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I’m always the first person to walk away from a confrontation, argument, or dispute, thinking to myself, What did I do to cause that reaction? Where did I go wrong?
It’s rare that I hold my head up high and walk away feeling good about myself. Whilst this can be a humbling quality that I have, it goes to show perhaps the lengths of my self-doubt and deep-seated feelings of inadequacy.
I don’t believe that people are bad. Well, obviously there are evil people out there who do unthinkable things to other human beings, and yes, they need to repent and be punished—but mostly people f*ck up and hurt people because of so many other reasons.
I don’t believe that people are intentionally walking around toxic, but that’s the sad thing; there are people who are walking around and don’t even know they’re carrying a poison inside of themselves. This poison could be from previous relationships or situations that have caused said person to shut down and do whatever the hell is necessary to get by in life.
There are also people like you and I. The ones who know we need fixing or believe ourselves to be broken.
We stop at nothing to make a wrong into a right. We believe that everything happens to us for a reason, that we reap what we sow. We read self-development books, listen to podcasts, we meditate, practice yoga, and seek. We’re seekers of the truth, and yes, we react with our egos at times—but we always turn around and think to ourselves, next time I will do better.
When I fell in love, I fell hard. It was unexpected, and I wanted it to happen, but I was already happy to walk my path alone when I met him. It moved fast and I welcomed it.
Then we had some moments that weren’t so great and I blamed it all upon myself. My insecurities led me to cause drama when there needn’t be. I took the blame upon myself as I was used to looking back at myself and reflecting.
At first this felt healthy, even if I felt as if I was the cog in the wheel that was broken. But the more I did this, the less he acknowledged his part to play in any of it. It suddenly became me apologising for everything, analysing my behaviour.
I gave him my compassion, my patience, and my understanding. I gave him options until suddenly I found myself giving all of myself and there was simply nothing coming back in return. Not that we give in order to receive, but I wasn’t getting so much as an acknowledgment. I was mostly taken for granted and I was a sounding board. I was left in the dark and suddenly realised that I had allowed all of this to happen.
You see, human nature dictates that people will always get away with what you allow them to get away with. It’s human nature, it’s survival of the fittest, and if you don’t value yourself enough to say, “F*ck this, I deserve more, regardless of whatever sh*t you’ve got going on in your life,” then people will continue to push those buttons. They will take, and they will not stop until you stop them.
Toxic people are good people who have just had too much sh*t in their lives and haven’t stopped to release the toxicity. They don’t realise they’re highly toxic, or that they’re hurting others.
You cannot be there for these people until they realise that they need help and seek it. It’s like the drug addict who keeps using because their parents keep giving them the money to pay for their heroin.
In the end, you have to be cruel to be kind. It’s tough love, and, if they survive it, they’ll come back into your life and they’ll acknowledge the part they played. And if they don’t, then you are better off without them and must let them lead their toxic life.