toxic people

How To Tell If Someone Has A Truly Toxic Personality, According To Science

By | dating, family, Food for thought, friends, Motivation, narcissism, personality, relationships, self, self-development, Self-Improvement, stories, toxic people, toxic relationships, uplifting news

Your friend or someone you know has gotten fired from every job they’ve ever had. Their dates always flake on them and their friends always betray them. The common theme: it’s never their fault and if you press them on it you’re the one to blame.

According to a team of psychologists in Israel, these types of people may have a toxic personality disorder called “tendency for interpersonal victimhood” (TIV), which they describe as “an ongoing feeling that the self is a victim, which is generalized across many kinds of relationships.”

People with TIV wholly and truly believe they are never wrong and that their victimhood is a core part of their identity.

How to tell if someone ‘plays the victim?’

Not everyone who feels victimized is toxic. Bad things do happen and it’s okay to be upset about it.

Rather, TIV occurs when someone constantly feels like a victim and they bring others down with them.

Rahav Gabay and her colleagues determined that people with TIV tend to have four dimensions:

Constantly seeking recognition

Of all the allegedly horrible things that happen to someone with TIV, people never apologize to them. Worse, they don’t even acknowledge their wrongdoing.

While apologies can be hard to come by, this only becomes an issue when the person who plays the victim is in desperate search of recognition for the supposed bad things that are done to them.

A sense of moral elitism

People with TIV are never wrong. In fact, their moral compass is better than everyone else’s and they use this assumption to manipulate others into their own perspective.

This behavior may be a defense mechanism as a way to maintain a positive self-image.

Lack of empathy for others

Everything that happens to TIV people is the absolute worst and no one else’s pain or suffering matters, or so they think. This can especially be toxic in a relationship as TIV people only care about their own problems, never others’.

The route of this behavior can be that since the person believes they have suffered so much, they don’t think anyone else deserves empathy for their suffering.

This lack of empathy can also show up in a group or national level in the form of “competitive victimhood” or an “egoism of victimhood” where members of a group cannot see things from another group’s perspective.

Rumination about past victimization

Since romantic relationships never worked out in the past for TIV people, there’s no chance they’ll work in the future. This is a fallacy as the past doesn’t dictate the future, but it’s a core belief of people who always play the victim.

Always ruminating about past grievances and thinking it reflects the future is something perpetual victims tend to do.

Why TIV is toxic

People who always play the victim are extremely difficult to deal with because they’re selfish and never wrong.

They’re also obsessed with seeking revenge for those who’ve wronged them and may punish others who had nothing to do with it just because they’ve been wronged before.

Forgiving is part of growth

We all play the victim from time to time. Sometimes bad things really do happen to us and it makes us sour.

The problem is when the victimhood because constant and when the person never learns from their mistakes. It’s also problematic when they never forgive others – you don’t know what everyone is going through and nobody’s perfect.

Ultimately, the problem with playing the victim is it doesn’t allow you to learn or grow from the past. If you don’t acknowledge your faults, how can you make adjustments for the future?

If you know someone who’s always playing a victim, it might be time to reduce your relationship with them or have a frank discussion about it. Life is too short to be surrounded by toxic people.

More uplifting stories:

5 Signs Your Relationship With Your Siblings Is Toxic – and How to Repair It

By | Food for thought, Relationship, Self-Improvement, toxic people, toxic relationships

It can be one of the most heartbreaking things to go through outside of losing a loved one — to become separated from a brother or sister whom you’ve spent such a large portion of your life with.

Someone that may have, at one time, been much more than just a sibling — but an inseparable best friend.

Unfortunately, we don’t get to choose who our siblings are. And with so many factors influencing who we grow up to be, many outside even our own parent’s control, sometimes your sibling grows up to become a toxic influence on you and your life.

There’s something about having a sibling that you know will always stick with you.

Bishop Briggs

If you think that’s happened to you, or if you’ve just begun to question whether your relationship with your sibling could be toxic, here are some signs to know for sure (plus some tips for repairing a broken relationship).

1. They hurt you and never apologize for it

Does your sibling say or do hurtful things to you on a regular basis and seems unaware or unconcerned with how they’ve hurt you?

If your sibling never seems to show remorse no matter how they hurt you, that’s a compelling sign your sibling is not only toxic but narcissistic or sociopathic.

2. They always try to use you and give nothing in return

Does it seem like your sibling only ever calls or messages you when they need something?

Do they always miss your important dates but they never fail to call when they need money, help moving, a babysitter, or a reference on an application?

If your toxic sibling has this pattern of behavior, they might be a master at manipulating you to feel bad about turning them down.

If you say yes, you know you’re being taken advantage of. But if you say no, you convince yourself they probably don’t have anyone else to turn to if they’re calling you. So, you feel pressured– and manipulated.

3. They blame you for everything

Does your sibling always act like you do everything wrong?

Toxicity never faces itself, it lives off others as if it were some inhuman substance that needs a host to survive. To a toxic person, the entire world is doing it wrong and it is simply the victim.

If your sibling never admits to doing anything wrong, and especially if they always try to pin it on you, that’s a sign that they’re as toxic as they come.

