How to get rid of toxic people

For the most part, I really enjoy xoJane.com. The articles that really catch my eye are written by bigger girls about issues fat women face. Then there were the Cervical Cancer Diaries which I loved because I was diagnosed with the same thing as the author a few years ago and it was terrifying. Yet, women rarely talk about it. Oh, and if you click those links, you’ll see photos that the authors take of themselves without photoshopping, and sometimes with no makeup. Or without a stylist. I feel like I’m talking to my friend when I read certain articles. Even the ads on the side have fat girls on them.

So what I’m about to say is in no way malicious or picking on Jane Pratt. I like what she does and her article titled How To Be Calm, Happy, Healthy and Keep Yucky People Away caught my eye. That’s like the theme of my life the past few years. I have a ton of anxiety, and grief and I’m struggling at times to manage personal relationships. It’s all hard shit and everyone has their own path to getting their life together.

So Jane keeps calm by wearing a new agey necklace. She jokes about it, though, so you can tell she’s not uptight about it, which is cool.

But I can’t do that kind of shit.

I used to be very spiritual and religious. Sometimes that’s the same thing, sometimes it’s not. What I’ve realized in retrospect is that it’s harder to sort of shave away all those crutches and short cuts because dealing with life is fucking hard. Like being calm? Fuck that. Not on my own. I take medication for that. And that’s not a crutch, that’s actually harder to do because then you have to come face to face with your genetic pre-disposition to certain disorders and then you have to realize that religious trauma and abuse may have caused you to have the anxiety you live with. Oh, and remembering your childhood? Medication please!

How do you keep “yucky people” away, though? Doesn’t everyone want to know this one? Toxic people suck and let’s be real…we’re all capable of spreading some ill-will now and then. But there are truly terrible people out there, and it’s tough to know that until you give the situation and person some time. My best advice to myself is practice knowing when to quit someone and to exercise your right to cut off communication with someone you think is toxic. If you have to practice, because like me it’s unnatural to be mean or confrontational, then practice. You’ll get better at it.

I’m so trusting and caring that I often seem vulnerable to people. I’m not vulnerable, though. I’m capable of taking care of myself. It’s hard to be fess up to yourself that you’re being used or being taken advantage of by someone you care so much about. But after you cry a little bit, it’s time to deal with it and get some space from them.

As far as being in relationships with people who used me? Been there. Done that. Had to break it off. It’s tough being faced with the decision to end it, but it’s nice to get that good feeling of pride in taking care of yourself later.

And then there’s the question of how? Do you end it peacefully and just ignore them? Do you tell them off? Do you have an open-dialogue and expect them to understand? It all depends on the person and the relationship. There’s no right or wrong answer and again, practice makes perfect. And don’t beat yourself up if you’re not diplomatic or perfect.

It sucks to admit when someone isn’t interested in caring about you back. Maybe some people aren’t capable of caring. Maybe they have issues. Or maybe they are just rude. If you’re like me, you take their lack of interest or care personally and it makes you feel like something is wrong with YOU. It’s their issue, love. Not yours.

I had a friend a few years ago that I got incredibly close to. As time went on, though, I noticed that I wasn’t that comfortable with our friendship’s direction. I also felt like she wasn’t that open with me, which is important to me in a friendship. If I tell you my secrets, you sure as hell better open up about yours.

Then she started showing that she was unhappy with her husband. She invited guys over to dinner when I was there (who she said she’d invited over for me since I was single) and then flirted with them and all but made out with them in front of her husband and me. I was never interested in the men she liked, but I found it annoying that she’d bring them over and use me as a cover-up with her husband.

One night there was some fondling and her and the dude started dancing. I left before the making out or fucking began. We didn’t speak after that for a long time. She was mad at me because I’d taken her car keys away so she wouldn’t drive off drunk (since her 3 children were inside sleeping) and I was mad at her that I had to fucking parent a grown woman. Not to mention the whole “I’m going to cheat on my husband in front of you” party.

That’s not a friendship. That’s being used.

Whatever issues I’d overlooked in the past with her finally came to a boiling point. I was too angry that night for having to parent her and for being invited over  and then lied to. And then I started recalling all I’d done for her: planned and hosted a baby shower for her third child, took phots of her vag while the baby was born, and brought her magazines and laughter pre-birth. I’m a damn good friend.

When I started to break it off with her eventually, the typical blame game started. I was blamed for always pushing people away. This was all my issue, not something she took partial responsibility for.