The way people behave around us, what they think and say matters a lot even if we aren't always aware of this. All of these can change our mood in an instant, potentially changing the way our day evolves. The people we surround ourselves with can either drain us or contribute to our growth and there isn't an exception or a middle route.
When I went outside today, I already expected that I will lose some time waiting for busses and traveling to the center of the town. There was a bit longer delay than usual, and later I understood that the bus tact was changed to 30mins. Because it came late, more people had to get on and it quickly became full, even before it reached ¼ of its route. People started to get nervous, anger sprouted out, suddenly it wasn't ok that the controller had to move frequently back and forth. A lot of people were stuffed in the small bus and some openly expressed their disagreement with the new schedule. The majority of the people were old and there weren't enough places to sit for everyone. Some even said unapologetically that place X is theirs even if it was already taken by another person that needed it. There weren't enough places where passengers could hold themselves, so I reached for the top handle, trying to make some more room for new people to enter. At the same time I needed to remain stable (being almost on my toes) and not stagger or step on someone, in case the driver made a sharp maneuver. The problem wasn't so much that the small bus was overcrowded, but the negativity that this allowed to thrive around. The entire space felt poisoned, since people were openly expressing a variety of negative emotions, without asking whether others wanted to listen to them first. One woman next to me said with a tone of resignation: “Ah, now all promises don't matter. They are emptied of their contents.” I'm not sure if she was provoked to say this. She might have felt that there is a target audience for her message. Another one said: “Without being the first to sit down, I have now officially tested all elbows.” Minutes ago, she was trying to find a place to hold herself, and she felt ok to put her two arms on my hand. (This was another reason why I reached for the handle.) But since elbows were involved, I even thought that I might have hit her unintentionally, despite having no indication of this. She also didn't say anything about me, but it made me feel like I did something wrong. It is hard to decipher whether something is a statement or accusation when it comes from your back.
Many environments become poisonous when people start to feel that others are required to listen to their rants. These people can affect us indirectly/invisibly/secretly and what we see and listen to can shape our own mentality if we allow it to. We may start to feel unsure in ourselves and our abilities, feel less capable, physically inferior or emotionally unstable. What we think about and do during our days shouldn't be a function of what others want us to think. When a certain threshold is passed, we should clearly state that we don't want this behavior to be repeated in the future and if a person can't subscribe to this, it's probably better to end the relationship on the spot. We can't allow any small thoughts to derail us; we can't allow outside influences to direct us. Being insensitive to poisonous behavior helps in order to not be absorbed by it. Our poison factor gets fully revealed in bad times, which makes it even more critical then to examine how we spend our time. We need to create an environment that will support our goals—one that filters out poisonous effects and enables constructive, cooperative behavior.