Developing relationships with people might seem like an easy concept. Two or more people interact, discuss interests and develop whatever relationship it grows to be; friendship, couples, mentors etc. However, we all know it isn't as easy as it seems. It is even more challenging to let someone go, once that relationship becomes too toxic.
The saying, "there is always room at my table", is true overall. Sometimes, it isn't the space at the table, but the amount of food the person is eating. When someone sits at your table you have a general expectation that they will be considerate to the amount of food that is served, or the amount of drinks that are accessible. Once this person starts a habit of taking more than they should and not being considerate to others (intentional or not), you take steps, right? To allow them to understand what they're doing is wrong. In this example; taking more than they are putting in.
1) You speak up; have a conversation with this person. WITH THIS PERSON, not other people.
2) You set boundaries; yes means yes, and no means no. CLEAR boundaries.
3) You express you concerns; tell them what you need, what you expect, how their actions are affecting you and finally, what you can or cannot tolerate.
When you've voiced your opinion about the toxic behaviors the person is displaying and they don't correct them, what do you do then? Maybe this person is a family member, or a spouse, or a friend you've had for years. Either way, no matter who it is, toxic is toxic, selfish is selfish and boundaries need to be firm boundaries. While cutting someone completely out of your life might feel like an appropriate response, I feel as though we should also consider their perspective.
1) Have you completed a self evaluation on yourself? This is not only good for the current situation you're in, but for your own growth as well.
2) What toxic traits do you carry at the table? Let's be real, and if you can't be, then you're only hurting yourself. YOU HAVE TOXIC TRAITS. We all do, and the sooner we start acknowledging them, the sooner we can be a more productive member in society
3) Where have you fallen behind in your description of (mother, friend, sister, brother, husband, wife, uncle, aunt..). Literally write this stuff down people. List the amount of times you have reached out, checked in, gone out of your way. This isn't to keep tabs, it is a method to help hold yourself accountable.
Be a firm believer in boundaries, changing your perspective and making people feel included. This world is cruel enough as it is, and having another person push you away because of their individual idea of "toxicity" should be the final step; too often people are lazy and make it the first.
Don't allow people to take advantage of you, and stop making the "extras" at meal time. You can still be a good person in this dark world. You can still be light in someone's life, and have healthy boundaries. It takes one person to shift their perspective from their personal opinions to trying to understand an individuals struggles. Be better humans, and have a more positive mindset to the people you allow at your table.
Here is a good viewpoint on audible about perspective and when it's time to let go of someone that is toxic https://amzn.to/2Zo6TAt