Can “Toxic” People Be Good For You?

I was sitting in my sauna fairly late the other night just thinking about different things and this came to me. I thought to myself that it’s interesting that sometimes being around “toxic” people is actually a positive thing IF you are aware and primed for growth. If you are at a stage in your journey where you are ready to be tested, to be challenged, then these types of people in your life can actually be the catalyst for the biggest growth in you. Your biggest learnings and improvement can come from these people. But, these people, if you aren’t prepared, can also be your biggest downfall. They can be the main cause of pain and keep you stuck. 

I thought this was pretty much the mental side of a physical process known as hormesis. Now for those who aren’t aware, hormesis is the name for any mild stress we put on our body which in turn strengthens it. Exercise is an example of hormesis, fasting another, cold therapy like ice baths, and hot therapy like sauna are too. Now in small doses, these things bring about some stress in the body and make you stronger, more resilient, more able to cope with these stresses in future. Now one thing to note about any stressor, is that the dose is important. If you stay in extreme cold for too long or extreme heat for too long this can actually cause you damage. And if you do fasting for long enough you could eventually starve. 

And the same applies for what I said earlier about a “toxic” person, or someone you don’t agree with in life. In small doses, if you are prepared and in a good place to communicate with this person, it can be a source of challenge and growth, a mental hormesis if you will. But if you are surrounded by “toxic” people, day in and day out, then this can be debilitating, keep you stuck and can cause damage to you.

I just found it really interesting that the same person in your life could either be really bad for you, or could be the trigger for your most growth, depending on where in your self growth journey you are right now.

It’s also important to note that we need loving, caring and supportive people in our lives too, to help counterbalance these other not so supportive people we may have in our lives. And if we have too many of these negative people in our lives, it can be very difficult to grow as it’s a lot of effort and work. I thought to myself, yeah it would be great if every single person in your life was loving, caring and supportive. You’d have a super pleasant life don’t get me wrong, but it could also cause you to stall. We’d be totally safe all the time and wouldn’t have as much opportunity to be challenged and grow.

Who can you think of that is loving, caring and supportive in your life? Who can you think of in your life who is occasionally difficult to be around, but ultimately results in self growth?

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