In our daily interactions, we are bound to meet people that somehow have their ways of getting on our nerves. There are times we just wish we do not have to deal with them and stay as far away as possible. Yes, that is one way of handling it – by not facing it. While it is permissible to do so in Islam, is it the best approach for us and our society? What if we have something valuable to offer to the world that requires us to somehow interact with these toxic people? Will we deprive ourselves of being of service to others or do we let the opportunity to do good deeds go simply because of them? As a general rule, our mental health is important to us too, if we feel that we can’t handle the situation as it is causing adverse effects on us, it is best to have a healthy boundary or to stay away at least for a while until we gather enough strength mentally and spiritually. My hope is with this article it can help us to process the situation better so we can handle being in the midst of different kinds of people while keeping our sanity intact.
Let’s take a closer look.
There could potentially be 2 scenarios.
First, the person him/herself is a toxic person. For some reason, we have triggered them and caused them to feel such hatred towards us and rallying others to join the suit. We must remember that we are not in control of other people’s actions or thoughts. Neither do we want to play their game, i.e. trying to defend ourselves or finding their faults. This is childish, immature and it is time consuming for us. We don’t have to figure out why they do this and that or what their motives are. We must remember, not everybody has good intentions or perhaps they justify their actions from their own logic and facts that we have no privy to as a cover-up or protecting their reputation. There are good and bad people in this world. This is not Jannah where there is no rancour or ill intents within us or others. We must accept that it is just the nature of humans to be of different kinds. We must be okay with it and not try to label or psychoanalyse them or try to fix them.
In this scenario, our best weapon is to constantly check our intention of doing an action. Be clear on what are the benefits of the action to us and others and make the intention for Allah’s sake while aiming for the benefits. Make dua that Allah grant us to be amongst his sincere servants and accept our deeds. It is even more noble in fact prophetic if we make dua for them to give them tranquillity and serenity. For their hearts to heal.
The second scenario is, whereby there could be something within us that is triggered by them or simply irritates us. Perhaps this is an opportunity for introspection. Try to ask questions like, why did I get angry? What did he/she say that triggered me? Maybe this uncomfortable event is a way for Allah to remind us to take a closer look at what’s within us i.e. our hearts. Do we have some past traumas that are unhealed? Have we not been functioning effectively and we could not figure out why? Are we prone to feeling depressed? Do we have unresolved childhood trauma and complex PTSD? A journey to within yourself is not an easy one and perhaps requires a few more articles about it. As a start, we can make dua that Allah grants us the ability to know ourselves better. Keep the conversation between us and Allah open and He will guide us to our own truth about ourselves. Don’t be afraid of our own shadows. Do not project onto others and blame everything on everybody else but us. Slowly shed light onto it to start our own recovery. Do not deny or suppress our shadows. What we resist, persists.
Both scenarios require us to have patience or sabr. The reward of sabr is huge and unlimited and Allah is with those who are patient. That is why some scholars say that Allah sends calamity so we could demonstrate sabr, be rewarded with more than we could in the form of normal worship and remove our sins. Yes, we could run away from difficult people but how then can we be rewarded for Sabr if we do not have the opportunity to demonstrate it. Allahu alam.