Thanks for tuning in. I am really excited about today’s interview. I came across Gayle Katz and thought she has to be here. She helps others to discover that they are not as fat, ugly and stupid and they think they are. Let me tell you why that resonates with me. I grew up with that story in my head. She is a recovering self-depreciator, I guess I am too. She works hard every day to not let her past dealings with toxic people interfere with her happy, present life. If difficult people have put you through the ringer, chances are she’s been there. She has been blogging not too long ago. She wrote two books designed to help you with toxic people. They draw from her experiences over the past 30 years. She is not a psychologist, but what she has done is developed real life strategies to deal with the toxic people in her life so she can live a great life. She shares that so you can live a great life too. Gayle, welcome to Heartrerpeneur Radio, thanks for coming here.
Gayle: Thanks for having me. It’s great to be here.
Terri: I am so excited to have you and I am being transparent with my audience. I did grow up being told I was fat, ugly and stupid. Even though I was underweight. I believed I was fat and then I got fat. I love when you say recovering self-depreciator. I have had toxic people in my life. First of all, talk to us about what do we do, how do we notice if we have toxic people? How do we push them out?
Gayle: There are so many ways that somebody can be toxic that it’s much simpler to look at your reaction to them. So, if you are feeling sad, or angry or upset, or hating yourself after talking to someone, chances are, the person you are talking to you may be toxic to you. They are inherently making you feel bad. That is not a good thing. You want to live a great life and want to be happy. If there are people who make you feel those not too good feelings that is not good. As for getting them out of your life, that is interesting. It took me 30 years to figure that out. I grew up in the same environment. I was overweight and my father always let me know that. You are not the only one. I am not the only one. I finally realized that. The first thing you really need to do if you are in the middle of a situation, you need to diffuse the situation and take out the tension. If you are in the middle of talking to someone who is making you feel bad, stop doing what you were doing and try something new. Such as when you are in a conversation with someone, and they are trying to push your agenda, or they are saying something nasty, you can say, you are right. Whether you agree with them or not, how can you argue with someone who is telling you that you are right. Some people might have trouble with that. In those situations, you can say things like I understand. Or can you explain that. The beauty of those phrases is that it shows that you are listening. These people that are making you feel back, they just want people to listen to them. They might even be flattered that you are listening to them and taking their suggestions seriously. Those little words can change the whole dynamic of a conversation.
Terri: I am sitting here and I am like shaking my head up and down saying, I recently got rid of someone toxic and it took me almost 2 years. I knew they were toxic and couldn’t get rid of them and finally, I just stopped arguing. Whatever he says, whatever. I am not going there and not going to get into it anymore. It made him almost give up. He told me one time, you are impossible. I am like, hmmmmm, it’s because I am not arguing. I wish I had you because I would have taken all of the power away. This is what I love about you. You give simple easy strategies and you are not coming from a psychology background. I would rather have someone who has experience and living a happy life. Who do you specialize in? Who do you like to work with and why?
Gayle: I like to work with women. We have a way to internalize this bad toxic behavior and they don’t understand that it’s not their fault. Toxic people driving you crazy have issues themselves. Whether they had a fight with their partner, their career didn’t work out, whatever, it’s not you, it’s them. It has nothing to do with you. That is the key that a lot of people miss. They internalize it. You need to embrace how you feel. If you feel sad or angry, you need to express that. It’s a feeling. You don’t want to bury it inside you and express it. Embrace how you feel. You need to let it go. And you are in a situation where somebody makes you feel angry. Those things are ok. Just don’t hold onto it. Typically women have more of an issue with that. A lot of men let it roll off of their back. In some cases, they are still affected. It’s really people from all walks of life. It feels like this is a sickness. I think people forget that it’s not about them. Then they internalize it and they forget who they are. What I try and tell people is you need to take those words, express how you feel, then let it go. Put yourself first and do something that is constructive. Don’t do things like what I used to do. I would eat too much and make myself sick. Or drinking, or hurt yourself. Do something that will make your situation better. Something you enjoy. If you don’t know what that is, try new things. I started learning Spanish. It can be as easy as jumping in the shower and letting the water hit you and just experience. Just keep trying. Maybe it’s exercising. Planning a weekend getaway. Getting lost in a movie. Once you take the emotion out of everything, and you are back to center, you can figure out what to do next. Do you want to keep the relationship and save it? If that is the case, then you need to say something. In some cases, these toxic people don’t even know they are toxic. If you are not getting anything out of the relationship, then cut it off. There is no shame in that if they constantly make you feel miserable.
Terri: Brilliant. Great advice and so logical. You get to make the choices in how you want to react or respond. Women are different I agree. Our stories are deep. We breathe them in deeply. I know from growing up with being fat, ugly and stupid, it took me years to get that out of my head. The stupid part didn’t leave me until about 15 years ago. Somebody said something and they said stupid and I became a raving lunatic. My husband told me to calm down. I couldn’t stand to be called that. I have a PHD. I am not stupid. My husband helped me with that. People don’t choose to be toxic. There is something going on with them. They are not born wanting to cause trouble. This rocked. I could talk another hour. I would like to bring you back. How can people get in touch with you?
Gayle: You can visit my website called Groundedgirlsguide.com and there you can hit up my blog and you can grab a freebie that will help you frame your toxic person and how to deal with them. It’s kind of like a toxic person survival guide. BooksbyGayle.com and you can check out my books.
Terri: Thanks for joining us here today.
Gayle: Thanks for having me.