“I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.”
-George Bernard Shaw
This quote makes me think of my relationship with toxic people. Certain people have spent their whole lives being judgemental, bitter and mean. I have not, so I am not as good at playing that game. Lately I’m learning about respect, relationships and boundaries and it has opened my eyes to a lot of things. I’m learning what I will accept and what behavior I will not tolerate. The realization has given me some power and self agency. Those new feelings make me want to waylay my new power onto those who kept me down. I’m sure it’s a natural feeling to want to show previous oppressors that I’m no longer playing their game.
But by expressing my anger in a way that makes me want to ‘win’ something is the wrong approach. Some toxic relationships have been in the making for so long, its hard to over come them and see them for what they really are. I can imagine myself going up to a toxic person in my life and I can imagine saying all sorts of truths and facts in an attempt to hurt the other person or to somehow ‘win’ something. But the odds are, that person would still wield some power over me. They’d probably gaslight me and make me feel humiliated or stupid like they have tried to do my entire life.
So no, it’s best not to wrestle with a pig. For me, I will gain my own strength from the insides. I desire to have my worth derive from myself. I don’t want my self worth involved with having to prove to someone else that I’m over them and not under their control. By trying to prove anything to a toxic, I’d probably just be strengthening their hold over me.
So I will go for the live and let live approach. I want to get to a place where I feel ok with someone else (i.e: toxic parents) talking bad behind my back and trying to isolate me and getting others to do the same. It doesn’t mean I condone that behavior or would ever attempt to do the same. It just means that I have to accept that old biblical proverb: haters gonna hate and that has nothing to do with me. I’m going for acceptance. Eventually I’ll try to love the toxic people, but for now I’ll just work on accepting them first.