Toxic Personality Traits
Each item that we consume helps to either heal us or poison us. It is not just food that nourishes our bodies, but also everything that we see, hear, taste, smell, and feel. From the books you read to the air you breathe, all that you consume is a source of nourishment.
Every single conversation that you have will positively or negatively impact you. Review your relationships. Do these connections nourish love and support, or do they feed self-doubt and anxiety?
Often we encounter people who fuel our insecurities and drain our emotional wellbeing. If you notice this to be a trend for a certain person, they may be toxic. It is important to take a step back, assess the relationship, and care for yourself.
Below is a guide to help you starve the negative aspects of your life so that the positives may be nourished. You will learn to identify toxic personality traits and how to protect yourself from them as well as how to heal any toxic behaviors that you may have.
Toxic Personality Traits to Look for and Avoid
Selfishness: Can you think of anyone that asks for your support through all of their problems, yet when you need help they are never available? This is a key trait of a toxic person. Unless it is about them, these people don’t care. They do not support you and they definitely do not go out of their way for you. Conversations are almost always about them, and you will frequently find yourself cut off the moment you can finally get a word in.
Negativity: For a toxic person, something is always wrong and nothing is ever right. They often display their negativity through sarcastic comments and complaints. They focus on problems rather than solutions and may frequently suck all the positivity out of you.
Manipulation: To get what they want, toxic people often try to control you. These people are experts at playing your emotions and using them against you if needed. They may be very subtle with this, leaving people unaware that they are even being manipulated until it is too late.
Triggering Other’s Guilt: Toxic people tend to “guilt” others into getting what they want. If they are being accused of something, they may shift the conversation by bringing up irrelevant details about something you did years ago. If they are looking for attention, they may persuade you to drop what you are doing and spend time with them. A common example would be “if you really loved me you would come to see me tonight instead of going to that exercise class.”
Lacking Empathy: Unable to empathize, toxic people cannot comprehend the feelings that another person is experiencing. They don’t take the time to understand another person’s situation because they are too wrapped up in their own world.
Jealous and Judgmental: A toxic person feels a need to believe that they are the “best”. If something positive happens to another person, they become upset that this event did not happen to them as well. These feelings are often released through judgmental gossip or criticism. This is their attempt to lower your self-esteem and in turn, increase theirs. They try to build themselves up by tearing others down.
Telling Lies: Whether it is to get themselves out of a situation or to make themselves the hero of the story, toxic people may frequently lie. They might create an entirely new scenario, twist an existing story around, or just remove essential facts. Either way, this action leaves it difficult to trust what they are saying.
Victim Mentality: A toxic person will never admit they are wrong. Rather than taking responsibility for their feelings or actions, toxic people often blame anything or anyone but themselves. They are always the victims and they thrive off of others’ attention and compassion when they play this role.
Disrespectful: Needing always to be put first, toxic people will hurt anyone that they feel threatened by. They will not stop to respect you or your feelings. Often they may say very painful things and later play them off as a joke.
Center of Attention: Toxic people will do anything for attention. They love being the star of the show. Attention is their main source of validation; it makes them feel important. If there is ever a dull moment they will create a crisis just to enjoy watching people try to help them.
Protect Yourself from Toxic People
Spending time with a toxic person can leave you feeling emotionally drained and unfulfilled. They subtly attack your self-esteem and may leave you with a negative attitude. Although you may feel bad for them, your well-being must be a priority. Here are some steps to protect yourself from toxic people:
- Identify: Review the above list of toxic personality traits. A person does not have to possess each of the traits to be toxic. Just a few obvious signs may be enough. Knowing and understanding these traits is the first step to recognizing if there is anyone currently in your life that fits the description as well as identifying people that you will meet in the future. It is important to spot a toxic person before they get too close.
- Assess: Review your relationship with each person that you identified. How do they make you feel? Are you sad after your interactions? Drained? Do you feel pressured by them or the need to impress them? Be honest with yourself and take some time to weigh out the pros and cons.
- Set boundaries: You may not be able to change what another person does, but you can change what you do. Although you may feel guilty, setting boundaries is the most important thing you can do for your health. If you noted many negatives when you were assessing, it may be best to bring those relationships to an end. If this is not possible, you should set strict internal and external boundaries to follow. If this person is a close family member, counseling may be a step in the right direction.
- Follow your instincts: If you are unsure of whether someone is toxic or not, listen to your gut! Whenever you get a feeling that something or someone is not quite right, trust that feeling and take action to care for yourself.
