I wasn’t sure what to write about today. It’s been a tough couple of weeks at work and something today made me realise that my behaviour isn’t always conducive to a happy working life!
A colleague of mine is incredibly disorganised and we are going through a major change programme – which I am leading – that is becoming increasingly complex. This colleague is lovely – but fecking hell, I struggle to work with them…and today they made me look a little silly due to their lack of organisation and communication – or at least I interpreted it that way. I got stressed out, threw my toys around, and then just got on with things – which is fairly typical of my approach in life…my bark is much worse than my bite!
As I was driving home I realised that the stress in my life is often caused by me – or my interpretation of the situations I face. No shit, Sherlock!
I have written about toxic people before and how to get rid of them. I have also written about toxic behaviour – our own toxic behaviour – and how to deal with it…if I remember rightly that was after reading an article by a life coach called Angel. I have to say that I was rather skeptical of a life coach called Angel! 😉
Anyway – facing up to our behaviour can be really challenging. We like to think that we are ‘good’ and that we are more than aware of how we behave. People who are aware of their behaviour and its affect on others are said to have high levels of emotional intelligence – EI…and I have written about this before too. Shit – I need to stop writing and having opinions on everything! 🙂
We’ve all acted in toxic, damaging ways at one time or another. None of us are immune to occasional toxic mood swings – in my case, a fecking lot of them! – but many people are more evolved, balanced and aware, and such occurrences happen only rarely in their lives…these are the ones with higher emotional intelligence and emotional awareness. These are also those annoying people who seem to know what to say in every situation. Now, I find this amusing as I have been ‘tested’ and found to have incredibly high EI – yet can be a nightmare at times!
This journey – I do hate that fucking term but can never think of a suitable alternative (suggestions appreciated!) – has made me realise that there is so much more to weight loss than what you eat and drink and how you move. Your state of mind is critical for your long-term happiness and success. It’s really important that you are able to recognise when you’re behaving negatively, and consciously shift your mindset when necessary. Easier said than done though!
Anyway – this article that I read a while ago discussed twelve common ‘toxic’ behaviours and it was rather eloquently written but I just need to put a bit of my own spin on it as some of it was a bit bollocky sounding…
Being envious of everyone else:
Don’t let envy or jealously get the best of you. Now this is kind of obvious isn’t it? We have all been in situations that eat us up with jealousy or envy – Facebook is a fucker for contributing to this – Facebook Wankers who only post the good stuff and never the bad. We know we shouldn’t feel envious or jealous…but when you see someone posting pictures of their brand new Merc and you’re driving around in a clapped out old Freelander (yes, this is one of my examples!) you can’t help but feel a little pang of envy. In this situation I reminded myself that I was choosing to keep Freddie Freelander for a number of reasons…and then I looked at a couple of expensive cars and reassured myself that I could have one if I really wanted to! 😉 The simple answer is to ditch Facebook I guess! Back to the journey thing though – stop comparing your journey with everyone else’s. Your journey is your journey, not a competition. You are in competition with one person and one person only – yourself. You are competing to be the best you can be. If you want to measure your progress, compare yourself to who you were yesterday. And if you want a posh new car, go and find a better job or negotiate harder with your boss for a pay rise! 😉
Taking everything too personally:
People are toxic to be around when they believe that everything happening around them is a direct assault on them or is in some way all about them. The truth is that what people say and do to you is much more about them, than you. The even bigger truth is that people have their own shit going on and couldn’t really give a toss about you – in the nicest possible way of course. People’s reactions to you are about their perspectives and experiences. Whether people think you’re amazing, or believe you’re the worst, again, is more about them – unless you’re a cunt of course! I’m not suggesting you should ignore all feedback. I am saying that so much hurt, disappointment and sadness in our lives comes from our taking things personally. In most cases it’s far more productive and healthy to let go of other people’s good or bad opinion of you, and to operate with your own intuition and wisdom as your guide – can you tell that this line was written by Angel? I am far more likely to say, fuck it – just be you and if you have the best of intentions and are genuine, open, and honest, then it really doesn’t matter what other people think about you. Be your own person and be bloody wonderful!
Acting like you’re always a victim:
Another toxic behavior is persistent complaining that fuels your sense of victimisation. I work with a few people like this and it’s really fucking irritating. Believing you’re a victim, that you have no power to exert and no power over the direction of your life, is a toxic stance that keeps you stuck. We all have access to far more power, authority, and influence over our lives than we initially believe. When you stop complaining, and refuse to see yourself as a helpless victim, you’ll find that you are more powerful than you realised, but only if you choose to accept this reality. So most of that was again written by Angel – I do wish that I could write as well as she does. I like to think that nobody is a victim – there is always a choice or an option. Having worked with quite a lot of people with weight issues, the biggest change for the better comes when people realise that they have it within themselves to make a change. They stop blaming everyone else for their situation and start to control what is controllable. Yes it is shit that you’re overweight. But you don’t have to be. You can take control and do something about it – and when this happens it’s amazing. Little by little you see people start to grow stronger and more ballsy and it’s fucking excellent to see! I am going through this process again myself…I have ditched the ‘poor me’ shit and am a work in progress!
