To a large degree (although not across the board or in every circumstance), we have much greater power to control how people treat us than we are aware. Often from fear of appearing selfish, unkind, or losing connection, we allow ourselves to be disrespected, and in so doing, start to lose pieces of ourselves.
Many of us have been challenged by toxic people in our lives who spew negativity, leaving us feeling somehow demeaned and deflated. From the Latin word toxikon, meaning “arrow poison,” the term toxic means literally: to fill or poison in a targeted way, says Theo Veldsman, head of Industrial Psychology and People Management at the University of Johannesburg.
Mental health counselor Debbie Pincus reminds us that when we know where we stand as parents, it is easier for us to figure out what we will and won’t put up with from our child. If we define our boundaries and try to stick to our principles rather than reacting to our moment-to-moment emotions, we will create a home environment that benefits both parent and child.