Toxic People

by

April 8, 2011

This post, originally written on September 19, 2005, seems to have disappeared from the Country Universe archives when we switched over to self-hosting. I’m reposting it today for the sake of posterity.

I’m starting to wonder if the people I like and can get along with all fall into one category and the people I can’t stand to be around or have a conversation with fall into another. The categories?

1 – You believe that you have a moral obligation to other people, and live your life accordingly.
2 – You look out for yourself primarily, and what you feel is best for you informs any obligation you feel to other people.

I’m sure I’m oversimplifying this, but as I’ve cemented my foothold into adulthood, I find I can’t stomach selfishness anymore. I can’t have a calm conversation with somebody who reveals a complete lack of concern for other people in the process. I can’t stand people who voice opinions without having enough information, or basing beliefs on incorrect information. Yes, I do believe that if you’re a member of a society, you have a moral obligation to be an informed one; indifference to ignorance can cause a tremendous amount of damage.

I thought for a long time that being a good person meant you have to be as nice as possible and as patient as possible with everybody you meet. I thought that being a good friend meant overlooking faults and allowing yourself to be the one with hurt feelings so you don’t hurt anybody else. I thought that being outwardly sensitive meant not being inwardly sensitive.

I forgot the lesson my greatest teacher taught me: “Avoid toxic people.” If someone is affecting your mental well-being, cut them off. It’s a nice lesson. But I’ve adjusted it. For me these days, it’s “Confront toxic people.” Stand up for the truth. If somebody is revealing a complete lack of humanity and/or knowledge, call them on it. They are a poison to society.

Toxic people will single out what makes you special and try to convince you it makes you inferior. Toxic people will take more than they ever give, but when they do give, they’ll make you feel guilty about it. Toxic people will do their best to invoke pity, the most pathetic and selfish emotion there is to invite. Toxic people won’t kill you, but they will drain your love of life.

I’m all for compassion and sensitivity. But if it comes at the expense of your own well-being, you’re being used and exploited.

Yes, this is geared toward some people close to me who are dealing with people like this right now in their lives. You deserve better. Walk away, or confront, but don’t endure those people any longer. You’ll be much happier in the end.

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13 Comments

Category: Miscellaneous Musings

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  1. JohnNo Gravatar says:

    Have you ever noticed that you gravitate toward people online that you’ve never met personally, but you’re not quite sure why? This post answers the question of why I like Kevin and his writing so much. Thanks for reposting this, and thanks for all you do with the site.

  2. DebraNo Gravatar says:

    Wow-a stranger can touch you with strong words-great writing and superior reasoning-words to live me and advice I will personally try to take!

  3. Ethan AmpelNo Gravatar says:

    I think Kevin is the bravest person in the world country music commentary that I’ve ever come across. This article proves he’d have a thing or two to say to some people on TheBoot.com, for example, who are leaving the most vile and ignorant comments on the article about Chely Wright’s recent engagement. THOSE are some toxic people. We don’t need those kind of people in the country fan base. What THEY need is a “Kevin” cleanse :)

  4. Ethan AmpelNo Gravatar says:

    Oh, and Kevin, if you’re reading this, I’ve recently sent you a longer e-mail along the lines of my above comment. The name I sent the email as is Ethan “Letter.” I hope you get the chance to read it. Best wishes.

  5. plain_joNo Gravatar says:

    well said

  6. Matt BNo Gravatar says:

    Completely, COMPLETELY agree with this statement. I cannot stand Toxic people and attitudes in my life at all.

  7. Paul DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Unfortunately, in life you must sometimes deal with toxic people. You don’t need to socialize with them but you sometimes encounter them in business situations. My rule of them is simply treat them like anyone else but where possible avoid them

  8. I forgot the lesson my greatest teacher taught me: “Avoid toxic people.” If someone is affecting your mental well-being, cut them off. It’s a nice lesson. But I’ve adjusted it. For me these days, it’s “Confront toxic people.” Stand up for the truth. If somebody is revealing a complete lack of humanity and/or knowledge, call them on it. They are a poison to society.
    This is such a great reminder! I am learning about emotional vampires which goes along with your toxic people. Thanks.

  9. Soul Miners DaughterNo Gravatar says:

    Good stuff. Thanks so much for sharing!

  10. Buddy BrownNo Gravatar says:

    Very well said, keep up the great posts!

  11. KentNo Gravatar says:

    This post sits in the back of my mind and I keep gravitating towards it. It really is rather good.

  12. Tara SeetharamNo Gravatar says:

    Love this as much as I did the first time I read it.

  13. “But if it comes at the expense of your own well-being, you’re being used and exploited.” This statement had a big impact on me because I had an experience where I felt I was used and exploited. The sad part about this experience that it was my bestfriend who did that to me.

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