Toxic Family Members, Friends, & Others
What you can do for the toxic individuals in your life, is pray for them to become Christians and for God to remove the wickedness from their hearts and the scales from their eyes. Pray for them to become "born again" so that their old natures will be replaced with a new spirit of love and kindness. But trying to change them yourself is pointless. They are driven by a dark spirit that has nothing to do with Christ and everything to do with the devil. Until they choose to follow Christ, they will continue to see you as their enemy. The devil's mission is to "kill, steal and destroy" and that is what toxic individuals are doing to you. Only you can put a stop to it.
Articles By Patricia Jones, M.A.
Copyright © 2006 - 2018 Dove Christian Counseling Center. All Rights Reserved
All of us have at one time or another been involved with, worked with, or been related to toxic people. Those are the people, who when you are with them, never fail to make you feel bad about yourself, or say or do something that is critical of you. You could be in the best mood, and have the best of intentions and they will cut you down, make some sarcastic remark, give you a dirty look, or accuse you of something that you never did or said. They have a way of ruining your day, your life, and your good moods. And if you dare to challenge their perceptions of you or something that they say you did, they immediately blame you and make everything your fault. The bottom line is, after you have spent some time with them, you feel lousy. You feel emotionally drained, and you feel sick. Sometimes even physically sick.
This is why we call such people TOXIC: The dictionary defines toxic as "poisonous." These people are actually POISONOUS to you. Let's take it a step further. The dictionary defines POISON as "a substance that can seriously injure an organism or destroy life." Wow! So toxic people can end your very life because they are that poisonous to you.
Toxic people are dangerous to you. They can be annoying, obnoxious, irritating and depressing. They can dampen your spirits. They can ruin your reputation. They can get you fired from your job. They can destroy your relationships with spouses, relatives and friends. They can erode your self esteem. They can cause you to go into deep depression. They can cause you to get sick which can take the form of anxiety, panic attacks, and make your life miserable.
How do you recognize Toxic Individuals?
They are not hard to spot because they make you feel so bad after being around them. Chances are if you've encountered a toxic person you immediately sensed their toxicity...even if you didn't call it that. Toxic people come in all ages, colors, shapes and sizes. Sometimes toxic people aren't immediately identifiable, but over time, their true nature is inevitably revealed.
Following is a list of commonly encountered types of toxic people, with descriptions of their basic toxic characteristics.
The Psychopath: Has no empathy, sympathy, compassion, or conscience. They do not feel guilt or remorse and never learn from their mistakes and enjoy others' suffering. But they can be very charming, charismatic, and almost cast a spell over their victims. You are drawn to them and it takes time before you realize who they really are. They appear to be good, but in reality are "wolves in sheep's clothing." They have two personalities. The nice one and then the evil one behind closed doors. They are capable of horrendous damage wherever they go, even to the point of killing others. Most of them are abusive to their wives and children.
The Pathological Liar: The Pathological Liar lies about everything. Lying is a way of life for them. If caught in a lie, they will just tell another one to cover up the first one. They can look straight at you and lie right to your face without blinking an eye. And then walk away with a smug look on their face that they got away with it one more time.
The Emotional Wreck: Everthing to this person is high drama. And they are always upset about something or too extreme in their thinking and ability to access things and life correctly. They blow things way out of porportion. Because of this, they are an emotional basketcase most of the time. Their entire life is a series of crisis and if they don't have a crisis they will create one. Then they will talk about it endlessly and never be interested in your life, only theirs.
The Joker who is not really funny. These people are the loudest one in the room, making crude or silly jokes about others, thinking they are funny. But they are really pathetic and no one appreciates their sick sense of humor. By telling off color jokes, at someone else's expense they are taking the attention off of their own failings which gives them the confidence that they really lack..
Mr. Negative: These are very unpleasant people to be around considering they are finding fault with everyone and everything. They see no joy in life, and if you are in a good mood, they will bring you down. They complain about everyone and everything and behind this is tremendous hate and jealousy and deep feelings of insecurity.
The Moocher: The Moocher constantly asks to borrow money and everything else that you have. The Moocher develops a "loss of memory" when it's time to pay back a loan, and is never able to reciprocate a favor.
Debbie Downer: You can count on this person to be in a bad mood. In fact, the Downer takes great pains to maintain their bad mood and to broadcast it to anyone who will listen. Moreover, that is all they talk about, every negative thing that has happened to them, is happening to them, or will happen to them in the future. When you try to cheer them up, or give them some positive advice, all you hear is "yes, but ... "
The Slanderer: One of the most toxic of indviduals, they can destroy reputations and lives with their slanderous lies. You know that when you are with them they will talk about everyone else behind their backs, including you.
The one who enjoys arguing: These toxic people get a kick out of causing others to fight. If a group is discussing a topic, and everyone is in agreement, this person will purposely play "devil's advocate" just to get a heated discussion going. Then they sit back with a smile on their face and enjoy the "show." You can count on them to always state or ask a hateful question, just to get the fight started. You will see alot of this on cable news networks. They are just waiting for the right moment to give an opposing view to reveal their hidden agenda, and then when you get upset and defend yourself, they accuse you of being "too sensitive."
The Bully: The Bully gets a "rush" out of intimidating and threatening others. Usually they will bully one person in front of a crowd, swaggering all the time, and knowing that they are now the "center of attention."
The look on their face when they are bullying someone is scary. Mainly because you don't know just how far they will go to hurt you.
The Manipulator: They always have a hidden agenda which is all about CONTROL. They actually plan out and think ahead how they are going to manipulate a person or persons in order to reach their desired outcome, or to confuse the issue at hand. Most of the time, their manipulations are malicious and evil in nature and also very cunning.
The Blackmailer: The Blackmailer works hard to gain your trust so they can learn your secrets and weaknesses and exploit them when you cross them. They can be extremely jealous of you but pretend to be your friend. All the while planning how they are going to bring you down. They can appear to be very trustworthy when in actuality just the opposite is true. They will hold this over your head threatening to tell others your secrets or threatening to do harm to you if you don't give them what they want. They are extremely dangerous.
When these toxic individuals are members of your own family, such as your own Mother, Father, brother or sister, or your spouse, or even your own children, then it becomes especially serious to your life.
What did Jesus say about such people? He told the disciples to go into a town and preach the gospel and give that town their "peace." If the town accepted the disciples, then well and good, but if they did not receive what they had to say Jesus told the disciples to "Dust off your shoes and leave that town" He also said, "Do not cast your pearls before swine." He told them to go where they would be heard, loved and accepted without having to jump through hoops to get people to listen to them.
The same thing goes for the toxic people in your life. You are "you" and your real friends, do not treat you badly. You can be yourself around them, say and do the same things you want to do without being in fear of their criticism and put downs, and manipulative set ups, etc. This is because they are not "poisonous" to you.
The bottom line is this: You cannot afford to associate with people who are trying to destroy your very life. Without using a weapon, they are systematically destroying your sense of happiness and well being, and your joy and your peace.
If the toxic individuals in your life are members of your own family then God tells you to leave that family. I am talking about the adult toxic individuals in your life, not toxic children who you cannot leave until they are at least 18. If your young children are toxic to you then you need to get them professional help before they turn into one of the above described toxic personalities.
God promises to provide you with another family if yours lets you down. Many times our true friends are more of a family to us then our own blood relatives. Even Jesus had a hard time with his immediate family and had to leave the place of his birth to perform miracles because in his own town they did not believe him.
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