In the past year, I encountered toxic communication styles. Actually, I encountered them my entire life but grew more aware of them in the past year. And I learned how to set boundaries and fiercely love myself.
When you encounter these toxic communication styles, notice them, and then walk away. Life is too short to deal with other people’s issues. Life is too short to experience other people’s shadows projected on you as if you were a movie screen. Life is too short to play games and waste your precious resources on people who harbor ill intent and hidden agendas.
My Way or the Highway
This is an obvious communication style. And usually we encounter this type of interaction from people in authority or who are our elders. These folks have strong boundaries for themselves but won’t allow room for negotiation or for other people’s boundaries. Turn around and walk away. Interacting with other people involves compromises for both sides.
Greatest Generation Ever
Talk about exclusive, these folks (usually Baby Boomers, but not always) wax on about their generation and how superior they are to everyone born before or after them. They still listen to the same music from decades ago, carry around protest signs, and talk about Woodstock as if it was a world event that actually matters.
Face it, if we’re going to resolve problems facing the planet then we all need to join together, celebrate diversity, and pool our talents. No one is better than anyone else.
These folks look for common ground. They pretend to agree with you after you spill your heart out and share your life philosophies. Then they bring out the Bible or some other religious doctrine to hit you over the head. They remind you that you are a sinner and that they have come to save you through the name of their prophet (usually it’s Jesus). They twist passages from the Bible or make up history to get their distorted and fear-driven message across.
These folks are not open to debate. They fit into the it’s my way or the highway group. Smile and walk away with your heart intact.
Some people find sarcasm funny since it comes from satire. And we’re all sarcastic once in a while. But people who use sarcasm all the time come off as smug and often cruel. They can’t take anything serious and they don’t take you seriously not even when you agree with them. They seek validation of their superiority to “zombies” “ignorant people” and the “unenlightened.” Who decides who is and who isn’t enlightened? I know I’m not enlightened.
Tell Tall Tales
Often we date these folks. They lie about everything or change the subject and go off on tangents so you can’t catch them in a lie. You also find these liars in the political arena or heading corporations. But liars are everywhere and they asks us to trust them. Or they talk about how everyone else is lying to them. It’s pretty easy to catch people in a lie. Follow your intuition and keep your head about you.