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Posted by on Mar 7, 2010 in Career, Opinion, TG Roundup

How To Avoid Being A Toxic Person ?

[Via – Dragos Roua]

I was driving to town the other day, when, at some point on the highway, I found myself near a huge truck. I don’t know if you know the type: ugly, noisy and… toxic! The exhaustion pipe was left oriented, and since the truck was rolling on my right, even if my windows were closed, I was inhaling huge amounts of gas. Toxic gas.

After a few hundreds meters I went ahead of it and looked to the rear mirror: the driver didn’t seem to have any problem with all that toxic gas he was literally exhaling on the highway. He looked calm and somehow on top of the situation. I could see he had no idea he was a really toxic person to other people.

The day went on as usual but on my way home, around the same place I met the truck, something hit me: we can all be toxic persons to other people, only we don’t realize it. We’re going on and on, relaxed and somehow on top of the situation without even noticing how infectious we can be at times, just like the driver of the morning truck. We can all spread gas on other people cars, so to speak, and the worst thing is we don’t even realize how toxic we are.

Once home, I started to think about what makes us toxic persons. Even more, I tried to identify some simple ways to avoid becoming such a person. What follows is only a short list of what I found. Generally speaking, I was searching for things which can lower your toxic “gas emissions”, making it easier to become an “ecological” citizen. The list is not even near to be complete, so feel free to add your own tips in the comments.

1. Say Thank You

Sometimes you simply forgot to say “thank you’, sometimes you’re in a hurry, or sometimes you just don’t want to say it out loud. But fact is, every time you’re not saying ”thank you“ you leave room for a toxic thought or approach. The simple act of saying ”thank you“ closes an interaction in a completely healthy way, no room left for any potential harmful follow up.

2. Say Only What You Mean

It’s not only about plain lying, although it encompasses this too. It’s about keeping what you’re saying in sync with your mind, goals and attitude. The moment you’re starting saying things you don’t really mean, your communication process becomes heavily ineffective, hence you’re going to emit huge amounts of toxic gas, just like that ugly, noisy truck.

3. Clearly State What You Want

A lot of toxicity exhales from misunderstanding. Small confusions, false impressions or misinterpretations are like glitches in a car engine. Every time you get such a glitch, it’s like having water in your gasoline: the conversation engine will start to cough and before you know it, you’ll get an increased level of toxicity. Just say what you want.

4. Say Something Nice To An Unknown Person

Like it or not, we do live in an emotionally polluted world. Doesn’t matter if this emotional pollution comes, most of the time, from people who don’t even realize they’re toxic, like the driver of that truck. What really counts in this dusty environment is to try lowering this pollution index as much as we can. And saying something nice to a completely unknown person will have exactly this effect: it will act like an air freshener, making the smog disappear at least for a few moments.

5. Don’t Gossip

Talking behind other people’s back is like putting your exhaustion pipe to somebody else door, while pretending you’re looking in a different direction. Even if you’re not talking directly to those people, you’re directing your toxic emissions to their houses. Sooner or later they’ll realize something is wrong and they’ll also identify the source.

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