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Do You Protect Yourself from Toxic Emotions?
Here's the First Step
We are often 'blind' when it comes to toxic emotions and
toxic emotional messages. We consume toxic emotional words and create emotional stress without being aware of it
and then wonder where all the relationship stress came from. Taking charge of your emotional life means learning to
deal effectively with invitations to ingest toxic emotions.
Consider: if someone gave you a physical toxin to take in, would you ingest it? Suppose you were offered, say,
• food gone bad (yuck!)
• a serving of lead paint (yikes!)
• a glass of liquid mercury (eek!).
You'd know not to consume them, even if they were offered with all the sincerity one could possibly muster.
But we are often far more 'blind' when it comes to toxic emotions and toxic emotional messages. If we were to
listen to our gut reaction, we'd probably be forewarned, but most of us have been trained out of that - we're too
numb to that level of knowing, and simply consume toxic emotional words without being aware of what we’re doing,
and then feel at a loss to pinpoint the causes of our emotional stresses and the sources of tension in
When someone serves us up a generous helping of guilt, blame, definitions of ourselves as being inadequate,
unloving, unkind, not worth while, that we don't count, don't matter, too many of us just swallow it down like we
thought it was good for us.
The very worst kind of these toxic messages are ones that, when consumed, negate the very parts of us that make us
human - our emotional needs, our feelings, our desire for connection, our need for a variety of stimulation, our
need to create boundaries, to be separate, to develop our own identity, to develop our own skill sets so we can
make things work in our lives... these are the very worst messages.
The Emotional Development 101 classes place great emphasis on
learning which messages support our humanity, taking them stage by stage to define which are nourishing and which
are toxic to each part of our emotional selves.
Before you take the class, a good exercise is to make note of the kinds of messages you are actually receiving now
from others, and become aware of how you're being invited to feel. An everyday example is when two people say to
you, "Have a good day.' but one says it with an open smile while the other says it with clenched teeth and a locked
Allowing yourself to become aware of your gut level reaction to these and other messages you receive throughout the
day is an excellent way to begin separating out what you will take in (things that support your emotional health
and well-being), and things that you do not want to take in because they are toxic to your emotional self.
After all, you wouldn't eat food-gone-bad or a cocktail of lead or mercury if you were aware of it! The same is
true of toxic emotional messages - becoming aware of them is the key to refusing to ingest them.
Pamela Levin is an R.N. and a Teaching and Supervising Transactional Analyst in private practice 42 years. She
has taught and trained professional and lay audiences all over the world on the subjects of creating a healthier
emotional life and relationships.
Pamela Levin, R.N., T.S.T.A.
August 13, 2012
You can learn all about about the emotional toxins - many of them hidden- that sabotage relationships. You'll also
learn how to create a healthy emotional life for yourself and your relationships, go to http://www.emotionaldevelopment101.com
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