Coping with Toxic People in Your Life

Toxic people are completely exhausting and harmful to be around. Not only this, but they can also have a negative impact on your health.  Dealing with such individuals on a daily basis is unfavorable for anyone’s health, but it can be even more damaging if you are battling a chronic condition like MS.  As most of our community members realize, living with MS can make life difficult and can require a great amount support from those around you. When one’s support system becomes anything but supportive, it can have a damaging impact on your well-being.  We at recently posted an article about the presence of toxic people in life and how to deal with them, and received an overwhelming community response. We had such a large response, that we wanted to capture some of those experiences, advice, and stories and share them with you!

Identifying toxic people and their behavior is important

There may be individuals that shrug off your condition as unimportant or unreal. They can’t even begin to understand what you are going through. These types of people can be dismissive and compare whatever you are going through to their situation. Identifying and avoiding these people (if possible!) is key.

“I have one person very close to me that just doesn’t get it, actually refuses to believe that I have MS.”

“Dealing with this is not fun; my so called friends don’t like to talk about it or hear about what I am going through.”

“I can’t work and my ‘friends’ call me lazy.”

“I hate it when my family members say, ‘You don’t look sick.’”

“My Mom tells me when I’m having a bad day to, ‘just stop thinking about it…If you don’t think about it, it will just go away.’”

“Comment made to me by an insensitive friend ‘Everyone has their burden’…..”

“I get it all the time, I mention I am tired … they are just as tired.  I mention my forgetfulness; they are just as bad. I mention my pain and theirs is worse.” 

“I hate when people say, ‘I get tired, too.’”

Toxic people don’t take the time to understand

Toxic people make you feel like a burden, and are generally unsupportive. These negative feelings are expressed not only verbally, but with actions as well.  These types of people don’t take the time to learn or understand what you are going through. If possible, it can be an incredibly healthy decision to avoid these individuals who don’t take the time to learn about what you’re going through, or who make you feel like you are too much effort to be around.

My Mom met a woman with MS and said ‘she seemed ok and active…You need to be more like that.’”

“It’s so not worth saying anything to anyone because they just don’t care enough to learn about MS.”

“Somebody told me once to ‘pull myself together.’”

“They just don’t get it or even try to get it!

“My husband has MS. His adult children refuse to see or understand how disabling his MS is. It is very frustrating”

We all know someone that is potentially toxic, and they can bring you down and affect your health and well-being.  How we learn to live with these people is up to us.  If at all possible, try to surround yourself with positive, supportive people who are better for your health and well-being. These individuals can make any day seem brighter and remind you that you are not alone in this. If you’re still searching for individuals like this in your life, or just want to expand on the network you have, our community is always open to new members, stories, tips, and ideas! We’re always here for you!

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  • Spikecat/Cindy Evans says:

    Pref to post as spikecat.
    But could not not reply tonite. Def frazzled nerves!

  • Charlene Heath says:

    Very frustrating yet I know Jesus is right beside me through it all!
    Thank You Lord!

  • Linda Damrow says:

    I just spent two and a half days in the hospital for a flare up that wasn’t responding to oral steriods. On the way home my spouse accused me of running up an unnecessary hospital bill. In the nine and a half yrs since I was diagnosed this was the first time that I had been hospitalized for MS. I’m in the process of getting a divorce. This is only one of many situations that I have dealt with. Mr Drs told me that I either reduce the stress in my life or end up in a wheelchair. Divorce sadly is what is needed.

  • Freed says:

    And please remember toxic people aren’t just those who DON’T have MS. The most bewildering comments, in my experience have come from people who have MS and respond with “well if you think your struggling with MS you should try dealing with this wheel chair at least you can walk” or “Huh, well I was diagnosed when I was 13 before any treatments were available, why are you complaining your 55, you’ve had a life.” Lots of comparison, like it’s a competition or something who’s got it worse. At these social gatherings everyone introduces themselves followed by diagnoses date like I’ve been living with MS since 1234, the earlier the date the louder the clapping. It’s bizarre to me. I don’t share my personal experience with MS because it’s usually responded to with those kinds of comments or better yet I’m told I should try this or that. I’m not asking for a fix, I only want to be heard, I don’t want to get into a comparison, I honor another’s experience asking questions about what that may be like for that person & what’s helped them cope. I learn and sometimes not but try to listen.

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