Sometimes the people who use social media make you want to find an island with no connection to civilization. First off this is not about politics. It is about how social media provides the tools to let people with toxic behaviors spread their poison. If you do not know what makes a person's behavior toxic, check out this link.
One of the things that most adults learn quickly is that life can be tough and comes with plenty of disappointments. Sometimes you make bad decisions, sometimes bad things happen for no reason. It is not uncommon for even smart people to do stupid things which they later regret.
Most people learn how to handle disappointment in a healthy manner and they also learn to move on with their lives. People whose behavior has turned toxic tend not to have learned how to handle disappointment and they hang onto to even imagined slights like a bulldog biting into a bone. Their first reaction to disappointment is to blame someone for their own problem. The next action is to manipulate others into agreeing with them.
The them-verses-us narrative is the lifeblood of the toxic person. Facts rarely matter and as they isolate themselves in their social media cocoon of people who agree with them, it is easy for them to spin a narrative to make themselves look like victims.
I have been blogging since early 2004. I have a long record of telling the truth in what I write. I have often debated people in the comments section of my blogs but over the years I have observed the trend of seeing more and more people who are not interested in real debate. They just want a soapbox for their opinions and they do not want to be bothered with facts.
Fortunately, when you are running a blog, you can delete a comment. It is my soapbox and I decide what is content for my readers. You can also delete comments on your Facebook page but few people do it. I do when someone steps over the line of civility.
What should you watch for to avoid people who have toxic behaviors?
- Be very careful with someone who seems consumed by one issue or the dislike of a certain person or persons
- Be alert when every story they spin seems to make themselves a martyr
- Be on guard when you see signs of refusal to accept responsibility for their own behavior
- Step back when they start twisting facts to fit their own narrative
- Watch out when they want help in carrying out an agenda that hurts others
Do not be fooled when those with toxic behaviors mix in some behaviors that are commendable. It is often a smoke screen and they see it only as a way to further their warped agenda. Beyond everything else, these people are manipulative and trying to get their way. If they to pretend to be nice for a while or quote the Bible, that is okay in their mind because it will eventually help them get what they want.
People with toxic behavior are consumed by a perceived hurt and they feel that they can use whatever means at their disposal to get their revenge. To them, the end justifies the means and if a few people get hurt or some facts get twisted along the way, all is justified if they get their ego soothed.
Another way that social media helps people with toxic behavior is it lets their message get to gullible people. Let's be honest there are a lot of people who are desperate to belong even if it is to a group that is guided by a person with toxic behavior. Gullible people let themselves be manipulated because they get approval from the person with the toxic behaviors. When they see their leader jump into a situation, they pile on no matter how stupid it makes them look.
The best response to people like the ones I have described is to ignore them. Remember they are not logical and will not acknowledge facts unless the facts make their perceived position stronger.
I have often thought that the best punishment is to let them stew in their own caustic juices.