To absolutely nobody’s surprise, I give words a lot of credit.
Using the right one can accomplish a huge goal or serve as the ultimate inspiration. It can bring order to chaos and comfort someone in need.
The really good ones carry serious weight, but the bad ones are even heavier—especially when used to describe a person.
Describing ourselves is easy, right? I’m passionate, empathetic, determined, vocal, maybe a little too emotional, working to become more assertive. Impatient at times. Withdrawn on occasion.
Loud, for sure.
And yeah, they may not be the most redeeming of qualities, but I’ll wholly admit to owning each one. I’ll absolutely carry that weight. I’m capable of doing so.
But today I saw a word I don’t want. A word better suited for situations than people. A word with so much negativity attached to it, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone willing to own it.
Toxic is a really REALLY shitty word. It’s literally poison. It harms everyone and everything thing in its path. There is nothing good or redeeming about toxic.
Now apply it to a person.
That person is really REALLY shitty. That person is literally poison. That person harms everyone and everything in its path. There is nothing good or redeeming about toxic.
I can understand how a certain mix of my qualities can be a lot. I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve, because I don’t want to pretend I’m happy and fine if I’m not—that doesn’t do me or anyone else any good.
But to call my anxiety toxic? To label my emotions as poison?
Maybe if I was intentionally speaking up and acting out to the detriment of those around me, purposely stirring pots and making otherwise good situations bad.
Some people do, you know.
Some people enjoy being horrible. Spreading misery. Making things more difficult for everyone else.
But I’m not one of those people.
Honestly, the list of things I want and need in this life is very short:
So I’ll spend the next hundred million days wondering where I went wrong in communicating all of the above. Working to shake that garbage word and the negativity that comes with it. Doing my best to avoid it for the rest of time.
I’ll also make sure every attempt to describe another person is done so with the weight of each word in mind.
It’s amazing what one can imply.
Let’s listen to no words for once.