The poisonous game: Why do we chase toxic people?

Thursday, January 23

By Anushka Rastogi

And so it never ends, the chase for people who don’t want to be with us. I run after people who are toxic for me, and I can say with certainty that it’s not just me. How is it that we continue running after people who won’t call us back? Or who won’t be there for us when we are there for them, no matter what? Or who will drag us down for their amusement? Or people who simply don’t treat us with the love and care we deserve? I know I have been caught up in a cycle where I fled from one poison to the other where my social circle had gained people who would do nothing but bring misery. 

We all know people who just won’t stop seeking people who are bad for them and maybe, just maybe, we are the ones who run after people who will bring nothing but misery to us. 

So why do we? Run after people who are just not good for us? Doesn’t mean they’re not good people but often times, they are not meant to be in our lives. 

  1. Deep down, we are romantics and that too, hopeless romantics. A lot of us believe we have the power to change their mannerisms. We believe our company will be enough to show them the right path. Unfortunately for us, some people will not change merely because we want them to. People change when they want to. 

  2. We cling onto memories like bees cling to honey. We cling onto the past because it becomes a part of us. Even if with toxic people, we cling onto the memories and hope to relive those but euphoria comes at a price. As seekers of gratification, we run after the people who have wronged us but given us a taste of the happiness we have wanted. It’s not surprising that we run back to them because all we want is that sweet gratification, even if short-lived and even if it’s from someone who dare not be good for us. 

  3. Sometimes, we refuse to see the red flags that are right in our faces because we have our rose-tinted glasses on. Sometimes for the sake of our poor hearts, we overlook how toxic some people are for us. Sometimes, in the hopes of watching a dream come true, we move past the red flags. 

  4. A lot of times we crave the drama and that drama often arises when we are with people who don’t treat us right. Toxic people are often responsible for upheavals in relationships and some of us thrive on that drama. 

  5. When we settle for people who’re not good for us, it does have to do with how much we care about ourselves. Often times, we settle for toxic people when we believe we can’t find better for ourselves. When we don’t love ourselves enough, we tend to go for unhealthy patterns and toxic individuals. So first, we must love ourselves and when we start to love ourselves, we will want our lives to be devoid of toxic people. 

  6. Like habits, if we have always been in the midst of people who drag us down, we will continue to surround ourselves with such individuals. We need to break such habits if we even dream of moving forward in life. 

Toxic people can drain us of our energy, and even worsen what we feel about ourselves, thus it’s important to cut such people off. Like we clean our homes, we must clean our lives and social circles. I hope we start chasing our dreams and happiness instead of human beings who don't value our time and presence. I hope with the coming of 2020, we can have cleaner lives and be surrounded by people who truly value our growth. 

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