Advertising
Advertising

5 Types Of “Toxic” Persons You Should Actually Admire

5 Types Of “Toxic” Persons You Should Actually Admire

Throughout history, man has always felt the need to label people and define things. In a sense, it is how we learn to understand the world around us. From childhood to adulthood, we are taught how to separate people into two groups: good or bad. Labels are based on the filters and perceptions we have, which are often wrong. There are two sides to every behavior, so don’t be too quick to judge.

It is in itself toxic to define someone else as toxic. Every situation presents a learning opportunity and how you interpret a person’s actions towards you, will depend on your own sensitivities. You will either see the glass half full or think it half empty. If you are ready to keep an open mind, this list of five types of toxic persons you should actually admire will prove just that.

1. People who don’t believe in your dreams.

“People say motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing; that’s why we recommend it daily” – Zig Ziglar.

Those who don’t believe in your dreams are the haters and doubters. They are the ones who belittle your dreams and make you feel like a failure before you have even started. Common sense might say to completely avoid these people, but here is why you shouldn’t

Advertising

Those who have dreams and goals to achieve, know how long the road and the process can be. It is for this very reason that you need those who don’t believe in your dreams. If you are willing to see the glass half full, then you may start to see these people as your very own personal reverse-psychology cheer leading team.

You don’t have to pay them any money, and they provide the daily motivation to remind you to keep going and never give up. If everyone believed in your ability to achieve your goals, you may not have the urgency to act. You need people who remind you of realistic challenges and problems which you may face. And who make you want to succeed even more. Those who didn’t believe in your dreams truly deserve your admiration. Without them, you may not be where you are today.

2. People who bring stress into your life.

“A diamond is just a piece of charcoal that handled stress exceptionally well” – Unknown.

We all have these people in our lives. It can be a parent, a coworker, siblings or friends. They are people who will drive us crazy with their drama, negativity or irresponsibility. They can also be very demanding people to deal with. While you may cringe at the thought of spending time with them, here is why you should learn to deal with the stress.

Advertising

A lot of people spend a lot of time and money trying to avoid stress, stressful people or stressful situations. However, not all stress is bad for you. In some situations a person stressing you out is a good thing. They may in fact actually be motivating and pushing you to be better or to do better. Remember that our culture is filled with success stories of people who had a tough start in life and achieved stardom nevertheless. Learn to tap into the energy of stress and value those who bring some type of stress into your life.

3. People who use you.

“The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.” – Bob Marley

No one likes to be taken advantage of. Once you discover someone is using you, it can make you feel disposable. This feeling can be very toxic and may affect how you relate with and treat other people. While it is smart to avoid these types of toxic persons, here is how you can start to make the situation work in your favor.

To be fair, everyone uses everyone whether we mean to or not. So it is not so out of the norm for some people to befriend you just because of what you have to offer. In fact, you do it, too. The difference is you probably call those friends you use dependable. Those who use you are actually good for you in the sense that they provide an opportunity to batter. They have already put themselves out there. With a little communication, you can begin to make the relationship work in your favor.

Advertising

4. People who don’t care about you.

“We all matter – maybe less then a lot but always more than none.” ― John Green

We all have an innate desire to be liked even by complete strangers. Often we use how people respond to us as a measure of our own self-worth. So naturally we tend to not want people who don’t care about us around. While this is a good thing, it also means that you will have no diversity in your life. Here is one way to make this situation a positive one.

In the age of likes, follows and numerous friend adds on social media, don’t forget the importance of knowing your quality friends from your quantity of friends.
Apart from your inner circle, everyone else is an acquaintance who may not care about you. This is not a bad thing, in fact the world does move on without you. Friends who don’t care about you, do well by reminding you of the importance of family and true friendships

5. People who point out your flaws or criticize you

“There is only one way to avoid criticism. Do nothing, say nothing and be nothing.” -Aristotle.

This kind of “toxic” people can be very hurtful. They seem to nit pick away at who you are and each comment can feel like a sledge hammer. While it is smart to guard you heart against such people, here is why you should develop an elephant’s skin, so that you can hear what they have to say without being hurt by it.

A lot of times the people who criticize you, truly have your best interest at heart. They see your potential and your flaws and are bold enough to call you out on both. If you would take your emotions and sentiments out of it, you just might learn something about yourself that could be crucial to your future achievements.

Depending on how you see the glass, a critic is someone to offer feedback when it may very well be needed. If your desire is to get better at your craft and be the best you can possibly be, then you must understand the importance of people who point out your flaws or criticize you.

