The Google Manifesto (A Woman's Perspective)

Diversity is very a dangerous topic.

For a number of reasons:

  1. A Google engineer was recently fired for it discussing it.
  2. There are nightmarish regulations around it. These can be emotionally taxing and expensive.
  3. Nearly everyone agrees we ought to strive for a meritocracy and “hire the best person for the job,” but no one wants to have the conversation as to if diversity quotas are good or bad for a system of meritocracy.
  4. If people within an institution feel that they don’t have shared values, it damages their ability to cooperate.
  5. If you can’t cooperate, you don’t have a company.

A senior Google Software engineer wrote an email on this dangerous topic. Whats being called “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber” manifesto has been circulating the internet.

I could respond with this graph…

This says everything, but in case images aren’t your thing I’ve hashed out some words.

If you are having a diversity debate in your company, the least creative thing you could do is double down on the side of diversity. Anti-discrimination laws protect political affiliation. Conservatives may be the minority in tech, but they’re the majority in the supreme court.

Recognize that a conversation about diversity is a political discussion. Values are never going to align with laser like levels of precision; a more creative option is to bring the diversity conversation back to the shared values of the company at large. Maybe Google was able to do some of this internally, but from outside this another authoritarian PR disaster.

As a woman in tech,

I think his piece articulated many of the problems with straying away from a meritocracy. Diversity quotas make it easy women to question the value they offer. Since the suspicion is that the woman is a diversity hire, there is potential for resentment on both sides underlies that uncertainty.

If you are a woman in tech,

As a conservative in tech,

I am always interested when I see a conservative engineer attempt the diversity question. Honesty and civility are something I strive for, something we should all strive for. But when people refuse to communicate the consequences are authoritarian. I don’t know what the proper way to handle political disagreements in the office is, but I don’t know that hierarchies are not just politics. They are real.

If you are a conservative in tech,

Senior positions at a company are not symbolic. This article is on the surface about diversity, but at a deeper level it is about competence. People rise in corporate dominance hierarchies not just because they are more “powerful”, but because they’re more competent and competence makes people more powerful. When we promote someone to the status of a senior position we give them more resources, higher pay because people respect them. And respect is necessary for the functioning of a proper hierarchy.

The take away from this manifesto and its authors’ subsequent firing is not just that Google is trying to silence conservatives, but its blinding itself of what conservatives see plainly. The Silicon Valley is undermining its hierarchy by not prioritizing good leaders and cultivating its outrage culture.

Full Manifesto Below:


Reply to public response and misrepresentation

I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don’t endorse using stereotypes. When addressing the gap in representation in the population, we need to look at population level differences in distributions. If we can’t have an honest discussion about this, then we can never truly solve the problem. Psychological safety is built on mutual respect and acceptance, but unfortunately our culture of shaming and misrepresentation is disrespectful and unaccepting of anyone outside its echo chamber. Despite what the public response seems to have been, I’ve gotten many personal messages from fellow Googlers expressing their gratitude for bringing up these very important issues which they agree with but would never have the courage to say or defend because of our shaming culture and the possibility of being fired. This needs to change.

TL:DR

  • Google’s political bias has equated the freedom from offense with psychological safety, but shaming into silence is the antithesis of psychological safety.
    This silencing has created an ideological echo chamber where some ideas are too sacred to be honestly discussed.
  • The lack of discussion fosters the most extreme and authoritarian elements of this ideology.
    Extreme: all disparities in representation are due to oppression
    Authoritarian: we should discriminate to correct for this oppression
  • Differences in distributions of traits between men and women may in part explain why we don’t have 50% representation of women in tech and leadership. Discrimination to reach equal representation is unfair, divisive, and bad for business.

Background [1]

People generally have good intentions, but we all have biases which are invisible to us. Thankfully, open and honest discussion with those who disagree can highlight our blind spots and help us grow, which is why I wrote this document.[2] Google has several biases and honest discussion about these biases is being silenced by the dominant ideology. What follows is by no means the complete story, but it’s a perspective that desperately needs to be told at Google.

