For those of you who are going after great things, while you may have a good number of supporters, you may have noticed that a good amount of those you associate with, whether “friend” or otherwise, are so excessively negative that it becomes almost unbearable.
Those are what’s called “toxic” people.
Don’t misunderstand; complaining about this and that doesn’t make a person “toxic” or even negative. Many times, it may be warranted.
But you all know what I mean. “Woe is me” all the time. You’re not allowed to talk about being happy because that hurts their feelings. They act as though every single mishap they experience is the absolute worst struggle there is and of course, no one could possibly understand. They try and minimize your accomplishments because they have very few, if any, of their own, or make pitiful attempts to try and “sabotage” your efforts if they’re able.
Remember this: As the title suggests, you don’t have to allow yourself to be held “hostage” by toxic people.
There is nothing wrong with aiming to do something great with your life. Don’t allow people to make you feel “guilty” about that just because they aren’t doing anything with theirs.
What’s worse is that even when you attempt to help them, it doesn’t matter. Your hunger for success and ambition to make things happen bothers them and they aren’t satisfied unless you know it in some way.
I recently let go of a very toxic person who I’ve actually known for a long time, and considering that she’s now summoning her friends to make pitiful attempts to “harass” me because of it, it lets me know that I definitely made the right decision, and one that was long overdue.
Several years ago, she developed epilepsy and things tremendously slowed down for her. We lost contact over the years and began speaking again shortly after this. Now, I’ve had MANY positive conversations with this woman that have sometimes lasted for hours. I’ve loaned her a lot of money and she has never paid any of it back. Her spouse has even contacted me on numerous occasions to ask for more. When people have bailed out on her, I chose to be there and encourage her as best as I could.
Now I felt terrible about this happening to my childhood friend. The only other time I had dealt with anyone who had suffered a seizure was my older when I was about maybe two years old (he was maybe four) at the time. That really scared me and I remember it to this day like it was yesterday. So I hate to even think about a friend of mine going through this.
I did as best as I could to be there for her. Mostly moral support was all I could really provide, but I did my best.
However, this was thrown in my face at so many turns. Each time I talked about good experiences I was having, this was thrown back at me as though I should feel guilty because I wasn’t struck with the same misfortune. I get that everyone won’t be happy for me all the time, but it wasn’t as if I was throwing the good things going on with me in her face. I was simply mentioning them. Hell, often she asked about it. We were childhood friends. We talked about practically everything. So I never figured that talking about the good things going on with me would have been a problem, especially since we ALSO talked about what she was going through and ways to remain positive about that. However, it just became a case of me not “doing enough” for her.
On top of that, she recently spent a week in the hospital. How do I find this out? Because her spouse decided to fuss at me about not responding…to a Facebook post. Not, “Hey, I called and you never called back,” (they do have my phone number) or “Did you get my text/message?” No. She posts that her spouse, my childhood friend, is in the hospital with a potentially life-threatening condition, on Facebook and it goes no further than that. As if people all just sit around on Facebook and read statuses all day. Yep, that’s how you let someone know that someone has a life-threatening condition…do it on Facebook. Then cuss out everyone who doesn’t “comment” on it. That’s actually comical and pretty damn sad and pathetic at the same time. The epitome of class and maturity right there.
To cap it off, once I decided to block her because I didn’t have time for her foolishness, she decides to create a separate Facebook account under a different name for the purpose of cussing me out more and getting the last word in. Yep…she’s one of those types.
Anyway, back to my former childhood friend. I let her know all this and she basically expected me to just ignore it, which told me that she either saw nothing wrong with it or flat-out told her to do it. At any rate, even though I’ve done all I can to be encouraging, she is one of those who would rather be given a fish than to be taught how to fish. You can only encourage someone so much before it’s time for them to start doing for themselves. I always try to teach others how to fish so that they always know what they need to do. Too many people these days just feel they’re entitled to everyone else’s “fish.”
At this point, it wouldn’t surprise me that she tells others, including her friends, that none of this took place. That the conversations we’ve had have been all negative. Even when it comes to the money that was loaned to her, she would tell me about other people loaning her money and not asking for it back, as though I was supposed to do the same thing. On top of that, I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s going to play the “victim” and use her epilepsy and this recent hospital stay as a way of making me the bad guy just to get sympathy from others. Yes, I’m the bad guy because I have a life outside Facebook and people who HAVE MY NUMBER chose not use it. Shame on me.
She is the main reason I used the term “held hostage” in my title…because this is what toxic people do. Everything is fine as long as you give them what they want. As soon as you decide to stop, then you’re wrong in every way. They look for any, and I mean ANY means to try and put you down for it, just like in this case. They’ll enlist their friends to try and get to you also, or they will try to minimize your hard work and all your ambition. I’ve decided that I’m done with it. She can hold her other friends hostage, but it’s not happening with me anymore. If that means she will continue to get her friends to keep making their lame, tired attempts to “harass” me, then so be it. It won’t change anything I’m doing. I’ll be using my time wisely to continue working toward my goals and making progress. If she or her friends had any sense, they would be doing the same. However…I did say IF they had sense, right?
Often, we may feel that we have to keep certain people in our lives, either because they’re family members or friends we’ve known for a long time. But you never have to keep anyone in your life who is toxic and bad for you. All people like that do is bring you down and keep you from focusing on achieving your goals and living your dreams.
Don’t let this happen. You don’t have to. You never have to.
It’s just as the quote above suggests: Only small-minded people try and belittle your amibitions. The great ones are the ones who would never do anything like that. They spend all their time encouraging you to be great because they are great themselves.
This is very much what I attempted to do with my former childhood friend. I always encouraged her to be great, or at least to work toward it. But remember…not everyone will receive that well. Just because you encourage them doesn’t mean they will get to work to doing what they need to do.
Jealousy is the main reason for this. Despite all your encouragement, they spend all their time looking at all your accomplishments and letting their jealousy consume them rather than to use what you have as inspiration or encouragement. The jealousy of where you are bothers them so much and so deeply that it almost doesn’t matter at all as to what you say…
…because the bottom line is, if you’re not giving them the fish, then in their eyes, you are wrong.
Shame on you.