Aug. 18, 2022

How to Keep Toxic People Away From Your Energy | Trauma Healing Podcast

Join our FREE COMMUNITY as a member of the Unbroken Nation:   In this episode, I want to talk to you about not giving toxic people your energy. We need to define what a toxic person may be or look like and the things you can do as a strong...
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Join our FREE COMMUNITY as a member of the Unbroken Nation: 

In this episode, I want to talk to you about not giving toxic people your energy. We need to define what a toxic person may be or look like and the things you can do as a strong individual not to give your power to those toxic people.

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One of the things that we unfortunately learned how to do in childhood is to surrender our power and our energy to people who are only taking from us. And today I want to talk to you about not giving toxic people, your energy.

And I think in order to have this conversation, we have to do two things.

One is first and foremost, we need to define kind of what a toxic person may be or look like. And two, we need to talk about the things that you can do as a strong individual to not give your power to those toxic people.

Now, first and foremost, only very clear the word toxic for me often feels a skew and amiss in this conversation because especially right now, people automatically throw to everyone under the bus to be quote unquote toxic. And, you know, I think, for me anyway, the most simplified way that I look at it is through a pattern of behaviors with consistency. You know, often, and especially in the world that we live in, people wanna cancel you over one freaking mistake and guys, we're human. You're gonna screw up. You just have to face it. You have to acknowledge and know that on a long enough timeline, you're gonna make a mistake. And the fact that we throw people under the bus and just go, oh, you're automatically toxic, that's dangerous to me. And so, what I'm constantly thinking about is like, are there a whole lot of things that kind of get stuffed together that we can look at in turn go, okay, wait a second, maybe there is some kind of behavior or energy here that is demeaning and detrimental and pulling and causes suffering. Like I think about toxicity very simply like this, you know, are these red flags actually just like these giant warning signals where you have to take a step back and go, wait a second, this person's actually negatively influencing my life in such a detrimental way. And when I bring it up to them, there's no shift or change, right? That may be, can be construed as toxicity to me but I want us to be cautious about automatically throwing people into that label because I think that it entirely unfair 99.9% of people are not toxic. Most people are just not in tune with their emotions and their capacities, but more importantly, you know, are there behaviors that are happening daily that you have brought attention to with this person that they are ignoring or they're choosing to ignore, or they're deciding to not make any kind of change around because that's the case. I think first and foremost, you have to look at like, is this person, and I'm gonna go through a few different ideas here that I've had.

First and foremost, is this person constantly talking badly about other people? Like beyond drama, just everything that they always do or say is just completely, completely about destroying and defaming other people for who they are, their personality and here's my thought about this always. If they're talking shit about people that you don't know, then they're absolutely talking shit about people that they do know. And chances are that you are probably getting shit talked about. And that's because people often seek negativity. They're like, man, I'm just gonna be negative all the time, maybe subconsciously now some of that's programmed into us from childhood and how we grow up. And so, if that's happening, you know, you have to look at like, is this person always, always just mean about other people. Cause if they are, it might be a red flag. Are they constantly not following through? If they are not following through, they say they're gonna do something, they never show up, they're never there for you, they never support you, they cancel at the last second, there's always something that comes up, there's always a reason, there's always a way that's massive inconsistency, right?

And the people who don't follow through and who are massively inconsistent, they are people who very likely are putting themselves first. Now I'm not saying, look, sometimes I don't follow through cause I'm like, I need a mental health day. I can't actually show up to that event like I said, or I need to change this plan or you know, I need to not work today because I need to rest be very clear. Right? Think this through just because sometimes people are inconsistent doesn't mean that they're toxic or a bad person. You don't know what's actually happening in other people's lives, they could have a death in the family, they could be suffering dramatically right now, they could be sick, there's all kinds of things that could be going on. Now, often think about this one and take it with a grain of salt because we're humans and we want to connect, but you know, are they always seeking attention? Are they always seeking attention on the internet, on social media and friends’ group like, you know that person when you're together and they have to steal the show no matter what, like, what is that about? Why are they doing that? What does it mean? Now, those are just some like high level things. Right? I don't think again, and this is why I'm so cautious about using this word, because I think that the depth of it goes a little bit deeper and that's when we start to get into this scope where it's filled with the lack of respect for your boundaries and the boundaries of other people.

And when you share the truth and they continue to disrespect you, make you uncomfortable, make you feel unseen, unheard, unloved. Now you really have to start questioning what's going on because if you're constantly putting yourself out there, you are addressing the issues at hand, you're having the conversations, you are pushing out the information. And you're saying you're disrespecting me; you're overstepping my boundaries and they keep doing it and doing it and doing it and doing.

Now you need to ask yourself this question, are they doing it intentionally or are they doing it because they don't care? And that's a really important question to ask, because if people are not respecting you, when it comes to your boundaries, they don't respect you. You have to be willing to sit in that truth and you have to honor that. And that can be uncomfortable because this could be a partner, it could be a coworker, it could be friends, definitely as family. Right. We all have family members who are like that, we might be that family member. Right. And so, you have to bring awareness and meaning to this. But I think the number one thing, if I were to break down the way that I think about people being quote, unquote toxic. And if I were actually going to label it, the way that I would look at it is, is this person trying to manipulate and take advantage of you? Are they trying to get something around on you? Are they always trying to finagle their way into your life or around a circumstance? And are they lying, exaggerating, and are they leaving out information that is incredibly important to try to get something out of you or from you? Because if they are, then you have to pay a lot of attention to this person because that's only going to get worse.

