By Taryn Harris (South Africa)
There are many people that we encounter in our lives that leave us feeling drained and as though the life has been sucked out of us. And often it’s not only a person, but an entire organisation or group of people that affect us this way. The way they show up varies. Sometimes it’s a boss that bullies. A friend that is constantly complaining about life. A colleague that finds flaws in all your suggestions. Someone you feel you need to walk on egg shells around and watch what you say, as it’s often misconstrued and they get defensive or shut down. The way we speak of these encounters is indicative of how it actually affects our sense of health, mood and energy levels. For example, “I can only handle her in small doses”, “I feel like I need to take a shower afterwards”, “It’s like I’m under attack”, or “It’s a toxic environment”.
Various plots at play
8 times out of 10, these people are not trying to leave you feeling this way. They don’t wake up in the morning, rub their hands together with evil intent and plot how they will ruin your day and take your life force. Like you, they are winging it and doing their best to live their life and make meaning, based on their beliefs about how the world operates.