Reviewing and Redirecting Your Behavior
Now, you may be great at noticing these traits externally – but have you searched within?
WHAT IF YOU’RE THE CAUSE OF TOXICITY IN YOUR LIFE?
Unfortunately, we all have unhealthy personalities deep within us that negatively impact our lives. We may consider them “issues”, but haven’t fully wrapped our minds around these traits and haven’t made an effort to change them.
Take a minute to review the list again. Are there any toxic personality traits that you can see in yourself?
Tips for healing your identified trait:
- Admit it. Look inward to identify all your toxic behaviors and start to eliminate them. Take 100% responsibility. Practice self-discipline.
- Be the hero, not the victim. When we play the victim, we chose to blame others instead of choosing responsibility. This only leads to feelings of powerlessness. No, the universe is not against you. Stop giving opportunities to people who make you feel inferior and let you down. Learn the power of saying “no” and “yes” to the right opportunities.
- Look on the bright side. You can never fail in life; your actions merely produce results. It’s up to you how to interpret those results. Positive thinking is an understanding of how to feel negative emotions and still maintain enough hope to keep going. Sometimes we can’t shape our life situation, but we can shape our attitude towards those situations. Be vigilant over your thoughts, and stop the toxic negativity.
- Take a break from social media. Don’t allow yourself to waste time scrolling through posts that you are judging or comparing yourself to. Worrying about what other people are doing consumes a lot of energy that could be spent on improving your own life. Constantly comparing what others have is completely toxic and a waste of time. Your life is your journey, not a competition with others. Measure your progress by comparing yourself to who you were yesterday.
- Accept that “perfect” is a myth. Perfectionism grows when you feel imperfect and deeply flawed. You have to constantly re-earn or re-prove your worth, to others or yourself. The problem is that you’re constantly seeking external validation. It’s like being on a treadmill, always chasing the feeling that everything in your life is “right”. But absolute perfection doesn’t exist. Life is a continual journey, constantly changing and evolving. You need to realize that true internal acceptance and peace comes from understanding what’s inside of you. You’ll never hustle your way into self-love.
- Say thank you. Be grateful for what you have instead of complaining about what you don’t have. Writing down three things each day that you are grateful for can open your eyes to all that you have and allow you to reach a greater appreciation for them. Slow down and enjoy each experience, sometimes the best things in life are easily overlooked.
Ask yourself: would you want to hang around with you? Be someone you want to be around. Your mission isn’t to please everyone, but are you bringing negativity to your environment? Today, you have the power to make incremental changes to evolve into a greater version of yourself.
Habits of Positive People
Happiness is defined by the individual. Two individuals with the same circumstances can either be positive or negative about the situation. Your attitude towards life experiences is crucial to develop healthy habits, which project happiness. In this blog post, I will identify patterns of positive people. It’s not a superpower. It’s a mindset.
What are the habits of positive people?
Wake up every morning with the mindset that something great is possible today. Life is full of positive experiences, learn to notice them. Your mind is a window through which you see the world. The way you gear your mind in viewing the world is the way life will project itself into your perspective. Wake up with gratitude and be open-minded to what life has to offer. The way to make it a happy day is to think, feel, act, give, and serve as if you’re the most fortunate person.
Do it! Always find a reason to smile. Smiling people are known to be more attractive, sincere, and reliable. Smiling is self-healing energy. The way our brain is wired smiling will make you feel rewarded, “feel-good chemicals in your brain.” I’m not saying smiling will add years to your life, but it will add life to those years. Developing the habit of smiling will help strengthen the superpower of positivity. The world is just a better place when you smile.
Spend time with the right people
Positivity is contagious. Surround yourself with people who build confidence, make you smile, and stimulate creativity. Life is too precious to waste time with people who don’t treat you with respect. Negativity is also contagious, spending enough time with those individuals will bring you down. Working in the hospital setting made me realize contagious energy. Being around the sick and people who have so much negative energy, it rubs off on me. I have my ways of coping but the bottom line is, stop surrounding yourself with people like that.
“The only way to get better is to surround yourself with people who believe in you.”
Live the truth
Being true to yourself seems self-explanatory. In reality, without noticing, we change our authentic self to fit in without even realizing it. We act differently in front of our clients than with a close friend. In the most positive individuals, you find self-awareness and the aim to be true, not to impress. Being authentic means to have integrity, and that is always doing the right thing. It’s not about expressing yourself without a filter but more about being confident in what those opinions are.
“Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.” – Hardy D. Jackson
Appreciate life’s moments
You’ve got plenty of reasons to look up and say “Thank You.” Your life isn’t perfect but what life does have is its perfect moments. If you’re not noticing these moments, you need to slow down. Take a pause for a moment while sitting/standing and have that “awe” moment. You’re alive! All we really have is now, make the current moment your primary focus.
“We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.” ― Bill Watterson
Become addicted to self-improvement
Are you someone that likes to grow? Do you consistently seek to improve yourself and become better? I’m very passionate about personal development, and I believe it is the key to going past your limits. It doesn’t have to be January 1st to make the most out of self-improvement. Every day is a new day, a new day to learn, grow, move away from regret and develop your strength. The human potential is limitless; it’s impossible to reach a point of no growth, so stop limiting yourself with negative thoughts.
Every day has the potential for growth, reinvent yourself, and fine-tune based on experiences. It’s not too late. It is never too late to change things that aren’t working out and switch gears. Stop living in the past and worry about the present. Using today efficiently will help you forge a more positive tomorrow.
“Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.” ― Albert Einstein
What would happen if you approached each day willfully, with a positive mindset? What would happen if you surround yourself with positive people who motivate you? Conceptualize, if you tackled life’s tough challenges with a smile? Being a positive individual is not a superpower, it’s a mindset. Take action today to develop habits to help you focus on what truly matters, becoming the better version of yourself.
Truths of Life
In the game of life, we often find ourselves with more downs than ups. More sad moments than happy moments. The truth is we usually wait with hope for something to just happen, things to just change direction and only get better. Sometimes we need some tough love to open our eyes to the harsh truths that make us stronger.
“In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.” -Abraham Maslow
Truths That Will Make You Stronger
Life Isn’t Fair
We spend the majority of our lives waiting; waiting for something to happen, waiting for something to begin, waiting for something to end. Nothing comes simple. Luck isn’t what brings success, but rather hard work is what turns dreams into a plan and that plan a reality. Wake up every morning with the mindset of going further than you did yesterday.
Only Person That Can Make You Stronger is You
External influences can boost your mood, but for how long can others sustain your happiness? The origin of happiness comes from your relationship with yourself. Have a date for yourself and discover things that you have not before. The bottom line is; in the long run, nothing matters more than the way you feel about who you are on the inside.
The World Owes You Nothing
You can be the most intelligent person in the world, the funniest, and be the most attractive, but if no one is aware of these traits, you’ll get nothing out of them. We all feel entitled as if the universe owes us something? Listen. You are left with two options; either you continuously feel sorry for yourself because you deserve more or you step into the world, and you take what is attributed to you. Take a hint, which choice do successful people take? Be grateful. Be humble. Conquer your day. Being alive and healthy is a privilege.
There May be no Tomorrow
Death is a part of life. Nothing can prepare us for the earth-shattering feeling of losing a loved one. The truth is, this very moment you have someone planning something for tomorrow without actualizing the possibility of not having a tomorrow. Spend your time intelligently and appreciate the present moment. Don’t put off making that phone call, or visiting your family members that you haven’t seen in a while.
Not Everyone Will Support You
You can’t pose meaning to everyone and everything. Unfortunately, in life, there isn’t a shortage of haters, doubters, and Debbie Downers. You know that lasting happiness comes from you, therefore, trust your instincts and forget about the people that doubt you. In this society, we are always worried about gratification from others. Forget them. Concentrate on doing what you know in your heart is just.
You Can’t Control Everything
We all know those people that have a tight grip and micro-manage each situation. Letting go sometimes is the best option, as it’ll give an opportunity to grow, and allow for things to unfold as they are meant to be. I’ve sometimes learned that the events that are least planned turn out better than the events that are planned to the T. This doesn’t mean that you should have the mentality for everything of “wait and hope.” Still put in 100% dedication, but relinquish your grip and trust the universe which will make things right.
Failure is Inevitable
We may fail a few times and it devastates us. We quickly judge seeing ourselves as failures. The truth is, you are too hard on yourself. Whatever your aim is in life, you’ll never be 100% sure it will work, but you can 100% guarantee nothing will work if you don’t put in an effort. Look at the positive note of failure. It makes you learn a lesson, build strength, gain experience, and increase your chances of achieving the goal you set out to complete.