4. They’re constantly criticizing you or your decisions

If your sibling always tries to kill your ideas and make you feel stupid, like nothing you ever do is right, their criticism isn’t coming from a place of love but from a heart filled with pain and suffering.

Constructive criticism, or tough love, is a part of any real loving relationship. But tough love is fare and, first and foremost, loving. If your sibling never shows any concern for your well-being and seems to intentionally make you feel bad, that’s toxic criticism.

5. You almost always feel exhausted after spending time with them

Sometimes, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what is so toxic about the relationship. You just know– you can feel it.

Every time you leave their company you feel utterly drained. Not physically but mentally, as if all your brain power had been sapped right from your skull. It might be because they complain incessantly, have a victim mentality, or harbor anger in their heart towards another. Whatever the reason, they’re without a doubt toxic.

How to repair a toxic sibling relationship

A toxic relationship with a sibling is tough, but ending a relationship with a loved one whom you’ve grown up and likely have decades of good memories with can be heartbreaking, so it should be reserved for as a last resort.

If you’ve already become estranged from your brother or sister, there’s always a chance to repair the relationship.

Here are some tips for repairing the relationship:

Put yourself in their shoes and have compassion

Maybe your sibling is suffering on the inside and takes their frustration, anger, or sadness out on those around them. Maybe they need help funneling these painful emotions.

Think back to what your sibling has had to go through. Do you know of anything they might have experienced that would have caused them great pain? If you’re not sure, try to extend the olive branch and have a conversation with them from this perspective.

That doesn’t mean necessarily pressuring them from an assumptive point of view but rather opening up and being honest about how you don’t know why you’re always their punching bag or why they’re simply always so draining or negative.

Sometimes just starting a conversation can get the other person to spill in a therapeutic way.

Create terms you can clearly define to keep the relationship within healthy boundaries

Another option is to create terms for you and your sibling which are clearly defined to mend and reestablish the relationship.

If they’ve done something wrong, they need to be willing to open up and apologize. If they’re not willing, it’s not worth it.

But if they are, lay some ground rules about what you’re not okay with.

Did they tend to lay all their dirty laundry on you every time you saw them? Tell them they need to get a different avenue for releasing their tension, that you love them, and that you want to spend quality time with them enjoying their company and not being someone else’s sounding board.

However, be careful about pushing them away with this strategy. You don’t want them to think you’re trying to control the situation as that might rub them the wrong way.

Rekindle the relationship with new space

Rekindling a relationship is easy. It’s keeping it going that’s tough. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is to begin communicating again but start very, very slow.

Get together with them, talk things out, and catch up. But only plan to see them occasionally, at a few holidays during the year for instance.

Over time, the more you see one another the more your bond can and likely will strengthen as long as it’s something that both of you are willing to put the work in for.

If you’ve made it this far and you’re craving a transformation of your own, we can help you get there.
Jumpstart your personal transformation and get on track to build your best life with Goalcast’s new inspirational ebook, Explore Your Potential: Start the Journey to Your Dream Life.
Transformation doesn’t just happen. It takes a plan and a support system. This how-to guide is full of the top wisdom, tips, exercises, and success stories to inspire an old dream or create a new one.
Check out a teaser of what’s inside.


5 Simple Ways Emotionally Intelligent People Deal with Difficult People Smarter and More Effectively

By | adversity, Featured, Food for thought, relationships, Self-Improvement, toxic people

Difficult people are all around us. They can be your boss, a colleague, a classmate, or even a parent or sibling.

And at every stage, there always seems to be at least one person who was placed in your life specifically to challenge you, be it through some form of abuse, criticism, or negativity.

Sometimes, these people can seem impossible to get through to. And, I’ve found, most of the time it’s true.

There is no getting through to most kinds of difficult people because they’re stuck so far up their own hoo-hah that they can’t see anything but what’s in front of them, and what is in front of them is their own adversity. They’re so preoccupied with reacting blindly, emotionally to their own suffering ego that they have no time to consider how you or others feel.

We are constantly being put to the test by trying circumstances and difficult people and problems not necessarily of our own making.

– Terry Brooks

So then, how are you supposed to deal with these difficult people which always seem to crop up no matter how hard you try to get away from them?

Just as navigating life’s challenges is about how you respond to them and what story you tell yourself about those challenges as they pertain to your own self-worth, so is dealing with difficult people.

Here are five simple ways to use that basic principle to deal with difficult people smarter and more effectively.

1. Reflect on their suffering

Have you ever created something and then had someone criticize it? It’s one of the worst feelings in the world, as if your own worth as a human being was being attacked.

Sometimes people criticize us rightfully and fairly but often they’re angry themselves about their own circumstances and seek others to take their frustration out on.

That’s why taking a moment to reflect on how that person might be suffering can be really effective. It takes mere moments to do and opens your mind to compassion and understanding.

Even if you have no idea why they’re acting in the way they are, brainstorming possibilities such as how a family member of theirs might be sick, how they might be unhappy about how their life has turned out, or how they could be reflecting the suffering someone else caused them growing up onto others can remove the frustration you feel towards them even if you never find out why they actually act the way that they do.

