Chances are you have a toxic person or two in your life right now.
You know you’d be better off if you shut this person out of your life but you’ve either invested too much time or have become too emotionally invested in him/her that it can be difficult to severe all ties.
I’m here to guide you through the world of logic and reason (and science) and show you why keeping toxic people orbiting around your social circle is a bad thing (if you needed any further convincing in the first place, that is).
Toxic people drain your energy
A group of researchers (Fritz et al., 2010) gave pre-school teachers daily surveys at 3 different time points (Friday evening, Sunday to cover weekend, next Friday).
They wanted to find out how having hassles at home affects recovery and subsequent well-being in the weekdays that followed.
Here’s what the researchers found:
|Affective well-being during weekend||Affective well-being the following week|
|Relaxation||♦ ♦♦♦♦||♦ ♦♦♦♦|
|Non-work hassles (negative impact)||♦♦♦||♦|
So you know how you’re supposed to relax and mentally detach from the workplace during your weekend?
Hanging around toxic people doesn’t help with that one bit.
The researchers found that well-being was negatively impacted by non-work hassles.
This doesn’t mean that toxic people in the families or social circles of these pre-school teachers are to blame, but it does raise an interesting idea:
Toxic people will ruin your leisure time, hamper your recovery from work, and most importantly, adversely affect your overall well-being.
Stress is stress
You know how stress hormones are summoned by your body to tackle job-related assignments in the workplace?
Well, emotionally taxing people will draw on the same stress-related functional systems in your leisure time and will burn you out.
In his book Gorilla Mindset, Mike Cernovich emphasises that you cut out the negative people and spiritual vampires from your life because, otherwise, “you are fighting off stress, anxiety, and worry rather than pushing forward toward what you want to achieve.”
Toxic and emotionally draining people also affect your overall productivity, as filmmaker, artist, and found of the Webby awards, Tiffany Shlain posits in Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind:
“You’re letting those people into your brain and they’re going to influence your thoughts. I find that I even dream about some of the people I follow [on social media]. We need to be really mindful of who we let into our stream of consciousness.”
So not only can toxic people influence your thoughts, but they will impede your recovery from work and ultimately influence how you use your newly accumulated energy.
Choose to surround yourself with upbeat and vibrant personalities that you will build a positive ecosystem of emotion together with.
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