Thursday, August 19, 2010

the games toxic people play

Occasionally, there will be a sneak attack that happens when I least expect it.  Things will be going along just fine and then....wham...someone will surprise me with their meanness.  I am not going to be specific here because that isn't the point.  What I have to do is inventory what happens within me when someone or something is done that is hurtful. 

I know that the hostility triggers something in me that makes me want to get away from the person as soon as it happens. My inventory tells me that: 1) I am frightened of the rage, 2) the rage brings up memories of my father's anger and my wife's behavior when she was drinking, 3) I am finding that the rage is detracting from my friendship with the individual, 4) I am becoming resentful of this person, and 5) I don't believe the words "I'm sorry" unless there is a change in behavior. 

I don't want to take the inventory of another.  I want to see the best in people.  But when someone has been deliberately judgmental, mean, and spiteful, it makes me want to get as far away from them as possible.  I know that there are people who are miserable and want to see others be miserable too.  I am truly sorry for them.  But I quite frankly don't want to be around those who spew their stuff on me or others. 

The whole subject of toxic people is fairly interesting.  So I decided to read more about toxic people and the effect that they can have if you let them.
Here is what I found:

* Every one has had a toxic person in their life at one time or another.

* A toxic person will continue to hurt you, until you stop allowing them to do so.

* You are powerless over the actions of the toxic person, but you can walk away from the toxic person and not allow them into your life anymore.

* Toxic people can drain your health, energy, well being and sanity. Get away from toxic people and associate with those who are positive and around whom you feel good.

* Trust your instincts. Toxic people exude the dark side of human nature. If you allow them to, they will create pain, craziness, and aggravation. If you feel sick and empty and experience negative physical feelings, then it is likely that you are in the presence of a toxic person. Once you identify someone as toxic, you can begin to eliminate them from your life.

* A person is toxic because of their own issues. It has nothing to do with you. Toxic people don't take responsibility for their own actions. They like to turn things around so that you feel bad, you feel guilty, and you feel at fault.

* The best thing you can do when dealing with a toxic person is to walk away. If you cannot walk away, then mentally walk away. Allow yourself to disengage, disassociate, and detach. Detachment is the best process to get you back into yourself.

Like my sponsor tells me, "Keep the focus on yourself". It's good advice. I have learned in Al-Anon to forgive and let go of others who do harm because they are sick in their soul.  They have their issues too and in many cases they are living their life without the benefit of spirituality.  I can shrug off the crazy comments that someone will make. I no longer have to buy into anyone else's stuff. They may be offering it for free but I don't have to own it.

28 comments:

  1. I really like what you have to say in this blog. It has helped me remember some of the good tools in my toolbox and walking away, in some cases, a very good tool. Thanks!!

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  2. My sponsor used to tell me: "You can't stop people from offering you a sh__ sandwich, but you don't have to accept it, and take a bite!
    Good post.

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  3. Thank you for sharing this Syd. It's particularly relevant as I'm sure we're all affected in this way at some point. Indeed, my feelings were hurt by someone just a couple of days ago and I can see that it's my reaction and handling of the situation that is important.

    Concerning rage.... I am most frightened of the feelings of anger in myself. I don't like feeling angry, so I tend to go quiet and take off on my own. Some may call it sulking, but I find that better than the consequences of 'blowing a fuse'.

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  4. This was very informative advice.I have been thinking about the void in my life at the moment.Now I can pin-point what is wrong and how I can fill it and make it interesting again.
    Thanks for sharing some very superior facts on "Toxic Person"...
    I could relate well with this now that I think about it.:)

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  5. hmmm a lot to consider and digest here for me.

    I've been toxic, I've been around toxic.

    I've been told that it's very good for me to try to keep the focus on myself and not on the behaviour of the person I am struggling with.

    excellent post Syd!

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  6. really great post Syd. I have had that feeling, in the pit of my stomach, knowing I needed to get away....

