As beautiful as this life is, as great as meeting some people turn out to be, there are just some people that you meet that you regret ever meeting in your life. Sometimes, those are far away and you can avoid them, and sometimes, they are just too close and you really can’t do much about them, except learn to live with them.
I had been trying to put my thoughts together recently, when I heard a woman wailing, while talking on the phone, “What else does xyz wants me to do that I have not done for him? I have practically stopped living my life, just so he would not be angry with me in anyway. I close my shop earlier, go home to prepare his dinner and I dare not sleep until he comes back late in the night, as he typically does. What else does this man want from me? My life?”
At a stage, she started to cry and then started speaking loudly on the phone. It was like she didn’t even care that she was in a public space or that strangers could hear the details of her personal life, which she was sharing. It was pretty clear; she was agitated about the state of her marriage and wanted a change, which even she didn’t think was possible, especially if all the adjustments had to come from her.
The interesting twist, and the main reason I’m writing this is because of the change of tone and excuses she started to find for the man, towards the end of her phone conversation.
All of a sudden, I was hearing, “But I can’t blame him completely. He was nice to me in the past oh.”
“He is just taking the changes in his business badly and taking it out me.”
“I know he loves me, I just don’t understand why he’s not showing it.” and she went on and on, about the messed up, but kind man she was married to.
From that conversation, it was obvious she was both emotionally and physically abused, yet there she was making excuses for the same man.
I heard only one side of the telephone conversation, but it did not look like something that had started of recent. It was more like it had started years back and she had kept bottling it, until there was no more space. While, she’s talking about it, she’s still trying to make her husband look good.
She just reminded me of a story I heard when I was much younger, of how a young lay had refused to leave her boyfriend, even though he was beating her regularly and sometimes pushing her out of his one-room apartment, as naked as the day she was born. She claimed the guy loved her, and that was his reason for beating her. If that is the only type of love that exists in this life, abeg I can do without it.
You see toxic people behave badly and blame their partner for it. They emotionally and physically abuse their partner and try to apologise, by convincing the other party that he/she was the reason for the abuse.
And they have succeed, when the partner starts believing the lies, starts accepting that they indeed are responsible for whatever their partner did to them and their partner is blameless. That is the height of toxicity. As only a complete change of mind will make that partner leave.
Toxic people and partners generally are quite good at manipulating others and here are some ways they use.
1. Everything is your fault!
I said this earlier. A toxic person will never accept responsibility for something. It will always be the other party’s fault. Have you ever heard, “She was the one who made me beat her” ? Or, “He’s always daring me.”
You can try as hard as you want, but people like this will always find a way to put the blame back on you. If you tell a toxic person something critical they are likely to respond with a harsh, uncalled for attack on your character. It can start feeling like an infinite game of hot potato, throwing the blame back and forth to each other, with no one wanting to accept responsibility.
2. They tend to make generalizations, use words like ‘never’ and ‘always’
You’ll frequently hear words like “never” and “always,” but when you try to be logical with them, their next step is usually to another weapon in their arsenal; personal attacks.
3. A toxic partner always knows what you were going to do/say
Another way toxic people attempt to manipulate you is by trying to convince you that they have got you all figured out. Everything you do has just become so predictable to them. They know your reaction to any subject matter.
So, even before you think of reacting different, they tell you how they expect you to react and before you know it, you are dancing to their tune.
When they start saying things like, “I knew you were going to say that,” or “I don’t know why I should be surprised,” they are just trying to find a way to get into your head without using any reasoning or logic.
Watch out for it. And take proactive actions like:
• Stop pretending their toxic behaviour is okay
• Speak up and stand up for yourself
• Stop taking their toxic behaviour personally
• Take time off just for you
• And when you cannot stand it anymore, move on
These are a few ways; you can deal with toxic people and their toxicity.
Stay in love!
Kristine is a member of The Lovelint team. She is a down to earth person, who says it as it is. Having given relationship advice for years in a national daily, she has found out that fear is one of the main reasons holding people back from enjoying a healthy, happy relationship. She is married with kids and is willing to listen to you and help as much as you let her to.