Toxic people are dangerous. From causing extreme stress to slowing your progress, they can be a massive drain on your time and happiness.
We all know that person — the one who leaves you feeling worse off after interacting with them. Maybe it’s a manipulative family member or a co-worker who can’t stop complaining about every little thing. Here this is…
Signs And Ways To Cutting Toxic People
They disrespect your boundaries
Toxic people don’t know when to quit. It doesn’t matter if you’ve told them to stop behaving in a certain way — a toxic person will continue to disregard your boundaries. While well-adjusted people have no problem with respecting boundaries, a toxic person thrives on walking all over you.
Avoid playing into their reality
Some people have a tendency to see themselves as the victim in every situation. If they mess up, they might shift the blame to someone else or tell a story that paints them in a more positive light.
You might feel tempted to nod and smile in order to prevent an angry outburst. This might feel like the safest option, but it can also encourage them to see you as a supporter.
They’re manipulative and controlling.
A manipulative person can be difficult to detect. They may be outright selfish and coercive, or they’ll use subtle methods like gaslighting to make you doubt yourself. For toxic people, or someone who is insecure in themselves, it’s all about taking control over you.
Don’t get drawn in
Dealing with someone’s toxic behavior can be exhausting. The person might constantly complain about others, always have a new story about unfair treatment, or even accuse you of wronging them or not caring about their needs.
Resist the urge to jump on the complaining train with them or defend yourself against accusations. Instead, respond with a simple, “I’m sorry you feel that way,” and leave it at that.
There’s a difference between the occasional exaggeration, and blatant pathological liars. Toxic people are consistently dishonest, even about small things. Whether they’re lying to mask their low self-esteem, or they’re using it as a manipulative tool, a repeated pattern of deceit is a sure sign of toxicity.
Pay attention to how they make you feel
Sometimes simply becoming more aware of how someone’s toxic behavior affects you can help you better navigate interactions with them.
Most people occasionally say rude or hurtful things they don’t mean. No one feels their best all the time, and being in a bad mood can make you lash out. This isn’t necessarily toxic.
But ask yourself if put-downs, lies, or other types of emotional and verbal abuse characterize most of your interactions. Do they apologize or seem to notice how what they say or do affects you?
They always have to be right
There’s no use arguing with a toxic person — they’re always going to be right (even when they’re not). They’ll blame other people and tell lies before admitting to being wrong and they’ll never apologize. And while they’ll never own up to their mistakes, they’re more than happy to berate and broadcast yours.
They’re always the victim
Bad things happen to everyone, but a toxic person always seems to be the victim of the world. They love to blame others for their problems, and they’re incapable of taking any personal responsibility for their actions or emotions. They thrive on sympathy and attention, and would rather mope around than work to solve their problems.
It’s time cutting toxic people out of your life
Talk to them about their behavior
First, Someone who gossips, manipulates others, or creates dramatic situations night not realize how their behavior affects you or anyone else. An open conversation may help them realize this behavior is unacceptable.
To keep things neutral, try to stick to “I statements,” which feel less accusatory for the other person, and set boundaries that work for you.
Stand your ground
When deciding to cut a toxic relationship out of your life, there is a chance that you may experience backlash. A toxic person is not likely to immediately go away or change their behavior just because you asked them to. They may make promises that they will change or attempt to manipulate the situation, sometimes even making you feel like it was your fault. No matter what they do, stand your ground. Be upfront with them about why you are choosing to move on with your life and stick to it. Although this conversation can feel uncomfortable, it is necessary for your mental safety and stability. You can be kind, but you must be firm.
Put yourself first
On the flip side, behavior doesn’t have to be abuse or spiteful to be toxic. Other behaviors can be just as damaging.
Maybe the person in question “desperately needs” your help to get them out of a bind — every time you see them. Or, Sueskind says, “you’re always giving and they’re always taking, or you feel like their emotional stability depends on you.”
You might value your relationship with this person, but don’t offer support at the risk of your own well-being.
“Healthy relationships involve give and take,” Sueskind explains. In other words, you offer support, but you receive support, too.
Setting boundaries is an important tool to keep you from accidentally slipping back to old habits. For example, if you have decided that you will cut all contact with a toxic person, take measures to eliminate your ability to reach out to them and prevent them from reaching out to you. Block or delete their number, email address, and social media accounts. Remember that it is equally important for you to maintain your boundaries as it is for them to respect the boundaries you set.
Say no (and walk away)
Have a hard time turning people down? You aren’t alone.
Sticking to a refusal can also be tough, especially when someone tries to guilt trip you into changing your mind.
But if you do decide to say, “No,” don’t back down. This may prove challenging, especially when they use a dramatic outburst to try to get their way. But the more you practice saying “no” to things you aren’t comfortable with, the easier it becomes.
Find your support system
Removing a toxic person from your life is a difficult process that can make you feel numerous negative emotions. It is important to find a healthy support network that you can depend on to help you maneuver through this painful time. Surround yourself with people who bring you joy and lift you up. Reach out to friends and family who will be there to listen, validate, and help you move forward.
In some cases, a toxic relationship can isolate a person from their friends, family, and others who might serve as a support system. Don’t hesitate to make first contact; you might be amazed by how many of those friends and family members have been waiting for this day and will welcome you back with open arms. In other cases, reaching out to a mental health professional who can help you through this new chapter is the healthiest decision you can make.
Remember, you aren’t at fault
Toxic behavior can make you feel like you did something wrong, even when you know you didn’t.
It’s tough to face attacks from someone who behaves in a toxic manner. They might get personal, try to twist your words, or accuse you of wanting to hurt them. At some point, you might even second guess yourself and rack your brain for something you might’ve done.
But remind yourself their behavior has nothing to do with you. Restate your boundaries and try not to take their spite personally. Take deep breaths to calm yourself or mindfully acknowledge their words so you can let them go without being affected.
Although removing toxic people from your life won’t always be a walk in the park, sometimes it’s the best thing you can do for your mental and physical well-being. It might not take you long to think of which person or people in your life are unhealthy for you. They may treat you cruelly, manipulate you, or criticize you constantly. They may cause you to feel bad about yourself to the point that the shame drives you to engage in destructive behaviors. Interacting with someone like this can constitute emotional abuse.