Feeling worn out is not necessarily a bad thing.
It can be an indication of a day well lived. A life where things got done. The finale of a great accomplishment.
That kind of being worn out is the reward of personal satisfaction. When you can say … “I did that.”
Being worn out by the people in your life is a very different thing.
In 1995 a psychology expert and communications consultant named Lillian Glass published her book Toxic People. She was the first to use the word toxic to describe personal relationships.
Her definition of toxic relationships is “when people don’t support each other, there’s conflict and feelings of competition, and each seek to undermine the other.” Toxic people cause physical, emotional, and mental anguish that harm your self esteem and destroy your quality of life.”
Basically, according to Glass, there are people who literally can make you sick. She identifies these types of toxic people in the following categories:
The opportunistic user
The emotional refrigerator
The arrogant know-it-all
The me, myself and I narcissist
The control freak
Her book was the first of many, including Chase Hill’s Toxic People Survival Guide. Glass’s book is now a little out-of-date in the examples she uses, having been published more than 25 years ago.
But she gave a name to behaviors that people have been dealing with pretty much since Eve manipulated Adam. Sadly, many people recognize toxic behavior in others but are blind to it in themselves. In 2018 “toxic” was the Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year.
Dealing with people who fit any of Glass’s list of types does indeed wear a person out. Even if the behavior is subtle. Or perhaps especially if the behavior is subtle. I would add another “type” to Glass’s list – The gossip.
Sadly, today people who engage in so-called toxic behaviors are the people who get the attention. Look at the recent court battle between Amber Heard and Johnny Depp and you can see how mesmerized the media and the public were by watching their toxic behavior play out.
If there are people in your life who wear you out, you should think about whether they also bring any value to your life. If not, if there is no balance of feeling good with the feeling bad, why are you keeping them in your life?
How should the people in your life make you feel? You should feel appreciated and cared about. You should feel they find you just as interesting as they think they are. They should listen when you speak and value your perspectives. You should feel secure with them in all ways; especially in what you say to them, knowing that they won’t twist your words and use them without your knowledge to make others think less of you.
The people in your life should recognize and compliment your talents and achievements. They should be supportive and make you feel good about yourself in a genuine way. They should not ignore you, yet at the same time should not monopolize your time with conversations that are all about them. They should value your time.
In short, they should energize you, not wear you out. If you find yourself being worn out by negativity being directed at you, it’s time to say “enough”! Recognize your own worth and value, walk away from those who wear you out, and get on with enjoying your life.
“People inspire you or they drain you. Pick them wisely.”Hans F. Hasen
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