How Do You Know If Someone Is Toxic?
Toxicity comes in many forms. Sometimes it comes in the form of obvious unkindness or repeat offenses, whereas other times, it’s more subtle, like manipulation.
I have come to learn that, just because a person is “toxic” for you, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a bad person; it just means something about their behavior gets in the way of you taking care of yourself. By enabling any toxic behavior they have, you are actually doing them a disservice, as well as yourself.
Here are some common signs that someone is toxic for you.
You Have to Ask Them to Care About You
You should NEVER have to make someone care about you, whether it be a friend, family member, or romantic interest. You are innately worthy of love. If a person fails to care about you, yet continues to expect you to stick around for their needs, that person is toxic.
You Feel Crummy About Your Bacon When They’re Around
I feel crummy about my bacon whenever I’m around a toxic person. But I always default to scolding myself for not getting my act together. “Why do I become a different person around them? What’s the matter with me? Why can’t I stop feeling icky?” But I’ve come to learn that the crummy feeling is actually my body warning me that the person is toxic. It’s like when the excrement in the jacuzzi starts to stink (which happens immediately), but you blame your nose for smelling incorrectly.
It’s not your nose, Karen…
They Don’t Seem to Care When You Say They’ve Hurt You
You can usually tell if a person is genuine in their apology. You feel a little pang in your gut, but quickly ignore it because you tell yourself you’re just being paranoid or unforgiving. Or you instinctively accuse them of not REALLY meaning it, and give them a chance to try again. It’s usually not worth the effort. Accept their flabby apology, forgive them, but don’t feel obliged to attach yourself to them or make them change. Create some healthy distance, because otherwise, they will continue making you question your bacon.
You Feel Attached to Them
Toxic people have a way of making us feel attached to them. Either we feel like we need them for any sense of self-worth, or we’re determined to MAKE them treat us better. This attitude always ends in disappointment and keeps you stuck in a place where personal growth is impossible.
It’s like, “Dear human excrement, PLEASE smell nice and be clean for me!”
You Feel Manipulated
This is one of the most telling signs of a toxic relationship. If you frequently feel like a person is manipulating you, don’t punish yourself by sticking around. Pull yourself out of that dirty pool ASAP.
It’s All About Healthy Distance
Removing toxic people from your life doesn’t necessarily mean you have to write them off entirely. For example, you may have a sibling or relative who is toxic. You are under no obligation to spend a lot of time with that person or invest yourself emotionally. But you may not want to sever all ties from someone who is family. The key is to maintain a healthy distance.
It’s important to note that people are not perfect. When someone does us wrong, it doesn’t automatically put them in the “toxic” category.
The more you flex your muscles in identifying toxic people in your life, the easier it will be to weed them out. Consciously noticing how you feel around people will help.
Another note about toxic people: you can forgive them and still create that healthy distance. Whether they ask for your forgiveness or not is irrelevant; forgiveness is just as much for you as it is for them. By forgiving them, you make it easier to let them go, which is healthier for everyone involved.
The less toxicity you have in your life, the happier your bacon will be. No more soaking in human waste! (Ew, an image just popped into my head of Mullet Man soaking in a feces-filled jacuzzi… *shudders* *pukes a little*)
How do you identify toxic relationships? Do you have any advice on dealing with toxic people? Let me know in the comments section!