I think no one would argue that as people we have a bent toward the negative. That is, we will believe something negative, do something negative and say something negative faster than we will believe, do or say something positive. The question I’ve been asking myself lately is why? Why do we naturally embrace toxicity? I think the answers rest within you.
You don’t truly love who you are. We each have two eyes, two ears, a nose and a mouth but we are each unique. In a world full of millions of people, no two have the same set of fingerprints, not even twins – unique. You may have likes and talents like another but if you take the time to look closely you will see that there is something different. Unless you love yourself, you’ll never be happy and toxicity will fester in you. How can you learn to love yourself and embrace your uniqueness? Think of the things you do when you love another person – you enjoy the things that person likes, you enjoy being with that person, and you speak well of that person. Do these things for yourself even when no one else does.
You think it is prideful to like yourself or accept accolades from others or yourself for doing a good job. We all want to be praised for our accomplishments. It’s human nature. The problem occurs when you begin to think that you are better than others because of who you are or your accomplishments. That is pridefulness and it moves you into the zone of toxicity. How can you change your thinking? Say thank you for the accolades, maybe give yourself a reward and then move on in life.
You are envious or jealous of someone else. We all want things in life and we want them right now. It bothers us when someone else gets the car, job, promotion, etc. we want before we get it. It’s human nature. But to harbor ill-will towards that person accomplishes absolutely nothing and is a breeding ground for toxicity. How do you combat envy and jealousy? Congratulate the person, don’t dwell on his or her accomplishment and move forward with your plan to get what you want.
You are afraid to be different from “the crowd”. We all want to be part of something. It’s human nature. None of us want to be isolated from other people. But what “crowd” are you trying to be part of? Is it a crowd that nitpicks and criticizes or a crowd that encourages and supports? Buying into negative groupthink, defined by Merriam-Webster as “a pattern of thought characterized by self-deception, forced manufacture of consent, and conformity to group values”, leads to passivity, fear and toxicity. How do you overcome fear of being different? Always love yourself more than the crowd. Be unique. You’re supposed to be you.
Despite what you see, people crave being around other people who are authentic, who stand out from the masses, are authentic and do not embrace toxicity. Just look at the leaders we admire: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, and Eleanor Roosevelt to name a few. Today, make up your mind to dump the toxicity inside. It will take time and effort. You will have to immerse yourself in a positive environment, eliminate negative influences and consciously infuse yourself with positive stuff.