Updated: Sep 18, 2022
The goal of building resilience and grit is not so that you can further endure destabilizing (often referred to as ‘toxic’) people and environments.
For a long time I believed that the more work I did on myself, the better I could deal with difficult people. I set boundaries, intentions, emotional flexibility, practiced self-love and compassion. And then armed with all my therapy and self- improvement I went into the same environments with the same people and… coped with the dysfunction. Oftentimes, leaving with more hurt and pain that I had to go ‘deal with’. For years. I didn’t understand where I was going wrong, because I believed the goal was for me to be able to handle the toxicity better.
Eventually, I noticed I was unwilling to go to those places, with those people, and I put up with it less and less. Still not quite occurring to me that the real goal was not to withstand more trauma, but to be able to take care of myself by walking away. Self-care is how you sail they ship, not what you do later to clean yourself up off the proverbial floor.
Working on your boundaries and your resilience is for the things we don’t have control over. For all else, get curious about your beliefs and maybe consider that just because you are strong or can withstand difficult or abusive people & environments, doesn’t mean you have to.