Receiving a Toxic Email

When someone in your life unexpectedly takes the time and effort to go out of their way to let you know in an email that you are the most horrifically monstrous abomination that has ever walked the face of the earth, accuses you of things that have no basis in reality, attempts to psychoanalyze you based on your childhood in order to explain to you why you are so abusive, and tells you that they are DONE with you - what can you do? If they did the exact same thing a few years prior what can you do? How many times can you be rebuked, shamed and disowned by the same person?

You can't negotiate with them because they've slammed the door in your face. You can't apologize, obviously, because what exactly would you be apologizing for? Opening the email? Being born? It feels a bit like being in a hit and run accident. You try to write down the license plate number but all you can see is F U C K - Y O U as the car speeds away.

Exaggerated accusations like "You always …" "You never …" It’s hard to defend yourself against this form of manipulation. Toxic people have a way of drawing on the one time you didn’t or the one time you did as evidence of your shortcomings. Don’t buy into the argument. You won’t win. And you don’t need to.

Knowing the favorite go-to’s for toxic people will sharpen your radar, making the manipulations easier to spot and easier to name. More importantly, if you know the characteristic signs of a toxic person, you’ll have a better chance of catching yourself before you tie yourself in double knots trying to please them.

Some people can’t be pleased and some people won’t be good for you – and many times that will have nothing to do with you. You can always say no to unnecessary crazy. Be confident and own your own faults, your quirks and the things that make you shine. You don’t need anyone’s approval but remember if someone is working hard to manipulate, it’s probably because they need yours. You don’t always have to give it but if you do, don’t let the cost be too high.

If this is a repetitious toxic pattern for this person, in the end all you can do is delete both the email and the person from your life and move on to saner pastures.

Until next time ...


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