Google’s biases

At Google, we talk so much about unconscious bias as it applies to race and gender, but we rarely discuss our moral biases. Political orientation is actually a result of deep moral preferences and thus biases. Considering that the overwhelming majority of the social sciences, media, and Google lean left, we should critically examine these prejudices.

Left Biases

  • Compassion for the weak
  • Disparities are due to injustices
  • Humans are inherently cooperative
  • Change is good (unstable)
  • Open
  • Idealist

Right Biases

  • Respect for the strong/authority
  • Disparities are natural and just
  • Humans are inherently competitive
  • Change is dangerous (stable)
  • Closed
  • Pragmatic

Neither side is 100% correct and both viewpoints are necessary for a functioning society or, in this case, company. A company too far to the right may be slow to react, overly hierarchical, and untrusting of others. In contrast, a company too far to the left will constantly be changing (deprecating much loved services), over diversify its interests (ignoring or being ashamed of its core business), and overly trust its employees and competitors.

Only facts and reason can shed light on these biases, but when it comes to diversity and inclusion, Google’s left bias has created a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence. This silence removes any checks against encroaching extremist and authoritarian policies. For the rest of this document, I’ll concentrate on the extreme stance that all differences in outcome are due to differential treatment and the authoritarian element that’s required to actually discriminate to create equal representation.

Possible non-bias causes of the gender gap in tech [3]

At Google, we’re regularly told that implicit (unconscious) and explicit biases are holding women back in tech and leadership. Of course, men and women experience bias, tech, and the workplace differently and we should be cognizant of this, but it’s far from the whole story.

On average, men and women biologically differ in many ways. These differences aren’t just socially constructed because:

  • They’re universal across human cultures
  • They often have clear biological causes and links to prenatal testosterone
  • Biological males that were castrated at birth and raised as females often still identify and act like males
  • The underlying traits are highly heritable
  • They’re exactly what we would predict from an evolutionary psychology perspective

Note, I’m not saying that all men differ from women in the following ways or that these differences are “just.” I’m simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership. Many of these differences are small and there’s significant overlap between men and women, so you can’t say anything about an individual given these population level distributions.

Personality differences

Women, on average, have more:

  • Openness directed towards feelings and aesthetics rather than ideas. Women generally also have a stronger interest in people rather than things, relative to men (also interpreted as empathizing vs. systemizing).
  • These two differences in part explain why women relatively prefer jobs in social or artistic areas. More men may like coding because it requires systemizing and even within SWEs, comparatively more women work on front end, which deals with both people and aesthetics.
  • Extraversion expressed as gregariousness rather than assertiveness. Also, higher agreeableness.
  • This leads to women generally having a harder time negotiating salary, asking for raises, speaking up, and leading. Note that these are just average differences and there’s overlap between men and women, but this is seen solely as a women’s issue. This leads to exclusory programs like Stretch and swaths of men without support.
  • Neuroticism (higher anxiety, lower stress tolerance).This may contribute to the higher levels of anxiety women report on Googlegeist and to the lower number of women in high stress jobs.

Note that contrary to what a social constructionist would argue, research suggests that “greater nation-level gender equality leads to psychological dissimilarity in men’s and women’s personality traits.” Because as “society becomes more prosperous and more egalitarian, innate dispositional differences between men and women have more space to develop and the gap that exists between men and women in their personality becomes wider.” We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism.

Men’s higher drive for status

We always ask why we don’t see women in top leadership positions, but we never ask why we see so many men in these jobs. These positions often require long, stressful hours that may not be worth it if you want a balanced and fulfilling life.

Status is the primary metric that men are judged on[4], pushing many men into these higher paying, less satisfying jobs for the status that they entail. Note, the same forces that lead men into high pay/high stress jobs in tech and leadership cause men to take undesirable and dangerous jobs like coal mining, garbage collection, and firefighting, and suffer 93% of work-related deaths.

