My friend's sister came up with this analogy when she was in high school and I think it's very warrior queen so I wanted to share it. It's my new philosophy that I've adopted. It encompasses all aspects of life in dealing with people and (sometimes) their toxicity.
Inside each and every one of us, there is a treasure chest of gems - rubies, diamonds, gold colins, emeralds, etc. And before we form a relationship with anybody, we must evaluate if their treasure will be as valuable as the treasure we are giving them. This is true in any relationship, whether it be friendship (what originally sparked this conversation), a relationship (which is what started the philosophy) or any sort of partnership.
Basically, is this person going to be as good to you and for you as you are to them? Too many times we form bonds and relationships with people who are just not a great match. We like to try to fix them, but no one can fix another person, they must fix themselves. You can offer ideas and advice and support them, but why support something that is toxic and will only drain you? This becomes a parasitic relationship and you will resent that person.
Now the part that I was struggling with is that I have been feeling deceived. When these relationships of mine began they were anything but toxic. Our treasure was of equal value. But as time wore on, my treasure held its value (as it always does because I'm more focused on relationships than anything else) but theirs did not.
People change, circumstances change, events transpire...but it does not mean that the treasure I was originally given is cubic zirconia compared to my diamonds. It just means that that relationship has expired. It can be renewed in the future, perhaps if the value hasn't deteriorated completely.
It's like this: