Attract the positive - shed the toxic ...

There have always been good people, who leave the world a better place for having lived in it – and there have always been toxic people, who leave the world a worse place for their having been in it. In the past though, we may have only been exposed to toxic people, on rare occasions; our natural tendency to remove ourselves from their presence being a kind of natural protection. But nowadays, with powerful social media tools like Facebook featuring in our daily lives, we can find ourselves intersecting with toxic people more frequently.
There is a small group of people out there, who delight in toxic rhetoric for the sake of attracting attention to themselves. Usually they are jealous people, who delight in bringing others down who have done and achieved things that perhaps they wish they could have achieved themselves. These cowardly types delight in causing argument on social media – as it brings them notoriety – and their desperate cry for attention can sometimes cause grief and angst for others who are just going about the living of their lives.
Here’s the thing to remember about these toxic idiots: they are the same kind of people who liked to cause drama and trouble at school – and their actions are almost always just a desperate cry for attention. I see it as a kind of ‘Look at me – look at me’ strategy. They havn’t done anything significant, or meaningful themselves – so they try to drag down others who have achieved, had a go, or are successful. They are the tall-poppy cutters. We will always see them lurking on the fringes of our society.
I have seen children who also fall victim to this long-distance social bashing (usually on Facebook) – and for some kids, this gutless trouble-making causes real stress – but here is the thing to remember: It’s not real! It is online – kind of like a video game. You never need feel too bad about this long-distance abuse if you just realize that it is just the desperate attention-seeking behavior of someone who just can’t stand other people’s success or social standing.
The internet is a wonderful tool – and Social Media can be a wonderful tool – but it also comes at a price. There are toxic people out there, jealous people, people who will not like you for being successful and people who just want to cause trouble – so be careful who you ‘friend’ on Facebook – some people are not deserving of our friendship – they are not good –role models for martial arts practice – or for the living of our lives – choose wisely. JBW


Anonymous said…
Excellent commentary John. My son has recently had to deal with a toxic fellow student: he's been subject to not only verbal abuse (which we all cop and need to cope with) but physical intimidation and some violence. Of course this is an age old problem which is as difficult as ever to overcome. (I note your commentary is directed towards the online environment but it applicable here). The motivator for the other child has been, I believe, jealousy (he seems possessive over a particular student who my son has befriended much to this child’s disapproval and anger). I’m sure my son has done a little to bring about the circumstances, which is only natural with human relations, but the level of significant escalation does not, as far as I can tell, stem from him. The negative for the other child is that I have observed that it is a road which will provide him more harm than satisfaction and ultimately lead to no benefit for anyone. Based on my conversations with my son the other child has lost many friends and acquired others (but only a few) who are also of questionable character. My son has been practicing BJJ for more than 3 years now and I'm happy to say that it, along with other things, has installed a helpful level in confidence in dealing with this issue. He has not been frightened into reactive violence and has been less confronted by the circumstances than he otherwise would have been, which I believe enables him to make more considered decisions. In any case, he is concentrating on accumulating positive experience with supportive friends and avoiding (or shedding) encounters with toxic individuals, which in the long run will be highly beneficial.
JBW said…
Thanks for your comment .... I feel for your boy. I am sure he'll come through the ordeal - stronger for having the experience ... I know I did, after similar experiences at school.
Let him know (from me) - this other guy is 'A MOSQUITO IN A MANSION'. Meaning that your boy has so many good things going on in his life - and then there is this one mosquito, annoying him - but only in that one room and only when he is in there. The rest is awesome.

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