People are careful not to pass on bacteria and viruses, but some are very determined to contaminate us in a way that’s perhaps more destructive than bacteria.
They do that by giving you opinions and advices you didn’t ask for, trying to convince you to adopt a certain point of view, as well as information and stories, most of them meaningless and without any importance when it comes to our own life.
It’s not accurate to say that they contaminate us, because it sounds as if it’s their responsibility. It isn’t. What we get back is our responsibility, as well as what we allow to reach us.
Here are some ways in which you can get contaminated by those around you:
They keep giving their opinion on you and your life, without you asking for it.
They keep telling you what is wrong or what needs to be fixed about yourself. This type of opinion – especially if it comes at the wrong time, for instance when you’re not too proud of yourself or your choices – can be a true knockout. It won’t make you stronger, it’ll make you weaker.
They try to convince you to adopt their views.
Whether you want it or not, they will bombard you with arguments and won’t give up easily. They want to be right, and they want you to say it. This is an abuse, as if they were breaking and entering. In any case, they want you to buy their opinions, without a trace of respect for you, your opinion, experience, or knowledge.
They want to make you accept the fact that you are wrong and that they are right. Yes, it’s possible they are right and you might know it, but this is not a question of who’s wrong or right; it’s the attitude that contaminates.
They give you pieces of advice without you asking for them.
“Did you do this? Did you do that?” “I say you should do this and that”… Whenever they pressure you with all sort of indications and pieces of advice, they actually care about themselves. If they actually cared about you, they’d be gentle, wouldn’t invade you and they’d assure you of their support in case you needed it…and they’d love you. They’d respect you by respecting your choices, the process and your journey here. And the way you are.
They try to manipulate you by making you feel guilty.
They will keep saying you’ve done something wrong and won’t miss a chance to remind you you’re guilty. They want to make you think that you’re not good for anything. Yes, this is contamination and if you don’t spot it on time so as not to allow yourself to get caught up in this game, you’re finished.
They will have you think you’ve made a mistake and then you’ll try to compensate it by being nice and good, that is to please them. You won’t be yourself, but rather someone other people want in a certain form of their liking.
They keep telling you stories.
Plenty of stories. They’re usually complaints, dramas or extraordinary events that make them look great. You’re not always in the mood to listen to them, but you do it because you simply don’t know how to say no to them… Well, other people’s stories are one of the easiest and most subtle ways of contamination.
By filling your head with stories, you assume points of view, fears, and other emotions that don’t belong to you. You start creating fake scenarios and fears that’ll keep you trapped, not to mention the state that listening to endless stories may create (sometimes headache, nausea, nervousness).
Well, if you like listening and telling stories, do it. But if you’re aware that sometimes you’re lying to yourself by listening to something that you’re not interested in, then maybe it’s time you saved a little more time and energy.
They make too much noise.
It must have happened to you, I’m sure, to feel the need to simply cover your ears and run away, because you couldn’t stand the noise around you. There are times people make a lot of noise. Either they talk or laugh loudly and in a forced way, or become aggressive, raise their voice and talk like that for minutes on end, while you, although not their direct target, simply happen to be around them, in the middle of a process of both noise and emotional pollution.
They always ask you, tell you, or request something from you.
They want your attention. This is also a way of contamination, because paying constant attention to someone else, to their existential issues or questions won’t let you focus on your path.
Does it sound familiar to you? If so, then you have to become aware and present in order to identify the situations in which you’re about to get contaminated. Whenever you’re not present, it’s most likely that you’ll accumulate external states, emotions, and points of view. All these can be interpreted as being yours, although you only hear or perceive them.
In fact, the most efficient solution is to be your true self and work based on that. Strive to have the courage to say and do exactly what you want, to stop a conversation, for instance, if you’re not interested in it or if you feel it doesn’t create anything for you, doesn’t contribute to something or doesn’t make any difference.
It is also important to always be oriented towards what’s suitable and what’s best for you every moment, to ask yourself how you can help yourself, what you can be, say or do to make things easier and better for you, how you can create more clean space around you.
These kinds of questions and their consequent solutions, as well as permanent self-observations will give you strength, and save you time and energy. You will, of course, be able to use this energy in more fulfilling ways.
After all, you’re the master of your time, energy, and vitality. You choose what, where, how much, with whom or how…Right?
You are the only person responsible for your own peace, fulfillment, joy, and well-being. Only you can know what’s good for you.