Information is Not Knowledge
The information does not equal true knowledge. Knowledge can only be achieved through direct experience. The first-hand experience that you expose yourself to will genuinely help you understand what is meant by the information. An example was learning how to start IV’s on patients. I can read a manual 100 times on the technique, even descriptions of the feeling when you’ve hit the vein. The information only gave me an understanding, until I do the task hands-on I will achieve knowledge, reasoning, and intuition.
Nobody is Too Busy
Guy or a girl never responded to you? How many times were you going to do something and told yourself “I will just do it later”? It is just a matter of priority. If you haven’t got a text/call from someone, it’s because they deliberately chose not to answer. People that tell you I don’t have time are simply telling you “You are not important.” Harsh truth but the sooner you learn this, the sooner you’ll make time for the people that share equal importance. Everyone has time; it’s just a matter of priority.
You Will Never be 100% Ready
We have always been told to make a decision when 100% ready. “Be ready before making the big decision.” Our parents protected us from ideas and truths we were not prepared to learn about. We have been conditioned to be thoroughly committed and ready before making the right decision. The fact is, nobody feels 100% when an opportunity arises. Waiting for the perfect moment will never happen because only experiences and lessons will prepare you for what is next in life. The most significant moments in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zone.
When an opportunity arises will you be the person that accepts the challenge of growth, or step back into safety?
Travel Nursing: Housing, Travel, and Transportation
When you accept your travel nursing assignment, you’ll have to establish your housing, transportation, and travel needs. If you decide to find your own housing, you’re in for a real project. You’ll need to figure out where you want to live, how you’ll get there, and what you’ll be doing there.
When looking to find a home for your travel nursing assignment, there are many things to consider.
- Proximity to the job. You’ll run into a lot of homes and condos that are available to rent or lease. The first question that arises is: how long and far are you willing to drive? If you wish to stay closer to the facility, you’re going to limit yourself. And that’s fine.
- Proximity to activities. If you accepted a travel nursing contract in a location you want to explore, this might be a deciding factor for you. Did you accept the contract because you also wanted a mini-vacation? Then you should be okay with driving a greater distance to work. It will expand your options. Live by the beach if you want to try water activities, or near a major city to enjoy its museums and nightlife.
- Cost. This will be the major factor in your decision on where to live. Do a cost analysis to make sure the place you want to stay is within your budget. Your goal as a travel nurse is to not only enjoy the assignment but also make money. Make sure you can both save and enjoy your hobbies. Remember to check whether the lease covers utilities.
- Necessities. You also have to think about your necessities. What are the things you must have? For example, when we took on a travel nursing contract, we needed either a pool or a hot tub. Maybe you want to be near a specific park, stadium, or peer.
It’s accurate to say that since you’re taking on a travel nursing contract, you’re either into traveling or you want to make more money. It’s always beneficial to get an idea of what you want to do or visit. You may only be in that area for the duration of your contract, and you may never return. You want to make the best of your travels. The quickest way to learn about a city is to look it up and discover the most popular places to visit. From there, you can meet locals and learn what they enjoy doing in that city. Your coworkers will be a great resource. They’ll know where everything is, the best places to get brunch, the trails with the highest points, where to see a waterfall, and which parks are the best. What finds it helpful to devote one day a week to an activity. You should also make a schedule for when to do activities, as well as a list of the activities you want to do.
Now you need to consider how you’re going to get to the place you’ll be living in. You have two options.
- Drive your car. This is the least costly method. Consider how long your drive will be and how much you’ll pay for gas. You also need to consider all the miles you’ll be putting on your car if you travel far away. The other key point about driving is that you won’t be able to pack as many things, because you can only pack so much in your car. This is a great choice for someone who packs light and enjoys road trips.
- Ship your car and fly. This is a good idea when you don’t like being in a car for long periods of time. This option will also cost much more than driving. Shipping a car can cost over a thousand dollars, depending on the season. We recommend looking at different transportation companies and comparing their rates. Plane tickets can also be expensive, so shop around for a good price. This is the more comfortable route to with. When flying, you’re also going to be able to bring luggage with you – but remember, that costs too.
As a travel nurse, there are a lot of things to consider in terms of housing, travel, and transportation. Travel nursing takes preparation and planning. Make sure you devote sufficient time to research and communication so you’re satisfied with your decisions.
