A Few Simple Ways to Deal With Toxic People in Your Life
Toxic people in your life? This isn’t an easy topic for everyone to dig into, but it’s essential that we do, and that we dig into the places that might be a little painful. It’s like getting a massage when your muscles hurt like hell, but the only way to get the pain to go away is to dig in… and dig in hard.
Our job is to make our path as clear as possible to do what we genuinely want to do, and that means we just can’t have toxic people in standing the way. It may sound a little harsh, but it’s a necessary reality that all of us must deal with, and that time is right now.
What is a toxic person? And what does the word “toxic” mean?
That word does sound a bit vague, so I’ll define what I mean when I write here about “being toxic” so that we’re on the same page.
Toxic people (from my lens) cause you harm, even if subconsciously. Toxic people are poisonous in how they do things, and their behavior is highly unpleasant or malicious towards others. And to add one more piece, as PsychCentral states, “Often the phrase ‘toxic person’ is used to describe someone who is subtly or outwardly manipulative, self-centered, needy, or controlling.”
Ironically, most toxic people don’t know they’re toxic, making this “clearing of toxic people” situation difficult to manage.
No matter how hard it seems, we must not allow toxic people to take us, and keep us, down. There is no way for us to reach the stars (that ultimate place we dream about) when others are dragging us down or making us feel guilt, shame, and other self deprecating feelings with the intent to ensure that we don’t rise above a particular place.
We don’t deserve that shit, and we have to be empowered enough to choose otherwise, but we don’t have to do the “dealing with” aspect with cruelty. I’ll share more about a few easy ways to make this process more straightforward.
When we were little kids, we didn’t have much choice as to who was in our circles, but as we get older, we can make choices. Too often, we get stuck in this place of obligation, and with that can come all the emotions of guilt, shame, inadequacy, and fear.
The thing we’ve got to realize is that we only cause ourselves harm when we don’t rid our lives of the people that are toxic to us. It’s that simple.
PsychCentral also states, “In addition, research suggests that some people who behave in toxic ways may have certain ‘dark core’ personality traits. These traits manifest as a tendency to put their goals and interests above all others while justifying their behavior to avoid guilt or shame.”
Toxic people that try to keep us down aren’t working for our higher good, they’re doing the opposite. If they manage to keep you down at their level, everything is cool with them, which is probably a place where you’re miserable. But as soon as you rise above or start succeeding, game over.
On your journey through life, please remember that not everyone wants to see you succeed.
It’s vital to be on the lookout when you feel people are not there for your higher good, and be open enough to see if they’re acting like weights keeping you anchored down.
Here are a few easy things that you can do to start clearing the path of the toxic people in your life:
If possible, slowly separate yourself from this person’s web (hopefully, you can do so entirely over time). If you have to live near or work with this person, it’s more difficult, but the point is to stop engaging. When they come at you or need something from you, this is a time when you start to say you can’t and have other plans (and never offer the “what” you’re doing instead, that’s none of their damn their business).
This may be harder if the person is someone you must be around, but how you respond to them is crucial. The key will be NOT to engage, not to show much emotion, and to start slowly stepping away out of their reach, so to speak. No response will make toxic people go to others to get that negative energy fix, so make them go elsewhere. Over time you’ll probably notice that you didn’t have to do anything; they just couldn’t get the negative energy from you, so they went elsewhere to siphon it from someone else. (And hope it’s not someone you know!)
Tell this person (or persons) no thank you and move on (quietly without them knowing why). We don’t have to give reasons for stepping away from toxic people that treat us harshly. You can care for and love people from afar and forgive people, and they never even have to know that you did. The essence of this tip is to let go all at once if you can.
As adults, we have this beautiful thing called choice, and if someone is toxic and making you feel less-than or worse, if you feel miserable around them, it’s time to say “Bye Felicia”. Just delete their number, or block it, and let go. The weight you can feel lifting by forgiving them (for your sake) and not interacting with them anymore will create space in your life for things that align with you to come in. Space equates to new things, so the only thing you must do is to get clear on what you want and look forward to having more of that.
Don’t be afraid of speaking up and saying that you will no longer accept a specific behavior. This is the hardest of the three because it will require confrontation. You don’t have to be cruel about it, but you need to show you’ve got your own voice. Frequently, toxic people are very trauma-ridden. They’ve got so much pain inside them that they are oblivious that they treat others like total shit. This is when boundaries come into play, and those are essential to put into place when dealing with the toxic people in your life.
Boundaries need to become your best friend. This can be as simple as just saying no to something and not allowing someone to manipulate or control you. It won’t end the behavior, but it may tell them that something is changing in you. If you are dealing with someone who is abusive to you, that’s when I’ve got to say that you should turn to someone professionally that can help you. It’s vital to assess the KIND of the toxic person you’re dealing with.
I know that I say “simple” and realize that these options above might not feel that way. But, believe me, if you employ one of these based on the “who” that you’re dealing with and the level of toxicity, it is easier than you think to start clearing your path of individuals who just aren’t good for you on your journey. The first step is the thing that matters the most and is always the start.
Again, you don’t have to stamp them out like they never existed (unless that option is best, and sometimes it is), but we all have to remember that it is our choice and human right to surround ourselves with people who make us feel like we can be 100% who we truly are, and love us for it. We should never have to be in a superficial relationship that makes us feel unhappy. Life is fleeting, and we must ensure we don’t sell ourselves short.
It’s vital to be on the lookout when you feel some people are not there for your higher good and be open enough to see if they’re acting like weights keeping you anchored down.
The 3 ways that I recommend to start clearing your path of toxic people in your life is to:
If possible, slowly separate yourself from this person’s web (hopefully, you can do so entirely over time).
Tell this person (or persons) no thank you and move on (quietly without them knowing why).
Don’t be afraid of speaking up and saying that you will no longer accept a specific behavior. This is the hardest of the three because it will require confrontation.
Who is a toxic person(s) in your life?
How can you implement any of the ideas listed above? (Start with one and remember that you deserve to feel good and be happy.)
Get empowered to turn your “disasters” (because they’re not REALLY disasters) into dreams, and clear out the things that do not add value to your life any longer, grab my book!