We all know that allowing toxic people in our lives is unhealthy. There is no question that relationships which are hurtful should be terminated and there can be obvious signs that we are in a “bad for us” situation.
According to Psychology Today there are 8 major characteristics of a toxic person:
- They don’t take responsibility for their own feelings
- No apologies
- They make you prove yourself
- They make you defend yourself
- They are not supportive of you
The challenge for me comes when things are not this black and white. How and when do you make the decision to end a relationship that is with a person that is just not a fit for you? Mis-matches happen all the time, I see it in marriages, friendships and employment situations.
We are not all going to be each other’s “cup of tea”. Some of us are coffee drinkers. It doesn’t mean that tea is not a perfectly wonderful warm (or cold) beverage. Tea has many health benefits, can aid in weight loss and has enough caffeine to get you started in the morning. Yet if you just don’t like tea, it doesn’t make sense to force yourself to drink it.
Depending on the relationship and what your willing to allow in your life, tea drinking doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Maybe you drink tea once a week, or on special occasions, maybe you just enjoy the aroma of tea without ever actually tasting it. Or maybe just the thought of tea invokes the gag reflex, in which case, giving up tea completely is probably the right choice.
And if you are coffee in a tea drinkers world, don’t be sad if things don’t work out. It’s not you, they just don’t like coffee. Find coffee drinkers. People who will enjoy your particular flavor and aroma.
Maybe your taste changed. Maybe you were once a tea drinker but now prefer coffee.
Where I am going with all of this, is that sometimes we drift away from the people we were close to. Sometimes it makes sense to end a relationship even if both people in it are loving with good intentions. It is hard for me to do this. Hard to set boundaries in relationships that have no clear reason to end. Sometimes it is easy to keep a tin of tea in the pantry. It doesn’t take up much room and can sit there out of mind. The problem is that eventually the tea will go bad, using space that could be dedicated to something else, the tea could have been given to someone that would enjoy it. At some point the pantry will be cleaned and it just won’t make any sense to hold onto that tin of tea.