Dictionary.com’s definition of a parasite is an organism that lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the host’s expense.
Parasites are selfish. All that they do is take and never, ever give. They only care about the livelihood of the host just to drain it of all it’s nutrients so the parasite can benefit, not the host. They have been around for thousands of years, but I very much doubt that they have done anything to benefit any other organism since the dawn of time. In fact, I just found two articles that confirm my previous thought here and here. There’s so much wrong with them. They’re life-sucking, health draining creatures, and they’re really, really, REALLY ugly(I mean, do you see the picture above??).
It is hard to live with a parasite. However, this time I am not talking about the above. I’m talking about people who always take and never give. They always lend a hand, but not to help, only just to receive.
I remember knowing someone who was like that. It was years ago. She was a single mother who had a child. She started coming to my church at that time, always asking for things, whether it was prayer or some type of help for a need that she had. Before I can go on, I know that it can be hard as a single mom with a little boy. I’m not sure if she had child support or not. However, since this affected multiple people over a long length of time, it was evident that she got to a point where she was draining our energy and not helping us in any way. It is a great thing to go the second mile for people, but if you feel like your mental, spiritual and emotional strength is being tapped out, you can’t go the third or fourth mile with that person. Am I right? What makes it even worst is that there might be someone else that you need to give time to, but that parasite just does not care. Just like the life-sucking creatures I talked about before, parasitical people will drain the life out of you if you let them.
I have a friend right now who’s dealt with a parasitic person for much of her recent life, and no, it’s not me (or is it??:)). I’ll try to make this short, but filled with the necessary details. She had met this guy a few years ago. He seemed to fit the profile that she was looking for in a man-tall, black, outgoing and down to earth. They started to see each other more and more. Then she starts to learn more about his current life. He didn’t have a job so he struggled financially. He began looking to her for help. Several times he had asked her for money with promises to pay her back. Well eventually, she broke things off with him because at this point, he was a parasite. It would be a mind-wracking thing to remember one time where he helped her out with even the slightest bit of help. He has always been pretty selfish, not only in his actions but also with his talk. I have met this guy and he has confirmed what she has said to me about him. His attitude was toxic and she knew it. You can tell a lot about a person by their speech. His speech does not contain the phrase “How are you doing?” with the intent to see if he can actually help you. She had done the smart thing to literally block him from her life. Unfortunately, he has the ability to reach her by phone so he calls her from time to time, whenever he has a breakdown, once again thinking of himself and not once wanting to ask her how she is doing. Multiple times, she has told him that she wants him out of her life, yet he still calls. He is a prime example of a parasitic person who needs to change.
I am not the best person in the world, but one thing that I aim for is not to be parasitic with others. I try to treat others the way that I want to be treated. This is what I keep in mind in order to not be parasitic:
- Do not have expectations about people
- Expectations can make you assume that someone is going to help you out. People fail people all the time. I am not saying that you can’t trust anyone. I am saying that it is unfair to have expectations for things that they have never promised to do.
- Find ways to be self-sufficient
- Life can be hard. Trust me, I know. We may not have things that we need yet others have them. My first thought is,” Well how can I get it for myself?” I ask that because I know that my mind is creative. You might have a solution to your problem without even needing to ask anyone else for that solution. Therefore, you won’t put a burden on anyone else.
- Look for signs of stress when you are with that person
- I try not to stress people out. I don’t care if I am in the right or wrong. I’d hate to be that person. If I feel like I am, I apologize. There is nothing wrong with apologizing because either you are right in seeing that you are stressing them out (which would cause them to see that you are remorseful for the stress you’re causing) or you are wrong and everything is still okay. Either way, that person will see that you are mindful of them. Your relationship with them can only be strengthen because of your humility. Plus, body language is key. If they give out a hard breathe, get red in the face, tighten the grip of their hands, or look distressed-acknowledge it and ask if they are okay.
You might be asking, “How do I know if someone is being a parasite, or just someone I need to help?” I won’t claim to know the definitive answer to that, except that you ask God for discernment. One of the signs that someone may be parasitic is the amount of stress you have for even thinking of doing what that person is asking. If you are legitimately having headaches from thinking about this person, you might need to block them from your life. It is not a sin to care for your well-being! Another sign could be shown if you have mutual friends. In my experience, a parasitic person doesn’t affect just one person. If they are life-sucking to you, chances are they are life-sucking to someone else too. You can ask that mutual friend if they have the same experiences as you do. Usually people get a feeling about these kinds of things. There are reasons why that happens.
If you detect that you are dealing with a parasitic person, I have a few suggestions for you:
- Tell the person what they are doing that makes them parasitic.
- Come at them gently, and explain what you have been observing. Tell them how you feel about It. If they are truly your spouse, friend, family or whichever then with at least an ounce of humility they will hear you out. If they do hear you out, then it is possible that they will change. They cannot change if they don’t know that they are doing something wrong in the first place.
- Should they not hear you, maybe get someone else involved. Situations will be more delicate or complicated than others, but having a “witness” might be the catalyst that will encourage the parasite to change their ways
- If the above does not work, block them from your life. Once again, it is not a sin to look out for your well-being. People literally go insane for the ways other people have treated them. Your sanity is not worth the destruction someone else can cause in your life. Every major cell phone carrier has options to block people from your phone. I am sure that all social media outlets provide options to block other members from your page.
- Last but certainly not the least, forgive. Forgive, forgive, forgive. Bitterness starts as a tiny seed, but festers over time and then it becomes a mighty tree of negativity within us, if we let it. It is actually a proven, scientific notion. Negative energy effects our hearts physically, causing stress, with wear and tear on it. The more we let it grow, the more threatened our livelihood is. Plus, not one person’s actions are worth the time we spend grieving over them. There is absolutely a season for grief, however, there would be one more thing that they’d take away from you: your joy.
Life does not have to be as complicated as we let it be. The world is full of parasitic people. With wisdom and understanding, we’ll know how to deal with them.
Have you had a human parasite in your life? Feel free to comment about your experience!