There are toxic people all around us. They can be our coworkers, friends, schoolmates, girlfriend, boyfriend, and there are even toxic people within our own family.
Anyone can be a toxic person; it doesn’t have to be a pure enemy. Someone who brings you down and makes you feel like you have no self-worth or is emotionally draining is a toxic person.
Yes, there is no denying that you can’t escape toxic people altogether. But there are ways you can eliminate the toxic people that are currently in your life and do your part in avoiding those type of people.
For the toxic people that are presently in your life, there is one thing you need to keep in mind. You can’t change these types of people.
They might say they can change, and you might think you could change them, but they can’t change. And you can’t change them.
Toxic people are motivated by the misery and suffering they can bring to other people. They thrive on the drama, which is why they are always starting fights with others.
They don’t like it when other people are happy or when someone is experiencing a happy moment like a wedding, becoming pregnant, or a birthday. They become angry and spiteful because they’re not the one who is experiencing a happy moment.
So, what do they do? They search for someone in that group to pick a fight with since they feel like they should be the only person to experience a happy moment. I’ve had my share of stress dealing with toxic people, so the advice I’m going to give comes from personal experience.
Maintain your boundaries.
Toxic people expect everyone to work around their schedule, and when they call you for help or to get together, they expect you to drop everything and be by their side. If you don’t do that, be sure to hear about it for years to come.
Don’t let that stop you from setting and maintaining your boundaries, and you don’t owe them 100 percent of your time. Let them know you can’t come over or talk since you’re busy or you’re at work, but if you can, then you’ll call them when you’re available.
If you’re not feeling up to hanging out with them, tell them you’re not in the mood to hang out with anyone today, and you rather spend time at home, alone.
They’re not going to like being told no or that you don’t want to hang out with them, but for the sake of your mental health, you need to be tough in maintaining your boundaries. If you’re not, they’re going to continue to walk all over you.
Carefully choose your battles.
Fighting with toxic people is not rewarding; it’s exhausting and time-consuming. When the toxic person in your life is trying to pick a fight with you, instead of being a willing participant, focus your time on deciding whether this fight deserves your time and energy.
Toxic people love drama, and they thrive off it, if you continue to be willing to fight back it tells them you’re a willing participant, and they’ll remember that for next time.
If you tell them you’re eager to fight back, they’ll always come to you when they want to pick a fight with someone since they know you’ll fight back and that’s what they want.
Of course, there’s a downside to fighting back. All you need to do is fight back once, and the toxic person will take that as an invitation to pick more fights with you.
So, in most cases, you only need to fight back once for the toxic person to see you as a willing participant.
Don’t give them the satisfaction of knowing you are willing to fight back and don’t fight back at all, not even once.
It’s better to ignore them and let them say whatever they want, lies and all then it is for you to defend yourself.
Fighting back with a toxic person does nothing for you and does wonders for them. In a way, they get off on the drama, so they’re going to seek it out, let them seek it out elsewhere and don’t give them the time of day.
Distance yourself from the toxic behavior.
Getting rid of a toxic person from your life isn’t easy, and in some cases not possible. But that doesn’t mean you have to endure their toxic behavior against your will.
In the process of trying to get rid of the destructive behavior, try distancing yourself from them. Don’t always be willing to spend time with them, as I mentioned above you don’t owe them 100 percent of your time.
You don’t owe them any of your time at all, so don’t give it to them or let them think they control your time. Try going a month without getting together or talking to them on the phone.
The goal is to eliminate them from your life, by avoiding them or dare I say it, ignoring them, will help in the elimination process.
If you need to, tell them you need a break from the friendship. There might come a time where you need to be blunt, and when that time comes, don’t be afraid to voice your feelings and concerns.
Sometimes being direct is the only way you can get through to a toxic person. So be bold, be brazen, and be ruthless. When it comes to your feelings and boundaries, you need to put yourself and your sanity first.
Block them on every social media account.
When you decide to eliminate someone from your life because of their toxic behavior, it’s a wise decision to block them on every social media account that they know you have.
For the accounts they’re unaware that you have, make sure you set your profile to private and don’t mention anything about social media in front of them.
If you’re going to eliminate them from your physical life, you need to remove them from your online presence. If you don’t, then it defeats the whole purpose of you getting rid of that sort of behavior.
Yeah, you might think it’s only Facebook or Twitter, and you’re not seeing them in person anymore, so where’s the harm?
The harm is still there, slowly draining your time and energy because they can be just as toxic online as they can in person. You’re still considered interacting with them when you talk to them online.
You don’t have to see them in person for them to pick a fight with you, disrespect your boundaries, or destroy your self-worth. Blocking them on social media might be a great start in eliminating the toxic person.
As you can see, trying to eliminate toxic people from your life is not an easy task. But it’s not entirely useless.
The advice I gave you might not do any good at ridding yourself from these people every time one of them gets involved in your life, but it can help you in what you could do to try to cut ties with the toxic people that currently reside in your life.
The next time you’re dealing with a toxic person, try incorporating this advice in your pursuit of eliminating the toxic. The worst that can happen is that it doesn’t help, and you need to find another approach.
But in the chance that it helps, you’re not only able to eliminate all those toxic negative people that do nothing but tear you apart; you also have a way in spotting that type of behavior in people, so you know who to avoid and how to protect yourself from future toxicity.
JennyB is a freelance content writer, blogger, and 3X Sepsis survivor. She’s also a Golden Girls enthusiast and Las Vegas fanatic. She writes about the daily struggles of living with chronic pain. She’s currently working on her Bachelor’s in Communication through BYU-I online. She is an advocate for survivors of Sepsis, Eating Disorders, and Sexual Assault and raises awareness through her writing. She hopes her writing will help the survivors she advocates for, and people who struggle with chronic pain. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.