What makes a person toxic? To me, it’s a person who can’t see past their own lives and experiences and empathize. If it doesn’t forward their own view of themselves, make them money or something for them, the person or experience or whatever is worthless.

I don’t tend to have toxic people in my life on a daily basis. Yes, I will come across a random person but they don’t tend to be important enough to do more than avoid.

And yet…none of us can avoid all of them. And unfortunately, a lot of the unavoidable ones are family. I consider myself a relatively open-minded person. I don’t expect everyone to have the same opinions or views that I have. That said, the most toxic people in my life tend to “other.”

“Those people.” “That neighborhood.” “Why do they do that that way?” “Things weren’t that way when I was your age.” You get the picture.

I remember learning the term when I was in college. Frankenstein and Dracula were the books where it was discussed and dissected. The idea that people who were different were less in some way. There was finally a term for that creepy feeling that I used to get at family reunions or other gatherings when a comment would be made that felt wrong.

But understanding why doesn’t always help. There are just sometimes when you can’t remove people from your life. You can’t even excise that piece of them that makes you super uncomfortable.

The most toxic people in my life are luckily not often in my life. I didn’t choose to bring them in, but they are part of my family through marriage in the family so there they are. The ones who tell me they don’t travel because “those people” smell. Or go to a restaurant and inform the table that the people working there look like “terrorists.” The ones who peer over my shoulder to “catch” me looking at something scandalous–which, of course, then I make sure to have available. Because me.

I don’t have a solution–I avoid when I can, I move away from them when forced into contact and am very grateful when they are gone. And then go back to my life where people are unique, inquisitive and accepting–and that makes me happy.

And for FebPhotoFest20?

10 thoughts on “Toxic”

  1. “which, of course, then I make sure to have available. Because me.”

    Lmao You and I have so much in common. I am the same way. Also, if it really shouldn’t be said I will absolutely say it with a grin on my face. Bahahaha Gets me in trouble

    I filtered most of the toxic people out of my life. Unfortunately, filtering out my mother and some of my coworkers aren’t an option.

  2. I recognise those people you are talking about. I try to ignore the bad talk, and usually, once at home, I read some extra erotica to compensate. Like a protest 🤷🏼‍♀️

    Thanks for sharing ☺️

  3. It sucks when the toxic ppl are also family members. I hated it more when other family members would say “you can not just stop talking to your (fill in the blank). Because they’re family!”
    Yea oh whatever…I like being the black sheep of the family. 🙂

  4. When the toxic people are family !! Oh yes, indeed. Bad enough when it’s in a private setting, but the loud outbursts in public, especially at a restaurant leave me seething. 🌹

  5. I grew up with toxic parents. My sensitivity is pretty high because of that. I am trying to stand up to people like this but it is hard for me. Thank you for writing about this. It is an important topic.

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