Can’t Breathe

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On this series, we are going to discuss a much more pressing problem,
the one that directly damages us, infiltrates our relationships, mortifies our
values and crushes our mindset. It/He/She/They are called “Toxins”. Yup, you read
it right, because contaminants can take in both gas and solid forms and could
murder you physically and mentally. In this very serious series, we are going
to answer these three major questions, Who/What are these toxins? Am I toxic?
How can I breathe in freely, in my stressful, toxic working environment? Don’t worry;
we’ll get to the answers.

Did you know that an
estimate of 4.6 million people die annually because of air pollution. It is
sure enough that the pollution is brought about by the mass accumulation of
garbage, which both contains and releases very harmful toxins, which flies
freely above us and corrupt both our atmosphere and good health. I may not be a
resident World Health Organization researcher, but I’ll confidently say that
7.6 billion individuals is still wrestling daily with their toxic schedules,
toxic classmate or workmate, toxic boss, or even a total stranger you walked
past by the other day, who roughly pushed past by you, without even bothering
to apologize. YEAH, I feel you, regardless of the effort you put on concealing
all your disappointments by trying to put on a very big and convincing smile to
attract positivity and good people and moments, there will always be THIS,
THIS ONE mood terminator and party crasher
that would directly or
indirectly ruin your day. Remember, even
if that awful scheme was intentionally designed or not to make others see that
leashed beast inside, it is still you who is in charge, holding that wheel,
your emotions, decisions and response.  
But
how? How? HOW could I get rid of that person or thing that never fails to
bother and stop me from doing what is required of me? Well, I’ll help you
through in the most simple, practical and decent ways possible.

All people, things and
events are good, don’t forget that. The expression, “toxic” serves as an
adjective to the persona we are talking about. Let us clear thoughts up; we
despise the actions or attitude of the person, not him or her. We dislike the
object not because of its appearance, but probably of its current lack of
significance. We hate attending purposive events or enthusiastically sign in to
demanding schedules, not because it provides no whatsoever substance or benefit
at all, but maybe because at the moment, the instance’s time slot does not fit
on our perfectly arranged timetable or our habits and routines mismatch the
supposedly perfect work hours. The truth is, we can’t deal with all
circumstances and expect them to swiftly turn out in our favor, but at least we
could try to make things more soothing to us, not to mention attempting to
lessen the stressfulness they bring.

1.   
Dealing with Toxic
People
(Special Mention: Feeling Class
Clown Classmate or Supremely Overconfident Officemate)

Once in our years in school or working
career, we surely have had encountered this particular classmate who breaks up
the serious silence during the lecture and starts cracking up a joke that isn’t
to the littlest extent, even funny, that it makes the hairs on the back of your
head stand up and the blood in your bloody boil a hundred degrees Fahrenheit,
or maybe that officemate who talks out loud and boasts around his/her Best
Employee of the Week award, while you are sitting on your office cubicle trying
to focus on the pile of papers that seem to never lessen, and not to mention,
the worst part is that he/she would walk past by every co-worker’s booth and
give a very uninteresting narrative on how he/she got a pay raise or that
gleaming award, and also giving you tips on how to earn one yourself. Really?
Honestly, he/she just won the award once, and now he/she feels like the office superhero?
You may probably be thinking, “Yeah,
enjoy the moment, but as soon as this week or month ends, I’ll get that salary
increase, promotion or award, I am too hardworking, to get ignored!”
Anger and Irritation are natural feelings
of a human being,
if you don’t express these the most conservative way you
can, you may instantly die of failing to release every bad feeling or thought
you have in store. But also remember that we must be careful of the things we
would say to others, because intentionally or not, you may be hurting and down
casting the person you are talking to, and your angry outburst is never an
excuse for all the mindless deeds and words that you might say and do.

Envy, Hatred and an
Overdose of Self-Confidence are the sensations hell wants you to feel when you
encounter a toxic person
, who keeps nagging you directly or indirectly, or has
succeeded in reaching something that you haven’t. Watch yourself! You avoid
these individuals not because you want to be like them, but because you don’t
want to emulate their actions. I personally don’t see toxic people as
hindrances, but as disturbances.
Hindrances are big things which block
your way to achievement and it is a requirement for you to remove this yourself,
it’s like getting rid of a large boulder in the middle of the smooth road,
which prevents your car from passing the other side.  Disturbances are small things that block you
from accomplishing, it is widespread, and there is nothing you can do about it.
It is like driving through a rocky road or encountering a pebble in the middle
of the road, and in both of these situations, you do not need to get off the
car or go down to that stone’s level, you just have to swerve away from it or
simply kick it aside.

