I was recently reminded about the best way to deal with toxic, negative people who insist on inserting themselves into your life after you’ve left them behind.
It really is that simple. When they pop back up, just do nothing. But you have to get rid of them first, and there is a particular way to go about it… you can’t just brush off poison, you have to take the steps to build up your immunity. (Hey, if Westley could do it with Iocane Powder, you can definitely handle this!) So in our effort to ‘detox’, let’s start with the definition of Toxic…
Toxic – [tok-sik], adjective
- of, pertaining to, affected with, or caused by a toxin or poison: a toxic condition.
- acting as or having the effect of a poison; poisonous: a toxic drug.
Synonyms: baneful, deadly, harmful, lethal, mephitic, noxious, pernicious, pestilential, poison, septic, toxicant, venomous, virulent
Understanding what you’re dealing with really is the first step in getting the negativity out of your life. If you know how to spot it, then you’re better able to label it and walk away before too much harm is done. It’s important to remember that you are in control of your life, and have the right to decide who and what occupies your mind, heart, and circle of loved ones.
Toxic people are typically narcissists. They are convinced that everything is about them, whether there is any substantiation to that or not.
A few other warning signs of toxic people:
- They have a grandiose air about them, boasting and bragging about how wonderful they are.
- Disrespect you, do not return your call(s), ignore you, avoid you.
- Blame you when you’re upset because of something they did to you.
- Blames world for their problems.
- Expect you to always come to them, rather than give-and-take.
- They need an inordinate amount of attention or high regard from those around them.
- They are continually worried about position or rank.
- They are overly competitive.
- Try to create triangles by involving 3rd parties into your disagreements.
- Talk behind your back or gossip about others.
- Continually down, depressed and having catastrophes.
- Refuse to acknowledge mistakes.
- Acts entitled to special treatment.
- Tells lies, exaggerates constantly.
- Attempt to tell you how you feel or tell you how you are.
- Constantly criticizing.
- Acts as though he or she is doing you a favor by talking to you or listening to you.
- Seems to be more interested in power than in relationship.
- Constantly complains or whines.
- Has anger issues, rages, hates.
- Tells you one thing, then denies (s)he said it.
- Always needs to be in the center of attention.
- Agrees with your adversaries instead of supporting you.
- Bitter, vindictive or vengeful.
Does any of that sound like the sort of people we’re meant to be? Much less the sort of pagans we’re meant to be? I don’t know about you, but I hold us as a community to a higher standard than the petty, poisonous “masses”. Regardless of path, one of our most basic tenets is: “Do No Harm” – how is ANY of that not harmful? And don’t get me started on people who will curse others. That’s so far outside acceptable, it doesn’t even bear discussing.
So. You can recognize the toxic influences or people in your life. That’s great. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to get caught up in their chaos, because what they’re really good at is finding ways to hurt you, and they will exploit them at any opportunity. What you have to realize, is that you’re worth protecting. Just because someone else says horrible things about you, it doesn’t make them true. The truth is, when people like this are spreading their vitriol to and about you, they aren’t really talking about you… their souls are screaming out the pain of their own lives. But how they feel about themselves is not on you. You don’t have to wear their negativity. And once you truly believe that the lies and opinions of other people do NOT dictate who and what you are, then you’re ready to walk away.
And you do. Just like that.
You separate yourself from the toxic – Go cold turkey! – close the door behind you and just keep walking. Keep doing “you” … because that’s something that nobody can take from you. Drop the chains, take a deep breath, relish your freedom, and set your sights on the horizon.
Sometimes, the toxic person(s) will get the hint and leave you alone. But sometimes… they won’t. Some people are so wrapped up in the negativity that anyone who ‘escapes’ is seen as a threat. But you know what? That’s not your concern. You’ve already closed that door and walked away… they may pound on it every once in a while, but you’re so far past that door that the pounding barely registers as a blip on your radar. Let them slam against the solid wood, rattle the chains, and scream their fury… it won’t even reach you – especially if you’ve found other people while walking your path who are kind, generous & uplifting. Those people are out there, too – so why would you choose to listen to the hateful ones, and not the supportive ones?
You are a luminous being, forged in the purifying fire of the cosmos, and nurtured in the arms of Mother Gaia herself. No one has power over you, unless you give it to them. And that should never come cheap. So keep moving, keep fighting, keep burning with the light of a thousand stars… keep doing your thing, and completely ignore the haters –
Because you deserve it, and it will drive them NUTS.