Travel nursing contract negotiation
The most important part of travel nursing
In travel nursing, contract negotiation is important, as it will determine the amount you get paid. Fight for yourself in these contract negotiations. You know your self-worth. The goal you should have in mind is a win-win situation for both the recruiter and you.
Nursing recruiters want to make a good commission, as the travel company has metrics in place to help them maintain their profit margins. But you’ll have some wiggle room. It depends on the situation. For example, see if they can provide higher compensation for a crisis assignment.
How is your money made in travel nursing?
So business is transacted between the hospital and the travel agency. All your compensation, benefits, and reimbursements will come from the Bill Rate. The bill rate is the amount the hospital pays the travel agency based on the hours worked by each contracted nurse.
Bill Rate: $100/hr
Nurse pay rate: $50/hr (company profit 50%)
This is generally corporately mandated and covers such things as the company executives, employee salary/benefits, and a defined profit margin that the company specifies. Let’s break down the components of the travel nursing contract negotiation:
6 components of Travel Nurse Contract Negotiations
We are rating these from the highest in importance to the lowest. Each plays a role in creating the best contract for you:
- Travel Reimbursement
- Licensing Reimbursement
Everyone should have a number in mind for this when negotiating, even in sales. This will also affect how much you’ll be taxed. You already know Uncle Sam loves your money. You should care less about reimbursements for travel and a higher hourly rate. You can generally cover extra costs from your weekly net pay and year-end tax benefits. Try to ask your recruiter for the lowest base pay possible, as this will be the taxed portion of your pay.
This is the untaxed part of your pay and it is where the money is made. Stipends are broken down into money for housing and food, known as a “per diem”. Since you are an employee working for a short time in another location for the company, tax-free benefits are given to you as compensation.
The IRS has developed an allowable per diem amount for each area of the country. This is the maximum allowable for meals, lodging, and expenses. For more information, visit the GSA.
Most of your stipends will be spent on housing. There are two ways to figure out the housing situation when it comes to travel nursing. The company can provide housing for you, they might take your stipend, or you can receive your stipend and arrange housing on your own. We prefer to find housing ourselves. If you can manage the extra responsibility, you may be able to make more money at the end of your contract by pocketing that extra housing money.
Sometimes, this is a huge deciding factor. If you want to be close to the ocean or a particular neighborhood, you might want to consider whether good housing is available in the contract location.
How important this is will depend on the lifestyle you choose as a travel nurse. If you just want to work your 36 hours and enjoy exploring your world, overtime won’t matter much. If you want to return to school and need some extra cash, this is an important negotiating point. From a business standpoint, any hours worked over and above the signed contract are simply a benefit (revenue) for the travel nurse agency. The standard overtime offered by some companies is time and half of your hourly rate. Try to negotiate a higher overtime rate. If they don’t give in, remind them that working overtime benefits both you and the travel company.
The entire trip to your travel nursing contract will not be covered. If you do receive a travel reimbursement, it will be a non-taxable income. I prefer not to have a travel reimbursement and just negotiate higher pay/stipends, as that will generate more money over the course of 13 weeks(+). The most common form is typically a flat-rate reimbursement involving travel to and from your contract. This can range anywhere from $250-500.
If you applied for a multi-license to travel to multiple locations, your agency will offer to pay those costs. Depending on the state, some costs can be costly. Ask your agency to reimburse you for all costs regarding licensing.
The decision-making process
You must understand your travel nursing contract. Remember, this is only a temporary job, so if you don’t think like things mid-contract, in 13 weeks you can renegotiate. Is this contract everything you wanted? Write down a list of pros and cons and make your decision. You might feel immense pressure – but with any big life event, change feels uncomfortable at first.
Review the written contract carefully, ask your recruiter for any contracts they might have. If you voiced concerns verbally and agreed to them, make sure they’re outlined on the contract. Once you sign the contract, there’s no going back. You will be held accountable to the terms of the contract. No matter how small the issue, if it’s something important to you, make certain it’s written into the contract.
A checklist of items to review before signing your travel nursing contract:
- Contract start and end dates
- An hourly base rate, holiday pay, overtime rates
- Guaranteed hours (36,48)
- Stipends (per diem)
- Cancellation allowed by hospital
- Penalties for call-offs (sickness)
- On-call requirements
- Travel reimbursement
- Floating policy
- Requested days off
Once the contract is negotiated and everything looks good, you’re ready to sign and begin your travel nursing experience. Best of luck!