Toxic people – pessimism and rage

Surely you have met or you have around yourself a person who is constantly complaining about how hard their life is, how much they suffer and how people don’t understand their suffering. Or perhaps you have around yourself a person who expresses only dissatisfaction, anger, frustration and nothing seems to please them. Or maybe you are such a person and you still identify yourself with this state by ceaselessly saying "This is how I am"...

Indeed, the human mind is predominantly oriented towards the negative, and we need to become aware of this and then to wish to change this state. But what do we do if those in our entourage position themselves as either a victim or a persecutor? Do we accept them as they are and we listen endlessly to their non-winning story? And what effect does this have on us?

Well, this effect can never be a good one, and you can find various explanations of this statement, including the experiments made by Masaru Emoto on water crystals, kinesiology, quantum physics, and so on.

In the life of every human being a depressive mood is normal, within certain limits. But when it becomes a habit, it needs to be treated like any physical illness. If we have a family member who always talks about life’s negative aspects, regardless of the discussion, and asks for validation of their constant suffering by the close ones, the best thing that can be done by those who wish their well, is to help them realize that they have a problem which has a relatively simple solution. Obviously, when we suggest them another way to live their life, their reaction might be "I knew you didn’t understand me and you didn’t like me"...

Where does this reaction come from? It’s caused by their resistance  to change: this person definitely has secondary benefits from their victim role, plus that their unconscious, used to things being as they are, feels threatened, feels it’s losing its "work object "(it’s always searching for and reiterating the fatalistic, negative aspects) and it knows that it will have to make an effort to move to a new mental state, which now it doesn’t perceive it as a possibility... it doesn’t know how it is to live without this burden. Unfortunately, among the health problems that a person living in this way is exposed to are lung, kidney, autoimmune problems and even cancer.

Anger - let's give a concrete example: I met families (or communities) in which one of the members has a tough behavior, where they express only anger, dissatisfaction, irritation, and blame or accuse everyone else of being forced to get angry as a reaction to their behavior. The family accepts this abusive behavior (which sometimes involves, in addition to the emotional abuse, a physical abuse), precisely because of this guilt feeling induced by the abuser, either because they got used to these rage attacks and / or they have learned to live with them. "That's how he/she is, we have to understand and please him/her!" Not considering the traumatic consequences that such behavior has on children growing up in such an environment…

What can be done? Obviously, a first step would be to acknowledge that this behavior isn’t normal, but on the contrary, it’s harmful to both the abuser and others around them. A person who is always agitated, nervous is prone to coronary heart diseases, nervous system diseases, digestive system diseases (stomach, liver, intestines etc.), blood pressure disorders, strokes etc. The second step would be to calmly explain to this person in a neutral tone, when we can, the effects that this behavior has on their health, the impact of this behavior on others, and to add that they need specialized help. Easy to say, hard to do, isn’t it? Perhaps they will storm in a rage again... Well, then for our self-protection the best solution is, when possible, to get away from this person. If we stay and accept this lifestyle, unhappiness will be a constant and a certainty on both sides.

In the situations listed above, empathy is useful only to understand that these people need help. However, although we have positive intentions, we need to know that whenever we listen to them or accept their dysfunctional behavior, we only reinforce their behavior. By accepting them like this, they will never wish to change, and so we are equally responsible for maintaining their symptoms and our own unhappiness. It's like the situation when we continue to buy alcohol for an alcoholic, because we got used to do so and it’s convenient, but this way the path to healing can’t be opened, except maybe when it’s too late for everyone involved.

How would it be to think that these people maintain their illness because of us, those who understand and accept them as they are. Us, who allow ourselves to be caught in this situation and affected by their illness, sometimes at the expense of our own mental and / or physical health.

After all, it's important to be aware that you can’t save anybody from themselves …

Dr. Ursula Sandner



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