When I say eyebrows…

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Some of the suggestions made in order to protect our mental health in mainstream print and visual media channels, especially in social media, have the potential to pose a threat to our mental health. We see that among these dangerous suggestions, especially those related to protection from “negative people”, are adopted by many and perceived as “solutions”.

When searching with words such as “energy vampires”, “toxic people”, “toxic people”, “negative people” on Google or social media; Thousands of content can be accessed, including books, “articles”, videos, blog posts, “posts”, and newspaper compilations.
Suggestions made in this direction by some social media figures, who are followed by numbers with plenty of zeros and are probably considered “authorities” or “opinion leaders” by these followers, reinforce the perception of how “natural” it is to stay away from those people we are talking about.
Well, is the approach(s) that some people take towards harmful (!) people, whom they deem themselves more “sterile” and whom they distinguish from themselves with certain adjectives and advise to stay away from, really natural?

First of all, it may be useful to state; Adjectives such as “toxic/toxic human”, “energy vampire”, “negative human” have no equivalent in the scientific literature. These can be metaphors or similes used by people who use them. However, it is not innocent to categorize a group of people with such metaphors, because they also create a “stigmatization”.


The concept of stigmatization was first used by the ancient Greeks to refer to traitors, criminals, slaves, etc., who were considered to be morally unnatural. was used for. This concept; It refers to a “reducing/subtractive attribution” towards an individual when it is accepted that he/she goes beyond the limits accepted as “normal” by other people in the society. Thus, individuals who were stigmatized had a position of being disgraced, shamed and avoided, regardless of whether it was related to reality or not. Today, stigmatization is based on different gender, ethnic origin, physical appearance, religious belief, sexual orientation, nationality, etc. It is an extremely destructive human rights violation that is often committed against people with disabilities.

The American sociologist Howard Becker argues that people create a ‘deviation’ by labeling them as ‘other’, assuming that their lives are just their own and that they can apply the rules they themselves set to other people. Becker states that in this way, people attribute this deviation, which they create with the assumption of moving away from their own rules, to someone they see as “criminal”. If we say based on Becker’s thought; Stigmatization is not the result of any behavior that a person does, but the result of placing the “crime” on that person, which they have produced by accepting the violation of rules and sanctions determined by them as a justification.

On the other hand, characterizing people with some “discriminatory” and “exclusive” adjectives is a “microaggression” approach that can be evaluated within the scope of “discrimination”. The term microaggression, used by psychologist Ashburn-Nardo et al., refers to humiliating, often habitual verbal, behavioral, and systematic injustices against a person or group, whether intentionally or unintentionally. In daily life, patients, overweight, disabled, atheists, in short; This approach, which can be directed to anyone and everywhere who is perceived as the “other”, can reach a level that will destroy the reputation, mental health, career and relationships of those who are exposed over time. Countless expressions such as “You are a very negative person”, “You seem to have gained a lot of weight”, “Wow, how hard it is to live with this disability”, “He is a good person, but he is an atheist”, which is supposed to be innocent, can actually be a behavior of microaggression that hurts the person it is directed to.

Now, let’s get to the more crucial point of the issue: We make people poisonous, negative, energy absorbing, etc. characterizing with adjectives is also a form of “projection” in which the person “clears himself” by attributing his own problems to others. Projection means unconsciously picking up feelings or traits you don’t like about yourself and attributing them to someone else.


People tend to see negative traits in themselves that pose a threat to their “ego integrity” or “self-esteem” as if they belonged to someone else, thereby giving themselves relief. By reflecting, the person is freed from the trouble of accepting and dealing with the aspects of himself that he does not like. For example, behaviors such as dislike of someone who does not see himself as physically attractive, and humiliation of those around him by someone who does not consider himself worthy and worthy of being loved are examples of reflection.

When we look at the subject from the perspective of reflection, it is highly likely that people who are advised to stay away and labeled with different labels such as “negative”, “toxic”, and those who describe them in this way, avoid the same or similar characteristics that they have. In other words, people who label may be scapegoating others for their own pessimism and difficulties in coping with their troubles.

Escape from the trouble of dealing with oneself

By the way, we would like to draw your attention to Psychotherapist KR Koeing’s emphasis on the fact that the most prone to reflective people are those who do not know themselves very well, even if they think they are self-aware. For example, we know that people who feel worthless, have low self-esteem, or have concerns about not being good enough are more likely to project their own emotions onto others. On the other hand, people who can admit their failures and weaknesses and are comfortable thinking about the bad and the ugliness as well as the good in them tend not to reflect. Because these people have a higher tolerance for recognizing or experiencing negative aspects of themselves, they do not need reflection.

Well, aren’t there actually people who have trouble getting along with other people and are difficult to get along with? Of course, there are people who have adjustment problems or difficulties due to various psychopathologies and who project their situation onto other people. No one can be forced to associate with these people. It is a right to set limits on them. But someone cannot label them, exclude them, attack them with metaphors, or encourage others to exclude them because they cannot fit in with these people. It starts with a lack of empathy, to put it mildly, to being spiritually pathological and morally problematic to the extreme.

More importantly than all of these; The reason is that we all have the potential to be difficult, disagreeable, “negative” or pessimistic at times. Conversely, getting along with everyone or being liked by everyone or being “positive” may not necessarily mean that we are truly “good” spiritually!

As a result; Let’s take responsibility for a more livable world by trying to understand others, by empathizing, being patient, being willing to support, and remaining humane, instead of taking the easy way of blaming all the evils on the outside world by leaning on the comfort of judgment, stigma, and marginalization.

When you benefit from this article, we hope that you will display ethical behavior by citing the link https://www.nazimserin.com.tr/kas-yapayim-derken/. Hope it’s useful…

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