Interview with Bernardo Stamateas, author of "Gente Toxic"
The Argentine Bernardo Stamateas is one of the psychologists with greater repercussion and popularity. And it is not for less, since his works have always been among the best-selling books. In addition, he stands out for his facet of lecturer, where he usually talks about human relationships, leadership and personal improvement.
Of Greek descent, Stamateas has a vast training as a psychologist and sexologist, and his look at human behavior leaves no one indifferent .
Today we had the pleasure of sharing a conversation with Bernardo Stamateas, to review several topics about his life, his work and his vision about reality.
Interview with Bernardo Stamateas
Bertrand Regader: The sequel to his biggest editorial success "Toxic people" is his latest book: "More toxic people" (2014) What is happening in our daily lives so that we are constantly surrounded by people like that? Has it always happened?
Bernardo Stamateas: Toxic people have always been and always will be around us. Everyone who has destroyed their self-esteem, which is usually forged during childhood, will have toxicity in their lives to a greater or lesser extent and will fix their gaze on others. The reason is that he can not find a meaning, a direction to his life and decides to stick to someone else's life. In general, these are people with big relationship problems that, although they may seem large and important, hide behind masks that they consciously or unconsciously intend to sell to others.
Thousands of people live daily in this way, perhaps the freedom and technological advancement that we enjoy today in most of today's societies makes these attitudes more evident and uncovered, unlike other times where, although they existed, kept hidden or ignored. Not for that, the damage they caused was minor.
B.R. : What would be the main features that define toxic people?
Stamateas: As I explain in my book "More toxic people", every human being has some toxic trait, which is equivalent to an immature aerial personality. The truth is that we all come "factory failed". The difference with the toxic is that for the latter is not a characteristic but a way of living, thinking and acting.
Being toxic is a way to function. Another important difference is that most people try to improve their negative traits (for which they perceive them first); while the toxic does not recognize them, denies them, and chooses to blame others for their problems. That attitude does nothing but steal the energy of others.
B.R. : Another of his books, the also best-seller "Emociones Toxic", has given a lot to talk about. What are these emotions of self-destruction and how can we try not to be affected?
Stamateas: Emotions are part of our life and always send us a message. No emotion is bad in itself, because they all "teach" us something. Sadness makes us walk slowly, speak slowly and increase the process of reflection and introspection because there is a loss that needs to be worked out. Anger and frustration are emotions that generate inner strength because we see that there is a stone in the road and we need to be strong to run it. Guilt makes us feel bad for having transgressed a norm and provokes a process of reflection to produce a repair. If I insulted someone, now I will apologize.
Emotions become toxic when we give them free rein. For example, the person who says: "I express all my anger, that's why I'm never going to be infarcted." And that is just a toxic attitude, give it free rein. Or the one who represses his emotionality and says: "I never get angry". When we learn to express our emotions, to put them into words so that they have a meaning that helps us grow, then we are managing them intelligently. That is called "emotional intelligence."
B.R. : You are a multifaceted psychologist, a figure that may be getting lost to make way for ultra-specialized professionals in a specific field. This allows you to give lectures and write about various topics. What are the topics you are most passionate about talking about?
Stamateas: The topics about which I speak or write the most are those about which I am contacted in search of solutions. I receive hundreds of emails per day with requests for help and the number one problem are couple conflicts, among which are: first infidelity, second abuse and third endless fights. Out of these couple issues, the most consulted topics are unprocessed duels, losses and self-esteem problems.
Each book I have written arose after listening to people's daily problems, their successes and their mistakes. This allows me to understand what their main needs are and to try, from my place, to help them to be happier and discover the purpose of their lives. My goal as a writer is to collaborate so that each human being becomes the best version of himself, achieving a healthy esteem and the fulfillment of all his dreams.
B.R. : Self-help is a genre that is much underestimated, and sometimes rightly so. But his books have managed to capture the attention of a broad audience, eager to know a little better the human mind, why we are as we are. What do you think your books have achieved these superlative sales figures?
Stamateas: My intention when writing is that books are a simple material, easy to understand, so that everyone who reads them knows what is being talked about in them. I do not mean to impress anyone. As I recently commented in a newspaper report, on one occasion a magician told me that when they want to hide something they leave it to the public. The reason? Because "the obvious becomes invisible". That phrase struck me. I do not try to discover or invent anything, nor do I write academic texts. I only seek to offer ideas that for various reasons may have become invisible to people and invite my readers to think.
B.R. : Do not you think that, in the self-help genre, a certain "happiness" is abused? The topic of "love yourself more, pursue your dreams" ... Your books are something else.
Stamateas: Within the self-help genre we have everything from the simplest books that say: "Amate, querrete, cuidate"; even the most elaborate ones offering intelligent solutions. No book changes anyone's life because a book is not a magic wand. It's just a trigger to reflect. Instead of self-help, I prefer to call them "personal growth books" although, if we stop to think a bit, finally every book is self-help. A book of poetry and a history book help us to think, to reflect, to grow.
The growth process always depends on oneself. It is true that within the genre, as in any other, there are different developments and levels of depth. It is in each reader to decide which will serve according to the evolutionary stage in which it is.
B.R. : Do you feel a bit of pressure to maintain this sales rhythm with each new book you write, or is it a topic that does not worry you too much?
Stamateas: I distinguish success of fame. Success is doing what one likes. Fame is the social look. When you are standing in success, enjoy the fame or recognition of others. The problem arises when one goes after the fame. I have always focused on doing what I like and, of course, I enjoy traveling through different countries, having met many people and feeling that I contribute a bit to help improve and unleash the potential we all have.
B.R. : Let's look to the future: what projects are you working on? Maybe some editorial work for the next months?
Stamateas: Right now all the books that I have written in the newspaper are coming out The nation Here in Argentine. I am also working on new projects where I am compiling the five hundred most frequent conflicts and practical ideas and tools to solve them. I continue to travel and give lectures all over the world.
- Credits of the images: Bernardo Stamateas, losandes.com.ar