There is beauty to be found in any situation, and people who have been labelled “toxic” can actually have benefits and add value to our lives. Like I said earlier, it is all in how you decide to look atit. With the right attitude, they can be admired, even appreciated. After all, it is in the face of adversity that we often become who we were meant to be.

Advertising

Featured photo credit: Shadow people via flickr.com

More by this author

15 Things Only Nurses Would Understand 10 Things Learnt From The Two Roommates Who Saved More Than $55,000 A Year You May Not Know Your iPhone Headphones Can Do These Things 10 Reasons Why Crazy People Are More Likely To Be Successful You May Not Know These 8 Things Are Pushing Your Husband Away

Trending in Communication

1 How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward 2 What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships 3 How To Stop Negative Thoughts from Killing Your Confidence 4 This 4-Year Old Girl’s Explanation On the Problem with New Year’s Resolutions Is Everything You Need 5 What You Really Need to Feel Secure in a Relationship

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 15, 2019

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

Many of us feel awkward talking to strangers. I’m a very outgoing person, even though I sometimes feel uncomfortable walking up to someone and asking a question or starting a conversation. I consider myself pretty high up on the extrovert meter. So what is it that makes us pause and become worried or anxious about talking to people we don’t know?

In this article, we will discuss why we feel this way as well as some tips on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Step right up, don’t be shy!

Why We Feel Awkward Talking to Strangers

The next time you feel uncomfortable talking to a stranger, tell yourself that’s completely normal. There are numerous reasons why it’s actually natural to feel awkward talking to strangers:

Our Stress Levels Rise Around Strangers

Numerous studies have show that our levels of cortisol go up when we are around strangers.[1] Cortisol is the hormone inside of us which produces stress responses.[2]
So there you go, right off the bat you can see part of your standard response to strangers is due to a chemical reaction!

A very interesting by product of increased cortisol is that it makes us less empathetic. More than likely this can be traced to our evolution. The increase in the cortisol and the corresponding decrease in empathy makes us want to stay away from strangers. We are biologically wired to feel concern around strangers.

Evolution Taught Us to Be Wary

Evolution has also taught us to be wary of strangers in general. Humans as a whole have spent a large chunk of their history banded together in small protective groups. We did this in order to help protect each other and maximize resources.

When you think about it in this context, outsiders to our small groups or strangers are considered potential threats. Fear of strangers is common across almost all human cultures.

Culturally Conditioned

We can also thank our society for helping us feel uncomfortable and sometimes afraid of strangers. The term “stranger danger” is something most of us can relate to either growing up or raising kids. Or both.

I remember hearing this from my parents, mostly about not getting in someone’s car I didn’t know. And as the father of 2 teenage girls, you can be sure I’ve talked to them about this very concept more times that they want to hear.

The thought that strangers can be dangerous is built into us as it is. Toss in the amplification of the media on strangers doing things such as kidnapping kids and it takes it to an even higher level.

Advertising

Now that we’ve reviewed some of the reasons why we are nervous, let’s look at why you should talk to strangers more.

Benefits of Getting over the Awkwardness

Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages of how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward. These are some high level benefits of talking to strangers.

1. Broadens Your Network

After you talk to someone, you didn’t know previously they become someone you know at least a little bit. This alone helps broaden your network of people you know. This is helpful in many ways whether it is work related or socially related.

2. Improves Your Communication Skills

I am a huge proponent of the value of solid communication skills and have written about it often. The more you talk to people, especially people you don’t know, the better your communication skills become.

Interacting with a wider variety of people will bring the added benefit of improving your communication skills.

3. Continually Learning

So many of us don’t actively seek to learn new things. This is one of the primary keys to staying engaged in life and our own personal self fulfillment.

Almost every time I speak to someone I didn’t know previously, I’ve learned something new. When we speak to strangers, it pushes us out of our comfort zones and we tend to learn new things.

4. Increases Self Confidence

Every time we learn to do something we were previously anxious about, we feel better about ourselves.

Forcing ourselves to talk to strangers will lead to increased self confidence. As we get more and more comfortable doing something that previously made us feel awkward, our self confidence will go up and up.

So, how to talk to strangers to reap these benefits?

How to Talk to Strangers

Here are some tips to on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Advertising

1. Say Hello

Putting “say hello” first may seem a bit obvious but let’s take a deeper look. Much of the social awkwardness when speaking to strangers is simply breaking the ice. The first words that will engage someone.

Most people will respond when someone says hello or hi to them. And those that don’t, you probably don’t want to talk to anyway.

