5 Life Lessons Learned From Working With Toxic People

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I felt sick to my stomach and I could no longer bare it.

Who knew a month before working in that job I’d feel so intoxicated in a matter of weeks. Never mind a matter of months.

It was as if I was breathing in poisonous gas and struggling to breathe out the Bullshit.

That’s what it felt like being around so many intoxicating people.

People who were so stressed, so negative, and so defeated they’d make a hobby out of trying to defeat others.

Doing everything they could to eliminate anybody who seemed happier than they were, or who seemed to have the upper hand on them.

Cynicism mixed with negativity, the habit of blaming others and playing “victim” was mentally and physically draining.

I remember being told “You look more miserable than usual” by few close to me. It was obviously taking it’s toll.

After all, not even the most logical, happy, positive person can resist being in such a toxic environment for long.

Not without turning into a negative person yourself overtime.

The job all this happened in was a biscuit company called Mc Vities.

Here are the 5 Life Lessons Learned From Working With Toxic People.


1. Happiness is more valuable than money.

The importance of money isn’t far off from oxygen.

You need it to survive, thrive, go about your day and build whatever it is you’re working towards. Not to mention take care of your family. It’s vital.

But it’s not worth sacrificing your happiness for the next 40 years of your life.

It’s not worth sacrificing your fulfillment for it.

It’s not worth getting so stressed out over it that you end up depressed.

It’s not worth becoming a slave to it and hating every working hour of your life for it.

It’s not worth getting angry, sad, upset, down, or arguing over it.

When I was working at Mc Vities I was more unhappy than I had ever been in my life. At least I believe I was. And I didn’t even realize it at the time.

I was in debt shortly after being made redundant from the job, but the happiness and relief that came from it was more than worth it.

Unlike your health, money can be replenished an endless amount of times. And can be earned over and over again. Even If you lose it.


2. You can’t change a pessimistic person’s mind.

When a kid decides they want sweets, cookies, their favorite type of food, or something they just want, it’s impossible to change their mind. Their mind has already been made up.

Pessimistic people are similar, but in a darker, negative kind of way.

It didn’t matter how positive I was or how positive I appeared to be. It wouldn’t have mattered if I tried convincing or persuading them to change their behavior for the better.

They were so poisoned by their own mindset they were incapable of being cured. Or better yet, they would have turned down the cure had I tried giving it to them.

I guess you really can’t get the horse to drink, even if it’s within the horses best interest.


3. A fixed mindset is dangerous.

By definition a fixed mindset is a one track mentality.

For example — you believe happiness and money can’t be mutually exclusive. Or you believe you’re either born with talent or you have no talent.

Or you believe you’re either lucky or unlucky. Born blessed or born cursed. Etc. As if everything is fixed and unchangeable.

They all believed they had to be miserable. They had to do things the way they’ve always had been done.

They believed if you weren’t educated, you had no chance of being successful.

They believed if you were earning minimum wage, you stood no chance of climbing you the ranks.

They believed university is the only way forward. They believed being rich was a bad thing and downright impossible unless you got “lucky”.

They believed progress was impossible because of some mythical external factor they had no control over.

They say birds of a feather flock together. Well I’m glad I was set free. Because it was suffocating to be around.


4. Complaining isn’t worth the energy.

Every weekend or sometimes in the week, almost everybody would gather when it was break time.

They’d sit in a room about the size of a living room I guess. And then argue about money, complain about money, talk shit about the manager, bitch about how much they get paid, how unfair life is, and so on.

Funny thing is all that complaining only reinforces the problem. It keeps you focused on the problem.

And worst of all, you end up viewing the problem in a negative light. Which leads you to chasing your own tail endlessly.

That’s so ridiculously draining and not worth the energy, That’s why I couldn’t bare to be around it.


5. They’ll do whatever it takes to drag you down.

If you walked into an Anacondas territory, after it squeezes the life out of you, it’ll drag you down to it’s lair and digest you until there’s nothing left.

A pessimistic person is no different.

From the moment I worked there I stood out. That’s just what I do. I’m different.

And before I knew it, they were trying to drag me down into their lair of self pity, stress and despair. I was breathing in their Bullshit and exhaling the same BS 24/7.

In fact, there was a particular guy who was racist. And would continue to be racist then lie about it afterwards. (Ironically, this same guy apologized after finding out his VISA ran out. Which means he was being sent back to his country).

I felt like reacting to the negativity. I’m a calm guy but not everybody deserves my self control.

Sometimes it pissed me off, sometimes it was difficult to deal with. Sometimes it got to me a little.

But the point is stay hundreds of miles away from those who are committed to seeing you suffer.

Would rather you suffer, and have no problem dragging you down into the bottomless pit of despair they created.

Avoid these types of people at all costs. Otherwise you’re asking to be miserable, unhappy.

Do that for long enough and you’ll be unhappy and miserable 20 years from now.

That’s a long time to go through so much self caused suffering if you ask me.


6. Going to work “just” to work is a wasteful activity.

I said 5 Life Lessons but I’ll add another one anyways.

Being at that job made me realize how much time people waste going to work “just” to work.

What I mean by that is 99% of the population goes to work just to pay the bills, pay the rent, and that’s it. There’s nothing else they’re working for.

They have no goals in particular, no aspirations, no ambition, no passion, nothing. They’re as empty as a statue.

Then they turn 70+ years old, realize there’s no money in the bank, live off pensions which are the equivalent of food stamps.

And The last days off their life end up miserable, boring and uninteresting. And here’s the punchline. Then they die with regrets.

This was so true for most of the miserable staff that worked there who believed they didn’t have the power to change it.

I didn’t and don’t intend on being that person or living that kind of life. And I realized it quickly.

It’s amazing what observation can teach you.



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Originally published at justbereal.co.uk on March 12, 2016.

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