The holidays are here, and so are all the toxic people.
We’ve all been toxic here and there.
Like when you go home to your family and you’re just like, “Oh my God, what is happening?”
It’s like going into Charles Manson’s house. It’s like the holidays can feel really hard for some people, myself included.
And so in this article, I really wanna share about some of the things you can do to help yourself during this holiday season in case you are finding yourself getting around toxic people.
I love the holidays.
I don’t love driving in the snow, but I like being in snowy areas where I don’t have to drive.
I love Christmas lights and the smell of everything. I love how cheerful people are. A little bit more during the holiday season.
And so, I’m super excited that this is one of the first episodes into our holiday season.
And so today, I decided to share about what are some of the things you can do during the holiday season?
You’re gonna be around toxic people or have the potential of being around toxic people.
And of course, as always, I’m gonna share from my own personal experiences. And just some of the things that I have been doing and am doing.
I know we’ve all seen those movies where a person comes home and there is somebody that’s always asking them maybe some of the following questions:
“How come they’re not married?”
“Why are they getting divorced?”
“Where is their spouse?”
“Why don’t they have kids?”
“Why have they gained weight?”
We’ve all seen those movies where people are just going into these toxic situations or you’re going into the situations where somebody’s an alcoholic and that the person can possibly ruin Thanksgiving, Christmas celebration or whatever gathering you might have.
That’s why I feel like movies always come from somewhere or from somebody’s real life scenario.
At some point in time, whether it’s ourselves, our friends, or loved ones, these experiences really happen.
I think that one of the things that a lot of us have learned as a result of 2020, 2021 and 2022 has been that our mental health is really the most important thing.
WE are the most important part of every single situation. And that everybody’s comfort is no longer our problem.
I saw a TikTok the other day where they were just like, “When did kids become so toxic?” It’s like how come 2022 became the year of the kids getting back at their parents?
And I saw somebody say, “Well, it’s not the year of kids getting back at their parents. It’s the year where kids really realize how their parents are treating them is not how they’re supposed to be treated”
Now, I’m not saying that’s the case for all situations but it has been very interesting to see these scenarios take hold and that people are just finally saying, “Enough is enough. We’re not doing this anymore”
Here’s what I’ve learned over the years.
One, I’m not perfect. I got my own levels of toxicity.
There was a book I listened to a couple years ago and it’s called, Safe people. And as I was listening to this book, there were parts of it where I said, “Oh, I’m kind of toxic”
And I had to deal with my own levels of toxicity.
It took a while to finally see all those things.
I love Christmas and I always used to put it on myself that I always go home to my family.
So, I wrap up my business, take the time off of my business, spend the money to go fly, get a rental car and budget all the things I need to spend while I’m there
I would always just kind of do that for years. I mean, ever since I left home at 17, so every year it was like I would always do this thing.
And so finally, one year when I was scheduled to go home and everybody knew that I was coming. I think it was like two or three days right before I was scheduled to go, I found out that the place I normally stay was no longer available because a person didn’t have that place to stay anymore.
And I was like, “Why didn’t you tell me? You know I’m flying in, where am I supposed to sleep?”
They said, “Well, you could get a hotel”
And I’m like, “I just spent the money to fly”. I was like, “No, I’m not doing this” and so I canceled the flight.
I was very sad about it. But then one year, I finally decided to surprise my family.
And when I get there at night. I have the feeling that they weren’t excited to see me.
I was like, “Okay, maybe, it’s unexpected or whatever” I get it.
But as the night kind of went on, I realized, “Oh, this is actually not healthy for me.” I can’t sleep on the couch for the next 12 days because I have neck and back issues.
And so I ended up rebooking my flight to leave the next day at two o’clock.
Now, that was eight o’clock at night and I’m leaving at two o’clock the next day. So the next day I ended up going to see my mom and my grandma.
I said to them, “I’m here right now and I’m flying back out” And then I flew back out.
I was very sad about that. But once I got home and God started talking to me. He said, “Hey, listen, you’ve got some options here. You have the option of continuing to do the same thing and expecting a different result or doing something different”
And I said, “Well, what do you mean?” And he said, “Well, you love your family and they love you too, but when you go home, you’re never met with this expectation. This experience that you wanna have when you go home. You’re never ever gonna have that experience”
And I was like, “Well, why not?” He said, “Because your family situation is not like the situation that you’re trying to create”
He goes, “So you’re wanting everybody to get dressed and wear matching clothing and take photos. You’re wanting everybody to cook and have presents for each other. Even if it’s just one gift or whatever. That’s never going to happen”
That was the hardest conversation with God I’ve ever had, and it was, “Well, why not?”
He goes, “Has it ever happened?” No. “So are you trying to make something happen that everybody does not wanna have?” And I started to realize that I was trying to make something happen that was never gonna happen, and that it was also toxic for me.
It doesn’t make my family toxic, it just means that was toxic for me because here is who I am and what I’m doing and expecting and going into, and always being met with disappointment.
And so I started to realize that I was my own toxic person.
That I was like putting this expectation on this. And when I was met with the disappointment or whatever of it, it just kept hurting me.
So it’s kinda like something that’s trash or like literal trash. And me saying it’s trash, I’m gonna eat it. And I’m gonna eat it anyway. It’s like paper. It’s like plastic. I’m gonna eat it anyway.
