Identifying and Dealing with a Weed (Toxic Person) in Your Garden?


Talking about “weeds” is not one of my favorite subjects but I would be remiss if I ended up getting through this quarter without talking about weeds and since it has been weighing on my mind then something tells me that someone needs this blog post.




Do you pull it?

Do you ignore it?

Do you spray it with chemicals?


We all have weeds in our gardens, in our front yards, in our back yards. Weeds are all but inevitable as much as change is in our lives. There are lots of solutions for handling weeds and all have some sort of consequence. But here is the one solution that can sometimes yield in a better solution than the Pull, Ignore, or Eradicate methods. Identify and then Live with weeds.

Did you know that dandelions are beneficial “good” weeds? Many folks purchase dandelions to put in their salads. Dandelions have an herbal property to help with liver ailments. Some folks also brew as tea.  Alas, others can’t wait to get rid of the pretty little dandelion weed out of their yard so they go to lengths to just see the grass that they have to constantly mow. However if you didn’t know it was a weed then what would you do with a dandelion? You would mow over it. The one thing remains even with mowing is that the roots still remain right beside the grass and the grass gets crowded out by the weeds because no one has done anything about the weeds. Ignoring weeds are not an option. They keep producing more seeds and they keep growing and growing and the grass grows less and less.

pulling weedsNow what if you pulled the dandelion with young grass seeds growing like say Bermuda grass here in Texas? You end up pulling the grass roots too, it de-establishes the strength that they had grown to love and enjoy in its dirt surroundings.

Sometimes, people in our lives are like weeds. Some of these people are spouses; some are coworkers, or bosses, or even other relatives, neighbors or best friends. Some weeds are the rude honking drivers on the highway or the lady behind you in line at the grocery store who is running late. We all deal with weeds in our lives at one point or another, these are the obvious weeds and we tend to figure out how to deal with them in one way or another. There are however other weeds those are not so easily identifiable and how to deal with is not always so easy either. If you learn nothing else from this blog, commit the following 3 items to memory and practice it on people in your life – can you tell if they are toxic and if so then you should decide how you will respond to them now that you know that they are toxic in your life.

Here are my tried and tested (unfortunately) criteria for Identifying a weed.

  1. The ones that bark (Barkers) the loudest are the ones that are the “most guilty”.
  2. They always tell on themselves (Tellers).
  3. They always make someone else look bad to make themselves look good (Tattle Tails).
HELP weeds

Barkers – Some years ago, when I served in the Army, I learned #1 from defendants who “cried wolf” to their Congressman. Now yes, I realize that this is not always the case but it was and still remains to be that the majority of folks who bark really loud, even with not going to their congressman, are ones to consider that raising at least a yellow caution flag might not be a bad idea. Barkers tend to get loud on the phone without saying something of substance, they are rude more than trying to solve the actual problem.

Tellers – My theory is that they just cannot help but tell on themselves. There is likely some internal guilt that must come out like a code of twisted ethics that moves them to tell on themselves. If they were smart they wouldn’t tell on themselves, they would just stay quiet but they can’t help it.

Tattle Tails – you know these from childhood days, they aren’t too hard to recognize. The problem is that they do it in such a way as to make you look bad and provide some snippit of information to make themselves look good. They are usually pretty subtle about it but sometimes you can see it happening right away you just didn’t know what it was related to.

Dealing with Toxic People (in my People Gardening terms I really like “Weeds” better), is not always easy. Of course we go through those same thoughts I asked originally, pull them, ignore them, eradicate them, but you know, what I’ve realized, is that it doesn’t make us any better to pretend them away in any method. We are better with weeds in our lives. Half of the battle is being able to identify who is a weed so we can figure out how we should deal with them. Identification of weeds are important however because if you cannot identify the weed then you never know how much you will grow if you never try.

We cannot control the actions of others, nor should we, but we can control our RESPONSES to dealing with Weeds in our lives. We can control how we interact with them and not how they deal with us. Obviously to ignore and let weeds overgrow our grassy lawn is not the right thing but as long as you can identify with and keep a balance or harmony with the weed in how you deal with the weed than your chance of survival and growth is going to be much greater. I promise!

Here is to happy living with weeds and may you continue to grow and bear great fruit.

Eva Fulton is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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