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  • Writer's pictureChristopher McHale

5 Tips To Survive Encounters With Dysfunctional People

May is Mental Health Month.

1. Dysfunctional people cause chaos.

I used to think they put me on this earth to help dysfunctional people. Of course, that thought was its own symptom of a dysfunctional personalty. I wanted to save people, like some kind of dime-store Jesus.

You learn the hard way in this life, and the dysfunctional people around me taught the hardest lessons.

Dysfunctional people cause chaos. It’s their goal. It’s their pleasure. They tell lies, then weave fantastic stories from their lies, and confuse everything so you no longer know what is the truth. They attack in ways blatant and subtle. They resist all attempts at healing or peace.

We’ve got next level with all this. Dysfunctional people have made their move to take over the world. They crawl to the pinnacle of power and lie and cheat and gaslight on a mega-scale. And then they retreat to their hidey-hole as people rage and boil over and wreak havoc on us.

They demand attention. They demand affirmation. They literally will call you to task until you acknowledge them in the exact way they need to be acknowledged. It’s sick.

But the biggest warning I have is this:

2. Beware: never enable a dysfunctional person.

They will make you pay. They will wreck your life as soon as you withdraw the insipid and pandering support of your enabling. You do dysfunctional people no good with your enabling. You do them great harm, in fact. Better to insist on truth and walk away. If they ever heal themselves, they will seek you out with forgiveness in their heart.

I’ve been on this enabling merry-go-round too many times. I’ve enabled bosses who go ballistic on me. I’ve had enabled business partners to take me to the cleaners, clean out all my cash, once I stopped the enabling. Don’t start. That’s my urgent advice. You can’t go along then change the rules on dysfunctional people. They will blast you, they will seek to do real damage to your life.

3. Love is the great enemy of dysfunctional people.

Matters of the Heart are a battleground for dysfunctional people. Love is a taunt to dysfunctional people. It triggers them. They will seek to destroy any loving relationship they find. They will mock lovers. They will taunt them. They will lie about one lover to another, get in the middle of a loving relationship and sow seeds of doubt.

The lies come fast and furious once the heart is the focus. Like snakes, sinking sharp teeth into a lover’s heart and filling it with venom. It can be subtle, but it has a deadly purpose. To break you. To leave you in solitary confinement. You won’t even know what happened. You’ll be confused. You’ll be despondent.

4. Protect yourself.

Be wary as you move through life. If someone lies to you, back away. If someone mocks you, cut them out of your life. If someone judges you, be not judged but retreat to some place safe, do not expose yourself to toxic words and sharp tongues.

You owe these people nothing because they have betrayed you and will hurt you deeply if you let them. They walk in fear. They’re crippled by self-doubt. They live for hate and cast their negative light into every situation.

5. You are not the savior of the world.

We do not call you to sacrifice yourself on an altar of selfishness and self-absorption. These people will do no good in the world. You’d be better served to live a solitary life of peace than to subject yourself to the confusion dysfunctional people bring.

Love yourself. You deserve every moment of joy these people will strip from you. Surround yourself with people who love you. Block your ears from every dark worm dysfunctional people will try to put in your brain. Give yourself a chance to live a full and happy life. You deserve it. You deserve all the love. You really do.


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