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Some thoughts about "toxic" people

(475 Posts)
flippinada Sun 10-Mar-13 14:51:03

I've read and contributed to a couple of threads where people are having to deal with what I would describe as toxic friends and family and the distress that it cause. I've had issues in the past with people this myself and it's really got me thinking.

Once thing that struck me from these threads, plus my own experience of toxic types is that there seems to be common "themes" - the one that immediately comes to mind is that the toxic person needs an enabler - usually a husband or wife who panders to their awful behaviour and colludes with them.

I know there's already a wonderful support thread (stately homes) but I thought it might be helpful to have a general discussion about how to identify these people and cope with them, plus a kind of support thing so folk know they aren't alone in having to deal with it alone?

dothraki Mon 29-Apr-13 17:25:00

AuntieMaggie - thats a hard one. Don't know if there is an answer.

flippinada Mon 29-Apr-13 17:41:50

Thanks dothraki

My friend has a history of this. She goes on and on about it but won't do anything. Basically it boils down to, she is terrified of her Mum. And any advice or support is meet with "yes but". Apparently she can't go no contact because her Mum will call the police, stop her seeing her Dad and Gran. So any suggestion is just shot down.

She is physically sick with stress and anxiety, has chronic health problems and suffers with severe insomnia.

She "joked" about it saying at least her mother will be dead in twenty years sad

I'm wondering whether I should say to her I don't want to discuss it any more as it upsets me too much. I know that flubs selfish but I've had (literally) years and years of watching her destroy her health over it and I just don't know what to do to help any more sad

flippinada Mon 29-Apr-13 17:43:10

Sounds selfish, I mean to day.

flippinada Mon 29-Apr-13 17:43:38

Say!! Bloody phone.

SickOfYourShit Mon 29-Apr-13 19:41:37

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colditz Mon 29-Apr-13 19:59:53

Gosh, you must have put some major stalking effort in to recognise yourself from dothraki's posts, sickofyourshit.

Are the things that she has posted abut you true?

SickOfYourShit Mon 29-Apr-13 20:08:10

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colditz Mon 29-Apr-13 20:11:41

So why scour the Internet looking for one persons opinion of you?

SickOfYourShit Mon 29-Apr-13 20:14:18

I haven't.
I looked at who was at the sale/Manchester meet up out of interest as to who is local and it was mentioned on there who she was.

Not looked for her at all.
Anyway, just noticed my posts been deleted. Never mind. Think everything was said yesterday that I wanted to say.

But do not mention my children dothraki

flippinada Mon 29-Apr-13 20:28:23

I'm sure I'm not alone in finding this extremely creepy and inappropriate.

OliviaMMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 29-Apr-13 20:37:27

Evening all
Link to our talk guidelines Thanks

anykey Mon 29-Apr-13 20:53:07

Do I read this right????

Sickofyourshit goes round to dothrakis house to speak to her F because she is trying to rebuild a broken relationship with her F.

Then ... when already feeling emotional, is confronted by yourself, who uses the fact that her dh cheated on her to, 'upset' her.

Then.... Let me get this right .... Cause it's the best bit .. You "reclaim the moral high ground"?

You fell out with her over petty things written on here. Yet most of the stuff you write, references her.. I mean, could you be any more hypocritical?

SickOfYourShit Mon 29-Apr-13 20:54:27

Fair enough.
An edited version then?

Please dothraki do not mention my children on mn.

But have a blast and write what you like about me. I really couldn't care less.

AndTheBandPlayedOn Mon 29-Apr-13 22:34:22

AuntieMaggie, Imho,
I think the answer lies in trusting the other people. Allow them to have their own brain and intelligence to make their own decision about the circumstances. If someone is degrading another, especially behind their back, the recipient of that performance could hold it against the messenger for being so uncivil, as it does reflect badly to do that sort of thing.

The toxic one will never see that, though. Just as they don't recognize you as an independent being with your own brain and identity and intelligence, they probably don't/won't offer such respect to others either.
I would guess that other people will have an operational understanding that the toxic one is toxic and not be influenced. If anyone doesn't have the experience, or an opportunity to know the truth, and believes the toxic one, then the loss of your friendship is the price they pay. It may be painful to you, but if they are going to believe the lies, then they weren't really friends to begin with, and you ignore and go on. Rest assured, they will get their turn at being the target for the toxic one.

