Whether your boss is an aggressive egotist, your buddy is a pessimistic drag, or your mother is a persistent nagger dealing with toxic people is unavoidable.
However, the way you respond to toxic people is your choice.
People who suck the life out of you with complaints, constant negativity, gossip, or selfishness are damaging.
You Need To Be On Your Guard
Many of us go our entire lives accepting and taking the damage and negativity that others dish out.
Time to stop that foolishness.
You and everyone else deserve better from the people around them. Don’t allow others to steal your sense of self and cause chaos in your life.Toxic people have the ability to negatively influence the way you feel, think, and behave. Click To Tweet
Their ability to introduce unnecessary stress into your life is frightening, and in the ensuing chaos, it becomes all too easy to get dragged down.
What Do You Mean By Toxic?
We often hear the phrase of ‘toxic people’ but what does it really mean? A toxic person is someone who is predominantly out for their own gain and never thinks about you.
They are someone who is rarely happy for your accomplishments, and they try to bring you down. Frequently labelling it as ‘helping you’.
A toxic person is someone who uses you, whether for money or other reasons. If you find your ‘friend’ is only around when your wallet comes out, time to reconsider that friendship.
A toxic person is someone who is selfish and has little regard for your feelings. They will treat you badly, and an apology will never come. You may even feel that your friendship is incredibly one-sided. And that is because it is.
A common characteristic across toxic people is their complete self-absorption. Their emotions, needs, and wants are the only ones that matter.
Any effort to change their focus is futile. Because they have an ability to make it about them, their anger, their misery, their problems.
Using this as an example, you say, “My day at work was so rough…” and it gets answered with, “Think your day was rough? You should do my job! First, we get told…”
Then ensues a twelve-minute rant about the miseries and woes of co-workers, customers and management.
If your original statement does get addressed, it is likely to be dismissed or downplayed. “I hear you. We all get bad days, but at least your job is better than mine. And that is something you should be glad about.”
The toxic people and relationships you allow into your life consume your energy, your time, your resources, and your sense of well-being. Until you have nothing left.
Better Mental Health
We have all been there, for the sake of your dignity, your other friendships, or your wallet, you still don’t want to lose that toxic person from your life. Then what about doing it for your mental health?
When you start cutting these people out of your life, you’ll feel a massive sense of relief, not just physically, but mentally too.
An essential part of protecting your mental health is singling out the people who don’t bring positivity to your life.
When you only keep those who make you feel worthy in your life, it will make you feel happier, and most importantly, it will give you a sense of control over your life.
Effects Of Toxicity
How do you know when toxic people are getting the best of you? There are several ways you know a toxic person is having too great an effect on you. From my personal experience here are the five most common ways.
Your Self-Esteem Suffers
Toxic people tend to be insulting, rude, and sometimes even degrading. When this happens it is easy it is easy to wallow in thoughts like, “My brother makes me feel bad about myself.”
However, your self-worth is up to you and you alone.
Yes, others can influence your sense of self-worth. But you should never let your self-esteem be entirely dependent on someone else.
You Talk About Them Often
All that grumbling to your spouse about your manipulative sibling or your complaining to co-workers about your insensitive and rude boss takes time and energy. A lot of time and energy and don’t forget emotion.
Talking about toxic people means you are also thinking about them. Thinking of these toxic people when they are not even around gives them a tremendous amount of power over you and your life.
They Are The Excuse For Your Behaviour
When you fall victim to a toxic person’s manipulation, it is all too easy to blame them for your behaviour and the choices you make. A clear sign that a toxic person has power over you is when you place blame for what’s going on in your life on them.
Accept personal responsibility for whom you spend your time with and how you spend it. And then accept that you are in charge of your life. You choose your behaviour, no one else does. They are not the reason for your behaviour.
You Fail To Set Healthy Boundaries
A toxic individual’s aggressive and manipulative tactics make it difficult to set healthy boundaries. We can all get caught off-guard by our friend’s harsh words, and it is all too easy for a co-worker’s brash rudeness to leave us speechless.
When you set healthy boundaries, you buffer yourself from their toxic effect. It is then possible to emotionally protect yourself from their grasp.
