle exactly what you can do to determine once and for all if you are the toxic one. 

In this post, we will cover some of the theoretical answers to this question. In the next post, we will make that theory a bit more concrete and explore the story of Shannon. Finally, Season 1 will close out with two different action items you can do to start your own journey with answering this question once and for all. 

To begin, we need to revisit what it takes to be a toxic person. Back in the first week of this season, we explored the differences between sometimes engaging in toxic behavior and being a toxic person. In this week's topic, we are going to focus on your status a s a toxic people. 

I use the term "toxic people" to refer to folks with personality disorders. So we can reframe the question "Am I the toxic one?" as the question "Do I have a personality disorder?" The way folks are determined...

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What does It mean if you are seriously considering if you are the toxic one? - Action Items

In this post, we will explore a couple of things you can do to begin exploring this week's question on your own terms. One of our goals here at Empowerment Through Thought is to help each and every one of you develop your own thinking about this big topics. These exercises can help you do just that! 

First thing to do is to try to identify your own goals in exploring the question "Am I The Toxic One?"

Remember that one of the major differences between Cindy and Jessie in our last post were their goals. Once you identify what your motivations and goals are, we can begin to unpack what it really means that you are asking this question. 

To begin, I want you to do a massive brain dump. Grab some paper and write out ALL of the different reasons you are asking yourself this question. You might have some internal reasons- like you want to improve yourself. Or you might have more external reasons- like you are trying to respond to questions that people in your life keep bringing...

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What does It mean if you are seriously considering if you are the toxic one? - Examples

In this post, we will explore how our two fictional characters Cindy, a toxic person, and Jessie, a non-toxic person, navigate the question "Am I the toxic one?" We'll show how the theory from our last post comes to life through the experiences of these two characters. 

Let's start with Cindy. Cindy has heard through the grapevine that some colleagues, let's call them Jeremy and Lydia, have begun describing her as "toxic." Immediately Cindy recognizes that this is an unacceptable situation. She wants to do everything she can to regain control of the narrative that these colleagues are crafting. She believes that the best way to do this is to paint herself as the victim of these coworker's vicious attacks. She accomplishes this by expressing to everyone who will listen that she has been worrying and thinking about whether she might be toxic. Her goal is to portray these coworkers as bullies who have no evidence for their claim that she is the toxic one. 

When Cindy...

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