2. What would _____ do?

One of the most effective practices I’ve used in the past for dealing with difficult people is what I simply call, “What would the Buddha do?” I’ve often used the Buddha because he’s a common symbol for peaceful resolution to me but that symbol will likely be different for you.

The basic idea is that you pick someone that you admire and respect and see as the symbol of great character, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, The Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Oprah, your mother or father, a role model, or anything else.

Whoever the person is for you, imagine for a moment that you were that person. How would they respond in this situation and to this person?

When you do this, something magical happens. Even though you don’t actually know how they’d respond, you find yourself being able to tap into some innate awareness of their character and higher level of moral conduct within yourself and can then summon that response more easily.

It’s a practice that takes literally seconds to do but has been of great value to me over the years.

3. Send them well-wishes

Another exercise you can use is based on what is called loving-kindness meditation.

In traditional Buddhist loving-kindness meditation, the practitioner begins by sending well-wishes to those he or she loves and cares most for and then gradually expands out until they reach those whom they harbor ill feelings toward and send well-wishes to all living people. It feels awkward to do this towards people you dislike but you get used to it over time.

This simple practice has a way of getting us to see those we feel frustration towards more calmly and compassionately. It doesn’t mean we have to like them or choose to spend time with them, but at least that person no longer affects our own emotional state the same way as before.

4. Create healthy boundaries

Sometimes, it’s the fact that the person is constantly encroaching on your space that is the really difficult part. It could be a sibling that thinks your business is their business or a colleague who attempts to control you or your experience in the office.

Whatever it is, sometimes confronting the person and laying down some ground rules for healthy boundaries is exactly what is needed. This isn’t as easy as some of the other methods on this list but, especially when someone is highly manipulative, it may be necessary.

For this to work, it requires you to value yourself and respect your own space. If you can do that you’ll find it much easier to demand of others to do the same.

5. Take care of yourself

No matter what the person is doing to you or how they’re making you feel, you always have a choice of how to respond to it. However, that becomes very difficult if you’re not taking care of yourself in the first place.

If you’re already stressed and anxious about certain things in your life or killing yourself at work, you’ll lack the energy and the willpower to resist the negativity of others.

But this doesn’t require anything significant on your part, simply a consistent effort to take your own needs into consideration. This might mean adding a regular time each night to relax with meditation or some writing, drawing, reading, or even just watching a favorite show while sitting back on the couch if you don’t typically allow yourself to do that.

Make it a point to take care of yourself first so that you can respond to difficult people from a place of calmness and control.

If you’ve made it this far and you’re craving a transformation of your own, we can help you get there.
Jumpstart your personal transformation and get on track to build your best life with Goalcast’s new inspirational ebook, Explore Your Potential: Start the Journey to Your Dream Life.
Transformation doesn’t just happen. It takes a plan and a support system. This how-to guide is full of the top wisdom, tips, exercises, and success stories to inspire an old dream or create a new one.
Check out a teaser of what’s inside.


How to Deal with a Toxic Family Around the Holidays

By | christmas, Food for thought, happiness, holidays, Self-Improvement, toxic people, toxic relationships

For some of us, the holidays can feel like a war zone.


I grew up with very fond memories of Christmas and the holidays in general. I’m a Christmas baby, born at the end of December, so that also helped.

But my wife is another story entirely. Going to my family’s home over the holidays, typically on Christmas Eve, was warm and welcoming. But going to my wife’s felt dead and awkward, like the ghosts of old, painful memories walked the halls.

The holidays are difficult for a lot of people for different reasons. One of the most common is toxic family members. All year-round you’re free of the tyranny of your family, or a specific person, that seems to have made it their mission to break you.

And as soon as you get out of the car or off the plane to come home for the holidays it feels you’re dodging bombs and ducking over figurative bullets continuously.

If that’s what the holidays feels like for you, you need to deal with it or risk losing your sanity this holiday season (all over again).

My father once said, ‘If you’re in the desert and you’re dying of thirst, are you going to drink a glass of blood or are you going to drink a glass of water?’ I think what he was trying to say, interesting coming from my blood father, is sometimes there are people in your family that can be toxic.

– Nicolas Cage

War made Rambo lose his head. That doesn’t have to be you. Here are some strategies for dealing with toxic family members around the holidays.

1. Make a plan


I know, you’re busy enough. But the last thing you want is for the holidays to hit you over the head like a wave because you’ve been too busy with work and other responsibilities.

If you know what’s to come, that you’re going to have to deal with what you go through every single year, then do yourself a favor and instead of ignoring it until it’s physically impossible, take some extra precautions beforehand to help you deal with it.

This will not only give you more of a sense of control, which can be a big comfort, but it will allow you to have some pieces in place for dealing with things if they get really bad.

This all depends on the kind of toxicity you experience with your family. However, a plan for injecting some positivity into your holidays — whether it’s an audiobook, podcasts, videos, outside social gatherings with friends — and counterbalancing the negativity is one useful strategy pretty much anyone can use.

Look back on previous years at the kinds of things you experienced to get a better idea of what you’re likely to go through. Maybe it’s a specific person you need to avoid or a specific event that conjures memories of disappointment in your parents towards you like a parade that you can avoid, or something else.

