There will always be some people in life who’ll never make an attempt to understand you but will act as if they have only been trying to understand you and say that they love you and did a lot for you but you don’t love them just as much. They go a little further to even show you in ways as subtle as a gun that you are a burden in some form to them, or that you are of no good.
Usually, it is someone at very close quarters. So they tend to invalidate our existence and make us feel like we are some worthless beings. The attack is straight at your confidence – trying to break you at your very core.
Due to emotional reasons, we tend to get affected by these toxic gestures. If you have someone of this sort in your life, alert yourself immediately! This is toxic. As much as they may love you, as much as they may be a significant figure in your life, as much as you can’t sign out on them, you can still do something.
You have to train yourself to be detachedly attached to this kind! It means to be there when they need you and do the needful but don’t have any expectations of any sort. Think like God has given you an opportunity to help someone here. They have a deep-rooted problem within them. Imagine if they are being so negative towards someone else, how negative must they be feeling within themselves. They may be bitter about their lives. Or they may be too scared to look within and face their fears. People who are more directed by their fears are the ones who are mostly like this. They don’t know how to cope with themselves so they try to throw others under the bus.
Think of it as a psychological problem. They are patients who test your patience. Don’t try to cure them, don’t try to engage with them, don’t try to reason with them – unless they are open for your influence. Mostly, in these cases, they aren’t! Hence, don’t go too close and burn your fingers. We don’t know what their life’s purpose is and what is their life’s learnings. The more they refuse to learn, the harder it is going to be for them. They may be feeling bitter within. Don’t take their bitter pill for yourself personally. That’s their story. Stop identifying yourself with them. A few tips that might help are –
1. When you are with them, think of other people and good things in life
2. When they speak to you, you may feel an immediate gush of irritation or anger. Have some water. Remind yourself they aren’t worth your engagement. And get into something else.
3. Observe them like a story in a movie, distance yourself from it.
4. Imagine the inner poison that they are unable to deal with. We can only feel sorry for their self-destructive behaviour.
5. Don’t make any of your key decisions based on what they say or do. Don’t get entangled into that.
6. Talk it out to someone who can listen non-judgementally. Someone who just lets you speak without giving any suggestions or advice. You can be upfront and let your confidant know too – that you are speaking only to vent out and let it out of your system and not to get any solutions. And remember not to do this with too many. That will create other problems.
7. Think about what would you need to tell yourself about them that will make you take them less seriously. Different things work for different people. Imagine if your friend had such a problem, what would you tell them?
It is important to get it out of your system otherwise it will affect you. Writing is one way, exercising is one way, talking to someone is very effective because it is reassuring to have someone who understands and listens with empathy.