We all know them. Everyone has at least one toxic person in their lives. A close relative, significant other, or friend. They can be draining, upsetting and make you feel insecure or doubt yourself. However, there are some things you can do to deal with these toxic people. Keep reading for more information.
The first thing you can do, if at all possible, is to cut down time that you spend with these people before they sabotage you completely. They usually are the ones calling you all the time, making you feel guilty, or deliberately causing mental anguish. You need to be able to tell them no. If they call more than once a day, let their calls go to voicemail. If they want to see you multiple times a week, cut that down to one. If you can’t avoid them altogether, do your best to restrict interactions with them. If you can cut the toxic person completely out of your life, it would be even better.
The next thing you might want to do is to examine why they are so toxic to you. This is something you can do on your own. You need to ask yourself why they trigger the negative feelings. Are you afraid you will end up like them? Are you sad that they are that way? Are you telling yourself they won’t have friends if you left? Getting to the root of why you feel the way you do toward them, you can better find ways to cope. For instance, if you are afraid that you will turn out like them, before you see them outline all the ways you are different.
You can also talk to the toxic person. There is a chance that they are unaware they are so negative towards or around you. Ask if you can sit down and talk. Focus on how you feel when they do specific behaviors or actions they take, which cause you to feel as if you no longer want to be around them. If they are willing to change, that is a good sign. If they become belligerent and start attacking you instead, leave the situation. It is best to not re-engage with the person and not see them again.
Do your best not to get into an argument with a toxic person. Toxic people like to argue and are often very good at manipulating the conversation to their advantage, which is probably what triggers you to want to avoid them. This is generally because they want to be in control and when they can’t control you, they don’t like it. However, you control the way you feel, what you say, and what you do. You don’t need to get into every argument they want to have with you. Simply take a few deep breaths, excuse yourself a moment, leave, or hang up the phone. When they see you are not going to argue with them, often they will stop.
Find new friends to spend time with. Find like-minded, supportive people to talk to and do things with. This can be a great way for you to forget about the toxic people in your life. If you are spending time with good friends, you won’t have that much time to deal with any toxicity. You can at least limit your exposure.
It is difficult to avoid all toxic people all the time, especially if they are family. BUT you can limit the time you spend with them. Remember, you control you, how you feel, and what you do … nobody else does. Don’t allow a toxic person to bring you down and certainly don’t allow them space in your head. You deserve better.