Or maybe it’s about time. Maybe you can take a day or two or three of the mind-numbing nagging or piercing insults but anything more than that and you feel like curling up into a ball. Maybe you just need to cut your trip down by a few days to save your sanity.

Looking back like this will help you craft a strategy that makes the holidays more manageable for you, so don’t overlook it and allow yourself to come barreling into things without planning ahead.

2. Call in the troops (Get some social support)

The best way to deal with toxicity is positivity, love, and support from others. Always and no matter what form it takes. Nothing else comes close.

So, once you’ve made some plans to deal with the holiday threat and you feel like Rambo with Christmas ribbons tied across your bicep and forehead, it’s time to marshall in some backup.

Talk to some friends about possibly staying with them, spending some time together, or simply talking in case things get really bad. Whatever form it takes, just get a commitment from a few friends or (non-hostile) family members that will offer support when you need it the most.

It may backfire to ask if they’d come and spend some time with you and your family, though, so be careful about going that far. Certain types of toxic people find pleasure in tearing you down in front of other people, especially if they’re your acquaintance.

3. If all else fails– retreat!

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If you’ve gotten this far and nothing is working, it’s important to remember that true love isn’t toxic.

Sometimes, sure, someone that loves us can be so far stuck up their own bum that they can’t bring themselves to say I love you and instead are constantly trying to tell you how disappointed they are in you or why they don’t like you, approve of your life choices, or all of the above.

But, in general, love isn’t toxic. You don’t need that toxicity in your life and you’re not bound by a tradition that seems designed to break your spirit.

Don’t be afraid of crafting an exit strategy in case things go really wrong. Don’t feel guilty about executing that exit strategy when you’ve had enough. And don’t look back on the holidays like you’re the aggressor. Because if all of this is true of you so far, you weren’t.

So, take some time to craft an exit strategy that will allow you to retreat from battle in case things go too far or you feel yourself starting to break down including travel, excuse, and maybe replacement plans.

I’m not here to tell you whether you should employ a white lie to get out of there or not (“Work called me in, we have an emergency with our most important client”) because your sanity is that important.

Your the only one that can decide how you go about doing it. But make sure you have something in place that allows you to throw up the white flag and get out of there when you’ve just had enough.


If you’ve made it this far and you’re craving a transformation of your own, we can help you get there.
Jumpstart your personal transformation and get on track to build your best life with Goalcast’s new inspirational ebook, Explore Your Potential: Start the Journey to Your Dream Life.
Transformation doesn’t just happen. It takes a plan and a support system. This how-to guide is full of the top wisdom, tips, exercises, and success stories to inspire an old dream or create a new one.
Check out a teaser of what’s inside.


How Emotionally Intelligent People Handle Toxic People

By | emotional intelligence, Food for thought, Self-Improvement, toxic people, toxic relationships

If you’ve ever had a toxic coworker, or have lived with a toxic person, you know how much the wrong people in your life can negatively affect your performance.


And you also know that their real power lies in their ability to manipulate your emotions.

This is why emotional intelligence is such a powerful counter to toxic people: it gives you the ability to see through their tricks, manage the damage, and create defenses.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to navigate and effectively manage one’s emotions. However, it also includes social intelligence: the ability to effectively navigate social interactions with a keen awareness of the emotional element that is at play.

So then, how do emotionally intelligent people handle toxic people?

Truly toxic people will never be worth your time and energy – and they take a lot of each. Toxic people create unnecessary complexity, strife, and, worst of all, stress.

– Travis Bradberry

Here are some strategies that emotionally intelligent people employ to handle a toxic person:

1. They employ a strong support system

It’s very difficult for a toxic person to control a highly emotionally intelligent person. That’s because they know how to employ the most powerful counter to toxicity of all: support.

A toxic person depends on their ability to isolate and control you. But a strong, consistent support system is the most hardline counter to that which exists.

A strong support system sees you regularly, so they know when something is off.

A strong support system will meet and engage with the person at some point, so you can be sure they’ll defend you regularly and offer their (strong) opinion of the person sooner than later.

And a strong support system will, perhaps most importantly, assure you that you’re not crazy (or wrong, screwed up, etc.) when they start to pull the heavy manipulation tactics.

2. They utilize defined, unbreakable boundaries

Emotionally intelligent people know how to establish systems in advance to protect themselves against people who might harm them.

A strong support system is one way they do this but there are other strategies that don’t involve having other people around.

One of those ways is by establishing clear, defined boundaries right from the get-go.

By establishing boundaries, the emotionally intelligent person is able to set up a kind of “tripwire” which is triggered once the toxic person has gone too far. They can see that the line has been crossed and this serves as a warning sign that this person isn’t acting in their best interests.

3. They choose when to engage wisely

Emotionally intelligent people stay closely attuned to their energy level. They know when they’re exhausted and they notice the types of interactions and experiences that make them feel exhausted.

Toxic people often seek to absorb every bit of energy from you, whether through neediness, anger, or fear, and so emotionally intelligent people learn to pick and choose their interactions with those people wisely.

