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  • Writer's pictureKaren Asemper

Games People Play; How Not To Meet Their Needs.


What do we mean when we hear the words “toxic behaviour”? What is it? Who are they? and do they mean us any harm? Don’t be fooled by the title of MD, Partner, Child, Mother, Father, Brother or Sister . Toxic behaviour can appear in all shapes and sizes. They can be part of our work and family life. However, if you are or have come across toxic behaviour here are a few steps to protect yourself from damage.

Acceptance is the key, and I have spoken about acceptance in my last few key notes and newsletters as it is the foundation for mental and physical health. You have to realise that you cannot expect toxic people to change. You may crave to be the one to help them but this is mostly a thankless task. Toxic behaviour is purely motivated by a person’s complex problems and needs and these needs must be met first. Toxic people play the role of the victim, putting others on a roller coaster of emotions. You will never really know where you stand with a toxic person. Unfortunately with toxic people over time nearly all relationships become confusing, destructive and dysfunctional. When you let go of the need to change the toxic person it will be a lot easier to carry on with your life.


The importance of boundaries. “You spin me right round baby right round” may have been a number one hit for Pete Burns but this is how you will feel when a toxic person constantly wants you to prove yourself more and more. Are their ways compromising your values ? What will and won’t you put up with? Check in with yourself. Does a toxic person’s behaviour infringe on how you allow yourself to be treated? If you are not being paid to be in the drama don’t audition for it. When a toxic person’s complex needs are not being met they will manipulate you like a puppeteer to generate the feelings they need. If you ever really listen to a toxic person they are always the victim. Have you noticed that? Unfortunately, they need to be, to attract the attention they crave.

In my late twenties my coach taught me about Projection. It was like a huge light bulb moment. Spend time really getting to know yourself. So you know when a person is projecting the parts of themselves they don’t like onto you. You know you, so you will know the truth. The truth is it has nothing to do with you, its just a great way for them to avoid the truth about themselves.

Stay healthy and happy. Who and what makes you feel happy , healthy, joyful and free? Write down the people who make you feel this way and acknowledge the way you help yourself to feel this way.

When you remove toxic behaviour from your life you can feel bereft, even though it has been challenging to say the least. Remind yourself what life is really about.; healthy body and mind, healthy relationships and friendships. Build positive energy . Think of it like a muscle. Every day you become more aware and more resilient to the complex needs of human beings and know you have a choice if you want to be involved or not. Like Maya Angelou said “When someone shows you who they are believe them”.

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