The danger of speaking of a "toxic person"

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Louise Hay

The danger of speaking of a "toxic person"

Last update: October 12, 2017

Be careful, because that of a "toxic person" is a very easy label to attribute when a dispute arises, since you give all the responsibility to the other.

In other words, this definition offers us a cause that makes us victims, a real temptation, there is no doubt. It is, therefore, a particularly accessible resource for the emotional lazy, for those who think that there is no blemish in their person and for those who believe that toxicity deprives those who suffer from it of every ounce of empathy.

This last they do not want to see toxicity as the result or the reaction to a situation between various involved, but rather as a characteristic possessed a priori. In this sense, those who attribute the label of "toxic person" ignore that toxicity, if it exists, has a history.

Another element that requires us to pay attention to the term "toxic" is that this is not a purely scientific label. There are no studies on toxicity, there are studies on behaviors that were then defined as toxic, a posteriori and without taking into account many of the variables that cause such behaviors.

Finally, it is such a popular label that it carries a serious risk of backfire on us. The attitudes of each individual can be categorized as toxic, as they are harmful to others. And from the labeling of behaviors to the labeling of the person, for some, there is only one step.

Why has the definition of "toxic person" spread so much?

Defining someone as toxic is not harmless. In fact, it can be a very serious attack, a cruel insult masked by the moral authority that we have attributed to ourselves after looking at some self-help book, with no more commitment or intention, with such reading, than to delegate responsibility. to the others.

The term "toxic" is easy to understand, it has great strength due to the poison of its resonance. In the imagination it alludes to a substance of variable color, sticky, flammable and to which we must pay close attention. In this sense, when we say that something is toxic, we say that it is not trustworthy.

Thinking about what is described, we should pull our hair for the spread of the term, for having put this weapon in the hands of people who do not understand the consequences of its use. This certainly deserves some reflection.

There are no toxic people, just relationships or behaviors

No one is a toxic person per se and for no reason. If we want to deny it, since there are always exceptions, we will agree that each of us can potentially be.

Humans have no arsenic or asbestos for blood or cells. Sometimes we are a flat sea in which the sails and the rudder team up to take us where we want; at other times, however, we only feel the storm that on many occasions we feed, lead or infect.

In the various paths, events and vital contexts, our expectations, our behaviors and values ​​have a frontal impact with those of the people around us. Feeling emptiness and uncertainty, we can opt to isolate them by letting our responsibilities fall on others.  

We also talk about unnecessary reproaches, intolerable conduct, symptoms of a breakup, etc. All of this could present itself, but it should always imply an introspection and some work with oneself before attributing the label of "toxic person" to one's interlocutor  

Toxic dynamics instead of toxic people

Each of us can be the victim of toxic behavior. However, it is more common to participate in toxic dynamics than to be a toxic person. For example, not talking to others when they are not speaking to us out of pride, insisting on a topic to emphasize the disinterest of others, taking a position of dependence because the other person is over-protective.

Finally, it must be said that the term "toxic" is strong and at the same time lacking in its precision. Defining someone a "toxic person" only indicates that they are dangerous or potentially dangerous, but it does not tell us in what sense, what aspects it harms, how we can protect ourselves if necessary and even less does it show us how to help the individual get rid of it. label. In this sense, we could call those who fight, those who dare, those who are sensitive, toxic… and as a society we would not emerge unscathed from this new way of categorizing people.

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