Non-discriminatory ways to reduce the gender gap

Below I’ll go over some of the differences in distribution of traits between men and women that I outlined in the previous section and suggest ways to address them to increase women’s representation in tech and without resorting to discrimination. Google is already making strides in many of these areas, but I think it’s still instructive to list them:

  • Women on average show a higher interest in people and men in things
  • We can make software engineering more people-oriented with pair programming and more collaboration. Unfortunately, there may be limits to how people-oriented certain roles and Google can be and we shouldn’t deceive ourselves or students into thinking otherwise (some of our programs to get female students into coding might be doing this).
  • Women on average are more cooperative
  • Allow those exhibiting cooperative behavior to thrive. Recent updates to Perf may be doing this to an extent, but maybe there’s more we can do. This doesn’t mean that we should remove all competitiveness from Google. Competitiveness and self reliance can be valuable traits and we shouldn’t necessarily disadvantage those that have them, like what’s been done in education. Women on average are more prone to anxiety. Make tech and leadership less stressful. Google already partly does this with its many stress reduction courses and benefits.
  • Women on average look for more work-life balance while men have a higher drive for status on average
  • Unfortunately, as long as tech and leadership remain high status, lucrative careers, men may disproportionately want to be in them. Allowing and truly endorsing (as part of our culture) part time work though can keep more women in tech.
  • The male gender role is currently inflexible
  • Feminism has made great progress in freeing women from the female gender role, but men are still very much tied to the male gender role. If we, as a society, allow men to be more “feminine,” then the gender gap will shrink, although probably because men will leave tech and leadership for traditionally feminine roles.

Philosophically, I don’t think we should do arbitrary social engineering of tech just to make it appealing to equal portions of both men and women. For each of these changes, we need principles reasons for why it helps Google; that is, we should be optimizing for Google—with Google’s diversity being a component of that. For example currently those trying to work extra hours or take extra stress will inevitably get ahead and if we try to change that too much, it may have disastrous consequences. Also, when considering the costs and benefits, we should keep in mind that Google’s funding is finite so its allocation is more zero-sum than is generally acknowledged.

The Harm of Google’s biases

I strongly believe in gender and racial diversity, and I think we should strive for more. However, to achieve a more equal gender and race representation, Google has created several discriminatory practices:

  • Programs, mentoring, and classes only for people with a certain gender or race [5]
  • A high priority queue and special treatment for “diversity” candidates
  • Hiring practices which can effectively lower the bar for “diversity” candidates by decreasing the false negative rate
  • Reconsidering any set of people if it’s not “diverse” enough, but not showing that same scrutiny in the reverse direction (clear confirmation bias)
  • Setting org level OKRs for increased representation which can incentivize illegal discrimination [6]

These practices are based on false assumptions generated by our biases and can actually increase race and gender tensions. We’re told by senior leadership that what we’re doing is both the morally and economically correct thing to do, but without evidence this is just veiled left ideology[7] that can irreparably harm Google.

Why we’re blind

We all have biases and use motivated reasoning to dismiss ideas that run counter to our internal values. Just as some on the Right deny science that runs counter to the “God > humans > environment” hierarchy (e.g., evolution and climate change) the Left tends to deny science concerning biological differences between people (e.g., IQ[8] and sex differences). Thankfully, climate scientists and evolutionary biologists generally aren’t on the right. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of humanities and social scientists learn left (about 95%), which creates enormous confirmation bias, changes what’s being studied, and maintains myths like social constructionism and the gender wage gap[9]. Google’s left leaning makes us blind to this bias and uncritical of its results, which we’re using to justify highly politicized programs.

In addition to the Left’s affinity for those it sees as weak, humans are generally biased towards protecting females. As mentioned before, this likely evolved because males are biologically disposable and because women are generally more cooperative and areeable than men. We have extensive government and Google programs, fields of study, and legal and social norms to protect women, but when a man complains about a gender issue issue [sic] affecting men, he’s labelled as a misogynist and whiner[10]. Nearly every difference between men and women is interpreted as a form of women’s oppression. As with many things in life, gender differences are often a case of “grass being greener on the other side”; unfortunately, taxpayer and Google money is spent to water only one side of the lawn.

