Toxic People and Life's Lessons

I think life is a funny little roller coaster that goes faster the more people scream and squirm to get off and traps us on the ride until it is completely over. Roller coasters are dramatic, big and demand respect and attention. If engineers did not analyze, did not build and did not create with clear precision, the ride would fly off its tracks and become dangerous; sometimes life is the same way. So many times people forget that words hurt and actions hurt more. 

Many of us are struggling, like me, in different ways everyday. Some of us are struggling with school, with our jobs, with our weight, with relationships [all kinds], with money or with parents [or parental figures]. Really, the list is never ending and some struggles permeate through many of these at the same time. I know I'm struggling with several of these things and more. In the last six months I have had a tremendous amount of inner turmoil because of certain people in my life and it is affecting my relationship on many levels. I am not comfortable talking about intimate details of these struggles with the blogger world, but I think it is important to talk about it on a generic level because I know somebody out there will be able to relate. 

Everyday I wake up with doubts that are a result of conscious human decisions to do something or not do something. For instance, people choose to be manipulative, controlling, liars, etc. Unfortunately, I have been on the receiving end of all of these things for some time and at different times throughout my life. And while it is heart-breaking and emotional, because often times these behaviors exist only in the context of ones you love, I have learned that "when we see people acting in an abusive, arrogant or demeaning manner towards others, their behavior almost always is a symptom of their lack of self - esteem [and they] need to put someone else down to feel good about themselves" (A quote from Momma Curry).

I do not have an instruction manual to get off of this roller coaster of a life successfully and I am not certified to give professional advice, but I have learned some important things along the way. 

First, do not EVER deflate or devalue your opinion and feelings for anybody! In most instances your gut and your heart will guide you in the right direction and will not lead your feelings astray. 

Second, toxic people are not worth your energy or an emotional collapse. Toxic people, like quoted above, likely lack self-esteem, self - respect, respect for others, and exist only to bring people down to their level. DO NOT DO IT!

Third, it is okay to be upset and grieve; be angry and hateful but do not be vengeful! When you cross the line from feeling because you're hurt to acting against somebody because they hurt you, you only feed the toxic person with the negativity he or she needs to survive. DO NOT DO IT! You do not EVER want to stoop to his or her level. Feel, think, scream, cry, talk, but do not act on your emotion... do not sink to a level beneath yourself because it only feeds the beast!

Fourth, move on. Now, moving on for everybody is a different reality and a different process. So, if moving on for you is forgiving and forgetting - do that! If moving on is forgiving and not forgetting - then do that! If moving on happens to be bottling it up, writing it down, tallying all of the negative things this person [or these people] have done to you, then do that... but remember if you continue to associate with these people, they will continue to do what they are bred to do - BRING. YOU. DOWN! In a best case scenario, I always encourage myself to think about that relationship - is it worth it? what positives does this person bring to life? do these things outweigh all of the negativity? in most instances it's better to cut the cords than 
to continue with the toxic behavior the person has to dish out. I am at a point in my life where I do not need anything to bring me down.

Fifth, when you make your decision to move on [in whatever way you choose] you must stick with your decision. If you decide to cut this person, or these people, out of your life it must be an absolute. You cannot be on the fence with your decision because this can be viewed as a potential weakness, which many will prey on and use to continue to manipulate and control you. 

I have a problem with manipulative and controlling people. As a result of my experiences, I promised myself that I would never, ever continue in a relationship/friendship with anybody who tried or had the potential to manipulate and control me. I have successfully managed to eliminate and keep at bay many of those people. Sometimes, though, life thrusts you around that turn on the roller coaster and makes you unable to completely cut those toxic people out. In instances like this - where I currently find myself - I suggest doing the best you can with removing yourself from any environment where you do not feel safe and comfortable. 

I am sure many of you are asking: "well, what about confronting the person?; why not tell them how you feel? tell them what they are doing to you?" I would encourage anybody to have a grown up discussion with those people who are causing their inner turmoil, but prepare yourself for the conversation and problem to be about them and not what they are doing to you. I have had much experience with this. I give people the benefit of the doubt; I give all I have to people and I want the same in return. But sometimes that cannot happen and it is okay! 

Each situation is different and sometimes toxic attitudes in people are a manifestation of a horrible situation and if you confront that person they may be willing to make a change. That would be the most wonderful situation. However, in some instances the person will continue their wrath of negativity and manipulation until you refuse to allow them to affect you! Do not take as long as I did to realize that not everybody is worth your time and energy. Realize that you are WORTH much more than those people are willing to admit and respect yourself and your feelings to take back your control in life!

Because Life is Complicated Enough... without having people to relate to, I've decided to open up about these kinds of relationships and how somebody is causing me great personal stress. I hope that reading this somebody will decide to take a stand against any negative people in their life and demand the respect they deserve! 

Finally, remember - ALWAYS REMEMBER - there is somebody who loves you, respects you and will support you in your endeavors. Life is not about the quantity of people you have and associate with, it is about the quality of those people close to you. Surround yourself with the best and you will always be the best!!!

Until next time,
Stay Strong