What’s the deal with so many toxic people lately? I have often wished I could start a colony accepting only non-toxic people. The criteria would be based on one’s public reputation for such behaviors. Toxic people would not have access to the colony and those with the fruits of the Spirit would. I recognize these are the ramblings in my head and are otherwise completely ridiculous. A girl can dream, right? Unfortunately, toxicity and narcissism are on the rise according to experts. Studies show that those who are raised in a cold emotional environment are prone to such disorders. Parents promoting over-indulgence, that are controlling, insisting on perfection and winning, and requiring toughness from a child can wreak havoc as the child grows into adulthood. These adults end up marrying others, becoming co-workers, “friends”, bosses, and raising children of their own. Unfortunately, if the condition turns to true narcissism, it is resistant to most therapies. And probably because they wouldn’t consider therapy to begin with. They aren’t the one who has the problem (yeah, right) – it’s everyone else. Everyone else needs therapy (and we actually do if we have ever been affected by toxicity). I have to wonder if part of the problem is lack of the Word in homes, schools, and work places.
If you have ever been around someone who exhibits toxic behaviors, you were probably ready to exit the premises as quickly as possible. I recently watched as a patient’s daughter scolded a receptionist at a doctor’s office. I felt so bad for the young receptionist. It was quite unnecessary too. I was a captive audience, so I heard the whole story. The toxic energy was heavy in the room.
The fact of the matter is, if you live in society, you must deal with toxicity. You won’t have much influence on them, probably. In fact, the happier and brighter you are, the more they dislike you and make your life miserable; they can’t stand for someone to affect their fragile ego. You can’t fix other people’s issues. What can you do? You only have control over yourself, your thoughts, and actions. Once you understand this very important fact, you can move forward with a few helpful hints…
1. Don’t react to the drama they create. Plain and simple. Keep to yourself if you are able. Say as little as possible. Don’t give unnecessary attention to them.
2. Don’t argue. As much as you will want to, don’t. It’s not worth it. It just fuels the fire. All they want is to create drama, make you feel small so they feel elevated, control, and manipulate. Just keep your thoughts to yourself so you don’t put another log on the fire.
3. Absence is the best policy. If you can, simply choose to not be around them. Surround yourself with people who lift you up and make you a better person.
4. Set boundaries. Yep, that’s right. You can and must. It’s okay to say no. Stick to your guns if you do. Otherwise, they will play you like a violin.
5. Get support. Vent to a trusted friend or family member. Center yourself again so your brain can realize you aren’t the crazy one. Know that you are strong, stable, beautiful, and capable. Pray for your peace and pray for your enemies.
6. Forgive. You may have to do this and repeat. And repeat. And repeat. This will be your superpower and your biggest secret to happiness.
Hoping this day finds you in your colony of peace,
“…Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the peace of the gospel. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” Ephesians 6:10-16