They can tell when the person wants to pick a fight, when they need attention, and know when and when not to engage based on the situation and their own internal state.

4. They forgive but don’t forget

There’s a careful difference between forgiving and forgetting and emotionally intelligent people know where that line is drawn.

Forgiveness is about you: to hold onto a grudge is to bring yourself down because the hate exists only within your own mind. But to forget means to allow the other person free reign to do what they did to you once again.

For this reason, emotionally intelligent people forgive those who wrong them but they don’t allow themselves to be taken advantage of again, so they do not forget and often consciously choose to distance themselves from the other person.

If you’ve made it this far and you’re craving a transformation of your own, we can help you get there.
Jumpstart your personal transformation and get on track to build your best life with Goalcast’s new inspirational ebook, Explore Your Potential: Start the Journey to Your Dream Life.
Transformation doesn’t just happen. It takes a plan and a support system. This how-to guide is full of the top wisdom, tips, exercises, and success stories to inspire an old dream or create a new one.
Check out a teaser of what’s inside.


5 Brain Hacks to Build Back Confidence If People Haven’t Been Treating You Well

By | confidence, Courage, Food for thought, self-confidence, Self-Improvement, self-love, toxic people, toxic relationships


We often talk about life as its own living, breathing entity. When things aren’t going so well for us, it’s life that’s beating us down.


But life is defined mostly in terms of our relationships. When a person or persons is mistreating us it can pull a dark cloud over our entire life and make us feel defeated.

This feeling of defeat, of discouragement, can stretch into every area from our ability to work to giving our full, happy self to those who love and treat us well.

If someone hasn’t been treating you well, whether it’s a toxic relationship, a mean boss, or any other type of bully, you owe it to yourself to get back up.

I know — that’s easier said than done. But you can’t let others define what your life is or becomes, so you owe it to yourself to get up and take action.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to build yourself back up and retake your confidence.

I’ve learned to ignore the negative people and just be a living example of confidence and self-love.

– Khoudia Diop

1. Talk about it


Before anything else, if confronting the other person and talking about it with them is an option, it needs to be the first thing you do. That’s because resolving the conflict will take away most, if not all, of the negative energy surrounding the incidents and help you find your confidence again.

Sometimes, those closest to us are stressed out or experiencing an intense pain or depression. These kinds of feelings make anyone more irritable, mean, and less inconsiderate. When that happens, you don’t want to give up on the person and healing their apology can be very powerful.

One of my favorite ways to approach conflict such as this, even if it’s just the other person who has hurt you, is Thich Nhat Hanh’s practice of Beginning Anew.

The steps are pretty simple but extremely effective:

  1. Tell the other person of their positive qualities: Nothing drops someone’s defenses like a good compliment.
  2. Express remorse: Was there any part you played? Maybe you’re just regretful that you argued with someone you love. Talk about it first to help drop their defenses further.
  3. Talk about what hurt you: Express how what they did made you feel.
  4. Seek healing: Talk to the other person about what can be done to heal the situation.

This method obviously assumes this is someone you know well, probably love, and want to resolve the conflict with. But it’s important to mention because you shouldn’t treat someone close to you and a bully or other negative association the same.

The best way to get your confidence back from a conflict is to remove the conflict entirely.

But if that’s not possible…

2. Create space

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If there’s no hope of a powerful resolution to regain your confidence, you need to start by getting the hell away from the person.

They’re a poisonous association and you have to distance yourself from that poison if you ever hope to get your confidence back. Otherwise, they’ll just keep siphoning it off until you even begin to doubt yourself.

Space helps us think. It helps us work out internal challenges and refresh our state of mind. This could mean moving office spaces or simply not hanging out with a particular friend any longer. Maybe it wasn’t even someone you’re typically around and they’re already long gone, you simply left with an emotional bruise you’re trying to heal.

Whatever the case, if they’re still around, remove the source of the negativity now to control the situation.

3. See them as human

Once you’ve gained your space, take some time to think back on why the other person might have acted the way they did.

Most of us never take the time to think about why someone that mistreats us did it but a little contemplation can often bring about several possibilities, all just as likely as the next, and each allowing us to generate real compassion and even caring for the person.

We hurt others because we hurt. So, take some time to think about how that person might have been hurting when they hurt you. Even if you don’t know exactly why, the exercise of thinking up possibilities can bring you great relief and encouragement.

4. Transform your internal self-talk

You Can be Happier by Being More Assertive (and This Is How)

What other people do to us lingers in our subconscious mind, often confirming what was already there (“I told you it wasn’t going to work…”). Over time, this grows into a beast with an incredible strength to influence our actions.

Fortunately, you’re taking action now and doing something about it before it can do that.

The single best way to root out those discouraging ideas from entering your subconscious is by becoming proactive with your own efforts to influence the subconscious with affirmations.

Write down a few simple affirmations, some sentences that give you a sense of vitality, energy, confidence, or strength. Even the simplest and stupidest sounding phrases have a great power in the mind if read frequently enough and with great emotion supporting them. Feel the phrases, look at yourself in the mirror or visualize in your head, and know your worth.

5. Remember why you’re incredible

For all our darkness, each of us has an incredible light.