The same compassion for those seen as weak creates political correctness[11], which constrains discourse and is complacent to the extremely sensitive PC-authoritarians that use violence and shaming to advance their cause. While Google hasn’t harbored the violent leftists protests that we’re seeing at universities, the frequent shaming in TGIF and in our culture has created the same silence, psychologically unsafe environment.

Suggestions

I hope it’s clear that I’m not saying that diversity is bad, that Google or society is 100% fair, that we shouldn’t try to correct for existing biases, or that minorities have the same experience of those in the majority. My larger point is that we have an intolerance for ideas and evidence that don’t fit a certain ideology. I’m also not saying that we should restrict people to certain gender roles; I’m advocating for quite the opposite: treat people as individuals, not as just another member of their group (tribalism).

My concrete suggestions are to:

De-moralize diversity.

  • As soon as we start to moralize an issue, we stop thinking about it in terms of costs and benefits, dismiss anyone that disagrees as immoral, and harshly punish those we see as villains to protect the “victims.”

Stop alienating conservatives.

  • Viewpoint diversity is arguably the most important type of diversity and political orientation is one of the most fundamental and significant ways in which people view things differently.
  • In highly progressive environments, conservatives are a minority that feel like they need to stay in the closet to avoid open hostility. We should empower those with different ideologies to be able to express themselves.
  • Alienating conservatives is both non-inclusive and generally bad business because conservatives tend to be higher in conscientiousness, which is require for much of the drudgery and maintenance work characteristic of a mature company.

Confront Google’s biases.

  • I’ve mostly concentrated on how our biases cloud our thinking about diversity and inclusion, but our moral biases are farther reaching than that.
  • I would start by breaking down Googlegeist scores by political orientation and personality to give a fuller picture into how our biases are affecting our culture.

Stop restricting programs and classes to certain genders or races.

  • These discriminatory practices are both unfair and divisive. Instead focus on some of the non-discriminatory practices I outlined.

Have an open and honest discussion about the costs and benefits of our diversity programs.

  • Discriminating just to increase the representation of women in tech is as misguided and biased as mandating increases for women’s representation in the homeless, work-related and violent deaths, prisons, and school dropouts.
  • There’s currently very little transparency into the extend of our diversity programs which keeps it immune to criticism from those outside its ideological echo chamber.
  • These programs are highly politicized which further alienates non-progressives.
  • I realize that some of our programs may be precautions against government accusations of discrimination, but that can easily backfire since they incentivize illegal discrimination.

Focus on psychological safety, not just race/gender diversity.

  • We should focus on psychological safety, which has shown positive effects and should (hopefully) not lead to unfair discrimination.
  • We need psychological safety and shared values to gain the benefits of diversity
  • Having representative viewpoints is important for those designing and testing our products, but the benefits are less clear for those more removed from UX.

De-emphasize empathy.

I’ve heard several calls for increased empathy on diversity issues. While I strongly support trying to understand how and why people think the way they do, relying on affective empathy—feeling another’s pain—causes us to focus on anecdotes, favor individuals similar to us, and harbor other irrational and dangerous biases. Being emotionally unengaged helps us better reason about the facts.

Prioritize intention.

  • Our focus on microaggressions and other unintentional transgressions increases our sensitivity, which is not universally positive: sensitivity increases both our tendency to take offense and our self censorship, leading to authoritarian policies. Speaking up without the fear of being harshly judged is central to psychological safety, but these practices can remove that safety by judging unintentional transgressions.
  • Microaggression training incorrectly and dangerously equates speech with violence and isn’t backed by evidence.

Be open about the science of human nature.

  • Once we acknowledge that not all differences are socially constructed or due to discrimination, we open our eyes to a more accurate view of the human condition which is necessary if we actually want to solve problems.

Reconsider making Unconscious Bias training mandatory for promo committees.