Practice being the person that opens the door to a conversation. Say hello.

2. Ask About Them

Something that I have noticed over the years is that people love to talk about themselves. Even fairly private people tend to open up when asked about events in their lives.

You can ask leading questions that get people to talk about themselves and recent events. Things like recent movies watched or the summer vacation are great to get someone talking.

As a father, I also know that people love to talk about their kids. Asking about kids is a fairly easy topic to bring up and in general, most people will expound upon all the great things their kids do or are involved with.

3. Just Do It

One of the biggest reasons we don’t do things we want to or know we should is because we overthink it. Quit thinking about it so much and just do it.

When you give yourself the time to analyze every little angle about a situation, you also give plenty of time to talk yourself out of it. You’ll wind up thinking what if this happens or what if that happens.

Try to force yourself to jump right in without thinking about it too much. Whenever I have done this, I always feel great about it afterwards, no matter how it turned out.

4. Don’t Take It Personal

One of the greatest lessons in life I ever learned was don’t take anything personally. We all go through life with our own sets of experiences and see things through our own lens. The way people react to different situations has almost nothing to do with us. It has to do with previous experiences and the way people feel about things other than us.

When someone’s reaction isn’t what you’d hoped or expected, chances are it has nothing to do with you. Remember that and keep it in context.

Advertising

5. Get a Chuckle If Possible

I used the word chuckle purposely because it makes me laugh. In my opinion, it’s one of those funny words. We all like to laugh because it makes us feel good. And when someone makes us laugh, we typically remember those people in a positive light.

One of the best ways to make a conversation easy and free flowing is to get some laughter going. It doesn’t mean you have to be the master joke teller or anything. See if you can work in a way to make the person you are talking to get a smile or some laughter in. In fact, laughing at yourself maybe a nice try.

6. Detach

A great feeling is when you don’t mind which way something turns out, that you will be fine no matter what happens. Kind of like when I watch my two favorite football teams play against each other. I don’t really care who wins, I just want a fun game.

Treat talking to strangers the same way. You don’t really care how the conversation goes because you are detaching from the outcome. Make it a fun time with yourself and if the conversation goes well, awesome! If not then no big deal, move on.

7. Share Your Stories

Well, all like to feel connected to other people. And many times we wind up hanging out with people that we have things in common with. No surprise here.

To help with how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward, tell stories that have commonalities with the person you are talking to. Kids are an easy one. I have a daughter who was a competitive cheerleader and now plays club volleyball. I have instant connection and stories with strangers I speak with who have kids that play sports. It’s easy to relate to.

So when you are speaking to a stranger and you have a story or mutual connection point, bring it up.

8. Give a Compliment

Almost everyone likes hearing a compliment, whether they admit to it or not. As a general rule, we don’t give out enough compliments. It’s amazing how one small remark someone tosses your way about how good you look can literally make your entire day.

When you are speaking with someone you don’t know, see if you can work a compliment in. Nothing creepy here. Not a good idea to tell someone you just met that they are the prettiest or handsomest person you ever met. However, if you can share how you like their tattoo or shoes or something like that, it will help put the conversation into an easy going, smiling place.

9. Relax Your Body Language

If you go into a situation all worried and nervous, it shows on your body. Your shoulders are tensed up, there’s a look of consternation on your face, things like that.

When you engage a stranger in conversation, make it a point to relax your body language. Take a deep breath before you engage the person, let your body relax, and put a smile on your face. This will help relax you and it has the added benefit of putting the other person more at ease.

Advertising

If they see that you are relaxed, it helps them relax. Plus having open, engaging body language is very conducive to inviting someone to open up into a conversation with you.

10. Practice, Practice, Practice

Like everything else in life, talking to strangers gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Make it a point to talk to several strangers each week and it will definitely help you relax as you do it more and more.

After a while, it will become something you don’t even think about, you just do it. And that takes all of the awkwardness out of being in these type situations.

The Bottom Line

As we have seen, it is perfectly natural to feel awkward talking to strangers. We are biologically built that way and we have our own society constantly warning us how dangerous it is. It’s no wonder we feel awkward talking to strangers!

There are numerous benefits to learning to be more comfortable talking to strangers. See if you can employ some of the techniques mentioned to learn how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Once you start practicing speaking with strangers more often and utilizing some of the tips, you will become more comfortable doing so. This in turn will lead to a learned new skill and increased self confidence.

Remember, everyone you know was a stranger at one time. Now get out there and make some new friends.

More Resources About Strengthening Communication Skills

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next