About the Author

At (in)courage, we empower women to be like Jesus. Our writers share what’s going on in their life and how God’s right in the middle of it. They bring their joys & struggles so that you can feel less alone and be empowered by the hope Jesus gives.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Thank you for this beautiful encouragement. I myself have had emotional and spiritual abuse from my family on earth. Now I focus on my Heavenly family.

  2. I totally agree with this article. My own parents were toxic and still are. They’ve been married for 57 years and though I know they love each other and us kids, they are two of the most toxic people I’ve ever met. As an adult, I’ve told them both how their toxic behaviors have affected me and how they’ve hurt me. Neither of them has change their behaviors, except to apologize for my perceived hurts. I’m low contact with them and ignore when they say hurtful things. It’s not easy; but forgiving them was for my benefit and has made me stronger.

  3. WOW! So much good information and recommendations in one small article!
    I have often mused over the idea if toxic people can even grasp that they are
    indeed, toxic. Confronting a toxic person in your life is no easy task. I am always
    concerned about back lash behavior tactics if which they may engage because
    of living in denial and usually not brought to task regarding behavior patterns and
    the effect these chosen patterns may have on those around them.
    You are a blessing Bonnie and I come away from your writings with renewed hope.
    Great comment of “While forgiveness takes one person, reconciliation takes two.”
    I sometimes come away from approaching a toxic person wondering if they even
    can grasp the concept of forgiveness. LOTS of prayer needed in those instances.

  4. Reading this is like reading a biography of my life. My mom was a very dominating person and she controlled everything in my life from the time I turned 14. the two greatest things that really hurt me was taking me out of dance and then telling my principal at my college prep high school that I was not smart enough for college and she wanted to put me in public high school. My principal told that was not true that could make it but she had her mind set that she wanted me to be a secretary and she wanted me to take classes to prepare me to work in an office. I had plans and dreams of being a museum curator with a minor in French languages since I loved history. All that ended when my mom took over.
    up until then I was a happy little girl who loved going to Catholic schools and attending my all girl high school, and then all of a sudden I am thrown into a public school and a fish out of water I never felt like I belonged anywhere. I was so
    totally alone . Because of this all of my 2 years of college prep was gone . I ended up graduating with no chance of going to college. And yet as a child of the 60’s I never spoke up and just learned to push all that anger deep inside of me because I never had choices or was able to speak up for myself. In 2008, I had an emotional breakdown and I underwent 2 years of therapy to heal. i could go on, but yes I do understand and being around Toxic people is unbearable.

  5. Thank you for this. It encourages me to know I am not alone and deal with toxic people every day. It’s not easy, however, I have support and have been opening up more this past year (2022) to people that I trust. I live with a narcissist and many in my family are too. I am thankful God’s guidance and permission to feel the way I do and am navigating how to continue to go forward in my journey without feeling guilty because I have in the past protected them. I ask for prayer for continued strength and protection as I walk this life with God’s Grace.

    • A very close relative of mine is a ‘vulnerable narcissist’, I’m pretty sure. Even more confusing than the regular kind!

  6. Bonnie,

    Such wise & helpful information. There’s a quote & part of a song that says: “hurt people hurt people”. If you dig deep enough into toxic people’s lives I bet you will find some hurt in their own lives. They never learned how to cope or forgive the other person so they just perpetuate the same toxicity that they knew growing up, Thanks for the information.

    Blessings 🙂

  7. Here’s an honest question…. how can I make sure I’m not the toxic person? What are the signs we could see in ourselves?

    • Good question Judie I need to know this too. My daughter and I start therapy next week for our broken relationship.

  8. I can implement these ideas, using Php 4:13 ” I can do all things, through Christ who strengthens me.”

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.

  9. I work with a very toxic man, who mainly likes to bully and belittle my husband. We own our own company and this man is a vital
    part of our sales staff, but he is not nice to my husband. How can I help?