Milton Glaser’s essay “Ten Things I Have Learned” has a lot of good points to consider. One subtext that especially resonated with me was “Some people are toxic, avoid them”:
“There was in the sixties a man named Fritz Perls who was a gestalt therapist. Gestalt therapy derives from art history, it proposes you must understand the ‘whole’ before you can understand the details. What you have to look at is the entire culture, the entire family and community and so on. Perls proposed that in all relationships people could be either toxic or nourishing towards one another. It is not necessarily true that the same person will be toxic or nourishing in every relationship, but the combination of any two people in a relationship produces toxic or nourishing consequences. And the important thing that I can tell you is that there is a test to determine whether someone is toxic or nourishing in your relationship with them. Here is the test: You have spent some time with this person, either you have a drink or go for dinner or you go to a ball game. It doesn’t matter very much but at the end of that time you observe whether you are more energized or less energized. Whether you are tired or whether you are exhilarated. If you are more tired then you have been poisoned. If you have more energy you have been nourished. The test is almost infallible and I suggest that you use it for the rest of your life.”
Milton Glaser, I will. Humans are unconsciously competing for the energy that flows between people. It’s crucial for me to be conscious and notice whether people who are around me suck my energy out or on the opposite, makes me feel nourished. For a long time it was a puzzle why I felt so tired and drained in general. I’d been trying to do many different things to increase my energy. Sleep, eat well, relax, meditate, run and even acupuncture. It all helped somewhat, but I wanted to feel even more energized. So after I read Milton Glaser’s essay I started to notice how I felt in different people’s company and sure enough, very often I walked away from certain people feeling emotionally exhausted. My first solution was as Milton Glaser say, to stay away from these people. That’s easy to do with some. It’s more tricky with people I work with or family members. So in my opinion, decreasing the amount of energy suckers in my life partially solved the energy problem. My next step is to break free from the competition over mere human energy, because I can tap into and get it from another source…more on that later …
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