Last year I wrote an article entitled “Beware of the energy vampires”. It’s a piece about avoiding the people who are an energy suck. The people who drain you and make you feel depleted. The “toxic” ones.
On one hand I still largely agree with this – you must protect yourself, protect your energy, be intentional of who you spend your time with.
We never want to intentionally subject ourselves to abuse and mistreatment and we want to do what we can to protect our own energy.
But on the other hand I’ve had a change of heart recently. Rather than avoiding the “toxic” people, I’m intentionally seeking them out.
You see, anyone who can hurt other people is hurting within. The people who are inflicting suffering on those around them are suffering within.
If someone is an “energy vampire”, that means that they are hurting, suffering, struggling, and they need help, love, and understanding….they just don’t know how to ask for help.
You see it all over the internet today about avoiding “toxic” people. I’m guilty of it myself.
Maybe that’s why all these people are hurting everyone. Because they want attention. Because they want to be heard and felt and understood. They are screaming out for help but just don’t know how to ask for help in the right way.
Think of it like a screaming baby in a restaurant. It’s annoying as hell and difficult to sit with, but you’re not going to get pissed off at your baby for crying, right? (At least I hope not!).
No – you’re going to try and figure out WHY this baby is crying. What does it need? What is it trying to tell me? How can I UNDERSTAND the source of their crying.
Do you want food? You shit yourself? Hugs and kisses? What do you NEED!?
Can we learn to treat the “toxic” people like crying babies, and seek understanding to find out what they really need underneath all their harmful behaviors?
Abusive lunatics who hurt people are just grown up babies screaming for attention and help because of past traumas that made them who they are today. See their inner baby and treat their negative energy as you would deal with a baby.
Side tangent –
Right now the world is filled with people trying to avoid anyone who disagrees with them, OR they seek out the people who disagree with them so that they can try to convince them to join their side.
We also have a label for everything, segregation at each step of the way. Everyone needs a label to identify with and a group to be a part of and each group that has an opposing viewpoint can’t sit together.
The vegans can’t grab a meal with the meat eaters and the spiritual can’t hang out with the scientists and the democrats can’t hang out with the republicans and countless other examples.
In our attempt to include and open all we’ve done is further isolate ourselves into smaller sub-groups.
Rather than seeking out dissent we try to surround ourselves with all the people who agree with us. Self confirmation bias all the way.
Tying it all together now –
This is an extension of treating the “toxic” people with aversion and avoidance.
When everyone has a different label and belongs to a different group than you do, EVERYONE IS TOXIC!
We’ve become a pathetic society (worldwide) where we surround ourselves with the same instead of seeking out diversity in opinion and perspective. We’ve forgotten how to hold separate beliefs and not allow it to get in the way of our relationships and instead use those differences in opinion to justify why we can’t be around that type of person.
Let’s get some fuckin Baskin 31 Robbins in the mix with some flavor! Let’s surround ourselves with diversity and dissent and disagreement and LISTEN AND UNDERSTAND rather than trying to convince someone of your perspective.
You know my favorite lesson from traveling the world for the last decade?
At first you notice all the differences. How the food is different and how the language is different and the culture and the architecture and so on.
But then after you see a good chunk of the world you begin to notice the similarities. You notice that people everywhere aren’t all that different. We all want to eat good food, smile with good friends, be able to build a sustainable life, and not drive ourselves crazy along the way. Life is pretty fuckin simple.
The same can be said with our exposure to diverse personalities. When we don’t surround ourselves with diverse perspectives we have a limited point of view where we’re focused on the differences instead of the similarities.
The more perspectives and diversity you surround yourself with, the more you will begin to see the similarities everywhere instead of the differences.
In the end, Yehuda Berg said it best – “Hurt people hurt people. Thats how pain patterns get passed on, generation after generation. Break the chain today. Meet anger with sympathy, contempt with compassion, cruelty with kindness. Greet grimaces with smiles. Forgive and forget about finding fault. Love is the weapon of the future.”
So me? I’m going to actively seek out the lunatics, the drug addicts, the criminals, the narcissist and sociopaths and egotistical megalomaniacs. I’m going to sit with them and have a cup off coffee and understand their perspectives. Help them feel like they are understood. They are hurting within, suffering, and if everyone avoids them they won’t get the help they need.
I encourage you to do the same, but I also understand if you don’t. It takes a certain level of security and self confidence to withstand the battle. If you’re fragile and are easily offended, while this could help toughen you up, it could also be the catalyst that makes you snap.
This is hard work. Arguably the hardest and most noble pursuit one could attempt. It will help you to build resiliency. Thick skin. Unfuckwithability….and also understanding, compassion, love, and connection.
