At the beginning of every new year, you see people making declarations. I’m going to be a better person. I will move on from old hurts. Or, and I love this one, I will get the toxic people out of my life.
Who are the toxic people in your life? Are they really toxic? Are you following a Biblical example by declaring this?
These are the thoughts that run through my mind whenever I see people declare they are done with toxic people. Today, I want to make a new declaration. I am not done with toxic people. In fact, I want more toxic people in my life.
Now that’s a bold declaration. But I will tell you why I want more of these people in my life.
Why I Want More Toxic People In My Life
Call me crazy but I love toxic people. Nancy Irwin defines toxic people as those who are abusive, unsupportive, or unhealthy emotionally.
I can get down with Irwin’s definition. Those words sound like a toxic person. They even describe a person I wouldn’t want to be around.
But something has changed in me. I want more toxic people in my life. I want more people who are abusive, unsupportive, and unhealthy emotionally.
Why would I want more toxic people in my life?
BECAUSE TOXIC PEOPLE ARE HURTING PEOPLE.
It is easy to write off someone who hurts us or hurts others. Who would want people like that in their lives? These toxic people are going to hurt you eventually… right?
It is true, toxic people will hurt you at some point. They will see a weakness or a hurt and attack you like a lion hurts a wounded zebra.
As a believer, we have to look at people differently. We can’t see their faults and their disease. We can’t disown people because they’re toxic.
Rather, we’re called to love on the wounded, the hurting, the toxic people in our lives.
Toxic people aren’t toxic because they want to be unkind, mean, or evil. Toxic people are toxic because they are hurting.
And hurting people hurt people.
That’s what makes toxic people so toxic. Their pain is overflowing from their lives into ours. They hurt us because they’re hurting.
And that is why I want more toxic people in my life.
I want more toxic people in my life because they are hurting. They’re longing to be loved. To have someone say “I’ve got you, brother.”
What You Can Do With Toxic People
Your first thought may be to get rid of the toxic people in your life like so many people decide to do in the new year. I think we can do better than getting rid of the toxic people in our lives. I think we need to love the toxic people in our lives.
Love toxic people
Toxic people are hard people to be around. I know that. You know that. The world knows that. And that’s why so many people flee from the toxic people in their lives.
We can do better than abandoning the wounded and hurting. We can choose to pick up our cross and suffer with them. We can show toxic people they are loved and cared for.
Support toxic people
In addition to loving toxic people, we need to be willing to support toxic people. I don’t mean support in a financial sense but in an emotional sense.
Toxic people are broken people, like you and me. We all have our issues. Toxic people seem to have more than you do, right?
Choose to listen to and support the toxic person in your life. Listen to them. Hear their story. Discover why they’re so toxic.
You may discover they experienced a similar situation in their life as you. Their choice in how to handle it may have been different and that has led to their toxicity. Help them to understand different choices can be made. Support them in turning their lives around.
Leave toxic people
Toxic people can be too much for you alone. Their constant negativity and unhealthy attitudes can bring you down. Especially if you are prone to mental illness yourself.
There is a time to leave toxic people to their own desires.
Set clear boundaries. Let the toxic people in your life know the boundaries they cannot cross. Communicate the consequences of crossing the boundaries.
If the toxic people in your life continue to cross the boundaries you have set, it may be time to leave the toxic person in your life.
Let them know why you’re cutting them out of your life. Share with them it is not your desire to no longer be friends with them or to enjoy their friendship. Tell them that you’re hurt that they couldn’t obey the boundaries that were in place to protect you.
Sometimes leaving a toxic person or friendship is the only recourse left. You have to make the decision for yourself. The choice to leave a friendship is never easy but sometimes it is the right thing.