The word “toxic” is sometimes used to describe the water we drink, the food we eat, the air we breathe and our environment in general. But have you ever heard the word “toxic” used to describe a person?
I have not, but as soon as I heard someone called “toxic,” I realized it is a perfect label to depict some people I have known.
To put it bluntly, “toxic” people aren’t very nice to be around. You rarely, if ever, get a smile, a compliment or word of appreciation from “toxic” people. You are more likely to be insulted, belittled or criticized.
Karl Albrecht a management consultant, executive advisor and author of twenty books, describes “toxic” people as:
“ . . .those who consistently behave in ways that make others feel devalued, inadequate, angry, frustrated or guilty.”
According to Albrecht, the opposite of a toxic person is a nourishing person, someone who:
“ . . . makes others feel valued, capable, loved, respected and appreciated."
So where are you on the toxic-nourishing scale, and is it where you want to be? Here’s a link to a brief quiz by Albrecht which may help you determine, and perhaps improve, the quality of your interaction with others:
The command to “love one another” appears thirteen times in the New Testament, so it cannot be dismissed. Loving someone who is nourishing is so effortless. On the other hand, loving the toxic . . . now that is a challenge!