They'll continue to make you believe that you're wrong, that you're crazy, that you're a narcissist, that what you're doing is wrong. Even though if you stepped outside of it, you'd see they'd made no rational, critical explanation for this, this over-reaction. When you're looking through that lens of being caught in a toxic person's emotional victimhood tunnel, yeah, I just coined up that phrase. They can't see anything and as strong as I've been at times, I'd get sucked down in that tunnel time and time again. No matter how much I know about human manipulation, about how the mind works, but the games people play. When certain emotions get triggered, then it's too late. You're in that tunnel and they win. And they win because they get to make you angry, and then they get to tell themselves the story and other people, the story that you're the big, bad, scary monster. It's all your fault. Rather than, "What did I do to create this situation?" They're more invested and actually completely invested in bringing you down into the hole than allowing you to pull them out. They will always take from you. You cannot help them.
Do you understand how hard that is for me to say that there's some people that I can't help? My whole life has been about helping people, my whole life, my whole identity. So to come out here and to tell you that as good as I believe that I am, humble brag, there are some people that I can't help no matter how desperately, tenaciously, aggressively, lovingly, do you understand how hard that is for me to say? How hard a pill that is for me to stomach?
You have to get rid of toxic people. Even if you think that you love them, maybe you do. They don't love you. They don't love you. They don't value you. They don't respect you. You're just like a faucet to them and they need water. And as long as that faucet is running, they're gonna be drinking your water, but as soon as that faucet, there's no more water coming from that, they're gone. And they won't just be gone leaving you in a better place, they'll be gone leaving you desolate because they won't be happy leaving you unless you're destroyed in all areas of your life, till you're distraught, till you're like them.
Like there's a super villain in the Marvel universe called Galactus, and I believe he fights with the Fantastic Four. And Galactus is essentially an alien planet that eats other alien planets. Whenever he comes close to a planet, everything on the planet dies, and essentially he eats the planet. It's what a toxic person is. They'll come, and they may be really, really shiny, but over time, just like Galactus, they'll kill everything around them. They'll destroy everything around them because they've got nothing good inside. They're almost soulless, and there's no amount of energy, no amount of time, no amount of patience. There's nothing you can do to change them, because they don't wanna be changed. They wanna blame the world for everything. They wanna blame you for everything, but they don't wanna do any damn work. They don't wanna take that same amount of energy that they use to stay stuck and invest it in looking for a solution. They'd rather believe that you're the big, scary wolf, that everything's your fault, that it's all you, you, you, they don't have the courage to look inside and be like, "How did I create this? Shit. Is that what I'm doing?" That's a toxic person for you, folks.
And it's almost like a vending machine. Being with a toxic person, it's like trying to tip over and leaving them, is like trying to tip over a coke machine. You can't just push it over one time. You'll try and leave, but they'll suck you back in because you don't wanna leave, right? Because you love people. You love them. Do you wanna make it work? You created this problem. You can't leave. You can't walk out. Go give it another shot. So, you kind of try and push that vending machine over, it doesn't go over the first time. Then it gets worse, because the more that you gave them, the more things you gave them that they say that they want, the worse they get. You'd think it'd be the opposite, right? You'd think that they'd settle down, but the more you give them what they think that they want, the worst they get like a spoiled child, because then they start to get power hungry. Because see, these toxic people have no control in their life. And the only amount of control that they're getting is the control that they feel they have over you and the manipulation.
So when you go try and make it work, it doesn't work, and you try and go the second time, like, trying to give that vending push, that vending machine, that coke machine, a push from the other side, it'll rock a little bit more, but it won't go down, and then you get sucked back into it because you wanna help them, because you love them, because you believe in people. You believe that anyone could be helped. You believe in love. You believe in the friendship. You believe. I believe. I believed. And you come back and you realize that it's too much. It's too much they're not understanding. You push that vending machine again, it still doesn't go down, it wobbles, it wobbles and they suck you back in with that shiny Coca-Cola. You know, they might cry, they might tell you a fable or a story, but always remember the toxic person, they'll say they're sorry, but don't ever be sorry.
Ask them to show you, not tell you. Because anyone can say any level of bullshit, but what can they show you? Can they show you veritable evidence every day of being consistent that they're not a creep? They won't. They won't be able to show you any consistency. So you know you have a toxic person. They'll say everything that you think you wanna hear, and everything that they think that you wanna hear to suck you in again, and you'll get sucked in again, because you're a good person. You wanna help people. You love people. You believe. You believe that people can change, that people can become more, that people can go from that caterpillar and they can become that beautiful butterfly.
That if I can change, you can change. Maybe we all would change. But they won't change and it will get worse, and it will get worse. And your options are to allow yourself to get sucked, literally, not in a good way, all that blood, all that goodness, all that vitality. Get all of it sucked out of you, so you're in a shell. Then they'll leave you. Then they won't be in your life, they won't be a client, they won't be a friend, they won't be a husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, because like Galactus, they'll leave you desolate, destroyed. Galactus doesn't leave the planet until the planet is destroyed. That's what a toxic person is, just like Galactus.
And the only thing that you can do is you get to a point where you would have exhausted everything you can do, every behavior, every book you read, every course that you did, everything you know about human beings, and when you start to see that they aren't making a damn change in their life, that they're not accepting any responsibility for that offering of their life, when they're telling you they're sorry, but they ain't showing you shit, and they try and pull a con job on you that it's you, that it's your fault. Unfortunately, folks, if you've got a big heart, you're probably gonna be in that vicious cycle for a while. Depending on how deep a relationship you had with that person who, in whatever kind of relationship it was, and there'll be a point, there'll be a point, there'll be a point where you'll look back and you'll see the loops. You'll realize you did your best effort for them, and then you realize it wasn't you. It was them.
