You’d almost prefer to be punched in the gut. At least you’d know what you were dealing with. At least you wouldn’t constantly wonder, “Is it me?” At least you wouldn’t feel like a low-life piece of shit every time you’re around this person. Who are these people that enter our lives like snake charmers, only to inflict their venomous behaviors when we start to care about them? Who are these Jekell and Hyde characters that make us feel like we’re crazy and stupid? If you’re in a toxic relationship with someone — whether it’s your partner, your parent, or even your best friend — you know what I mean here. You know the words, looks, and actions that slowly but surely crush your soul and make you constantly walk on eggshells with everything you say and do. Toxic people are like vampires. They will suck the very life out of you, especially if you’re an empathic, sensitive person who keeps trying harder and harder to “fix” the relationship and “understand” this abusive person. If you’re in a toxic relationship, here’s a wake call: YOU cannot fix it. An ocean of understanding will not change them. There are only three options for you — Manage it. Leave it. Accept it. Option 1