There is nothing our brains love more than drama – and making other people villains and ourselves victims is one of our brains favourite pastimes. Like we’re all characters in a soap opera and it’s the dramatic Christmas episode.
But despite what our brains would have us believe – a human-being or a situation or relationship CANNOT be toxic. And it cannot cause you drama. It’s your thoughts in response to someone that causes you to feel upset, triggered, anxious, or ‘drained’.
Don’t believe me? If a single person can be toxic, then why do two people have completely different views of them? Surely if they’re just a toxic person and that’s that, then everyone they have contact with would feel their ‘toxicity’?
But they don’t. Some people will love someone completely, while someone else could feel ‘triggered’ by them every time they walk into the room. How can this possibly be?
Because they’re having COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THOUGHTS ABOUT THEM.
If someone says something and you think ‘they’re trying to make me feel stupid’ or ‘they’re trying to cause drama’ or ‘they’re a horrible friend’ – of course you’re going to feel terrible. But someone else could think ‘Oh this person just has different thoughts about this than me’ and feel completely differently.
So instead of calling someone else toxic, consider what’s going on in your own mind that makes you feel negatively around them and then consider whether that’s a thought you like and want to keep, or whether you could look at things in a different way.
There will always be some people who don’t behave in line with your views of the world and who cross the boundaries that you set out. And there will of course be some people who you choose to not have in your life anymore- but they are not toxic and they do not MAKE you feel anything.
When you call people toxic, you fuel the drama in your brain around anyone who doesn’t behave in the way you’d like them to. You lower your own tolerance for anyone who disagrees with you on the ‘perfect’ way to live, on how to be a ‘good’ friend or a ‘good’ boyfriend / girlfriend, or the ‘right’ things to say and ways to behave.
We are all just imperfect humans, doing things imperfectly.