  • We haven’t been able to measure any effect of our Unconscious Bias training and it has the potential for overcorrecting or backlash, especially if made mandatory.
  • Some of the suggested methods of the current training (v2.3) are likely useful, but the political bias of the presentation is clear from the factual inaccuracies and the examples shown.
  • Spend more time on the many other types of biases besides stereotypes. Stereotypes are much more accurate and responsive to new information than the training suggests (I’m not advocating for using stereotypes, I [sic] just pointing out the factual inaccuracy of what’s said in the training).

[1] This document is mostly written from the perspective of Google’s Mountain View campus, I can’t speak about other offices or countries.

[2] Of course, I may be biased and only see evidence that supports my viewpoint. In terms of political biases, I consider myself a classical liberal and strongly value individualism and reason. I’d be very happy to discuss any of the document further and provide more citations.

[3] Throughout the document, by “tech”, I mostly mean software engineering.

[4] For heterosexual romantic relationships, men are more strongly judged by status and women by beauty. Again, this has biological origins and is culturally universal.

[5] Stretch, BOLD, CSSI, Engineering Practicum (to an extent), and several other Google funded internal and external programs are for people with a certain gender or race.

[6] Instead set Googlegeist OKRs, potentially for certain demographics. We can increase representation at an org level by either making it a better environment for certain groups (which would be seen in survey scores) or discriminating based on a protected status (which is illegal and I’ve seen it done). Increased representation OKRs can incentivize the latter and create zero-sum struggles between orgs.

[7] Communism promised to be both morally and economically superior to capitalism, but every attempt became morally corrupt and an economic failure. As it became clear that the working class of the liberal democracies wasn’t going to overthrow their “capitalist oppressors,” the Marxist intellectuals transitioned from class warfare to gender and race politics. The core oppressor-oppressed dynamics remained, but now the oppressor is the “white, straight, cis-gendered patriarchy.”

[8] Ironically, IQ tests were initially championed by the Left when meritocracy meant helping the victims of the aristocracy.

[9] Yes, in a national aggregate, women have lower salaries than men for a variety of reasons. For the same work though, women get paid just as much as men. Considering women spend more money than men and that salary represents how much the employees sacrifices (e.g. more hours, stress, and danger), we really need to rethink our stereotypes around power.

[10] “The traditionalist system of gender does not deal well with the idea of men needing support. Men are expected to be strong, to not complain, and to deal with problems on their own. Men’s problems are more often seen as personal failings rather than victimhood,, due to our gendered idea of agency. This discourages men from bringing attention to their issues (whether individual or group-wide issues), for fear of being seen as whiners, complainers, or weak.”

[11] Political correctness is defined as “the avoidance of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against,” which makes it clear why it’s a phenomenon of the Left and a tool of authoritarians.

No More Virtue Signaling. No More Trolling. Debate Me. (1 BTC)

This is an inline response to The Daily Californian article. Original article archived here.

It’s June in Berkeley. The weather is amazing and all we want to do is lay around outside and get a tan.

But instead, our news cycle is filled with yet another far-right agitator trying to ruin the summer sun.

I prefer to identify as a center-right Freedom Rider.

Kiara Robles, a Trump supporter and an Oakland resident, filed a lawsuit last Monday against a whole slew of officials and institutions — the UC Board of Regents, Nicholas Dirks, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín, UCPD, BPD, Monica Lozano, By Any Means Necessary, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and even billionaire investor George Soros, among others. George Soros? He doesn’t even go here.

The sheer scope of this group of defendants is laughable. She’s represented by an attorney from right-wing watchdog group Freedom Watch. They’re attention seekers; they peddle petty conspiracy theories.

I thought journalists were supposed to site their claims. Wouldn’t it help your argument to have included citations? Even I include citations, and this is a Github hosted personal blog.

She’s alleging that campus and university officials violated federal law and campus policies during the handling of the Feb. 1 Milo Yiannopoulos campus protest, where Robles was attacked with pepper spray and bear mace by masked assailants.

Alleging? You can view more about the filed complaint here.

Black Lives Matters protesters are tear gassed and beaten up plenty and they don’t get a penny. In fact, people often even tell them it’s their own fault for protesting.

