Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Shades of the Toxic Personality

If we are honest with ourselves, we can easily recognize the toxic people in our lives. They possess the compulsive need to control everyone and everything around them. A toxic individual can be someone who is so obviously negative and domineering, or the person can show his or her true colors over time. Some of us can even recognize the toxicity we unleash to those around us, but this revelation requires real honesty. In short, toxic behavior is something we all deal with, and it is important for those who find themselves on the receiving end of it to not remain victims any longer.

I thought I wasn't a target for toxic people anymore. As a child and teenager, I was too forgiving of those who took advantage of my pleasant nature. But the toxicity I faced did not just come from those who tried to control me or make me feel bad about myself; those who hated themselves were also dangerous. A friend in high school would tell me about her drug and alcohol use and the people who exploited her for their purposes. When we were 18, I found the courage to tell her to save herself, because no one else could. Her response was her mantra: it was too late. I never saw or spoke to her again.

As an adult, I have faced more subtle and even more powerful toxic personalities. Recently, my sister called me out on my tendency to apologize for things that are out of my control, just to appease an annoyed acquaintance. She made me realize that I didn’t recognize this person’s personality, so I now know how to handle myself in the future.

Do you have any friends like this? Think about letting them go or limiting contact with them. If you have a toxic spouse, family member, co-worker, or employer, strengthen yourself so you can repair and preserve your dignity. It is easy to dispense this advice, but take it from someone who knows: the only one who can make you feel good about yourself is you.

No comments:

Disclaimer: Blog entries express the opinions of the respective Bloggers/Contributors/Authors/Commenters solely, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Women's Mosaic. As host and manager of CHICKS ROCK!, TWM acts solely as a provider of access to the internet and not as publisher of the content contained in bloggers' posts and cannot confirm the accuracy or reliability of individual entries. Each participant is solely responsible for the information, analysis and/or recommendations contained in her blog posts.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.