Kaitlyn Tiffany’s thoughtful reflection on the increasing tendency of people to cut one another out of their lives.
“The internet is wallpapered with advice, much of it delivered in a cut-and-dried, cut-’em-loose tone. Frankly worded listicles abound. For instance: ‘7 Tips for Eliminating Toxic People From Your Life,’ or ‘7 Ways to Cut a Toxic Friend Out of Your Life.’ On Instagram and Pinterest, the mantras are ruthless: ‘There is no better self-care than cutting off people who are toxic for you’; ‘If I cut you off, chances are, you handed me the scissors.’ The signature smugness and sass of Twitter are particularly well suited to dispensing these tidbits of advice. I don’t know who needs to hear this, a tweet will begin, suggesting that almost anyone might need to hear it, but if someone hurts your feelings, you are allowed to get rid of them. There is even a WebMD page about how to identify a ‘toxic person,’ defined aggressively unhelpfully as ‘anyone whose behavior adds negativity and upset to your life.’ Well, by that measure … !”