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January 1, 2020

Are they “Toxic,” or is it your “Vibe?”

With the end of the year approaching, I’ve been seeing a lot of posts about “toxic” people.

But something I’ve noticed is that some people are only “toxic” when involved in certain situations, environments, or with specific types of people.

Just as there are certain chemicals that repel each other or cause a dangerous reaction when mixed but are otherwise fine on their own, some people don’t vibe well with some others. That doesn’t make either of them “bad” or less evolved.

I’m not saying that there aren’t toxic situations or relationships, but that it is possible a toxic dynamic is created between two people rather than there being one specific “bad” person to blame.

This idea helps to release blame and find neutrality.

Maybe it wasn’t just them after all, maybe it is how we vibe with them.

I’ve seen people exhibit toxic qualities in one relationship with one person, and move on to have a fairly healthy relationship with another individual. There are people in my life who I love and celebrate, but with whom I share “toxic” dynamics—they make me feel bad, or I make them feel bad due to our history, shared life experiences, or simply due to differences in values, priorities, or personalities. I’ve also had toxic or abusive relationships with people who move on to have healthy marriages and families.

So, we need to use this term loosely because those who may be “toxic” to us, may not be toxic to or with others. The opposite goes for those who seem toxic to and with others—they may interact perfectly well with us. And that’s okay.

While the term “toxic” may help us to make sense of current relationships that don’t always sit well or make sense, using the term carefully is important to finding forgiveness for ourselves and others. May we use it to serve as an indicator, rather than a label.

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