Pastor E.C. Maltbia
Today, I want to talk to you about toxic people. A toxic person, in my opinion, is someone who brings harm to your overall well-being. Toxic people are typically self-centered, needy, controlling, and/ or abusive. Here are three common characteristics of toxic people.
First, toxic people are good at stonewalling. Stonewalling is when someone abruptly stops communicating with you. For example, they suddenly stop responding to your text, calls, and/or emails. They can also begin ignoring you when you are speaking to them face to face. To justify this foolish behavior, they often pretend they did not notice you speaking to them, or they have been too busy to respond to you. Yet, Ecclesiastes 3:7 clearly refers to, “…a time to speak.” Meaning, you cannot go through life avoiding issues and stonewalling people. We must all learn how to talk through our problems with one another.
Second, toxic people are good at deflecting. Deflecting happens when you intentionally redirect focus, blame, or criticism to someone else. For instance, when a toxic person is confronted about their bad behavior, they typically deny they have a problem. If this does not work, they further deflect by attacking the other person’s character or competence. If neither form of deflection brings the desired results. A toxic person will quickly begin to play the victim. This is why Solomon encourages us in Proverbs 4:25, “Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.” Never allow a toxic person to deflect or redirect the blame on to you.
Third, toxic people are good at being disrespectful. Disrespectful people are known for their lack of respect and common courtesy. A disrespectful, toxic person refuses to apologize. They will never admit when they are wrong. A disrespectful, toxic person also has little or no integrity. They seldom keep their word and always have some lame excuse to try to justify their lack of follow-through. However, Ecclesiastes 5:2 states “It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it.” When a disrespectful, toxic person shows you who they are, believe them. Quit depending on a person who has proven that they have no interest in keeping their commitments.
Yes, willfully interacting with a toxic person can bring harm to your overall well-being. Therefore, it is imperative that you disassociate yourself from any relationship that is characterized by stonewalling, deflecting, and being disrespectful. I leave you with 1 Corinthians 15:33 which simply states, “Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.”