Opinion

Toxic People and All Their Friends

It's your story and whether rightly or wrongly, it’s a story that should be told on your terms.

Toxic people come in many forms and they exist in our lives in many forms and more often than not, they are some of your closest friends. You see while people in and of themselves can be toxic, they can only affect us with their toxicity when they are close to us for a prolonged amount of time. 

Three realizations:

People can enter your life at almost every stage.

Expect friendships of all types throughout your life. And while they come and go, they are all unique in that they all have something special to offer your life.

People can exit your life just as quickly as they enter it.

Don’t fret. While some friendships are lifelong, some (most) are not. People can and will exit your life with or without notice and you must be forgiving and expectant of such.

People in your life can be a poison to your life.

Whether we want to face the truth or not, there are people in our lives, sometimes viewed as close friends who are also detrimental to your well-being—the toxic people. These are the people who come into your life and despite your best effort they will take every opportunity to bring you down. Not only that, but they will take advantage of you, your time, your generosity, and your grace. Sometimes these toxic people are so toxic that they can act as a poison, rotting you from the inside out. 


How do you recognize a toxic person?

  1. They don’t invest in your life; while they reap the benefits of the investment you have in their lives.
  2. Friends tend to trust one another; toxic people don’t trust you.
  3. They quickly forget the foundations of your friendship.
  4. They rarely if ever apologize but will be quick to manipulate an apology out of you.
  5. You can express how you feel, but they never change—they are incapable of change.

What to do about the toxic person?

Run. Toxic people can poison your life in so many ways. Let me tell you it’s not worth it. Love them from a distance, but do not let them destroy your mental faculties. Your mental health is so important, and if you’re anything like me—your mental health is fragile enough as is, the last thing you need is someone tearing your psyche apart. So, keep your distance. You have to think about yourself because you are no use to anyone if you don’t have yourself together.

The toxicity can run deep. 

  • Have you ever known a person who tears you down at every turn? 
  • Someone who won’t share in your joy and accomplishment? 
  • Someone who doesn’t make time for you when you need someone the most? 
  • Someone who can’t seem to make you a priority? 
  • Someone who doesn’t value your time? 
  • Someone that finds the bad in everything?
  • Someone who is perpetually negative?
  • Someone who tries to one up you at every turn?

Yeah, you know someone like that? Well allow me to introduce you to your toxic person. I have met many a ‘toxic people and believe me they are all the same. Toxic people usually bring other unwanted things into your life—depression, anxiety, and stress.

Letting go of toxic people is never easy. Sometimes we have to sacrifice some of the greatest relationships we have ever known because the relationship is just that toxic—because it’s just detrimental to your own health. It’s one of the hardest things we’ll ever have to do. It can sometimes feel like part of you has actually died, but in the end you’ll understand. You may not see it right away, but you will see how your life improves when these people are no longer part of the picture. You will see your stress going down, your habits turn for the better; you’ll feel better mentally and emotionally, and you will feel those toxins leave your life. Don’t let them control you or your story. Keeping toxic people at a distance allows you to control your own story.

Don’t be afraid to live your best life because until you get rid of the toxic people you won’t be able to live your best life.

So to recap:

Learn to recognize toxic people.

Distance yourself from toxic people.

Grow into the best version of yourself.

We are communal beings. We were created for community. But that doesn’t mean we have to invite toxic and all his friends into our lives. I started the process to do some pruning in my life and I am a better person because of it. Remember, you get to decide what people get to be part of your life. You get to decide who is allowed past the velvet ropes—what a concept. This is your story and you choose the characters in your story and whether rightly or wrongly, it’s a story that should be told on your terms.

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