Peet Brits

Hmm, but that doesn't make any sense…

Health Risk: Toxic Human Behaviour

Posted by Peet Brits on April 27, 2010


It is important not to return other people’s negative behaviour or things will only get worse. Dr. Kim wrote a great article about what a person can do about negative behaviour, which he labelled toxic behaviour.

Toxic behaviour is bad for your emotional health, as it influences your organ system health, especially the nervous and endocrine systems. Emotional health is largely affected by our daily interactions with others. You know that you are a victim of human toxicity when another person’s behaviour makes you feel bad regularly. This includes intimidation, hurtful gossip, excessive complaining, discouragement to follow your dreams, and taking advantage of kindness and resources while pressuring you with guilt.

I strongly suggest that you read Dr. Kim’s article for more detail. In this post I will only summarise his suggested process of dealing with toxic people and behaviour in four steps:

A) (The first step applies to anyone.) If you are the cause, then apologise. Ask a trustworthy person for their opinion to help you clear your mind. If you are not the cause and the person is not a frequent contact, then silently say goodbye and move on. (For example, an unkind customer.)

I applied this concept in my own life while in traffic. Normally road rage leads to the blowing of horns, shouts of insults, and displays of unspeakable sign language. Instead of returning the behaviour like everyone else, I started repaying evil with good. Whenever someone got angry with me, even when I was completely innocent, I would simply smile and wave. This is not a wave loaded with negative emotions, but a wave that said, “I am sorry and I forgive you, no harm was done.” Most peoples’ faces would soften immediately, and once a woman even blushed. I must tell you, it felt great, much better than the rotten after-taste of anger.

B) Develop compassion. (This step applies to someone that is at least a regular contact.) Toxic behaviour is learned or caused by hurt, disappointment or anger, so your compassion must become greater in order to overcome or quell your own hurt, but do not become a doormat.

C) Have patience. (This step also applies to someone that is at least a regular contact.) Wait for them to apologise. Teach them that you want them to treat you with kindness and respect.

D) (This final step only applies to someone close, in a deeply committed long-term relationship.) If there is no apology for too long, then you have to initiate a make-up session (proactive and even martyr-like). Hopefully your initiative will motivate them to take more responsibility for their actions next time. The key is to reach a peaceful and loving environment, with the hope of increasing understanding and intimacy.

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3 Responses to “Health Risk: Toxic Human Behaviour”

  1. Crissy said

    Just exactly what I needed today. Thanks for dropping by my website, it led me here 🙂

  2. […] It is important not to return other people's negative behaviour or things will only get worse. Dr. Kim wrote a great article about what a person can do about negative behaviour, which he labelled toxic behaviour. Toxic behaviour is bad for your emotional health, as it influences your organ system health, especially the nervous and endocrine systems. Emotional health is largely affected by our daily interactions with others. You know that you are … Read More […]

  3. […] e-mail, and it was so good that I had to share. The message is a practical picture to help us avoid toxic human behaviour. Garbage […]

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