And if I continue to eat plastic, it’s gonna be awful for me. But if I continue to choose to eat plastic, then that’s my choice.
And so what God was basically telling me was that you can continue to do this cycle of going through and expecting this thing and then hurting yourself.
Or you can choose to go, “Okay, we’re not gonna do that. That’s not how my family’s situation is ever gonna be”
So that year I decided to get just a little bit of decorations and decorate my little bedroom.
Because I was renting a house at the time and I had rented out some rooms to like the girls at the ministry school. And then I decided to cook and just watch tv all day.
And then last year I decided that I was gonna spend a whole December just doing whatever I wanted to do.
And so this year, same scenario. I haven’t decided what I’m gonna do for Christmas but what I am not going to do is that I’m not gonna do the same thing.
Expecting a different result doesn’t mean that anything’s wrong with my family. It just means that my expectation of going to see them is not ever gonna be met and so I have to decide what that looks like.
And so for you, you are headed right now into the holiday season.
We just had Thanksgiving, now we are headed into Christmas and New Years’ eve.
You get this opportunity right now to say to yourself, “Am I gonna continue allowing these potentially toxic people or situations or environments to affect me?”
I’m not saying you should not go to your mama’s house for Christmas.
What I am saying is that you have to go, “Okay, what is happening? What is happening to me? What are the scenarios that continue to happen over and over again, and how do they impact me positively or negatively if it’s me and my spouse and me and my children?”
If we are continuously going to these environments and people are saying certain things, or we’re allowing people to act a certain way, or do certain things.
Why don’t we change that? Meaning, if you know that the one person that is gonna ruin Christmas then don’t invite them, disinvite them.
I know it sounds harsh, but it’s like, if everybody else is kumbaya and this person is toxic, stop allowing them to come.
Does that make sense?
If there’s certain people that come into my life and they make me feel bad. Like me, I have shut the door to somebody recently and every time that person would call me or text me or whatever, I never felt good about myself, but I kept allowing them and I think I’m being like a Martyr for Christ.
It’s like people see God’s love through me and it will change them. No, God, don’t need me to do that. He will talk to that person himself.
But I’m allowing them to hurt me by allowing them to be in my life.
And so I closed the door to that opportunity with that person. We’re still connected, but I just basically was like, “Hey, we’re not, we can’t do this.The way this has been, this is not healthy for me. I don’t treat you like that, and I’m not gonna let you treat me like that”
That person realize, “Hey, this was me loving on me and you not loving on me”
Then another person, I had to close the door to them and say, “Hey, I love you. I want us to stay connected, but A, B and C do not work for me anymore and I’ve gotta choose this”
And then this person was shocked.
But they would have to respect it because I’m saying nice things. I’m just saying the way that this is going or has been, does not work for me anymore.
After my grandma passed, I had so many conversations with so many people, specifically my aunt. God bless her, I haven’t talked to her in years, probably will never talk to her ever again.
But I had to challenge her when she finally came down to visit her mama who was passing in the hospital.
And I had to go, “Uh uh, this is not what we are doing here. You’re not gonna come here and do this, or whatever you think you can do here. We’re not doing that anymore”
My sister just sat there in shock and I’m like “It’s true and so if you’re gonna be toxic, you can go be toxic wherever you want, but you ain’t gonna do it in my presence”
And so I know this sounds kind of mean, kind of harsh, but the whole point of what I’m saying is that if you are one that want to have these amazing holidays with your spouse, with your kids, with yourself or whatever, and every time you go in a certain environment, it’s toxic to you, you’ve gotta say, “Okay, how do I love me?”
And loving you sometimes means being by yourself, means being you can’t go home to your family or you can’t go to your friend’s house that you normally go to, that you gonna skip that house this year.
Does that make sense?
It’s like, for me, for Thanksgiving, I don’t know what I’ll do for Thanksgiving. I’d rather be alone than miserable. But somebody invited me and I said, “Oh, this is gonna be a good experience, I’m gonna go with them”
Somebody else invited me to a Friendsgiving. I said, “Oh, this is gonna be a good experience, I’m gonna go with them”
And then hopefully somebody invites me to Christmas parties and Christmas day or whatever, and I’ll judge which ones I wanna go to and go.
Prayerfully, one day if I get remarried. If he has kids, if we choose to have kids, then we will choose which environments we go into.
But if we don’t go into any of them, we’ll create our own so that way we can have the experience that we want to have during the holidays, however we choose to have them.
And so this is, big sister Keenya right now, just kind of giving you the permission to choose you this holiday.
And whatever, what it looks like.
If everybody’s gonna be mad at you, they’re gonna be mad at you. But you have to choose to not allow toxic things to hurt you, to not serve you.
If they are always talking about your divorce or talking about your weight, or talking about your whatever. If those people gonna always allowed in that environment, don’t go, go somewhere else.
You don’t have to. You just don’t have to do that.
You know, I love my sister and last year she was like, “Well come here for Christmas instead of going to Mexico” And I said, “No, because I want the Christmas that I want to have and I’m not gonna have it by coming to visit you guys”
“I love you guys, but I’m not gonna have the Christmas that I want by going there”
Listen, I know it sounds kind of mean, kind of harsh, but this is how you deal with toxic people.
You don’t have to be mean to them but you have to be honest and strong, and you gotta choose YOU first.
Talk to your counselor, get the right words to say to these people during this season but your number one priority is taking care of you.
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