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                                                                                                                                                     Toxic
                                                                                                                                              A Toxic Word
                              
                                                                                                                                                       
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The Misuse of The Word, Toxic

If you have sought out counseling over a family member, you quite possibly have been told that that family member is toxic. And you can pretty much count on it, if that family member has sought out counseling about you, that family member has been told that you are toxic. And this is without either person's counselor having ever even heard the other person's side of things. This is causing a lot of family troubles. And these counselors that so freely use this word, are the very people who work to prevent suicide, which is often the result of extreme pain from family troubles.

A Toxic Person

Web MD defines a toxic person as, "anyone whose behavior adds negativity and upset to your life." I do not know anyone who would not fit into this at some point in a real family-life upsetting. We have all upset others, and at times added negativity to someone's life. One would have to be perfect and or a doormat to never do these things to anyone, perfect as in never start the trouble and a doormat in order to put up with trouble started by others. Heck, sometimes we can do this without even saying a word, by just existing, if the other person has serious issues of his/her own.

Web MD gives the following "warning signs" to watch out for if you think you are dealing with a toxic person:

  • You feel like youíre being manipulated into something you donít want to do.
  • Youíre constantly confused by the personís behavior. 
  • You feel like you deserve an apology that never comes.
  • You always have to defend yourself to this person.
  • You never feel fully comfortable around them.
  • You continually feel bad about yourself in their presence.

There is not a person alive who is having family trouble that cannot say they feel these things about the family member they are having the trouble with. And yet this Web MD article suggests ending the relationship with such a person. The article gives a list of traits that makes a person toxic, traits that pretty much covers everyone at some point in life. We all fit into this list somewhere at some times: Click Here 

THIS is what people are being told by counselors, about family members. If they make you feel bad, they are toxic
. So, what does that make you, if you make them feel bad? Toxic. I guess we are all toxic and therefore should all live out our days without family. When we are having trouble with family members, let's just call them "toxic," so that if we ever come back together, we can all walk on eggshells.

Think about what that word actually says to a person. Can there come much worse of an insulting thing to say about a person you love? You are saying that person is deadly, not worth the air that person is breathing, that that person might as well just crawl in a hole and die, that he/she is a worthless THING to you, that you need to scrape off of your shoe, a failure at being family. If you are really wanting to hurt someone, use this word. But remember, the minute you say the other person is toxic, you now fit the definition. Congratulations.

What the toxic article does not speak on is emotional abuse, a real reason to give up on a family member. A Web MD article on gaslighting, click here, says the following:

"Gaslighting is an emotional abusive strategy that causes someone to question their feelings, thoughts, and sanity. If someone gaslights you, theyíll attempt to make you question reality. The purpose of gaslighting is to convince you that you canít trust your thoughts or instincts. A gaslighter may try to convince you that your memories are incorrect, that you overreact to situations*, or that something is all in your head. They may then try to convince you that their version of events is the truth. This tactic can be used in both personal and professional relationships to gain control and power. This kind of abuse is often subtle in the beginning. For example, the gaslighter will change small details in stories or memories. Eventually, the person being gaslit begins to discredit their own intuition because these incidents begin so subtly. Over time, the gaslighter will break down the otherís ability to trust themselves. Eventually the gaslighter attempts to gain dominance in the relationship as you might begin to doubt your own memory."

It takes a narcissistic person to gaslight someone. People who have an issue with pride and are highly narcissistic cannot deal with being told they did something wrong, even when they actually did wrong. Narcissistic people would feel anyone who speaks up to them is toxic. If you have ever spoken up to a narcissistic person, you will have crossed a line of which there is no return. It does not matter who you have been to the narcissistic person or how good you have been to him/her, you are basically dead to that person and cannot ever recover, as long as that person is walking in such a manner. The only thing that could make you be able to live peaceably with that person actively in your life again, would be if that person realizes his/her problem and gets help and learns that it is him/her with the problem and that it is him/her who needs to get out of the flesh and walk in the Lord. And so, we can see where the word, TOXIC, in and of itself is TOXIC, especially when a narcissistic person gets a hold of it and causes more harm.

*Note: This is not to say that there are not people who often overreact or that all people do not overreact at times. This is saying that the gaslighter is using this claim, as a lie, when you didn't overreact.

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© Debra J.M. Smith