Hoarding pain and loss:
One of the hardest lessons in life is letting go – whether it’s guilt, anger, love or loss. Change is never easy – you fight to hold on and you fight to let go. But letting go is generally the healthiest path forward. It clears out toxic thoughts from the past. You’ve got to emotionally free yourself from the things that once meant a lot to you, so you can move beyond the past and the pain it brings you. Again, it takes hard work to let go and refocus your thoughts, but it’s worth every bit of effort you can muster. Okay then Angel – how the fuck do you do this then? It’s all well and good talking about how great it is to let shit go…but how do you do it? There have been a couple of big issues in my life that I found tough to deal with – one when I was in my mid-teens, one in my late teens/early twenties, and then dealing with the really shitty situation I had with a crazy cock-hungry ex-boss of mine which very almost ruined me – and yes, I am a drama queen at times, but this really was an awful situation to be in! So I guess I dealt with this stuff by putting it into context – far easier after the event – counting my blessings, filling my life with other good stuff (and my face with what I perceived to be good stuff…don’t do this though as you’ll end up the size of a fucking house!), and then time obviously helps too – it’s a healer as ‘they’ say! This one isn’t easy. I will try and write soon about some of the positive psychology stuff that helped me.
Obsessive negative thinking:
It’s very hard to be around people who refuse to let go of negativity – when they continually talk about the terrible things that could happen and have happened, the scorns they’ve suffered, and the unfairness of life. These people stubbornly refuse to see the positive side of life and the positive lessons from what’s happening. Pessimism is one thing – but remaining perpetually locked in a negative mindset is another. Only seeing the negative, and operating from a view that everything is negative and against you, is a twisted way of thinking and living, and you can change that. Again Angel – how? How do you do this? I fucking hate people who tell you what to do, and give opinions like this, without giving some constructive advice as to the how! I am a pessimistic soul at times and have already mentioned the positive psychology thing – so I promise to write about that soon…as there are some cool techniques that can help with this. I do sometimes think though that there is nothing wrong with thinking about the flip-side. I have a lot of people around me who always look for the positives – especially at work – and I feel like the killjoy who highlights the flaws. For me, this is just balanced. You need to take a look at the bad to see the good if that makes sense? However if people start to desert you because you’re a miserable sod, then you know you need to work on your negativity! 🙂 Positive mindsets are incredibly powerful though in all seriousness…so I will see what I can dig up and write about.
Lack of emotional self-control:
An inability to manage your emotions is toxic to everyone around you. We all know these people – those who explode in anger and tears over the smallest hiccup or problem. Yelling at the checkout guy for the long queue, screaming at an employee for a small error she made, or losing it with your kids for spilling a drink on the floor. If you find that you’re overly emotional, losing your cool at every turn, you may need some outside assistance to help you gain control over your emotions and understand what’s at the root of your inner angst. There’s more to it than what appears on the surface. An independent perspective – and a new kind of support – can work wonders. Oh Angel – this was a big point towards seeking therapy I think…or maybe her life coaching services. I reckon there is balance to be had again here – there is nothing wrong with showing your emotion – far from it in fact. I am a pretty clear cut kind of character. If I have an issue with you, I will tell you. If you’re doing a good job, I will tell you. If I think you’re fucking excellent, I will tell you. I have good days and I have bad days…I think trying to suppress your emotions can be quite damaging. I also think that people who are always cool as a cucumber are fucking hiding something – like bodies in their loft! I do think that if your behaviour is very extreme then it’s worth having a chat with a doctor about it. Sometimes our hormones – yes menfolk, you have them too! – can play havoc with our emotional self-control. In fact, I will see if I can dig out a recording Mr WLB made of me recently…I was laughing and crying at the same time, about something I saw on TV – a kid who didn’t get a chocolate coin! – and it was bloody hilarious. I was an emotional mess and can often be found doing this the week before my period. I have also confessed in the past about my tantrums – throwing plates across the room, burying the remote control in the partition wall after hurling it across the room in a temper, throwing Mr WLBs football programmes in a sink full of washing up water…thankfully I have calmed the fuck down – and do you know when this happened? When I started to take control of my eating habits and my life. When I started making positive progress in the direction I wanted to go, rather than continuing to spiral out of control.
Anyway – I am shattered and am going to finish up for the night. The eagle-eyed will have spotted that there are only six of the twelve behaviours here that I mentioned – I’ll post the other six soon! In fact I wasn’t sure whether to post this or not as it feels quite rambling…but fuck it – if it helps one person then that’s all good as far as I am concerned – so let me know what you think about all of this…does it help, does it make you think?
My food today has been on track:
Breakfast – veggies with pastrami and scrambled eggs…kale, spinach, red onion, mushrooms, and tenderstem broccoli.
Lunch – grilled asparagus with halloumi cheese, avocado, and portobello mushrooms.
Dinner – celeriac chips, red pepper, aubergine, harissa chicken, olives, and cashew nuts.
Thank you for reading,
The original article by Angel can be read here if you want to take a look!