The toxic people need love just as much as we all do.
I believe that the more we can all learn to seek out the toxic people and work with them, find mutual understanding and similarity, find common ground and connection, the more progress we will in dismantling the labels trying to separate us.
“I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints” – No, I’d rather laugh with the sinners AND cry with the saints…because life is just that more fun 😉
3 thoughts on “Why you should intentionally hang out with “toxic” people”
Great post! I’ve had the same debate with myself since it seems like the soul needs to experience though this lifetime / Earth School. I’ve found myself recently outside my comfort zone, and know the soul just needs the roller coaster of life and is not content with the quiet COVID home life. Same for embracing differences and “toxic” peeps. It takes some courage to really embrace, but seems like you have plenty! Great job! Looks like you have some great posts here and I have many similar beliefs. Also reminding me I need to post all my ideas – but they end up handwritten and it can be hard to be typing on computer instead of many other better activities. Thanks again! Great work and thank you for sharing so openly and honestly!!
Laugh with the sinners AND cry with the saints… Hmmm.
Hi Troy, let me first start by stating that you have a lot of great posts which are a great addition to the collective and have personally provided very helpful and needed perspectives on several topics, so for that – Thank You!
On this topic in particular, I do feel inspired to respond with a word of caution as this seems to be a very relevant topic these days. Perhaps it always has been if historical works and events are an accurate indication of the human journey. Disclaimer: this is my personal experience, thoughts, and current opinion which are all every changing.
‘Toxic’ people are often not people that are just hurting and that should be distinguished from those who are hurting prior to any real engagement with them. Actually ‘Toxic’ people, at least in their present experience, are not just energy vampires but also those who are seemingly oblivious to the existence of others. It seems that they do indeed hurt people but not because they are just hurting, but rather because they are in a state that no longer identify others as actual beings with any rights, feelings, or existence. ‘Toxic’ people only seem to recognize their multiple personalities/masks as all that is real, aside from their deep inner knowing that they are something else. To them, they believe that everyone else is just a tool to be used and manipulated to achieve their illusive goals and then be discarded as one uses the food inside a packaged container to nourish their bodies and then trashes the empty container without giving more thought than one may give to trash. It is actually quite an interesting interaction to view the response of ‘toxic’ people when confronted with the truth that others are not just trash; it creates a look of bewilderment and confusion that they just can’t seem wrap their minds around. With that being said, this doesn’t appear to be a state of being they have intentional chosen and perhaps are entirely unconscious to this state of being just as many of us are or were at one time. It is likely that at one time we were all ‘toxic’ people before achieving some point of self-realization or awakening. Therefore we should definitely show compassion here but be wise about how we does so. I completely agree with hanging out with people who are hurting and only hurt others because they are hurting, not because they don’t see another as a living being. In my personal experience and opinion the two are not the same and there is a great risk of becoming deceived as to the true intent of a ‘toxic’ person. ‘Toxic’ people are not just people that hurt you, they are people that obliterate you and do not stop even when there is nothing left of you. These personality types are a death trap that are very enticing and deceitful.
It is not my intention to give the status quo answer to run and avoid these types of personalities at all cost because that is denial and resistance which doesn’t help anyone. I just want to put the thought out there to engage with wisdom and understanding and to be extra mindful of closeness and attachment to these types of personalities. Unless, of course, one intentionally desires to cross the event horizon and enter the experience of the slow and complete death of self, which does have it’s benefits 🙂
With all of that being said, I ignorantly attached myself to such a personality which resulted in a complete destruction of self. The strangeness of all of the suffering that followed mixed with the beauty of awakening that then followed has left me in a current state of inner conflict. While I know this state is exactly where I want to be, it is not an easy process, and still not entirely sure it was worth the cost. For those that are anywhere on this particular journey please just keep going and for those that are tempted by the experience, please know your self 150% before jumping in because it is one hell of a ride and you will certainly find out who you truly are once you jump on board.
Thank you again for your time, energy, wisdom, and additions to this expanding experience of life and for the encouragement, guidance, and reflection, that it brings with it.
I would be interested in your thoughts on how one can effectively show compassion to these seemingly very difficult personalities because they certainly don’t seem to be getting much from too many other self’s. To me, the possibility arises that this is the very reason why they are increasing in number. How can one overcome evil with good though if someone doesn’t recognize the existence of good and seems capable only of perceiving evil? How can we help draw these souls out of their very dark places? Or perhaps, these ‘toxic’ people are here to awaken others in vast quantities and we should just love, accept, and appreciate all that is and just enjoy the beauty of it all, hmmmm.