During my 30 years on this earth, I’ve encountered my fair share of toxic people. Over time I learned how to deal with them. Most of them I cut off from my life. Some were harder to cut off than others, but in the end, I always felt better when I removed that person from my life.
There are some people that we can’t just cut of *cough cough* (certain family members). Those types of toxic people are a little harder to deal with. However, before we go any further let’s talk about what a toxic person is.
1. They talk more than they listen.
A toxic person has narcissistic tendencies. They have a difficult time focusing on things that don’t directly affect them, so instead they circulate conversations around their thoughts, feelings, and actions. They listen half-heartedly, with mechanical nods and unenthusiastic mumblings rather than genuinely trying to engage in a two-way conversation.
2. They are never wrong.
It’s much easier to simply agree with whatever this person says, especially when they are passionately attached to a topic. Disagreeing or arguing is a gratuitous venture that results in hurt feelings and defensive language. It’s simply not worth it.
3. The drama follows them everywhere they go.
Something is always wrong. Always. Once a single problem is solved, another emerges. All issues are equally distressing to them, and extreme sympathy and coddling are expected. If you try to offer advice, it’s likely they’ll find a reason that it can’t or won’t work, exhibiting a victim mentality that can be fixed.
4. They force relationships.
Toxic people exaggerate relationships and force feelings in order to validate the relationship to others. If they make a positive connection with someone, that person quickly becomes a best friend or true love. Evidence of the relationship (photos, texting screenshots, inside jokes) is very important to them, as it proves to everyone else the “unique” connection they have with someone.
5. Their experience is the standard by which everything should be judged.
Toxic people have a tendency to use their own life experiences as the example by which everyone else should live. They have a hard time separating situations into individual circumstances and will judge your actions on their past situations as if they are identical. If they couldn’t maintain a long distance relationship, neither could you. If they hated yoga, it would be a waste of your time.
6. They often lie.
Telling lies, big or small, really isn’t an issue for people with toxic personalities. These lies benefit them in some way, which makes it easy for them to justify the lie. Their happiness prevails over others (another narcissistic tendency), and if lying is a means to that end, then so be it.
7. They lack tact and general courtesy.
Derogatory statements, brutal “honesty,” and stark humor indicate a lack of empathy toward others and a need to assert superiority. Often times these people boast about their honesty and tell-it-like-it-is attitude and therefore don’t see the harm in what they say. This trait is often coupled with becoming defensive when similar “truth” is fired back at them.
8. They exhibit controlling behaviors.
If you feel pressured to act or feel a certain way according to someone else’s desires, it’s likely part of their toxic personality to make you feel that way. No one should have to pretend to be someone they aren’t in order to feel included or liked.
9. They love to talk about other people.
The only purpose gossiping serves is to bring others down in order to bolster one’s own image, which demonstrates poor self-esteem. A toxic person constantly speaks negatively about others; they rarely find decent or kind things to say. They also have a hard time sincerely acknowledging others’ accomplishments.
Not all toxic people embody every one of these characteristics, but having even a few is a good sign that this person should be removed from your life. These people drain energy and leave us mentally and emotionally exhausted. If you recognize these traits in someone you know, it’s time to cut the cord.
I’ve suspected that someone in my life is a toxic person, but after I read this it confirmed my intuition. I can’t completely cut off said person. So I’m left with the dilemma of how to deal with them.
1. Slowly distance yourself. Don’t cut them off completely at one time. This could lead to unnecessary tension and drama. Each day slowly cut off communication with that person.
2. Keep it short and sweet. When this person does contact you be nice but keep it short. Don’t give them more information than they need.
3. Protect Your Heart and Emotions. Chances are this toxic person has hurt you. During your time separating from them focus on healing the pain they’ve caused in your life.
4. Be happy. Don’t focus on the loss of this person in your life. Rejoice in the fact that you no longer have this toxic energy in your life.
I’m currently following these steps to separate myself from this negative person.
Have you ever dealt with a toxic person? How did you handle it?