You see this a lot in narcissistic relationships, you see this a lot in abusive relationships, you see this a lot in trauma. Like, you know, I can go back and replace so many of these experiences of my youth, especially around my mother and just watch the manipulation around my grandmother, watch the manipulation. And then again, speaking my truth in my teens and twenties, being that person because I thought that's how you communicated and interacted with people. And I will always be the first one to raise my hand, we talk about this a lot and I look at life through the scope of going, yeah, if it's learned experience and behavior, it can be unlearned and it can be shifted the dynamic and the paradigm can change you can transform. And if you are this person, if I just read off any of this and you're like, oh shit, I'm the toxic person, again, I would ask you to be very cautious in using that word, especially with yourself. But more importantly, the thing that I would ask you is can things be different? Because through acknowledgement, we create change and ultimately action as the cure all.

What do you do if you are in relation with these people? I think you have to just get clear on a couple of things in the way that there is the back-and-forth interaction with toxic people. If again, that is the word that we're going to use. I would love to see the reframing of this shift to maybe unhealed or uneducated or unheard, unseen, unloved people, but ultimately in the context of this conversation, you know, and thinking about what toxicity means, especially if someone's manipulative, someone's pulling you back is to look at this and go, okay, how would I act if I were the opposite? If I were a strong person? If I were a healed person? If I were as a person who cared and loved myself, how would I interact with the world?

Well, first and foremost, and I think this is number one, and this was my experience. You cannot let people hold you back. You cannot. When you are growing and you are changing your life and you are moving into being the person that you are going to be, and that you are capable of being, it is incredibly important that you don't get sucked into the trap of the past.

When I was 18 years old, I told my mother I would never talk to her again. When I was around 20, I told my grandmother the same, I've done this with many people in my life and it is difficult. And I'm not saying that it is the thing that you need to do. But what I am saying is that you have to recognize that some people are gonna hold you back and that you need to remove them out of your life for you. It's a hard decision. There's nothing easy about it. I wish that it were, I wish it was very simple to say, mom, dad, grandma, brother, sister, boyfriend, husband, wife, friend, best friend, this isn't working anymore. Goodbye forever, but it's not. There's an emotional impact on a toll that has to be paid, but I can tell you right now, if I go look at the linear timeline of my life, and this is just me, speaking of my truth, if I did not make those decisions, I would not be where I am. And that's because I recognize that I don't need to have those kinds of people in my life. And initially it may feel like you do need them because they give you love, compassion, admiration, joy, or at least what we perceive as such. And in reality, when you learn and you recognize, you actually can give those things to yourself, you really start to take your power back. Right?

The other thing is like, when you look at these people, if you're paying attention, you're going to recognize that if those people stay in your life, you are not going to live up to your potential, cuz they're always gonna be pulling you down because they're gonna make you feel bad about yourself, they're gonna make you feel like you, aren't important, they're gonna make you feel like the only way that you matter is if you do things for them, right? But I'm telling you right now at first, it's gonna suck, but you pull those people out and you're gonna feel so much better about yourself worth, about your capacity for love and about who it is that you are. And one of the things that I think about quite frequently is when you start to pull away from these people, you'll notice that your life shifts in this powerful way in which you start to actually have a lot of productivity come about, because it's really hard to move forward if you're always getting pulled back by people, if you're always feeling that stuckness, right? Because we're giving, we're literally giving our energy to the people who are using it for, I don't wanna say evil, like that's a really way to phrase it, but you're giving your energy to people who are not reciprocating, they're not giving it back to you. And we're surrounding ourselves with positive energy when we take out the negativity and with that positive energy, what happens is a lot of good starts to happen in our life. And because of that, we stop dwelling on the past. We stopped being stuck in the past. We stopped being like, oh my God, if only that person and this and that, we start thinking about, no, no, no. Where am I at today right now? And where do I want to go. And because of that gives us our freedom to change our mind. It gives us our freedom to create a massive shift in our energy and in our world. And I think that as long as you continue to speak up to honor your truth, to put up your boundaries, to have hard conversations through actual adult communication, not yelling and screaming and fighting and cussing and hitting, but to sit down and talk and get to the point where you realize that you have to cut those people off, take them out of your life, set your boundaries. When you do that, and you let go of those toxic people from your life, quote unquote, and you're willing to step deeper into your own power, your life, my friend, will be incredibly difficult. Never allow people to hold you back. Never allow people to keep you stuck. Never allow people to tell you you're not good enough. You're not strong enough. You're not capable enough. And I don't care if it's your own mama.

Thank you so much for being here, my friends.

And Until Next Time.

Be Unbroken.

I'll see you.

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Michael Unbroken


Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.