You may not know what that is off the top of your head but if you take some time to reflect on your life and what you’ve done, everyone can pick out a few things that they’re good at, good deeds you’ve done, or something else great.

Reflect on these things and maybe even write them down in a little story as best as you can remember. Reread them each day for a while and really try to place yourself in the situation again. Internalize it as best as possible and see that the hurtful words and deeds of others directed at you aren’t the truth.

You know your truth — depend on no one to tell you what you’re worth.


If you’ve made it this far and you’re craving a transformation of your own, we can help you get there.
Jumpstart your personal transformation and get on track to build your best life with Goalcast’s new inspirational ebook, Explore Your Potential: Start the Journey to Your Dream Life.
Transformation doesn’t just happen. It takes a plan and a support system. This how-to guide is full of the top wisdom, tips, exercises, and success stories to inspire an old dream or create a new one.
Check out a teaser of what’s inside.


4 Major Ways Toxic People Can Decrease Your Brain’s Performance

By | Food for thought, mental health, productivity, Self-Improvement, toxic people, toxic relationships

There’s always a lot of talk about how toxic people bring us down.


A truly toxic person can shatter your confidence, thwart your efforts to move forward in life, and leech from you every natural resource, from emotional to spiritual energy, until you have nothing left.

But toxic people also, quite literally, decrease your brain’s ability to perform effectively.

And, worst of all, their actions have a negative effect on some of the most important processes and abilities you need to live your best life.

Toxic people adhere as concrete blocks to your ankles, then push you to swim in poisoned waters.

– John Mark Green

There are four primary ways that toxic people decrease your brain’s performance:

1. Toxicity drains your mental energy and leaves you with nothing in the tank

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One of the most significant ways that toxic people decrease your ability to perform at your best is through the sheer exhaustion brought on by verbal and emotional abuse.

I’ve experienced both before and I know what it’s like to go to bed at night so exhausted you don’t even remember falling asleep. It feels as though all life has been sucked right out from you and you’re left running on fumes.

The best thing you can do is to not engage with this toxic behavior, however, depending on your situation that might be easier said than done. If that’s the case, you need to fight toxicity with positivity.

2. Toxicity saps your creativity

Many of us depend on our creativity each day, even if we don’t identify ourselves as artists.

Creativity is the CEO of your brain’s problem-solving department, so if it’s out on sick leave your ability to navigate life’s challenges is severely inhibited.

Creativity requires a clear “pathway” so to speak: minimal friction, stress, and anxiety if it hopes to function fully. Toxic people cause all of these things to spike frequently, killing your creativity and affecting all areas of your life.

Creative energy is generally easy to fill back up, but it’s going to be more effective just to relieve the stress and anxiety by balancing out their presence (if you can’t get away from them at the time) with other more positive people or simply solitary relaxation time.

3. Their constant headaches sever your concentration


Concentration is one of our superpowers. Most aren’t aware of just how incredibly potent concentration is towards our ability to perform virtually any task in existence.

However, the constant friction that fills our brain like the scribble talk from Charlie Brown’s grade school teacher makes it very hard to enter a deep, highly concentrated state of mind — the place where we do our best work.

Exercises such as meditation help this, but nothing replaces changing your environment. So, if you can get them out of your life, do whatever it takes.

4. They reinforce and create new negative self-talk

The final way that toxic people decrease your brain’s performance is by reinforcing previously existent, as well as new, negative self-talk.

There are few things more poisonous for your mental performance than self-doubt and even strong people can crack after receiving enough verbal and emotional beatdowns. Once you’ve been told you’re stupid, ugly, or not good enough for the ten-thousandth time, you begin to believe it, even if only subconsciously.

However, in addition to this, most of us already had previously existent self-talk. So, what is more common is them seeking out these insecurities and prodding them like a steak knife on an open cut. It’s an easier target, after all.

Fortunately, these things take time to develop and worsen, so if you can catch it quickly you can kick them to the curb and come away unscathed, ready to move on with your life.

If you’ve made it this far and you’re craving a transformation of your own, we can help you get there.
Jumpstart your personal transformation and get on track to build your best life with Goalcast’s new inspirational ebook, Explore Your Potential: Start the Journey to Your Dream Life.
Transformation doesn’t just happen. It takes a plan and a support system. This how-to guide is full of the top wisdom, tips, exercises, and success stories to inspire an old dream or create a new one.
Check out a teaser of what’s inside.


6 Signs You Had An Emotionally Abusive Parent and Didn’t Know It

By | abusive relationships, emotion, Food for thought, Self-Improvement, self-love, toxic people, toxic relationships

When you’re really little, your parents can do no wrong — mostly because you don’t exactly know what wrong is yet.

As you get older, you begin to wonder about the way you were parented, and you might have even had a friend’s parents offer a contrasting example to your own. However, the largest influence in your life is still usually your parents, so they predominantly form your outlook on life and how people should treat you.

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By the time you grow up, your perspective has been cemented by your childhood– and much of that can happen within the first few years of your life, before you even have a clue of what it means to have an emotionally abusive parent or guardian.

