Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group: Toxic People. The Insecure Writer's Support Group is hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh and post on the first Wednesday of the month. To read my previous post go here. Part two of positive reinforcement is 'Toxic People.' I've heard many times that I need to distance myself from toxic people. What is a toxic person? An unsupportive person who seems to thrive on the negatives in your life, not necessarily theirs. As I shared last month, I am toxic when I'm sick. My post last month covered how I manage to pull myself out. It is easy to say, avoid toxic people. It is not so easy to do especially if the toxic people in your life are family members. I have several, but there is one person who stands out; my sister. She is the opposite of me in everyway. She is older. For years I longed to have a loving relationship with her; to go shopping and to share our hopes and dreams with one another. But my sister is not interested in having anything to do with me. I am beneath her. If I share something important, she will twist it and spread it around the family until I don't recognize the original thought. (I used to get calls from my mother wanting to know why I did something that I didn't do.) Toxic people hurt you. Eventually…and I do mean years and years of this kind of negative input made me reach a decision that I would never talk to my sister again. I simply got tired of the battles, of the disappointments, of the lies. She is threatened by my writing abilities, or so it seems. Do I still want her in my life? Yes and no. She is my sister and there will always be a side of me that desires a relationship with her. But she is also a matriarchal figure. She must be the best, have the best, be more important, have the nicer house and car, successful children, blah, blah, blah. Failure is not an option and when it occurs, my sister will short circuit and somehow blame me, or someone else. It is much easier to walk away from a toxic friend. But family presents a whole different problem. How do you deal with difficult situations that have the potential to bring you down? Nancy


Nicole MacDonald said...

Let go of ties that aren't worth it, Nancy. Base is meaningless if there is no genuine care, love and compassion involved. You deserve far better than that. I don't see all my family and even if they were on their death beds it wouldn't compel me to change my mind. If you intentionally set out to harm/hurt me and mine then you are permanently excluded. There are far too many good people in this world for me to waste time on the ugly ones.

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Nicole
You are so right.

Summer Ross said...

I tend to avoid what I can and when I can't I change the subject or have an excuse to leave.

Perhaps it's not the greatest way to deal with the situation, but honestly I know myself well enough to know what I'm willing to put up with and what just isn't right.

Southpaw said...

Letting go is the healthiest thing you can do. Family can be the best, most supportive structure but it can also be the most destructive. You can only be at your best with people around you that support you.

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Summer
We should all be so wise to run away.

Hi Holly
I agree.

Thank you both for stopping by.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm sorry your sister is like that. I'm not real close to my brother but he's not toxic.
I try to avoid them in real life and online. Work is more difficult, but I can always put on my headphones and ignore them.

sex scenes at starbucks, said...

I'm letting go of a toxic person at the moment. Unfortunately I am losing some other people I like in the process, too. Not sure what to do about that.

Anna said...

Dear Nancy,
What to do with toxic people? Avoid them if you can. There are two women in my building who are after blood if you don't leave the commity laundry room exactly as they wish it to be.

With two school-aged children (10 and almost eight) I need to launder often. I used to have a whole laundry-room to myself in the townhouse where I lived with my former husband.

I have tried to leave the LR in pristine condition, even using the vacuumcleaner to get up all the lint that flies around there. But this one woman came down to the LR to book a time from 7 to 12 in the morning only to find that i beat her to it. She complained about being in a hurry because of her daughter's birthday party she really needed to get started. I should have not even spoken to her at all. What I did was say that I would let her know if I can finish up earl´ly that I would let hear know.
I vacuumed the LR and put my sheets and towels in the dryer to tumble dry while I went up to her apartment to say that she could start her washes a half an hour earlier while my sheets tumble dry. That wan't good enough. She wanted to be able to lock the LR, which means that I must remove my things first. So I take my damp sheets to my apartment and hang them on hangers in the bathroom and let the door to the LR open. Ten minutes later the doorbell rings and there she is holding a damp rag with dust on it. I had apparently not dusted well enough after me. What does she expect. I was doing her a favour by letting her use some of my precious time. She wanted me to come to the LR where she would instruct me how to clean properly. She did this once before, so I decided to not let her get away with again. But instead of keeping calm and just saying 'No', I blew up and screamed at her.

In Swedish I would say that that was the last drop before my cup ran over, Meaning it was the last straw.

I called her some very nasty names. (Rememberm, I normally never swear. I hardly even say 'darn'. And told she she was a spoiled brat and slammed the door in her face.
Which was all very stupid on my part. But this was the third time her had done something like this.
A couple of days later, the chairman for the comdominium (I don't know how to explain this in English, it is not a rented apartment, you buy a share that gives you the right to live there and this canm be sold when you move.) about a complaint from another resident. I asked him if he would like to hear my version. He did and I told him what I have written hear.
He is in the sorry postition that he cannot take side. He wants me to call him the next time I use the laundry room so that he can inspect it and go back to this woman and tell her what he thinks.
I haven't used the laundry room since. I have had a plummer come to prepare for a washing machine in my bathroom. The electrician will stop by next week to do the electrical installations. I haven't picked my little washer yet, but it will still leave me without a dryer for my terricloth towels.

Forgive me for going into such detail, but this toxic woman has really taken my time and emotional energy. But I have no relation to her. If I can just avoid her, I'm fine.
Toxic person number one in my life has been my former husband, whom I divorced one year ago. It may seem ironic that I should have to go to such ends to aviod that one toxic person and find myslef just having to deal with more toxic persons of a different brand!

In order to counteract all of these negative experiences, I have been reading The Writer's & Artist's Yearbook 2012 to learn about the publishing business and even a book by Harry Bingham, Getting Published to keep my mind set on
writing something that is worth reading and getting it published.

I am no wiz att writing, but I think that if I work at it, that I might have something to say.

Best wishes,

N. R. Williams said...

Hello Ann
Venting is healthy so I don't mind at all. I'm glad you have the money to take care of installing your own laundry room. I know you'll do well in whatever endeavor you choose to concentrate on. Looking forward to critiquing with you.