16. How to Love a Toxic Person?
Why would we continue to love someone who is toxic to us? They may do things that are harmful to us emotionally or maybe physically, however, they remain a sentient being. Once you have identified a toxic person in your life the next step is handling it. Keeping in mind that they feel emotions too. We must remember we are humans who make mistakes and go through many challenges in life. Some of us may not have had the same support in life that we needed or we may have trouble dealing with deep emotional issues, for some other reason. We, ourselves, may have been a toxic person at some point too. Toxic people may be difficult to understand but we have to try, and we have to learn to keep loving them but in a healthy way. It is their choice to change but we can still help support them and guide them to make those decisions for themselves. This toxicity they have gets in the way of their relationships, friendships, and causes them many difficulties in life. If you have identified someone toxic who you care deeply for, here are some tips to provide them with the help, love, and support that we could offer to someone in this position. It might be you or someone else who could help them. If you are going down that road… it’s important to have an understanding of what that might require.
Some helpful tips I read for loving toxic people:
1. Do not let them control your reactions
2. Change your response to their behaviour (or have none)
3. Do not normalize abusive behavior or let yourself/others be marginalized by them
4. Set and enforce boundaries
5. Be honest with them
6. Avoid the the sunk cost fallacy (emotional investment abandonment issues).
7. Lastly, you may need to love them from a distance.
Try not to be rude or abrasive, but be honest with them. Remembering that this is to help them, not belittle them. When trying some of these tips it is important to keep in mind that it will NOT be easy. “The chances are good that he or she will redouble efforts to keep the dynamic going by manipulating, gas lighting, or spreading rumors about you, to gain the upper hand.” . However, if you don’t want to help them or think you are unsuitable for whatever reason, then my advice is to don’t get involved. Your health should always come first or it can be difficult to effectively help others. Those who are ready for it, I much considered as healers.