How toxic people paralyze your will

Recently we talked about resistance mechanism, and today you will find out who the “toxics” are and how they paralyze your will and block the decision-making mechanisms.

Do you remember, we have already told about the learnt helplessness?

Well, this disease has another side of coin: it is infectious.

This disease, just like any virus, can be communicated to the others. There are people who use it as an excuse to their own idleness and their “sitting it out” philosophy. Our world is quite curious, everything and everyone can happen. But who are these…people?

Let’s find out.

A classic example of our training programmes and seminars: “At the bus stop on a rainy day”.

Try to picture the situation in the most realistic way possible:

Monday morning. You are at the bus stop. 30 minutes by bus to get to the metro station. Wet snow mixed with rain. Slush and dirt. Brrrrr…

You are already a bit late, because the bus is still not there. Traffic jam. The cars are slowly crawling and you realize that somewhere in this flow of grey dirty cars your bus must be crawling as well. You are perfectly aware of what your superiors will tell you concerning your late arrival and people around don’t improve the life with their nerves either.

Suddenly you notice a clean white jeep unhurriedly moving in the flow of cars. For the stronger effect among the male population, let’s say that the driver is a young blonde.

During the training, we usually ask people to honestly share the chain of thoughts, which occur to the person waiting on the bus stop. Someone doesn’t care, someone laughs because his “reasoning chain” appears to be so far from the thoughts like “So it is possible in our country to get a proper education, start a business or find a perfect job and have a marvellous car”. We are not talking about this now though 🙂

In a real situation, there will always be several individuals who will start muttering something like:

– Definitely stolen!

– In our country, it’s impossible to get such car in an honest way…

– Parents buying the cars for the kids, now the bus can’t make its way.

– ………. (fill in the classic vulgar phrase, and we are begging pardon of particularly sensitive people)

– Because of these very people, nothing will never change in this country….

– Now NORMAL people can’t get to work.

And so on and so forth. In other words, these people instantly (and aloud) demonstrate their own evaluation of the sources of this girl’s vehicle. Their reasoning starts including the generalization: you (people waiting at the bus stop are technically attached to “you”) and I are not like these ones, we are NORMAL, and people like her are actually the cause of the wet snow and traffic jams.

What has just happened?

The person has just explained to him or herself why he or she is here, while the girl is there. Clear enough. Nobody wants to wait under the rain. However, for some reason it wasn’t done in the way [What should I do to switch from the bus to the car] but in the way [I can’t get the car the same way as she got it!]

Here everything is also more or less clear. The option [What do I have to do?] supposes the logical suite [Go and do it], which is much more difficult than [For me this option is not suitable / affordable], because this option offers a good explanation to the universe: I don’t need to do anything. Explained and excused! Just keep waiting for the bus. Our favorite energy saving option “sit it out” is fully on.

The question is: why is this individual reasoning aloud and imposing his universe model on the others? On you, for example? Let’s generalize the question even further.

Why do people share their opinion on impossibility of something with others so eagerly?

They find it much easier to put up with the impossibility or reluctance to do something to get something when they share their opinion on the “potential impossibility” to achieve something with the others.

Come to think about it, YOU can perfectly live better, earn more, do your favorite job, and if YOU want, you can even get a car, a house and your favourite hobby.

So why do these people interfere in what YOU can do and achieve?

Why such behaviour is infectious and dangerous?

Thinking is a very energy consuming thing, and the brain is aware of it. That is why it is very happy to accept a “ready-to-go” solution or an explanation from outside. It’s so convenient. It can stay still, without even turning on – the solution is already here. In addition to this, if there is no further action required, this option is much more suitable for the brain, rather than a solution, which needs some action. Once again, it’s all about energy saving.

By the way, that is the reason why “critical thinking” is a difficult skill, which needs to be trained thoroughly.

This way, the brain gladly and easily accepts the outside opinion with no action required: no need to think, no need to act.

The person, who shares the negative opinion at the bus stop or on the Internet, uses it. This way he demonstrates his own opinion, explains the world to himself and there won’t be many people arguing – the solution is far too convenient.

The brain gets used to think in a certain way. If your brain is constantly fed with the “negative news that it can’t do anything about”, it gets used to do nothing with the negative information.

If you let the opinion of those people enter in your brain, it means you allow them literally injecting poison called “No need to do anything”. The poison will accumulate and progressively paralyze your decision-making system. The decision-making system is your brain, which is taught to act in a certain way, and the experience of how this very brain reacts to similar situations. To change this system is very difficult. So, when you let in your “incoming data analysis” system or “decision-making” system such information without a proper verification, it means that you blindly follow the people who are actually not going to take any action at all. Such person is simply using you as an inert mass that can listen to his negative opinion. Ready-to-go useless opinion, which won’t change your life for better.

To sum it up.

Often, people sharing their negative opinion concerning the potential changes in your life bring no good to you.

Their task is to give their opinion, receive a silent approval, get a micro dose of your attention and leave. Nothing has changed in their lives, but it made it easier to keep not doing anything.

What about your life?

Do you feel better after letting such negative, mean and toxic person in your decision-making field? Has he done anything useful or has he simply injected a dose of “noise” and led you astray in your decision to live better? Confusing your decision-making system on his way.

As a result after the interaction with such person, you received a “toxic burn”: don’t think, don’t touch, it’s not for you, it is impossible, don’t change anything.

If you want to get something that you don’t have yet, you have to do something that you haven’t been doing before. Accurately, thoroughly, excluding the “noise” impact on your decision-making system. If you want to live well – start now.

Good luck and let no “toxics” spoil your life. Listen only to good advice from people who want to change their lives for better and put you on this way as well.

This article was translated to English by Valeriia Arnaud. Original article can be found here.

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Stratoplan is a school for managers. Main areas of education: people collaboration, project management, business negotiations, professional carrier building. It was founded in 2010.

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