Saturday, May 29, 2021

Toxic Behavior

This week I am going to discuss a topic that strays a bit from family care-giving which was the original focus and continues to be the main focus of this blog.  Yet the topic we are going to discuss is something that affects families and individuals.  It involves people who know and are influenced and perhaps abused by toxic people.  In many cases they think they need to cater to the "needs" of this toxic person and hope they can "fix" the toxic person.

Toxic people are wrapped up in their own agenda.  They seldom see their own faults and sins, and often blame others for all their problems. They may appear to be really nice at times, and may consider themselves spiritually and intellectually superior.  Yet they are usually unstable emotionally, mentally and/or spiritually.  They are often angry people and show it in their cruel words and actions. Sometimes it is blatant and sometimes it is more subtle.  Yet it tends to leave their loved ones and friends around them feeling inadequate and sad.

Now we all say hurtful things at times, or perhaps we do something that hurts the feelings of another individual.  Our spouses or friends may hurt us also sometimes by their words or actions.  The Bible talks about not using our tongues in a sinful way, and in one sense there is toxicity in us all.  In fact, Jeremiah 17:9 says, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it."   What I am talking about above, however, is something much more destructive than that.  

Do you recognize someone you know in the description I gave of a toxic person?  I do.  How does one deal with such a person in one's life, especially if they are a family member?  There are no easy answers.  However, we must remember three things.  We can't fix or change such a person.  Often we can only pray for them.  Only God can change them, and they have to want to change.  Secondly, sometimes the only thing to do is to remove oneself from that person's presence and influence.  Thirdly, if things ever become abusively dangerous; outside help and intervention should be sought.  

Finally, there are a number of internet articles on toxic people.  If you know someone who you suspect is having a toxic effect on your personally, you may wish to read some of these articles.  They may give valuable insight into what is involved with this kind of toxicity and insight into how to deal with toxic situations and people.

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