Toxic People + Terminal Happiness

Toxic people are emotional cancers that slowly grow and seep into every facet of your life. They poison the parts of you that are healthy and happy. They inspire self-doubt and grow mistrust. They are emotional manipulators. They are total pieces of shit.

A toxic person breeds emotional cancer in your life. To offset their own problems and pain, they manipulate and control other people. And they are seriously slippy shitty eels in that respect because they paint themselves as your friend. They actually seem to need you and your emotional support and your friendship. They’ll do nice things for you, and then remind you—and shout to the world—how wonderful they are.

And they do need you. They need you because they need to control someone else, because they think they have zero control of their own miserable lives. The hate they feel about themselves is deep and without any restraint. Any moment they can see your vulnerability is a victory for them. They find joy in seeing your problems, seeing you sad, making mistakes, having failures. It may not seem obvious at first, but eventually they will turn your insecurities against you.

The moment you voice a suspicion, catch them in their manipulation scheme, or catch them red-handed in a lie, or you are on the verge of uncovering what they’ve worked hard to hide … they will deny, offset, or turn the situation around because you’re the crazy one (gaslighting), or you’re the one to blame (I can’t keep up with your turning tables…).

The truth about toxic people is that they have serious problems. They are incapable of relationships with people that are rooted in reality and based on sincerity, honesty, and vulnerability. Even if they start out with the right intentions, the relationship will never be healthy because they have never dealt with the root of their problem. The root of their problem began when they were young, and they experienced something deeply traumatic or they have lived with repetitive mistreatment or abuse.

This is the sad truth about toxic people. The starting point for their current adult issues was not their fault. In the present, they do not want to acknowledge what they’ve been through. Many of them may not even be aware of the depth of their pain or their problems. They may feel shame or embarrassment, or hurt so deeply that it is numbing.

Here is the hard truth: it isn’t my problem once they start to seep their issues into my life in a way that makes me feel shitty. It is one thing to be there for a friend and support them through difficult times. I’m not there to be a constant crutch, or a scapegoat, or a punching bag. I’m not there to absorb your insecurities, and let you breed mistrust. I’m not there to allow you to do shitty things. I’m not there to console you and comfort you one minute, and then be pushed away by you the next. You can’t make up rules that apply to everyone else except yourself.

A toxic person’s past trauma is a reason for their behavior—it is never an excuse. Just because you’ve been hurt by other people doesn’t give you a pass to continue breeding negativity. Just because you feel like shit doesn’t mean that everyone else deserves to feel like shit too—everyone in the world didn’t emotionally abuse you. Everyone in the world didn’t lie to you, or cheat on you, or beat you, or sexually assault you, or molest you, or withhold affection from you.

I get it. I’ve wanted to exact revenge on people who have hurt me. I’ve caught myself misplacing anger and directing it at the wrong person. We are human and anger is a tricky emotion to control and release in a healthy way. The difference is, toxic people excuse their behavior as rational. Which is why toxic people continually need reassurance that what they are doing or what they’ve said is “right” and that they have done no “wrong”.

Toxic people live in a world constructed from deceit, dishonesty, and denial which is cemented by their control of others, covered by their ability to easily and freely point out everyone else’s flaws and shortcomings, all while insulating their insecurities.

Eventually toxic people destroy themselves. They are found out to be all the things they work so hard to hide from the outside world. From there they either start over again with new people, reinvent themselves, indulge in escapism, or find new ways to control people and offset their pain.

I’m angry that I’ve been this “victim” of manipulation by toxic people. But I can cut cords. I have before and I’m sure I will again. I still send a big “fuck you” to those people, alongside a sincere wish that they find true peace and happiness. My feelings towards these people are not black and white. What I need to do for my own emotional health is decisively clear; get out and away.

To anyone who suspects that they are involved in a friendship or relationship that is toxic, please get out. Your personal happiness should only be supported, encouraged, and enhanced by the people who are in your life. You deserve happiness.

And for anyone who is mildly aware that they have past trauma they need to deal with, please get help. Your personal negativity and insecurity hurts the people close to you and will only destroy the potential for healthy relationships. Personal happiness has a positive effect on the people close to you. Do whatever you need to do—in a healthy safe way—to regain positivity and heal. You deserve happiness too.