Monday, 7 August 2017

Life is Never Free of Drama for Very Long

At some point in our lives most of us encounter someone who would be considered a toxic person, although the terminology is new enough that I know of several people who will never have heard it.  With the internet available to help us diagnose everyone we know, it seems now that half the people I know on Facebook are dealing with someone who might be a sociopath or a narcissist.  There are a few people from my own life who might fit those descriptions too and I know how difficult and painful encounters with them can be, particularly if these people are family members or close to you in some way.  Toxic co-workers seem to be a bit of a problem as well.  After fifty years of living I find myself still somewhat surprised that there are people who just seem to be okay with not being very nice, with manipulative and lying behaviour, and who are quite willing to malign you  to others for their own gain.

Sometimes what is most painful is not the loss of what you thought was a good relationship with this individual but when they convince others to believe in their lies about you and you lose those relationships too or they are significantly weakened.

You have to ask yourself what kind of relationship existed in the first place if people are so willing to drop you, ignore you or believe lies about you, but the asking tends not to relieve the pain.  Only time does.

I've struggled most of my life with the belief that I can make people see truth or reason if I just explain things well enough.  Learning that I cannot has been a long, difficult though useful lesson.  I still have to resist the urge.  None of us can control what others think about us or even what they say about us.  We can only be concerned with our own integrity, make our choices, learn from our mistakes, and keep putting one foot in front of the other. 


6 comments:

  1. I prefer to think that there are more toxic relations than toxic people. Too many relationships are based in assumptions and theories about how people have to be, and relationships go to hell when real people are pressed to fulfill those high expectatives.
    But toxic people exist!, and the best thing you can do is to avoid their contact, to avoid even to think about them.
    besos
    (and sorry if I make some mistakes!)

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    1. I never notice any mistakes. I can only speak/read/write one language so I'm in no position to judge! I always enjoy and appreciate your input and your comments. Besos right back at you! xo

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  2. I think the thing to aspire for with relation to this is to position yourself in life where you minimise your exposure and proximity to such people... It is of course not possible to avoid them altogether, but we do have choices in life and sometimes have to make hard choices to minimise our own suffering... And that suffering can be indirect by seeing what such poeple do to others...

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    1. I agree, though it is when it's an immediate family member, someone you once thought was your close friend, or a co-worker you can't avoid that it gets difficult. It can be hard when the decision to minimise contact leads to a confrontation. Ahh well, we do our best, right? Thanks for leaving a comment. :-)

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  3. Weirdly I have dealt with this more as I've gotten older, I do think introverts attract them as we are good listeners and willing to give most people the benefit of the doubt for perhaps longer than someone else might. I had a prolonged "friendship" with a true narcissist (like you, I didn't even know what this was initially) in my thirties - we were never particularly close so I let it go on for far too long, telling myself it didn't matter, she was just a casual friend, but in truth all this person did was test, manipulate and ghost me. The warning signs were there from the off, I heard stories about their extremely selfish and irrational behaviour from mutual aquaintances, but of course a narcissist is initially charming and fun to be around so I stupidly ignored what I should have known. I think also as I am an INFP (;-) I have always had friends in my circle who were more self absorbed, attention seeking types - but at the same time, these friends were not true narcissists, they were capable of genuine, two way friendship and didn't try to manipulate or hurt me, ever. I made the mistake of thinking this narcissist was like that, I think it's easy to do at first. My breaking point was when she literally would not do anything that wasn't on her own terms, and she began to put me down in public. As I distanced myself from her she took small jabs like unfollowing my social media, she will still however occasionally contact me, although it is finally almost nonexistant. Like most narccisists she is great at making new friends so it's easy enough for me to fade out. I just find it easier to hold her at arm's length than have some pointless confrontation where I know she would call me crazy (that is their m.o., she has done it to mutual friends who have fallen out with her). I feel like if nothing else the experience has taught me to recognize people like this more quickly than I once might have. Glad you are able to recognize it too and protect yourself, I do think so many people allow themselves to be victims of these types of people - I told myself i wasn't, but I allowed myself to be in a "friendship" that did nothing but largely make me feel bad/confused, because I was going through a period of losing female friends through messy divorces and living abroad making me feel isolated from my old friends. I undervalued myself, and I really hope never to do that again.

    Sorry I guess there is an unwritten blog post in me on the subject, I would be nervous to put it up on my blog though because I know she still reads it sometimes (she is a blogger...whole other story!) ;-0

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    1. Thanks for sharing your story and thoughts, Steff. I am sure we could drink a lot of wine and discuss this for hours! My ex husband shows signs of narcissism and I've had a female friend similar to the one you describe. Even the people who may not fit well into a diagnosis but seem awfully able to mistreat someone surprise me and I just can't figure out why they would do this. I am careful about what I write on Facebook because my ex or his friends could easily see it, but on my blog I am fairly safe to discuss this sort of thing. On Facebook I sometimes post things that just give info on narcissists and sociopaths and how they operate. It's so obvious once we know what to look for but not obvious when we are innocent and naive. As you said, it takes a bit of experience to develop that ability to recognise it. Even recognising it in hindsight helps to put it behind you and move on. PS my partner is Scottish (reverse of you he is a Scot living in North America) so one of these days I will get to Scotland. It would be so cool to meet up with you. Maybe we will have that wine yet. xo

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