How many of us have been in a Doctor’s Office waiting while the people around us are coughing and spreading germs? Right now I have a few kids coughing around me and my first instinct is I to run towards the door and wait in the car.
Our natural instinct is to keep ourselves away from people that might spread anything that might hurt or weaken us. Sometimes we try to act in a polite way to move away or get out of that environment. Especially if we are not sick and we are accompanying a family member we really don’t want to end up sick for many reasons.
If only everyone reacted on online (Twitter, Facebook, & LinkedIn) and offline ( in our jobs, organizations we are part of, and other places we visit often) the same way. When we hear epidemic like last year’s swine flu and in 2003 with SARS people ran to set up their defenses.
Why do we leave our defenses down in other type of scenarios?
For some strange reason online it is very difficult for some of us to stay in toxic environments. I have identified the following reasons I think some us decide to stay near toxic people either a few clicks away (online) or feeling obligated to share space with them at lunch (offline).
Feeling of missing out on something. Some of us decide to continue with toxic relationships because we don’t want to miss out on that great opportunity they might point us too. In reality if this is the case look back and see how many opportunities the toxic people that are around us really bring to us. If you can identify the opportunity are you really happy with the outcome of those opportunities identified by them.
Trying to be polite. I have one golden rule I am polite to those who are courteous and polite to me. If you stopped being polite I will gladly try to move away from you and if I am cornered or put on the spotlight don’t expect me to continue on being polite.
Long-term relationship. Sometimes we are tolerant of those people we have known for more time or are supposedly family friends. I see these to be even more difficult to identify. If you see the relationship with that person is not working I don’t care how long you have been dealing with the person you might need to stay away from them.
Business relationships. I tend to do business with people that I can get along with and really like. Some people might think I am crazy but I do follow my gut feeling on who to do business. I prefer to miss out on a supposedly great financial opportunity and make less profit working with good people. I see it very often people reach agreements with the only purpose of making some cash. On my side I stay away from people that I don’t have any chemistry with.
Might stir up some trouble. On various occasions I have disconnected from people online and offline for many reasons. When I see people are selfish and continuously talking about how great they are that is usually a flag for me to move elsewhere and disconnect. I have been guilty on trying to be polite to people that I see can be dangerous (that is something I work with everyday). Sooner or later I will have to disconnect so if you are in the same position the faster you disconnect from that toxic relationship the easier it will be. I have a few stories on just unfollowing people on twitter, which have thrown huge fits just because I unfollowed them. If I unfollow you on twitter I can be for many reasons, but the main one is that I no longer think we have too many thing in common (don’t take it personal it was only a virtual connection).
Mistaking an attack for Constructive Criticism. I am always open to criticism I really analyze everything people tell me. On some occasions I really thought someone was giving me advice for my benefit to later on find out that it was an attack instead of constructive criticism to make me grow. I really enjoyed this past week reading the (CRITICISM IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF THINKING) by @chrisbrogan and I recommend you to also take a look.
Everyone has probably been in a situation where you are around toxic environments or toxic people.
What other reasons to you think people stay around toxic people & enviroments?
What can we do to identify these people quickly and move forward towards more positive things & thinking?
Have you found the hand sanitizer for these enviroments or should we walk around with a mask all the time?