There is NOTHING you could do to get rid of
a toxic person; there are reasons why he/she is like that, or you’ll harshly
say, it’s in his/her DNA. It would be improbable for you to get off your chosen
and favoured track just because of that disturbance, but if you think you could
still handle, just IGNORE them, and keep performing. You’ll see, once you start
diverting your attention to worthwhile activities, instead of wasting your time
and vocabulary judging that toxic person and plotting mischievous tricks to get
him/her expelled or fired, things will later turn out to be much clearer.

 

2.    Dealing with Toxic Schedules (Seriously, I’ll wake up that early, and study or work for this long?)

Trust me, studying or working during
unwanted time periods would make your head ache much worse than dealing with
toxic people. Imagine, waking up at 5 in the morning to get ready for your 8 am
call time, then work ends at around 5 or 6 pm, plus you have to travel home
from work or school, I think I may not have pointed out, the traffic and the
line to the commute vehicle. We surely have wondered why the school or
workplace expected the students or workers to sign in that early or even work
on a Saturday, and end quite lately. Truthfully, I, myself, tried to make a
school schedule, which matches my favorite subjects with my most productive
days and hours, while stacking the boring subjects on Saturday. Proudly, it
didn’t work, I found it hard, I realized that putting all the fun in one area
turns out to be pretty uninteresting, and piling up the least favoured subjects
on the other, also turned to be much worse than assumed. The difference between toxic people and so called toxic schedules is
that we could escape from the reach of people, but never the grapple of
inescapable schedules.
Inescapable? Yes! It sounds scary, but at least it is
adjustable.
Manageable in a
way that you could time your sleep and do your leisure earlier when you are
needed in the morning and time other events later if you are on a night shift. Our Resilience towards time is tested every
time we wake up and suit up for work and study
and whenever we survive the
day’s challenges. It must be our goal to always catch up with everyday demands
and try to lessen our stubbornness as best as we can.

3.   
Dealing with the Boss (So, I am required to work this hard, plus I have to deal with that monster?
Honestly I wonder why no one demands a salary increase, or had? It’s ok. I’m
fine!)

I know that you might
be thinking why your boss was not talked about in the category of workmates,
and instead categorized differently. Is it because he/she has a higher ranking
than us, special, or I know, classified as an alien, YES! Definitely he/she is
a rude Martian! But I hate to break it to you, these fun assumptions are all
wrong. I characterized the “Boss” differently, because the title represents, “Superiority”.  Yes, it’s true that all of us, even me,
supremely desire to be the boss of our actions, captain of our time and act as
supervisor to other people, but then and again, it mostly never happens all at
once. We find some superiors, ill tempered, impolite, demanding, terrifying and
unfair, in short, we equate boss to all things negative. But why do some see
high ranking officials as a beast? Ah! because it’s in their nature, an
attitude that must be absorbed when they sit on the high chair! Quite right,
quite incorrect. If I declare you right now as boss of an office, a department
or even a multimillion dollar company, would you take the position? Most may
reply, “Sure I would take it; it’s the best offer I have ever got!” Let’s see,
I assure you that not a day would pass without you demanding the best of
results from the people who work for you, shouting to the top of your lungs
because you need to chase the company’s deadline or breaking down because of
the massive calls you receive per hour. Then you’ll be like, “Oh, so that is
the reason behind that bad hair day or frowning face every time I walk across
his/her office.” In defense of the bosses, they are the reasons why you are
working happily and earning continually in your work and they demand, because
they know you could do more on what you just had presented. I am not really
sure if your boss is just putting on his/her work face on, to look fierce and
strong, or if the attitude that he/she is showing is really genuine, but it may
be considered true that all his/her actions are for the best of your team.

If you still don’t
believe me, trust that with your continuous hard work, patience and dedication,
you’ll soon achieve that “BOSS” title. Nothing comes easy; you never know the
hardships that he/she endured before being the master of the pack. Keep
grinding.  

4.    Dealing with Toxic Stranger
(Excuse me, do you mind? I see he/she
doesn’t. All right! After a bad day, this happens. Don’t worry! I can still
manage.  But I think I can manage a text
or call at least.)

The toxic stranger
represents the unexpected and uncalculated situations which disturb us in
whatever we are doing. It may be a shocking emergency, the sudden appearance of
an arch enemy or an upturn of supposedly happy events, whatever it is; that holds you
back from fulfilment, is considered as a toxin
. Unlike your classmate
or workmate that is predictable and anytime ignore, strangers are unpredictable, stealthy and means to ruin you from head
to toe.
That is why it is necessary that we should continually raise our
guards and not let anything drive us away from our destination. More about this
topic would be intensely talked about in this series.

Nest time, we are
going to examine your Toxicity Level, determine whether you are a toxin or not
to others and convert that feeling of toxicity to a much cleaner, breathable
air of freshness.

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