“Take care of yourselves, watch the people around you carefully, and cordon off the ones who are toxic, so that the universe can decontaminate them for you through exposure and death.”
This is always very good advice (I’ve written some version of it myself at various times), but it’s especially poignant for me to read it from Warren, now, because I’ve just had to remove a profoundly toxic, dishonest, manipulative, bad, bad, bad person from my life, who was in my life for years. You’d think it would be easy, but it wasn’t.
So, speaking from experience: it’s not your fault that a toxic person fooled you, even if they fooled you for years. It’s not your fault, and while it is entirely expected that you go through the normal grieving process that is associated with any loss, try not to spend any time blaming yourself for not seeing all the things that you can see now in hindsight much sooner than you did.
Take care of yourself, as Warren says.
45 thoughts on “Take Care of Yourself”
Very timely comment for me today actually.
This is exactly what I needed to hear today! Thank you!
Breathe the fresh air and move on.
I like to say: Does the person in question contribute positively to your life at all? If not, you need to rethink this relationship. And YES, that includes family.
I’ve had to do that many times and even though it’s difficult you are always much better for it. Just keep swimming!
I’ve managed to 90% remove a toxic person from my life (who I am unfortunately related to) and now I just need to be able to remove this person from the lives of my family members, so we can all be free of him.
I’m dreaming of the day when we’re all financially stable enough to cordon him off from us and I hope it isn’t too long in coming.
I know you’re right, but I’m struggling with it
Thank you, Will.
Fantastic advice. Thanks for posting! The positive side in times like these is that it makes us even more grateful for the wonderful people in our lives that far out weigh the poisonous toxic ones.
Totally understand where you are coming from – the hardest part is letting go of the person you thought they were. And to not beat yourself up about “not seeing the ‘real’ them” until now. Mostly we just want to see the best in the people we trust: the mark of a non-toxic person.
~ Wishing you lighter days.
@jilletteblue That’s how I’d put it as well. There may be some grieving too, that’s only natural.
It is hard. But worth it. After the toxicity is gone, you really understand how great your life is without them.
Insert “but the Traveler seemed like such a nice dude!” joke here.
I just like you. Hope all is well for you. Tell Mrs. W hi for me 🙂
Assuming that’s not who he’s talking about 8-). (Surely not…pretty sure…God I hope not :-).)
i was being nice Jethro
I’ve been through this a couple times over the years and it’s never easy, even when it’s the right thing to do. Then again, doing the right thing is rarely ever easy. Good luck, and you’ll get through it and be better off.
This is the Bo thing I assume. Sigh!!! Sorry this has happened and I hope for positive change for all involved.
You are not alone! Thanks for the reminder that I’m not alone either. 🙂
Wil, internet hugs to you, brother.
That’s always a hard swallow, because no matter how rationally you know what must be done, it is a difficult step to take.
When in doubt, lean more heavily on those you know have your interests at heart. Don’t bear the extra weight alone.
Absolutely true, both the need for removal and the challenge of it.
Sometimes the toxicity is all theirs, sometimes you contribute without realizing it, and sometimes it just comes from both of you changing in different ways over time. But in any case don’t waste your time with blame, for either them or yourself – it doesn’t do anything but hold you back from making the change and moving on.
The good news is now you have more time and energy to spend with people that support you, and to find new and better friends and partners to fill the gap.
Wil, just want to make sure you follow your own wisdom, right back at you. “Take care of yourself”, as Warren says.
I agree and have someone I wish I could do that with. This person is amazing to me and for me. She is great with people and very wise in many ways. But she is also toxic and lying to me ( of which she doesn’t know that I know). I don’t know how to begin to get someone out of my life that is so good and bad all at once.
It took me a long time to learn that people can do bad things to others and feel no remorse. Once I accepted that, recovery is much quicker.
Very, Very, VERY true and darned fine advice. Gray hairs have convinced me that this is as important as keeping toxic food out of your body and ne’er-do-wells out of your home. Our lives are like our homes and our bodies … only as healthy as we keep them. And yes, sometimes we will be duped. And when we are, we will feel like fools. But Wil’s advice is right on target. Take care of you and yours. That’s Pri 1.
This post most likely speaks to everyone. I can really relate about the blaming of myself for the loss. I feel that I did my best to be a good friend but that doesn’t guarantee protection from seemingly soulless person that is intent on causing havoc in your life. Thank you for the reminder that it’s important to place blame where it belongs and then set it down and move on.
Sorry you had to go thru this. Not to make light of the situation, but it could be the basis of a good “Black Mirror” episode – a service that removes people from your life. I’m a believer of “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Have some lemonade & go forward.
The hardest thing to do is remove toxic people from your life. I had to accept the fact that my family is toxic to me and distant myself from them. Anyone who makes you feel totally worthless, even for a moment is never anyone you need around.
Congratulations on doing such a hard thing!
Thank you Wil.
I’m a therapist and I Still have difficulties removing the toxic people from my life. They usually have an uncanny way of making us feel guilty for protecting ourselves. I’m glad you were able to recognize and remove the toxic person. Not an easy task, by any means. Keep up the fight – I’m cheering for you to keep your strength up and sending long distance hugs your way. 🙂
Mean people just plain suck.
Glad you were able to free yourself from toxic-person, it can be difficult depending on your relationship with them.
It is never easy. Be thankful they are gone. You have people that appreciate and love you. You write about them all the time. Big hug.
one of the many painful experiences of life — so much i wish i could say here. gentle hugs be well Wil.
It’s truly hard to do, I get that…I had to cordon off my one whole side of my family and just walk away…I recently removed another family member from my life and it sucks but I have my kids, my husband, and the friends I choose to keep close to me…keep your chin up Wil, things will get easier as time goes by…you may not think it now, but trust me they will…
My New Year’s Goal (hate the word resolution) is to keep the toxic people as far away from me as possible, once I have determined they are toxic to me. As always, you hit the nail on the head.
Be on your guard with the “cordon yourself off from them” part, the toxic people are the gift that keeps on giving. As Graham Chapman’s “Yellowbeard” told his allies in that movie, “a Yellowbeard is never more dangerous than when he’s dead!”
Dude, you are so right, sometimes the removal of toxicity can take a while, particularly when you are waiting on the Justice System to complete its investigations into the toxic person.
I too felt totally stupid for falling for the manipulation but am so much better moving further and further from the toxicity (regrettably I cant move as fast as a certain Pluto Probe can)
thanks for sharing this, i struggle with trust issues a lot, along with depression. i do actually feel that most people are kind, but i am so afraid to trust them at the same time and for good reasons. i then end up blocking myself off from everyone. i guess we just have to keep trying though. thank you for sharing your stories. i read the comments and i think it helps a lot of us to not feel so alone.
This is comforting to hear. I removed a toxic person from my life a few years ago but I’ve felt my resolve weakening and feel myself wanting to reach out. Next time that happens, I’ll think of you. That’s generally how I deal with my mental anguish: What Would Wil Do?
Excellent advice. Wish I’d read it a long time ago. Thank you.
Thank you. I needed to read this today.
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