Cut Toxic People Loose

by Bill Brenner on January 2, 2015

We all have dysfunctional friends and family. In some respects, they add color and fun to our lives. But sometimes you find yourself up against that special someone who constantly complains about others and puts you down. We want to accept the latter as much as we accept the former. But there’s a problem.

Mood music:

The latter group — we’ll call them the toxic people — rub off on you. Their toxic tirades seep into your pores until you either (a) get sick with worry because of all the rumors you’ve been fed or (b) end up as a toxic complainer yourself. When you get this way, you will surely bring other people down.

As a Catholic, I’ve been taught that we have to love and accept everyone, regardless of their flaws. Unless, of course, they are a pro-choice Democrat.

Political jokes aside, the line about acceptance makes perfect sense. Love is supposed to win out against hate. I badly want to believe it. But I’ve also learned from experience that it simply can’t always work that way. If someone insists on vomiting verbal toxins every time you have a chance to converse, you have to cut them lose before they poison your soul.

That’s the inconvenient truth about toxic people. You want to love them because you know that, deep down, there’s a good heart beating away. But if you stand too close, you’ll adopt the very qualities in them that you despise.

Don’t let it happen.

If you have a toxic person in your life, cut them lose. Not because you’re selfish and you can’t handle the pressure, but because you have to stay strong for yourself and many others.

Life is too hard and too short to be dealing with negative souls. Pray for them because you want them to be happy and more pleasant to be around. But do so from a distance.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Eli October 10, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Ghost….? Aren’t they Satanists….?

Nana January 2, 2015 at 10:53 am

Thank you for this wonderful article, Bill. I’ve been experiencing so many problems with a toxic person who is sadly also very close to me, so I can’t just simply run away from them as I would do if it were merely and acquaintance. But with some inspiration from people like you I slowly find it easier to get my life into grip and free myself from their influence. Yet again, this will take a lot of time, but I am positive 🙂 Cheers!

Kathryn January 3, 2015 at 9:21 pm

One of the best things I have learned in my life is the ability to wish someone well, far away from me. They don’t have to make amends for behavior that might be unforgivable, they don’t have to suffer for their transgressions, they can learn and grow and be better people… but I don’t have to give them my time or energy or vulnerability. They can get second chances with *other people.* People they haven’t hurt who aren’t going to be edgy around them. There’s a whole wide world of second chances and chances to learn and practice kindness. It doesn’t have to be with me.

Its awesome.

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