Work/professional setting is more complex. Maybe someone else can come and advise about whether or not to speak up to the boss/HR about a toxic one's smear campaign against you to defend yourself.

Hth. I have not had this problem as my lovely wink sister lives 80 miles away. Even so, I can state with metaphysical certitude that I do not care what her friends/neighbors/colleagues/dogs think of me.

AuntieMaggie Mon 29-Apr-13 22:51:34

Thanks AndTheBandPlayedOn.

Not work related thank goodness.

One thing has been said recently which isn't true but isn't damaging to what people think of me (I hope!) but its the sort of thing you might say to give someone a heads up if you care about them (but not in this case!)

These are new friends but I hope you're right. Its just so humiliating amongst everything else and I got the impression what they told me was the tip of the iceberg.

I suspect longer term friends probably haven't told me what has been said to them about me so I'm also trying to figure out whether to ask. They would know the latest lie is exactly that as I've always been open about this particular thing.

AndTheBandPlayedOn Mon 29-Apr-13 23:08:00

As tempting as it is, AuntieMaggie, I would resist the urge to bring it up. It would be opening the gates to saying negative things about her to others and that would just be like being in a sort of passing match with her through a proxy.

What did you say when your friend mentioned it?

I think, a rolling of the eyes, with a shaking of the head, looking down, etc and changing the subject would be best. Perhaps a simple sentence like "She'll never change" could cover it. Indifference is the gold standard (and it has no detox/recovery time wink ).

AndTheBandPlayedOn Mon 29-Apr-13 23:10:39

Auto correct should probably stand blush but I meant pissing (not pudding either!) match.

dothraki Tue 30-Apr-13 08:56:52

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SickOfYourShit Tue 30-Apr-13 09:11:35

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dothraki Tue 30-Apr-13 09:36:21

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Salbertina Tue 30-Apr-13 11:24:20

Guys- can understand you're both angry but you but care enough to come on here and post about it..
Thats better than many including my own difficult family who will not talk..ever and deny there's any cause to do so thus invalidating my need to explain how i feel. hmm

There's never just the one version of the truth, imho, helps to avoid black or white thinking.

Think pming or something else more private better than carrying on in public though.

MissLurkalot Tue 30-Apr-13 11:54:06

Use this in a good way...get it all out in the open, give time for it to settle and then salvage what you can from it.
Good luck and keep the doors of communication open.. x

AuntieMaggie Tue 30-Apr-13 12:52:31

AndTheBandPlayedOn i just said it wasn't true. I try not to say things about her because you're right about getting drawn into being negative. I'll try to ignore and hopefully soon my life will prove her wrong anyway.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 30-Apr-13 13:48:22

Hello all

Obviously we at MNHQ have no way of knowing the background to the situation that's developed between dothraki and SickOfYourShit.

We do know, though, that Mumsnet talk threads are really not an appropriate place to air this sort of real-life dispute.

We'll be dropping you both a mail, but please refrain from playing this out on the boards.

Thanks
MNHQ

Stardust123 Mon 03-Jun-13 17:00:26

Hi all, after logging in at the end of April 2013 after having cut contact with my sister, I haven not been too bad at all with regards to anxiety. Had a good holiday away last week. My husband told me last night that my sister came round 2 days before our holiday and left a note again for my children, saying 'Dear a & b, hope you and mom and dad are okay, and that you have an nice holiday' here is some ice cream money, etc. love you always aunty _. Is it just me or is this manipulative? The last text I sent her said in effect that I realise how toxic she is and that she will never change and that I would never bother her again. This was after I asked her to meet me so that I could discuss with her and perhaps try and get her to change (yeah, like thats gonna happen) and she put the phone down. it has brought my anxiety to the forefront again just seeing this note, it's obvious that I am going to read it. So does anyone else think this is mind games ?? She actually delivered the note, knocked on the door and spoke to my husband and said I don't know what I've done, then proceeded to talk about herself as usual. Sick of it. Want to text and say don't send any gifts for me, or my children as they are not welcome. Yes this is harsh, but what else is going to get the message through ?? !!

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