But emotional abuse can scar your life. Numerous, deep, and resounding, these marks leave a trail that you can unearth if you’re willing to walk the journey to yourself.

It’s not about wallowing, but taking the first step to seeking out a better you, free of the effects of your childhood emotional abuse.

When a person only knows abuse, they shift their whole emotional and spiritual life into the context of that abuse. If all you’ve ever known is to be hurt by the one that pretends to love you, then many times you go to the one who hurts you for love.

– Anohni

Here are six signs you had an emotionally abusive parent and didn’t know it:

1. You seek out unhealthy relationships (that mirror how your parents treated you)Improve Communication for a Healthier, Stronger Relationship

What kind of relationships do you typically have? How does the other person treat you? If you’ve noticed– or are noticing now that you’re reflecting on it– a pattern of emotional abuse in your relationships, then it’s a good sign you had an emotionally abusive parent.

However, even more than that, having an emotionally abusive parent can compromise your ability to trust others, a common defense mechanism adopted by the mind to keep it from future harm, making even positive relationships difficult for you to maintain.

2. You have low self-worth

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Low self-worth is one of the primary signs of having had an abusive parent.

While it’s not the only cause, it is one of the most likely, as low self-worth takes time to develop. Generally, in children, this comes down to home and school, with an emotionally (or physically) abusive parent or bullies being the source of low self-worth.

Emotional abuse has a heartbreaking effect on children, from low self-worth to even depression in some cases, and that impact bleeds into the rest your adult life– until you choose to stop it.

3. You hold in your emotionsman-woman-arguing-emotionally-abusive-way

The brain learns to cope with abuse in many ways. One way is to close itself off and repress emotional pain, especially if you were treated like expressing your emotions was a sign of weakness as a child.

Even if that wasn’t the kind of emotional abuse you experienced, though, it’s common for abuse survivors to learn to repress emotions as it is the brain’s way of protecting itself.

4. You seek out attention

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As we talked about earlier, emotional abuse can result in low self-worth or self-esteem.

Sometimes, as a result of this, the person grows up seeking attention and validation to “band-aid” the problem, making themselves feel better– often only temporarily– by getting the attention they didn’t as children.

This can manifest itself in several different ways, from seeking professional recognition and accolades to love and attention in relationships. But, ultimately, it’s the same thing you’re searching for: validation because you feel unworthy.

5. Nothing you do is ever good enough (for you)

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If you feel like nothing you do is ever good enough– like that project was horrible, your performance is all over the place, or you’re a bad partner in your relationship, you may have had an emotionally abusive parent.

A common form of emotional abuse is achievement-based, where the parent pushes the child to achieve and never offers any love or affection no matter how well they do. Everything they ever do isn’t good enough, even if you got first place that trip-up in the third quarter or that sloppy posture at the end of the game was pathetic.

Even if you go on to be the most successful person you know, far more successful than your parents ever were, that critical voice remains always reminding you that you’re not good enough.

6. They tried to make you feel guilty

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Guilt is one of those things that parents sometimes use in a way that is totally normal and natural.

When a child begins to pull away in their teens, parents can often react in a way that is somewhat selfish, trying to make their child feel guilty for leaving them or forcefully keeping them close as long as they can due in part to the love and attachment they feel toward their child (even though, if they think back, their parents did the same to them).

Parent(s) learn to let go of this with time. However, there’s a much more damaging version of this which is subtly different, where the parent is acting completely in their own interest, emotionally abusing their child on purpose consistently and relentlessly due to this behavior.

This version of guilt-tripping is heavy and aggressive as the parent is trying to make the child feel horrible for how they’re acting, like what they’re doing has created a great and lasting pain to them.

If you remember this kind of behavior from your mother or father, there’s a chance you had an emotionally abusive parent and didn’t know it.

If you’ve made it this far and you’re craving a transformation of your own, we can help you get there.
Jumpstart your personal transformation and get on track to build your best life with Goalcast’s new inspirational ebook, Explore Your Potential: Start the Journey to Your Dream Life.
Transformation doesn’t just happen. It takes a plan and a support system. This how-to guide is full of the top wisdom, tips, exercises, and success stories to inspire an old dream or create a new one.
Check out a teaser of what’s inside.


5 Signs You’re Actually the Toxic One in a Friendship

By | Food for thought, relationships, self-awareness, Self-Improvement, toxic people, toxic relationships


If you’ve ever had a toxic friend, you know just how difficult and draining it can be.

There are different kinds of toxicity, from energy vampires all the way to the far end where the abusers, narcissists and sociopaths exist. But every kind of toxic person creates a burden that can be difficult to overcome.

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But what about when the problem is not the other person but it’s you?

Sometimes, when toxicity is more subtle, like the overbearing negativity of someone who has recently had their dreams crushed or the miserable loner who takes the anger they feel for their ex out on everyone they meet, it’s hard to notice.

Plus, toxicity is contagious, and when you’re infected, you become toxic yourself.

You may have noticed your friends distancing themselves from you recently, maybe one of them has even called you out directly. Maybe you can recall a few times where you’ve talked down to them out of frustration.

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Whatever the case, you need to look for the signs that you might, in fact, be the toxic one in the relationship so you can make a change.