Black Lives Matter is a 501C3 nonprofit that recived over 275 tons worth of pennies from the Open Society Foundation (founded by George Soros) last year.1

Robles and her lawyers want to make Berkeley a spectacle of liberal hypocrisy…

I don’t want to make Berkeley a spectacle—it is one.

but the suit is just wasting what little energy students and faculty have after another insurmountable school year.

The gravitational forces from your self-centeredness is orbiting the rest of the country around Berkeley. You are studying at the most privileged public universities in the country. I don’t believe you are so weak that to crumble at the first sign of conflict.

The UC is already broke as it is, and these litigation fees are probably a bit taxing on students’ rights to their educations. Robles isn’t even a UC student, what gall does she have to tell us what to do on our campus?

I have the gall of a voting taxpayer. Even if you did have a right to a government subsidized education, which you don’t, wouldn’t be advantageous to your argument to make the continual case to the country as to why this was a worthwhile investment?

Eighty-two percent of papers in the humanities are never cited, not once.2 Academics write papers to satisfy their own existence. The libraries buy the papers because they have too. The papers sit on the shelves collecting dust because no one reads them, and taxpayers are forced to finance this environmental waste.

Funding the next generation of entitled elite is up for public debate for as long as you continue to receive public funding.

Robles and her lawyer, Larry Klayman, claim she was discriminated against because of her sexual orientation. They seem to be trying to make fun of liberals, using a politicization of Robles’ identity and playing liberals at their own game, so to speak.

Identity politics is the only world you know. You are incapable of understanding why or how any minority group could disagree with liberalism on the basis on the issues. Because you believe race, gender, and class trumps every other consiveable issue. I reject that notion.

But plenty of marginalised groups face actual systemic discrimination and prejudice (happy Pride month, by the way, to those still marginalized within the queer community by people such as Yiannopoulos and Robles).

You mentioned liberal hypocrisy above. I would remind you that in any other context you would view, public beatings in the street as discrimination and prejudice. As for the word “systemic”, you might be too far gone to realize how indoctrinated you are. But for everyone else reading I would take note of the language here. Systemic is a word people use when they can’t make a signific claim of discrimination or prejudice because the claim is completely unfounded.

The video of Robles being pepper-sprayed speaks volumes to her character and to the nature of this entire situation. Tensely, with her Make Bitcoin Great Again hat perched atop her head, she spews generic right-wing nonsense at the interviewer until she’s pepper-sprayed.

Good use of quotes there. Great journalism. Such wow.

Do you think if my views had been less “generic right-wing” the “protester” would have been more or less inclined to mace me?

I was there to attend a public speaking event. Quote, “Props to all the people who are here protesting peacefully, but I think that’s a very rare thing indeed..”. 3

Students are honestly exhausted from all these national conservative organisations coming in and trying to turn our home and our lives into some inaccurate national spectacle. We’re not even doing anything newsworthy anymore. Just let us be. Sheesh!

To the sane people reading this, I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that the baby boomers have raised a generation to view politics as a burden that gets in the way of their tanning time. Know that some of us millennials are paying attention. We’re not all this ditsy and degenerate.

And while we’re at it, move out of Oakland, too, Ms. Robles. Trump supporters definitely don’t fit in in this historically progressive city.

I’ve always been proud to live in the most diverse city in the country, but I’m starting to realize that this place isn’t that diverse at all. Berkeley is a monoculture of liberalism, which measures the superficial diversity of skin color and prioritises it over any depth and diversity in thought. No one believes you really want diversity, you want a place with shared values just like everyone else. The contradiction is that a culture of shared values is antithetical to diversity.

Editorials represent the majority opinion of the Editorial Board as written by the opinion editor.

No more virtue signaling, no more trolling. None of this “not wanting to give people a platform” rhetoric. If you are going to advocate for an immigration policy against me publically, you ought to be more than capable of debating me publically.

If we can have a public debate on campus on the topic of immigration, justice versus social justice, or free speech versus hate speech I will personally donate 1 Bitcoin to Black Girls Who Code to support education in the STEM fields.

