Dealing With Toxic People Through Mental Karate

Dealing with toxic people through mental karate

Recently, the psychologist and author Bernabé Tierno passed away. He was 75 years old and fought bone cancer and metastasis to his lung with the same strength and wisdom that he expressed in his works.

He has left us more than sixty published books, in addition to all the conferences and courses he has taught. For all that he has given me professionally and personally, I am writing this article today as a tribute to one of the most prestigious psychologists in Spain.

I remember Mental Karate as one of the books that had the most influence on me. Therefore, that’s the one I’m going to tell you about now. When I read it, I was surprised at the ability we humans have to control our own mind and thereby control our reactions and emotions.  We believe we are at the mercy of the outside world—our romantic partners, our co-workers, our family, our boss—but in reality, we are their slaves simply because we decide to be.


Bernabé teaches us in this work about the power of emotional intelligence and in particular about the power of words when it is time to change any problematic circumstances.

With a combination of wisdom and Eastern philosophy, communicated with policy, peace and patience, you can achieve far more victories than with violence and aggression. His book also suggests that love and positivity are the engines of change.

It has been scientifically proven that a poisonous word, bad news or negative language can do just as much damage as physical aggression. Positive words, on the other hand, can serve as a soothing balm. The problem is that in our society we are more and more surrounded every day by toxic people, stress and pain, mostly caused by ourselves. That is why it is important that we practice mental karate.

Practicing mental karate means learning to be like a rock, being aware that the key to whether the toxicity affects us or not lies with ourselves. Obviously we cannot control the thoughts or actions of others, but of course we can control ourselves.

The trick is to disarm the toxic person, that childish and immature person who wants to project his problems and bitterness onto us. Bernabé teaches us that we have a powerful antidote that can work on those impossible people: show them that they have no power over us, that they cannot control our feelings and our lives.

For example, if my coworker wants to upset me every day and I show him that he has the power to do so by getting angry, sad, or confused because of his behavior towards me, then I make sure he continues to behave in the same way towards me, for I give him what he wants. Bitter and toxic people need others to feel bad too.

Bernabé emphasizes emotion management as the key to personal growth. From peace, tranquility and peace you can achieve almost anything. And it’s stress and impulsivity that breaks all projects, relationships with others, and our own sanity. Let’s stop boycotting ourselves.

It is therefore very important that we learn to be emotionally intelligent, that we forgo the primary forms and forms based on emotions that do not solve anything. Instead, they cause even more problems. We must replace them with empathy, understanding and sweetness. With practice, nothing and no one will have the power to hit you or make you angry. You will be your own boss, without depending on the thoughts or words of your opponent.

One concept that we need to be very clear about is “ win-win. It’s not about getting engrossed in imaginary competitions or beating anyone. It’s about accepting another as a valid person who has their own beliefs and beliefs and that although we don’t share them, we can understand that fact and negotiate.

If we are sure of ourselves, we will be able to recognize when another person is right and we will be able to accept that we make mistakes. And this is not a problem, because it is the way to learn and know how to deal with any problem calmly and calmly, without ever losing control. Surprisingly, with this attitude we will gain more love, empathy and understanding from others.

To adjust? No way. A good mental karateka is very clear about what he wants and desires.  He is resolute in his convictions, but also knows how to accept the perspective of the other. Practice the “law of the opposite”. That is, when faced with the anger and wrath of your opponent, apply the opposite: a serene face, proper manners, and a firm appearance. Our peace is so important that we can’t lose it because of another person’s reactions, we can’t afford that!

If you want to be a good mental karateka and not be tormented by the bravado and childish reactions of others, you should read this book and practice the ideas contained therein. Perhaps with this philosophy you will begin to change your life as it once changed mine.

Rest in peace, teacher.

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