When I was 4 years old, I expressed an instant dislike to one of the pastors in our town. My parents thought it was strange that I had such a dislike for the man, but I just could not take to him. He never DID anything to me or anyone else (as far as I know), I just did not like him. When I was in my 20s he published a book that advocated enforced abortion of babies with disabilities, and other such ideas, which I guess tells you all you need to know about him.

Anyway, the point is this: it is very rare that you meet someone who you instantly and utterly dislike. Right?

Not for toxic people! Their whole world is made up out of black and whites, and the same is true for the people around them. They will very quickly add people to the like or dislike pile, depending on whether they are perceived as a tool or a threat. And once you are on a pile, you are on that pile.

My partner for example is on the dislike pile. From the first time he met my parents, it was obvious that he would be difficult to manipulate. That is just his personality. He is a little stubborn, he is opinionated and he is quietly confident (and I love him to bits ). My parents picked up on his vibe instantly, and labeled him accordingly.

Depending on that initial judgment, they then continue to make judgments about people and the things that happen in their lives. One of the many many international guests that my parents hosted was picked up by the police. It had just been a wrong time, wrong place thing and he had not done anything other than look like a teenager in sneakers. When the police contacted my parents though, they immediately started talking about how he MUST have done something, and they always knew he had been no good, etc. Guess what pile he was on?!

Fly Free,

we love to read your comments below

While I may technically be the Director here at SwanWaters, my unofficial title is Healing Cheerleader! I’m a survivor of childhood emotional abuse and workplace bullying. And believe me when I say that I’ve walked the walk when it comes to healing from trauma. I firmly believe that we can undo some of the damage that abuse has done to us, and learn the necessary skills to handle life and all it brings us.

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