Choose Yourself And Stop Being A Toxic Dump For People

Last updated 30 Apr 2018 . 1 min read

I don’t know when I actually became a listener to other people’s sorrow or misery but I was always an empath. Even when I was 11 or 12 years old, I could talk to my friend’s mothers about their dilly-dally of lives. In school, if anyone had any issues, they could come to me but it was not severe then. As I grew up, I found myself surrounded by people who had something agonizing to tell me. Now, I don’t say you should not share. All I am saying is that when you are an agony aunt, you become the spittoon to a lot of toxic emotions of people.

When I was in a hostel, I felt very important when friends would share their family life/love life with me. Maybe being very young does that to you. But over the years, it became a severe disease that finally went on to damage me.

I was always an empath and sensitive to other people and hence, many felt that it was their birthright to have me around as their counsellor.

So, I would counsel people right, left and centre. Of course, I would not say no, because I was scared of not being a good person. Come on, our books always had that image of good girls, who listen, who give. I completely perfected it. I had no clue about the art of drawing boundaries.

When I was very young, I would linger on the dinner table and eat my brother’s left over. Once my grandmother asked me that when so much of fresh food is available, why do I have to eat leftovers? It will become a habit one day and I will finally have all that is left over by someone. Of course, I did not take it seriously then. Over the years, as an agony aunt, I took over the role of taking care of people’s toxic emotions. I had no idea that some people come to me to bury their waste.

It was I who was being hurt and who needed help.

So over many years of being the agony listener, I finally learnt to see some light. But I learnt that the ‘poor me’ is the most comfortable place to be in. When you are the poor me, you don’t have to take any responsibility, it is always about others. Now that I was the agony listener, I would listen with deep empathy and would offer a solution, whatever my limited knowledge or experiences would allow. But there is a pattern 'poor me's' have. There will always be a problem to every solution.

It took me long to realize that they spoke to me because they needed someone to make them feel good about their stories.

Change needs work, it needs courage. Many don’t have it and the 'poor me' version helps them to stay where they are. Now, with corporate jobs, there is another ‘poor me’ story that floats around. Almost everyone hates their jobs and wants to quit but can’t. It is not about what they can’t, it’s about courage. It takes immense courage to leave something that pays you every first of the month.

Today’s jobs give you the freedom to buy those branded clothes and accessories which, mostly, our parents did not have. But it will take a lot of courage and self-conviction to drop this comfort that money brings and begin something new and deep down we all know it. So, to find comfort we crib, we rant and blame the world. That makes life comfortable. A friend of mine left her flourishing career to become an activist. She told me that she might never be able to buy a house of her own but she is ready to live with that choice. That is where many fail, live with their choices.

Being an ex-agony listener, I have heard millions of tales on relationships. Now here is what I learnt.

Many times even when we are in a toxic or non-working relationship, we refuse to call it a day. And no, it’s not love. People are scared to be on their own.

Most will stay bickering with their partners rather than walking out of a relationship. The moment you walk out of it, you got to face your own demons. And you have to take responsibility for your well being because then the other person is not there to be blamed. Most of our happiness gets lost in this blame game.

Being a full-blown agony listener, or toxic dump of other people, taught me that most of us are waiting for a day in distance future when things will change. Magic will happen and our lives will be miraculously beautiful. But we won’t make any choices today, to change. So, we happily sleepwalk for now and intoxicate ourselves with food, fights on Facebook or anything that takes away our attention from today. People are waiting for a magic mantra to change their lives. Maybe that is why the God men and women thrive across the globe. We truly believe that someone else has the power to change our lives.

Now, I am told that I am a very positive person so I get questions like who is helping me. Here is the simple answer, you work towards it. I don’t watch the news. I do my meditations twice a day. I exercise. I eat healthily. I play with children each day.

If you are eating junk food, watch, hear and talk about every disaster on earth, how do you think you will stay positive?

Being aware of the world around you and living in the negativity are two different things. Being aware empowers you with new choices, but living in negativity makes you a toxic person.

Over the years, I was becoming bitter and toxic and I saw people around me being the same. I cut it all. I had the courage to walk out of all these old patterns of needing to save the fallen. I decided to be a friend only. That gave me the freedom to say no. Relationships that were strong, stayed. Others frayed away.

I am still a good human being. I am always the first to reach out when a friend is in trouble. But I have stopped being the girl who would be there for you 24x7 to hear your rants because you never had the courage to make a choice. People who need support work towards a change and their actions show it. Others are just playing the 'poor me'.

As I have hung my boots of being the toxic dump, I chose for myself a much happier, fulfilled life. I finally learnt the art of choosing myself first. And lord knows it’s so rewarding!


Do you identify with Paromita's thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.

Paromita Bardoloi
She loves life and God. She believes in the power words. She is a writer and a storyteller.

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