1. You only ever want to talk about yourself

What do you talk about when you converse with your friends? Do you know what your friends are up to or do you only ever seem to want to talk about your own business and never ask how they’re doing?

Selfishness is one of the subtlest and hardest forms of toxicity to detect in ourselves because it’s natural for us as human beings to care primarily about ourselves.

However, if all you ever want to talk about is yourself and you never take interest in your friend’s life, you might actually be the toxic one.

2. You keep using your friends to fulfill your own wants and desires

Do you use your friends to experience the things you like and want to do, just so you’ll have someone around to experience it with?

Do you only ever invite your friends when there’s something you want to do or desire to get so that they can all help you have more fun, without ever asking them what they’d like to do?

If that’s you, you’re using those friends to make you feel better about the deep-seated feeling of inadequacy and low self-worth. Everything you do is an attempt to fulfill what you believe is a missing puzzle piece– to go to the bar to meet someone, go on an expensive trip to find yourself, or enjoy something you bought to make you feel good about your “accomplishment.”

But that piece will never be found because nothing was ever missing. Instead, you need to look within yourself to realize your own worth before you push away the very people who are there to support you.

3. You’re always talking about what’s wrong

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If all you ever talk about is what’s wrong– with you, with them, or the world– you’re being a negative influence and a toxic friend.

I’ve had friends in the past who only ever wanted to talk about negative things that have happened to them or are happening in the world. They’re not purposely demeaning you or trying to bring you down, they just have a generally negative outlook that permeates everything they do and it will infect you if you let it.

But if you think that might be you then you need to look closely at your life– what you tend to talk and think about– to find out whether you need to fix your perspective and what could be causing it.

4. You discourage them from following their dreams and goals

A lot of us have become discouraged and defeated by life. It’s only natural. Life is tough and it takes a lot of courage to stand up to our challenges and come out the other side standing.

But often, when this happens, it makes us resentful of anyone else who is out to follow their own dreams because we gave up on our own, even going as far as trying to verbally sabotage our friends, telling them that there’s no point trying.

They’ll just fail, after all.

“You might as well just go for that comfortable corner office job in XYZ,” you might say or, “almost no one ever makes it doing that,” you pronounce to their discouragement.

If that’s you, I hate to break it to you, but you’re being a bad friend. You need to first find your own passion for life again, and then work to encourage and motivate your friends to do the same.

5. You only call when you have a problem and want to ventwoman-smartphone-texting-scrolling-social-media

Someone close to me has this problem right now. Several of their friends only ever contact them when they have an issue they need to get off of their chest.

These same friends will miss important get-togethers and never call to check up on them at any point. But when they have a problem? They come ringing every time hoping to talk their ear off.

If this sounds like you, you might need to reevaluate your friendship– and your priorities.


If you’ve made it this far and you’re craving a transformation of your own, we can help you get there.
Jumpstart your personal transformation and get on track to build your best life with Goalcast’s new inspirational ebook, Explore Your Potential: Start the Journey to Your Dream Life.
Transformation doesn’t just happen. It takes a plan and a support system. This how-to guide is full of the top wisdom, tips, exercises, and success stories to inspire an old dream or create a new one.
Check out a teaser of what’s inside.


Quiz: Are You In a Toxic Relationship?

By | Food for thought, relationships, Self-Improvement, toxic people, toxic relationships

How do you know if you’re in a toxic relationship?

Toxic people of all kinds tend to be masters of deception, so if you are in a toxic relationship, it might be hard to tell.

young-couple-looking-apatheticNarcissists, sociopaths, and leeches abound have grown accustomed to using techniques such as gaslighting and blackmail to get their way, which can wreak havoc on your life — not just in the short-term but long-term as well.

If you think you might be in a toxic relationship, it’s critical that you begin looking for signs now before any more damage is dealt.

Identifying the signs of a toxic relationship can be tough, so we’ve crafted a quick quiz which can help you uncover whether you’re in a toxic relationship.

Click below to take the quiz and post your results in the comments below:

You have a healthy relationship

Your relationship is looking good. You might have elements of toxicity, as any good relationship has things to work on, but both people are clearly making an effort and feel loved.

You might be in a toxic relationship

There are elements of toxicity in your relationship and it’s either minimal or it’s hard for you to tell just how toxic the other person is.

Review your answers and start to pay closer attention to those particular elements, there are either things you need to work on together or you need to get away from the other person — fast.

You’re in a toxic relationship

You’re definitely in a toxic relationship and you should (probably) get out as fast as you can. There’s really no other way to put it, toxic people can always turn over a new leaf but that’s often just wishful — nay, delusional — thinking. Give them a chance to change, but at the first sign of the previous behaviors, book it for freedom.

If you’ve made it this far and you’re craving a transformation of your own, we can help you get there.
Jumpstart your personal transformation and get on track to build your best life with Goalcast’s new inspirational ebook, Explore Your Potential: Start the Journey to Your Dream Life.
Transformation doesn’t just happen. It takes a plan and a support system. This how-to guide is full of the top wisdom, tips, exercises, and success stories to inspire an old dream or create a new one.
Check out a teaser of what’s inside.