Years ago a very wise man said to me, “the smallest drop of poison can kill even the healthiest of people”. And for years I have pondered over this idea. What does it mean? How do you know who is poison? Are there exceptions? One realization that I’ve come to in my own personal life is that as I’ve grown older, my tolerance for poison has grown thinner. But more importantly, I’ve also realized the ways in which I was the poison to someone else. Friendships. Family. Romantic Relationships. Co-workers. That drop of poison can affect every aspect of your well-being. Find yourself looking for an antidote? Below are 5 signs that you or someone you know is someone else’s poison….
- People tend to be fearful of them. Some of us have stronger personalities; trust me, I know. But when others are afraid to speak their mind in front of a particular person it is a major sign that they can often be disrespectful of others’ opinions. This often results in superficial relationships, resentment, and animosity. If people do not feel safe and comfortable expressing themselves around someone, it is often out of fear of being judged. And judgment is a poison that spreads quickly.
- They are consistently negative. Negativity sucks the happiness out of relationships faster than almost anything else, and yet some people are constantly being negative. Complaining about every little thing is not only draining for oneself, but also for others around them. Be mindful of the level of irritation that someone allows themselves to get to for any given incident. Was their negativity valid considering the circumstances? As for yourself; are there people in your life that you find it easier to connect with through a mutual dislike for someone or something? Someone with whom you spend most of your time together b*itching? Try avoiding negativity and instead talk about positive, happy topics next time you’re around them. If your friendship slowly begins to fade you’ll know that your positivity is the antidote to their poison.
- You’ve become used to them blowing you off. We all have our moments when we simply are not in the right place of mind to join friends for a night out. Or perhaps we truly are swamped at work and just can’t make it. However, if someone (or yourself) is consistently canceling plans last minute they have shown that they simply do not respect your time. This type of poison is deadly, because strong relationships are built on a foundation of trust, reliability, dependability, and respect. Take those away and whatever you have left is bound to come crashing down sooner or later. If you struggle with this try planning your week ahead of time so that you do not become overwhelmed and feel the need to cancel plans.
- Something great happens to you and they get jealous. This one is SOOOO important. Those who truly love you and care about you will ALWAYS want to see you happy. Those who just want you to join in their misery will always become jealous when you are happy. This type of poison can be the deadliest of types. This type of jealousy often rears its ugly head within friendships when one friend is in a relationship and the other friend is not. It is a “I want what you have, but I’m mad that you have it” mindset, and it is easy to find ourselves slipping into. This not only ruins friendships, but it also ruins relationships because someone is always feeling guilty about being happy. Be a friend (and find friends) that celebrate the happiness of those they care about. Like the saying goes, Karma can be a b*tch.
- They are unhappy, but unwilling to make a change. Most of us have probably heard the quote “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”. Witnessing people doing this can be one of the most frustrating situations ever! Not only is it dangerous to one’s happiness, it is a HUGE waste of time! If you spend hours talking to someone about what or who makes them unhappy and yet they continue to involve that thing or person in their life, you are watching them slowly digest one drop of poison after another. And trying to help them could emotionally and mentally drain you. Be loving, besupportive, but don’t enable insanity. It is a great host for poison.
So whether you have poisonous people in your life or you are the poison (most likely a little bit of both), try to focus on identifying these 5 behaviors so that you can begin to eliminate them. Poison isn’t always easily noticed; sometimes it is disguised as a shiny, red apple.
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