I hate labels. I think judgmental words are the most hurtful things in the world. Yet, here we are, running around telling people they are cruel, selfish, and toxic. We constantly pass judgments onto everyone and everything. The mere fact that I felt obligated to write this after reading another person’s story is probably a form of judgment, too.
Here’s the deal: I don’t think that any human sets out to be genuinely harmful to another person.
I don’t think people want to cause others pain or struggle. Sometimes, though, the world can be a difficult place; we struggle with navigating through rough waters, trying to keep up with all that is expected of us in these modern times.
I often wonder what happens to make people so bitter, so cold. Perhaps they have a condition that I am unaware of currently, or maybe they have had to push through something incredibly difficult. They might be struggling to find their next meal, they might be sleeping on someone’s couch, they could be taking significant amounts of some form of abuse that they are too afraid to share. We all have our own baggage, our own skeletons in the closet.
I’ll be the first to admit that I am a failure of a person. I am not always as kind and supportive as I would like to be. I expect a lot out of people, and sometimes I need a lot of support just to make it through the day. There is no doubt I’ve said and done things that I regret.
An amazing friend recently told me this: “You are worthy of life. You are worthy of love. You’re worthy of friendships. You are worthy of help. You’re worthy of all of the good things. Why? Simply because you are human.”
I keep reading all these stupid fucking articles on how to leave toxic people or why it’s okay to walk out on people.
The truth is, though, if you are running out on someone, maybe you are the one being selfish and inconsiderate.
Maybe you should consider looking at the situation from a different perspective. Take a minute to walk in the shoes of this person that you suddenly believe is innately terrible. Maybe you’ll find out something you never knew. Maybe you’ll find that they aren’t toxic, but human.
Love is a movement, and we could all stand to work harder to love one another regardless of any discriminatory factors or labels. Everyone is worthy of love and kindness, even someone who may be going through a tough time that you may never understand. As my amazing friend Kelly said, “A good friend doesn’t leave when times get rough.”
Originally Published on Thought Catalog