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Posted on Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Dave!In oh so many ways the human condition is as fragile as it is fallible. This wouldn't be so bad if it could be rationalized, quantified, and explained, but the reasoning behind why we're so damaged and flawed remains a mystery. Fortunately, we also have more positive traits to balance things out... such as determination, strength, and resilience. It's a good thing too, because life would be pretty miserable otherwise.


Some people focus entirely on the negative so their lives really are miserable. And that's fine, because we've all been there. And I make no judgement, because people should be entitled to feel how they want to feel.


People who decide to focus entirely on the negative all the time tend to rub off on us, contaminating our peace and throwing our lives out of balance. This toxicity really should be avoided for the sake of our mental well-being, but to do so is looked upon as a bad thing. Avoid a friend when they're being all toxic, and you're the bad person. Avoid a toxic family member, and you're being a bad relative. Avoid a toxic blogger, and you're the elitist asshole.

And I get it. You shouldn't be abandoning friends, family, and fellow bloggers when they're going through hard times. But that's not what I'm talking about. Because the process also works in reverse. Your positivity can rub off on them, and restore their peace and put their lives back in balance. Not only that, but it's also a decent thing to do for someone you care about.


There is a limit. There should be a limit. Because some people have no intention of ever letting go of their negativity no matter how hard you try to pull them away from it. At that point, when you realize that there is absolutely nothing you can do to help them, your self-preservation has to kick in. Otherwise, you become mired in their negativity and risk losing yourself in their toxic world. And you know what? At that point... where you've done your best and tried your best and been your best... it's okay to finally step away. You were there when they needed you. You did what you could. You sacrificed what you had. It's time to let go.

Because, in reality, it is they who are abandoning you. And if people want to label you a bad person... or a bad relative... or an elitist asshole... all because you choose to escape with your sanity, then so be it. There's nothing you can do about that either.


Reclaim your life, embrace the positive, stay in balance, and move forward.

Life would be pretty miserable otherwise.


And so I try.

Until I was filling out a hotel reservation tonight, and ran across this tragedy...

Name Titles... Mr. Mrs. Dr. Rabbi Prof. Sir Father Chief Senator Lt. Captain

How disappointing! There's no "Lord" in that list. I want to be LORD DAVID SIMMER II, dammit!

Or, more accurately, OVERLORD DAVID SIMMER II.




Alas, I had to settle for "Captain David Simmer II" because none of my preferred titles were available. This is just me trying to stay positive in the face of those who would seek to destroy my peace with their negativity.

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Categories: DaveLife 2009Click To It: Permalink


  1. Crail00 says:

    Hmmmmm. His Excellency sounds much better. You are excellent at what you do. 😉

  2. A Lewis says:

    I couldn’t agree more. And, I am in confident in the fact that my life is far too short for allowing continually negative and continually toxic relationships into my life and home — family, friend, whoever. I no longr apologize for cutting loose the crap in life. I refuse to live with it….in spite of the fact that I will then be referred to as “the bad person.” At least I’ll be happy.

  3. Finn says:

    Oh captain my captain!

    Where is Queen? Your Majesty? How will they know to genuflect to me upon arrival? The humanity!

  4. S says:

    I had to step back from a years-long friendship for the reasons that you describe. The “friend” constantly focused on the negative–even after her life had improved dramatically and her initial, understandable drama and stress had passed.

    Not only was it draining, but it also made our relationship very one-sided. I got tired of being her unpaid therapist.

    It’s been more than 9 months since we’ve spoken, and it’s sad to say, but I don’t really miss her.

  5. Kevin says:

    You know, instead of blogging about negativity, you could have just emailed me directly…

  6. Dave2 says:

    I was saving that as a last resort.

  7. Patty says:

    I know what you mean by toxic people. I had one in my life for 40 years and finally pulled the plug on that! ha. Ok, they are not completely out of my life but it is very limited to what it used to be.
    I need to get out and see the movies you reviewed. They look good.

  8. Sue says:

    I agree with everything you said.

  9. Jeff says:

    I’ve got a consistently negative friend. Whenever I see her she always pulls the Debbie Downer routine. It’s the same thing on her Facebook, (yes, I’ll admit that I’m addicted to it) too.

    Her husband, on the other hand, doesn’t see the need to be that way and I’m not sure how he copes with her unless he’s learned over the years to tune her out completely.

    I cope with it by just not being around her anymore.

  10. Sarah says:

    So um, am I supposed to be addressing you as Lord Dave2?

    Because I totally haven’t been.

  11. This is something I’ve struggled with. I have family members (my own mother, for example) who are so toxic that I have to steer clear. However, eventually my own guilt kicks in and I give her another chance, and I never fail to regret it. As hard as it is to stay way, I’m trying to do just that… And without feeling like a lout.

  12. whall says:

    Chin up, buttercup.

    I mean Lord Buttercup.

  13. Sybil Law says:

    Oh GAH toxic people just suck the LIFE out of me!
    Very well written, Lord David.
    (You’d look awfully good in a captain’s hat!)

  14. claire says:

    Where’s Supreme Commander?! Supreme Commander Claire has a nice ring to it.

