A few months back, I came upon the term toxic in the context of describing a relationship or a person when talking to a friend of mine going through a terrible breakup. Not completely new to me because at this time, I had seen many social media posts or articles about breaking off toxic relationships or when a relationship becomes toxic or even when a person is ‘toxic’.

I hadn’t given it much thought, until today when a ThoughtCatalog article, ” Check Yourself: Sometimes You are the Toxic Person,” popped up in my newsfeed. After reading around half a page, inspiration struck and I knew I had to write about this topic.

When I look at my life from the outside in, I see things differently. It might be after some time I’ve calmed down from situations that made me angry or hurt but after time has healed me, I can see more effectively. And what I have noticed about my life are the cycles like currents that repeat. I was bullied back in 2012 for a few years but when I started reflecting, I realized I at certain points in my childhood made fun of others or gossiped. Then when I realized that I was always putting the most effort into most if not all of my relationships, I saw my past. I took a friend for granted in Gr. 5 and that memory will not fade because I saw myself for who I am. Even though I am a person who works hard to make others happy and does a lot of humanitarian work, I am human. I make mistakes, I am dirtied with sin, with wrongdoings because despite my ‘try hard or teacher’s pet’ status, I have hurt others.

Reading into the article today really brought me to fully admit out loud (or in writing) that I was a toxic person at times. It’s so hard to label one as something with a bad connotation but it’s true. With one cycle, I labeled certain people in my life who hurt me as toxic, but in another cycle of my life, I was the toxic person. If it was not giving my best in a relationship, or taking someone for granted it really took away from the purpose of the relationship and in the end destroyed it.

The main gist of this essay is that we’re not perfect. At one point or maybe many points in our lives we hurt others and it isn’t great but what the important thing is to acknowledge that and move on.

On both sides, it’s important to strive to better understand the other person in the relationship. Sometimes we might just be to quick to label others as toxic! We need some time to take a step back and access the situation. Maybe there was a miscommunication (most of the time), or maybe they didn’t understand what you want. All in all, let’s work together to better our mistakes and in the future be more understanding for those who may seem ‘toxic’ first.

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