We are to love all people. I know this. You know this. But I’m not aware of a command that says pour all our time and energy into people that drain the living daylights out of us. Truth is to do so is just plain unhealthy. It robs us of time better spent on those who are more likely to motivate us and prod us toward the reason we’re here in the first place. You can’t get time back. It matters how we use up our minutes.All this said, I’ve given some thought to some folks we might want to consider minimizing our minutes with:
The BlamerEverything is someone else’s fault. (Little brother to The Complainer.)
The VictimLife, in all its unfairness, has dumped on me. Wah. (Brother to The Blamer.)
The Excuse MakerThat’s not my project or problem or property or possession... Besides, I’m too busy cleaning out my ears. (The Victim’s best friend.)
The DiscouragerWhy bother? It’s not worth it. You just don’t have what it takes. (Mom of The Victim.)
The ComplainerLife is always a dull brown or gray. This person could find a way to rip apart a rainbow. (Cousin to The Blamer.)
The Eternally Bored One
(The Complainer’s neighbor.) Nothing worth engaging with. No real valuable way to spend my time. Waste it away.The Gossip
Should carry a sign that says, “Willing to talk behind backs for free.” Thinks it is building her up. Instead, she looks like a fool. (Girlfriend to The Bored.)The Taker
Mine. Mine. And more mine. Talk. Talk. Talk. Dump. Vent. Bleh. (Trains The Victim’s dog.)
And there you have it in the land of toxic. Crazy how they’re all related, eh?This list serves as a great self-check for me. It’s natural to slip into any one of these behaviors. But it’s dangerous and it bleeds into our relationships. On more than one occasion I’ve learned the hard way after spending far too much time concentrating on individuals with these traits. Now I’m more discerning about how I invest my time—and in whom.
Can you think of another example of a life-draining behavior?
*There’s a difference between going through a difficult season and embodying one of these traits for years. I’m a strong believer in coming along side others to help them out of the pit. But when it gets to the point where they want you to bring your belongings and live down there with them, you’ve hit a crucial point. Do you let them drag you in the pit with them or not?
**photo by stock.XCHNG