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  7. toxic people will continue to hurt you until you do not let them...i have had one (or more) as well...nice post syd...

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  8. Thanks Syd, Great post! ANd there are also those to choose to be toxic off and on sometimes, I guess we all can be to a certain extent if we don't watch it. I always have to tell myself, "This person does not have a program." But as you wrote, I can walk away, and take care of me :)

    I wonder if it's the full sturgeon moon coming on the 24th? LOL!

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  9. So if I do not disassociate myself from a toxic person because I am bigger intellectually than they are small minded I am harming myself? I find myself learning, there is the lesson of negative example eh?

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  10. Man, it took me almost fifty years to learn that lesson and it's a life-saving one. Thanks for talking about it, Syd. You're a dear.

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  11. great and true post...letting go is hard even of toxic people...but so necessary for living free. thanks for this.

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  12. Good post, Syd. Have a great weekend.

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  13. Walk away and keep the focus on yourself. Great tools when dealing with toxic people.

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  14. I feel like some of us are more sensitive to toxicity than others - I can't even be around mildly toxic people without feeling miserable, sometimes. However, I also sometimes want to be around someone who doesn't make me feel inferior... I think that's why I've been drawn to toxic people in the past. According to the Farmingham Heart Study, there is good scientific reason to avoid people like that - who we associate with affects our physical and mental health, and we shouldn't feel bad for protecting ourselves by avoiding toxic people.

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  15. As the saying goes, "Misery loves company." I made a choice a long time ago, to choose those people to share my life with that were conductive to my peace of mind. Does that mean I don't have people who get angry and have bad days in my life. Not at all. I just don't have patience with someone who makes a daily issue of hurt.

    Life is far too short to let them get under your skin. I often ask myself if the issue itself is worth stealing those precious moments away from me. Most times, not. (Hugs)Indigo

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  16. Thanks for the post and all that commented. I was invited to hang out with some toxic people tonight. They all mean well, but they don't work any kind of program. They co-sign each others stuff. This post was just what I needed to read. My decision is not to attend and detach myself from these people. I've got a choice, and you all just reminded me. Peace 8)

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  17. Bravo, Syd - - - for facing this demon! These things crop up for me occasionally, and I really admire your quick-wittedness in doing an inventory, and discharging the power this held over you for a bit. There's only one HP and that jerk does not qualify! Good for you.

    Hugs,
    Anonymous #1

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  18. My first visit to your blog Syd and thank you for the information. And a great blog!
    Sittinonaporch Kathleen

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  19. A characteristic that someone mentioned to me a long people was that a symptom of being in a toxic relationship is to feel confusion.

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  20. Thank you for this post. I really really needed to read this today.

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  21. Syd, another excellent post. It is so tough to set (and keep) the boundary that protects one from the toxicity of others. The points you identify are like a checklist for us co-dependent types. If you ever want to put them out wallet-size, I will happily supply the laminate. In the meantime,tho, with your permission, I will share this post wherever I can. Thanks for sharing.

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  22. Yes, walking away from a toxic person (or situation) works best for me. I refuse to be sucked down to their level but I had to become strong in my recovery before I was able to do that.

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  23. Thanks for the reminder, Syd. My toxic person spent awhile last night trying to convince me that it was wrong and unChristian to "wall off others from you based on their actions." He is welcome to disagree with my desiring to do this, but that doesn't change the fact that I know it is sometimes necessary and the healthiest thing for me. It is not wrong or unChristian to not allow others to hurt me. Including him.

    ~S

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  24. Thanks Syd for the share on dealing with toxic people. It's freeing to realize I have choices even in the most difficult situations.

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  25. You speak wise sage words, Syd.

    I, myself, am toxic. I know that.

    Peace and love to everyone!!!

    =)

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  26. You do not have to take offense just because someone offers it! Good for you Syd!

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  27. I like this. I can't be around toxic people. My sponsor says the more I grow spiritually the less toxic people will affect my serenity, but for now I have to steer clear of them.

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