mental health · relationships · selfhelp

How to Deal with Toxic People

We can all level on this one.

We all have, or have had, negative and toxic people in our lives. These are the people who are negative talkers and thinkers. These are the people who don’t support your dreams, or put you down. The people who make you wonder why you make time for them after each instance you part ways. Sometimes, they even sabotage or manipulate you in small ways to hinder your success.

Often these toxic people are also the people you know and love. Your long time friend, your siblings, your mom. And sometimes they can bring you down with the little things – like questioning your choices, hindering your healthy lifestyle changes, or just plain infecting your space with negative energy. Energy is contagious; the more that you surround yourself with negative people and influences, the more negative you yourself will become. So be careful with this one.

I went through this with a friend. I didn’t notice it at first the affect that she had n me, until I realized that every time we parted ways following plans, I never felt good after. About myself. And so, I was forced to evaluate why.

Now I see so clearly that it’s because she tended to stew about negative stuff every time we got together, and talk in circles about it. I suppose I jumped in and spiraled with her , and that’s on me. And interestingly enough, she also made me feel guilty when I made healthy eating choices, criticizing me for not indulging with her… every time.

She put down my goals and dreams; she tried to hold me down – so I wouldn’t fly away.

So what can we do about these people? The short answer… is nothing. You can’t change other people; only how you react to them. You have to learn to silence the noise and follow what you know is right. Don’t allow these people to have such a stronghold over you that they wield the power to severely obstruct your life.

If said toxic person will remain in your life, my advice is this: love them from a distance. I’m not talking about abandoning anyone you care about; I’m talking about taking space and loving them from within the boundaries you have. Speak your mind and let them know where you draw the line between a healthy and unhealthy relationship. In my particular situation, I did fly away.

My friend was not a close friend, and I knew that the best thing for both of us was going to be to part ways; we weren’t a good match.

 

Despite what we’d like to believe, we don’t have the power to change another person. It’s important to care for yourself and remember your needs. Be good to yourselves – and watch out for those toxic people! 

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