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 😉