And then when you realize that, a level of calm, a level of peace, a level of dare, I say, righteousness comes over, because you can leave knowing that you fought the good fight, that you gave it your all, that you left it all in the ring, that you didn't leave anything inside, that, that orange was squeezed, that blood was drained out of you, you gave it everything you had, and they gave it nothing. And you might leave with cracks in you. You might even think that you're broken. And it will hurt, it will hurt for a while because you allowed someone to get close despite what your gut was saying. And eventually, hopefully, you'll have higher barriers, even higher barriers of letting people into your life, and you'll be able to see those toxic people immediately. It'll be hard. It'll be heartbreaking. You'll think you're broken. You'll think you're alone. You'll think you're the narcissist. You'll think you're crazy. You'll think that you're to blame for everything, and if you just change everything about who you are and you'd give that person everything that they say that they want, everything will be okay. I'm telling you as the voice of reason, and as the voice of experience, it will never be okay.
And the interesting thing is, you can leave that toxic person, and I don't suggest that you stay in contact with them. I suggested you delete them, delete them, delete them from your life. But it just so happens that maybe one day down the line, you stumble upon them and you stumble upon their life. No, you shouldn't be stalking them on social media. And you start to see that their life is in disarray, that relationships or lack of meaningful relationships with friends, families, their career, their physical health, it's all a big fucking mess. And it was all a big fucking mess before you were there. It was a big fucking mess while you were there, but you thought it was you. And it's a big fucking mess when you leave because it's them. It's their shit. And as a loving human being making the realization that there's nothing you can do to help someone who doesn't wanna be helped because they don't wanna be helped. They're offering the fake narrative of victimhood, and people will buy into it, and they'll leave a bunch more planets. People like Galactus out there, distraught, destroyed. There's no more room for growth because that's what they do. That's how you know.
So here's a couple of ways you can identify a toxic person. Number one, they'll tell you they're sorry but they won't ever do anything consistently. They will tell you but they will never show you consistently. That's one thing. Another thing, when you could...and this is a tough one to do, when you take your own ego and emotion out and you assess what their life was from what you know before you, when you were in their life, and then when you're not in their life and you could see it was a complete fucking mess with or without you, that's another telltale sign it's a toxic person. If you feel that you're changing your behaviors and you're giving more and more, and more of yourself and adapting your behaviors, yet rather than make the situation for the other person better, it makes it worse. It's not the same. You're in a toxic relationship whatever that relationship may be, friendship, professional, romantic with somebody. There's three ways for you to identify it. I'd hasten to say if you go all those free happening in a relationship that you're in, probably in a relationship with a toxic person, I'm sorry to tell you this because I value deep, meaningful, loyalty and friendship, and relationships with good people, they're not going to change, it's not because they can't, it's because they won't.
I don't believe anyone is broken. But those people are as close to broken as can be. It's not because they can't do something to change their situation, it's because they won't. They're comfortable in their narrative of victimhood and of blaming the world and everything all the time, before you, with you, after you, it affects all areas of their life. So, one of the hardest lessons I've ever had to learn was to delete toxic people for good. They may be family members, they may be romantic partners, they may even be clients, but there is a section of people that don't want to change, and you'll know it. You'll know it because of those three markers that I pointed out earlier on.
They'll say they're sorry, but they won't ever do a damn thing consistently to show you that they're shifting. They will tell you, but they will not show you. If you take an inventory of their life before you, with you, after you, you'll see it's still in disarray plus a complete fucking mess whether you're in their life or not. It's another telltale sign that they will fight, they will fight, they will fight for their narrative, for their victimhood, for their limitations, for their story to control you rather than love, connection, acceptance, unconditional love and acceptance. Belief, it's another way you know because they're so invested in that negative narrative.
And they're so brain-washed because they've told themselves the story and they have had it reinforced inside their head every single day for all of their life and by other people they suck it in. And they will always try to drag you into the hole and they won't allow you to pull them out, because they'd rather you be in there in the darkness, suffering than allowing you to help pull them out into the light, into a future that could be different.
So, ladies and gentlemen, that's how you delete toxic people. As soon as you're aware of it, be fucking brave. Identify those three markers, and then get the hell out of there. Cut bait. You gave it your best, not once, not twice, but over and over again. You did your best, and it wasn't enough, because it will never be enough because nothing's enough for them. They're not enough for themselves. They're just like Galactus, they'll go planet to planet, person to person and leave them destroyed taking all the value and giving nothing. Get the fuck out of the toxic relationship. No matter how much you wanna help a person, you can't. They don't wanna be helped. Cut bait, exit stage door right. That's hard for me to say, because I'm all about loyalty, and I'm all about staying there with someone in the trenches until the end, I'm all about going to hell with you if I need to, if you're on my team, and you're gonna fight to get out, then I'll stay there in hell with you and I will fight with you to get out.
That's different. But if it's, "No, I'm just gonna drag you to hell. I don't wanna go out. I'm quite happy, oxymoron in my suffering. I just want you to suffer." That's how you know it's wrong, guys. Instead of one life being toxic and destroyed and broken and a mess, now it will be two. So make a choice. You can still be a good person. If you've given it all. If you've given it all that you have, if you've truly given it all that you have, your heart, your body, your soul, everything that you've got to make it work, and you know that in your heart, you know that in your heart, there's no question, there's no question you gave it your best, not for a second. When you truly know that, then you're free to leave and get on with your life. I believe always.
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Luke Michael Howard CHT