    And where’s Dame?

    I appreciated the rest of your post as well; I like my sanity (such as it is).

  15. Hilly says:

    Thank you so so so so much for writing this post. You know that I’ve struggled with this and continue to do so. How is it that by finally making self-preservation our last resort (when it should be our first), we’re suddenly dubbed as elitists and “bad guys”? I’ll tell you how….because those of us that push as far as we can go before leaving a toxic “friend” by the wayside are also the kind of people who don’t publicly talk about it or blog about it. We’re the kind of people who stay classy and don’t let everyone in on every little truth that’s not being told by the other party. We’re the kind of people who don’t need to martyr ourselves and come up with reasons that the other party is the asshole. We’re the kind of people who’ve tried and continue to try and try and try until finally, we do what is best for our very own souls.

    I know that you already know I feel this way but I thought I’d applaud you for this post because you and I are exactly the same when it comes to this.

    Maybe I can be Queen.

  16. Dave2 says:

    There’s always more to the story than people realize.


    And yet… that doesn’t stop people from passing judgement. This is sad but, as I said, there’s nothing you can do about it.

    Except try to move on.

  17. sizzle says:

    So true. All of it.

  18. val says:

    Hey on a positive note, I was impressed they has ms/ms and mr/mr you don’t see equality much and that made my day. I really enjoyed meeting the Davelanta crew…thanks very much for the fun Davelanta “stuff”

    enjoy your weekend.

  19. usedtobeme says:

    Beautiful. I’ve finally reached that self preservation mode and my life is better for it. Thanks for typing it out loud.

  20. Becky says:

    This was very well written. Its sad when you have to walk away from a friend in order to save yourself. There are always 2 sides to every situation, people who decide to label need to realize that there is more going on than what they hear.

    And Captain is better than Skipper…which just put the “Gilligan’s Island” theme song in my head. Crap.

  21. Nanna says:

    The thing to remember is that people choose negativity as a habitual thing. So honoring their choice and leaving them to it is giving them what they choose.

  22. Jill says:

    Amen to your post.

    Did you really put use the ‘Captain’ title?
    That is so funny!

  23. Michael A says:

    Of the hotel options available, isn’t a “sir” higher than a “captain”? Jus’wondering…

  24. I love this post! You can’t change the negative people and sometimes the only thing left is self-preservation.

    I don’t see Princess on that list anywhere. WhatEVAH!

  25. kilax says:

    Great post 🙂

  26. Rachel says:

    I read this thru a link in a Hilly tweet and so glad I did. We shouldn’t judge others because we are all so far from perfect. However we all have a right to decide who stays and who goes. If someone is a ball and chain of negativity I have one thing to say buh bye!!

    Very well said Captain Dave!!

  27. Robin says:


    Toxic people = bad. Getting them out your life = good.
    It’s worth being the bad guy to get rid of them…even if they are family.

  28. Lynda says:

    I was thinking about positive and negative the other day. It’s the worst when it’s a family member trying to suck you dry.

    I think sometimes you just have to let go, sad though it may be.

    And if there was an Overlord option, I think I would pick that too. Or can there be an Overlady one as well?

  29. Dan says:

    So what are you saying? You aren’t going to read my blog anymore?

  30. Tug says:

    Awesome post, and things I’ve thought of off and on with various friends & family, as well as myself.

    So um…Lord. Was I supposed to salute you? Bow? What do you do with a Lord..should I have found a cross to nail you to? (OK, I’m done)

  31. jester says:

    If you don’t want me coming to any more Dave events you could just say so already. Sheesh.

    And I’ll take the Grand Exalted title if you don’t mind.

  32. Miss Britt says:

    Man, I have been waiting to have a chance to finally read this post!



    I agree with everything you’ve said here except:

    “it is they who are abandoning you.”

    I think the old adage that “it’s not about you” rings true here. Someone else’s failure to let go of negativity and choose the positive is not a reflection on you or how they feel about you. It is, I believe, 100% about them.

    And that’s OK. It’s still OK to walk away even if they didn’t “do” anything to you. It’s OK to say “I’m not at my best when I’m around you” or “you’re not good for me”.

    I think a lot of times we – or at least, I – feel guilty about saying that, so we seek to vilify the person we’re walking away from. Granted, there are times in our lives that this perception is necessary to do that in order to find the strength to leave.

  33. Troy says:

    Myself and a bunch of my friends are in the same situation with a friend we’ve known since 2nd grade.

    Years back he was one of those guys who was fun to be around 90% of the time but when you fell into the other 10% it was pretty awful.

    He eventually took peoples advice and decided to change (i.e. stop drinking as much as he did etc.).

    He got married to an amazing girl, but that relationship fell apart. He then fell back into his old attitude and actions.

    We’ve tried to help and tried to be there for him, but he blames everyone for his hardships and doesn’t put any of the blame on himself.

    He decided to give up on us and there is nothing we can do about it.

    It’s sad when this happens, but as you said toxic relationships can lead to unbalancing your life, especially when the other person doesn’t want to change or doesn’t want help.

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