You Rely On Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms
Indulging in a few extra helpings of comfort food or lingering in the pub for another a drink may make you feel better in the moment. However, over the long term, these are unhealthy coping mechanisms.
And they can cause more problems. If you are resorting to a speedy cure or a quick fix to help cope with the stress, then that toxic individual may still have power over your life for many more years to come.
Why You Need To Be Free
If toxic people are getting the better of you, it is crucial to limit their influence.
That may mean to no longer waste your time thinking about that person. However, in more serious cases, it may mean losing toxic people from your life.
There are two reasons why most toxic relationships end. The non-toxic person comes to the realisation that nothing will change and makes a choice to walk away.
Or the toxic person gets bent out of shape by a perceived slight or minor misunderstanding. Then they cut the non-toxic person out of their life like a piece that no longer fits.
That might strike you as odd. That for all their issues, toxic people are amongst the most unforgiving and judgmental personalities.
If you make a mistake, toxic people won’t forget it. They may say that they forgive you but the repeated references to that transgression you did eight years ago tells a different story.
How To Free Yourself
Losing the toxic people in your life is not easy, but there are 3 steps that will help:
Establish Clear Boundaries
Clear boundaries are integral in maintaining your health and your sanity. Make the decision that if people are not respecting your boundaries, then they aren’t respecting you.
What are your own personal boundaries? Take a moment to reflect on them. Ensure they are clearly established in your thinking.
And don’t be afraid to inform others when they cross them. Afterwards, you do not apologise for establishing boundaries or enforcing them.
Know Toxins Linger
Toxic people do not just go away. In biology, to eradicate toxins, they must encounter more powerful forces.
Toxic people may push back and become irrational, angry, or act like victims. Don’t procrastinate or waste time justifying yourself. Simply tell them the truth and be firm and consistent in your decision.
The seeds of toxicity develop stubborn roots, so it is beneficial to recognise the signs that a person is toxic quickly. Avoidance is one way to protect yourself from toxic people.
Consider how you protect yourself from catching a cold. Several times through the day you will wash your hands and you avoid contact with infected people. You can do the same with toxic people as long as you can recognise the toxicity.
Things to watch out for are people who invade your space, negatively affect your other relationships and consume large amounts of your time. Trust your intuition, if a person makes you feel uncomfortable or unproductive, chances are they are probably toxic.
Negativity Is Contagious
We should make it our aim to surround ourselves with people who encourage our dreams, support our goals, and make us feel happier simply by being around them.
Don’t wait any longer, every moment is valuable. The longer you persist in allowing yourself to be subjected to unhealthy relationships, the greater likelihood that fear, guilt, and self-doubt will take up permanent residence in your life.Make every moment count. Click To Tweet
Toxic people are naturally drawn to those who are giving, trusting and empathetic. And it can be difficult for people with those qualities to do what it takes to free themselves.
Some of us even feel that we are being mean or harsh. But accept that you need to defend yourself and your mental health.
Hold firm and don’t waver. Remember, you are doing this for your own good. And be prepared when the backlash of negativity manifests itself. It will impact both you and may impact those around you.
You have to value your emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health over the value of that toxic relationship to do whatever it takes to get rid of that toxic relationship.
When you remove a toxic person from your life, you go through an adjustment period. During this, you might second-guess your decision or even rationalise the behaviour of the toxic person.
The simple fact is that we need relationships, but we don’t need every relationship.
Surrounding yourself with the right kind of people is essential. Positive people who will bring you up, rather than pull you down.
You don’t have to allow your own kindness to control you. No purpose is served in sacrificing your sanity, so you don’t hurt someone else’s feelings.
Toxic People Poison Your Life
But, you do need to have the courage to tell a toxic person the truth. And the most obvious reason that we don’t is that we like to avoid conflict and don’t want to hurt another person’s feelings.
Losing the toxic people from your life means you will be dedicating more time to your own needs. This period of reflection gives you the freedom to realise exactly who and what you want from life.Losing the so called 'friends’ who are toxic will allow you to focus on the ones who are genuinely there for you. Click To Tweet
As a result, your friendships grow stronger, and your sense of trust does too. You will be astonished how much a friendship can develop when you decide to make the moments count, and you put your all into it.
And you’ll have more free time to do this when you lose all of the toxic people who bring nothing but negativity into your life.