Everyone and anyone who has earned a college degree will tell you that the things you learn during college help you become a functioning adult in real society; achieved by choice, a variety of personal life lessons, or some combination of the two. What those people fail to tell you is that those lessons you learn will come with heartache, anxiety, worry, and every emotion that you can potentially think of.
As children we become “friends” with everyone–not because we have to, but because as pre-teens and teenagers, most of us have yet to experience the toxicity that comes with having adult relationships with adult people. Toxicity is defined as the quality of being poisonous or toxic. What we define as toxic is different for every person as everyone has their own equally unique life experiences. The constant among everyone is that removing the toxicity in whatever way it manifests itself helps improve self-confidence, self-efficacy, and the ability to create a better you.
For some, the removal process it as simple as deleting someone’s contact from their phone, but for others it is a more complex process. See toxicity does not just live in people; it lives in places, things, and events. For some their toxicity is in their work, for others it is in memories of something or someone. Regardless of what the toxicity is, each person takes their own steps to remove it. It is not a race, and no one wins at removing toxicity.
In an episode of Modern Family, Gloria buys the family a group therapy session to encourage them to open up to each other by opening the emotional “junk drawer”. In this sense, everyone is removing their toxicity around talking about their feelings. In this unorthodox example, each couple’s toxicity existed in the presence of talking about it. For each person, toxicity is different and will manifest itself in whatever way it sees fit. There is no rhyme or reason to the manifestation of toxicity, and there is no way that determines who gets what toxicity.
The point is that everyone goes through their own phases of removing toxicity. Remember that everyone is on their own path to making themselves better, and that often requires removing or dealing with toxic people or situations. Be mindful of that and remember when you were in that point. I for one, know that I will be removing toxic people throughout my life–not because they are bad people, but because they are not the people that I need to be around, and that is toxic to me and my dreams and goals. Toxicity does not necessarily imply negative actions, but they are negative to the bigger picture.