There was a shepherd, Arnold, who lived in a village. He was considered a fool by the locals; they didn’t know much about psychology. Arnold collected goat droppings and smilingly gave them to the people he met. What could he take from such a shepherd?
And the kind villagers, out of compassion, gave him gingerbread and candy. Quite a profitable exchange.
Of course, people did not take the goat lint, but they thanked and gave thanks. The encounter with the shepherd was unpleasant, frankly. And the children ran away from him. And one boy bravely and even cheekily answered the shepherd when he handed him the excrement: “Eat it yourself!” Arnold got angry, his smile faded, grabbed his big stick and chased after the insolent boy.
What actually happened, though? Absolutely nothing. The donor was asked to keep what he wanted as a gift. Not even a gift, but an exchange of goat droppings for a sweet gingerbread. When that didn’t work out, the boy got naughty. Angry. He should be hit with a log!
That’s the way it is with toxic people. They tell you nasty things with a smile and expect a sweet carrot. But if you give them what they give you, how much anger and screaming there will be!
“You don’t look good. So old. Aren’t you sick?” You can politely reply: “You look terrible, too. Bags under your eyes, wrinkles right here by your nose. And your eyes are cloudy, like a dead horse’s. How’s your health?”. That’s where the scandal begins. You will be accused of malice, hated and scolded.
You should have responded gently and kindly that you look really bad. Even if you don’t. And then thank Arnold for his attention to your person and for his helpful criticism. Eat with gusto what you have been given. And bow.
You know, it’s better to be called rude than to be treated to goat poop and given a tasty candy bar in return. Maybe that’s why you don’t have much candy; maybe that’s why you don’t have much joy or energy. Did you give it all to those who made you chew the litter?
Gingerbread can be given for nothing. And receive candy in return, or just the pleasure of your generosity. And from someone else’s pleasure. And it’s not a sin for toxic people to not even pay with the same coin once, but just give them back what they’ve shoved at us. Thanks, no thanks. Eat it yourself. And if you don’t like it, why give it to others?