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Drama-starters, also known as messy people, are toxic and detrimental to your mental, spiritual, emotional, and relational well-being.

When you come across folks that are notorious for stirring up trouble, diminishing others, and spreading unwholesome rumors, there are some rules of engagement you must follow. Here are 6 commandments to live by when encountering messy people.

Commandment #1: Thou shalt not tell them your secrets, for they will others. Proverbs 11:13 NIV says it this way: “A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.” Toxic people love telling others’ business and spreading lies. They are gifted at getting the rumor mill turning. Don’t expect their displays of affection and concern to be genuine. Just as soon as you open up, to your dismay, they will take your formerly closely-held matters and spill all of those secrets in the streets. Messy people are never to be mistaken for secret-keepers!

Commandment #2: Thou shalt not indulge in their gossip, for it will taint you. Proverbs 20:19 NASB plainly says, “Therefore do not associate with a gossip.” Simply put: keep away from those who are always meddling in others’ affairs, tearing people down, and sharing salacious details of folks’ lives. There is no way to associate with a messy person and not get some dirt on you. Just as sure as they talk about other people to you, they will talk about you to other people. You don’t have time to dwell on nonsense. Philippians 4:8 says you should be thinking about true, honest, lovely things, and good reports—not nasty, negative gossip.

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6 Commandments For Dealing With Drama-Starters  was originally published on praisecleveland.com