The opinion editor at The Daily Californian Holly Secon, is clearly a beauty. But does she have brains?

Identifying & Removing Toxic Humans

Buzzfeed would post something like: “15 Signs Your Relationship is Toxic”, and I could write that. I could tell you to stay away from fat people, SJWs, shit coiners, and that would 100% be good advice. But as the number of red flags for cultural toxicity grows, it’s better to have a comprehensive methodology rather than any one specific identifier.

Toxicity Testing

Toxic people are capable of causing harm, stress, or outright death. These people consume your energy in a variety of forms. They rob you of your time, your money, any and all conceivable joy.

Look for negativity in your life. When you interact with a person see how you feel. Someone you’re unsure about asks if you want to hang out or talk go and see if you have a good time. Notice the habits you have in the relationship, are they overly critical of you, are you spending a lot of money, is the conversation small, petty, boring, or repetitive?

Often the negativity will voice itself as a concern troll. Pretending to be helpful, when really they’re actively trying to waste your time. You can identify this by actually addressing their concern. If they always have just one more concern.. #GTFO

Negativity affects your mental state on a day to day basis, and enough negativity can stunt your life entirely. Pay attention to it.

Yes, not all negativity is toxic. Some feedback is genuine criticism, but criticism only matters if it’s coming from a person you care about and respect. You have to see what type of negativity affects you and decide what to do about it.

Toxicity Identification

Most people believe they’re a “good” person. Their the goal isn’t to radically change from bad to good but to become an incrementally better version of themselves. It doesn’t even matter what metric you’re using to define “good”, if someone doesn’t think you’re a good person any sustained relationship with them is toxic.

What could someone think, do, or believe that would make you put them in the box called “bad people”?


  • Level I: Toxic people take their box and put you in it. (Projection)
  • Level II: Toxic people take your box and put you in it. (Button Pusher)
  • Level III: Toxic people does combos of both, blames you, then plays the victim.

  • Level I Ex: I think religious people are stupid. You’re religious ergo, you’re stupid.
  • Level II Ex: You think being irrational is bad? I’m going to call you irrational every time we fight.
  • Level III is too advanced. Even I can’t do it.

Revaluate your current social circle

Out of everyone in the world, you’ve chosen the people in your life right now. If you’re not happy with your social circle (and you’re above the age of 13) it’s probably your fault. Relationships are a lot of work, and more than just work, they’re tons of responsibility. Your friends, your girlfriend, your family are your people. Why shouldn’t they be the best people?

Re-evaluating your social circle is hard because people are generally afraid to judge others, especially people close to them. This is not just a personal problem it’s an entire cultural problem. You’re not allowed to criticise other people, other cultures, other snowflakes. A lot of people are entitled, everyone is special, and the toxicity spreads.

Immediate Removal

Once you’ve identified a significant human toxin in your life you need to take step towards removal immediatly. You can start by reducing contact. This may work in some cases. But because toxicity and tolerance rates vary in each relationship, it’s important to remain conscientious of each individual threat. The goal is a complete purge of the toxin.

If you’re really in deep with several years of long-standing toxic relationships removal will be harder than identification. The most important thing is to cut out the fat, stop progressing towards obesity. Spend a year without friends and investing in new ones, you’ll value those people if only because it’s not easy to find them.

Removal is hard when your neural networks are trained to associate love with abuse, or friendship with drama. This should have been step 0, but ultimately you will have to decide what you want out of a relationship. If you can’t define what a good relationship is you’ll probably settle for a bad one.

Once you’ve decided someones got to go—and you’re going to pop them like a pimple, it’s important to tell them why. Not because you owe people anything. But because if they’re really toxic and you’ve been a victim of it, they have a lot of power over you.

When a snake bites its pray the venom thickens it’s blood until it can’t move. You have to retrain your body to not react to their toxicity, and in order to do that, you have to confront them. Maybe it goes well, probably it won’t. But the more difficult the situation, the more careful you’ll be about inviting toxicity into your life in the first place. And after they’re gone you’ll be amazed to realise how much you don’t miss them.