6 Ways to Deal with Toxic People

6 Ways to Deal with Toxic People

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We all have those relationships that make us feel good and even bring out the best. On the other hand, there are also toxic people in our lives. And those are relationships that can completely drain our creative energy and tempt us to harbor negative feelings.

So, the question is, what do we do?  How do we effectively and compassionately deal with these toxic people, especially if they are people we really love or hold a long history with?

Smartly surviving this up-and-down battle can be confusing and even exhausting. But it doesn’t have to be. There are ways you can approach these relationships in a kind, peaceful and compassionate manner. In fact, with practice, you can protect your own energy – allowing yourself to project your light outward to them and even help them to transform into their truly happy, positive nature.

6 Compassionate Ways to Deal with Toxic People:

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1. Put feelings aside and rather than overlook them,  take a good look, at the effect they have on your life.

Sometimes when we really love someone we overlook their toxicity or make excuses for them. It can be easy to do if the person has a history of problems and hardship. However, this is allowing that person to be just the “way they are” – negative, unhappy, angry, dramatic, etc.

The truth is, this isn’t who they are at their core. Everyone has love in their heart and the potential to live a happy, fulfilled life. Toxic people have just built walls around this and they are blocking themselves off from what they deserve. As Eckhart Tolle said in his book, The Power of Now , their “pain body” wants to feed and so it attracts experiences to allow this toxicity to expand – you being one of the victims.

With that being said, examine how this person is treating you. Look at how it has affected your life and how long this has been going on. At some level, you attracted what you are experiencing. So, the best thing to do is to look for the lesson in the pain and declare that you won’t allow this person to treat you like this anymore.

In fact, even if this person doesn’t change, their attitude around you will change. When you mindfully and verbally declare your power over this person and your future situations (releasing the fear and judgment from the past), you may notice that even though they are still a toxic person, they won’t be around you.

2. Honestly and peacefully let them know their toxic behavior is not acceptable anymore.

One of the best things you can be in life is HONEST. Life rewards you for your honesty. While it can be challenging to confront a toxic person, because they may not even recognize their own behavior, it’s best for them and you to tell them about themselves. Prepare yourself mentally not to accept any type of rejection or upset they may spew at you. Stay strong and remember that you aren’t dealing with a level-headed person right now, they are FULL of toxicity. In that toxic negative energy is also denial.

The good news is they say denial is the first stage of acceptance. They will need time to think and absorb what you said. Give them time. Let them know you are there for them and can help them work through it if you want to. Briefly give them a few positive outlets or resources that will leave the light on for them (like the Power of Positivity).

Most importantly, let them know you will no longer accept their behavior. This is where YOUR power shines through. This is where you stand up and confront what you no longer deserve.

3. Don’t take personal responsibility for their behavior.

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Sometimes in these situations, people tend to blame themselves for the toxic people in their life. But that’s far from the truth; they have very little to no responsibility for the behavior of others.  This is mostly due to the fact that toxic people put blame on things outside of themselves – usually blaming the victim.  If this is the case for you, release the need to take any responsibility for them. They have the ability to control their emotions just like anyone else. Recommend or give them “Emotional Freedom” by Judith Orloff.

Our society has been taught very little about how to control emotions, but it’s one of the biggest skills we need to learn to be happy and have great relationships with others.

4. Send blessings and positive, healing vibes their way.

When you’re down, doesn’t it feel wonderful to have someone just come give you a big hug for no other reason?  Well, that’s the way most people feel. It is okay and healthy to give hugs or at the least, send positive thoughts and healing well wishes their way. Holding on to anger, resentment or hatred will only affect you and keep you from living your happiest life.

If you can’t bear to communicate with them, then try to communicate with your higher source to send blessings their way.   Remember that when someone is living a toxic, negative lifestyle, they need your positive energy the most.

5. Decide to either help them or move on.

Ultimately, it’s important to decide how you want to move forward with the toxic people in your life. It’s okay to limit a toxic relationship, but it’s also important to remember the compassionate aspect of life – that we’re all in this together and need each others’ support.  It’s really best to follow your intuition and feeling in the right direction.

You can also end a relationship with a toxic person and still be compassionate toward them at the same time.  If you don’t want to speak with them, you can even just send a text, email, or write an old-fashioned letter.  Sometimes it’s best to limit your communication,  but if the person is really affecting you in a very negative way and you see no sign of improvement, it might be time to move on. You deserve to be treated with love and respect.

6. Take time to clear your mind and free your spirit.

While you are detoxing and cleansing your life, it’s important to get out into nature or participate in your favorite hobby/activity that will clear your mind. Handling toxic people is not an easy task. Stress can build up and affect your life in a big way unless you stop and take care of yourself. You can spend it with loved ones or completely alone.  Either way, do something that completely takes your mind off of everything so you can free your spirit and cleanse your energy.

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It’s your turn . . .

How do YOU deal with toxic people?

33 thoughts on “6 Ways to Deal with Toxic People

  1. Thank you for the kind words- they mean a lot 🙂 It really is frustrating, and I try to keep in mind that she has mental issues (anyone who harbors that much hatred has to).She was mentally abusive when I was a kid, and now that I'm 47 it still hasn't changed other than to become more intense. It just feels like I am doing a prison sentence for crimes I never committed 🙁 .

  2. I wish you all the luck in your situation — every situation is entirely different. Only you can take care of yourself. Just because my mother is mentally ill, doesn't condone the emotional abuse she spews out. Ultimately, she wants visits (if only to keep a possible victim nearby). But, if she abuses — then no visits. Hope this helps you, Cynthia….

  3. Specifically — the most important thing my therapist taught me to do when Toxic attacks is: tell the person — in a very calm, unemotional voice — that "this behavior will stop now, or I will leave now". Even if I have just arrived, I leave (or hang up the phone) If this means re-scheduling something, so be it. They need immediate consequences. My mother is beyond discussing things logically. But this simple immediate consequence has accomplished wonders. It's a pain to do in the beginning 'teaching' phase, because I travel hour to see her. At first, that meant that I simply drove back home right away. Not a wasted trip, because she saw I was serious. If she wants to visit, she must 'behave' well enough to warrant a visit.

  4. so sorry that you have a similar mother to me….. Mine is also elderly, but my sister does most of the immediate care-taking, and takes most of the heat. That is a very common thing to happen to care-takers: they are the easiest target, because they are around the most. It must be SO difficult to take, in this situation, because you are the one HELPING that person, yet get the attacks. Very unfair — but very common. Try not to take it personally, although that's not an easy thing to do…. and remember to take time for yourself. And, that might mean — taking time away from the toxic person, even if for only 10 min — just to clear your head….

  5. I saw a few good points in this article, however, I don't feel like I attract the behavior. My toxic person is my elderly mother, who has no one else willing to take care of her. She is very toxic, and directs her hatred at me, since I am the handy target. I wish I could get some ideas for coping in my situation, as it wears on my heart and soul, and even causes physical symptoms (like psoriasis outbreaks and hives) to come out. It's very difficult to live with someone who literally hates your guts and makes absolutely no effort to hide the fact. It's even worse when that person is your own mother.

  6. Amy Rosenthal our lives are a reflection of our thoughts. People who know about positive thinking and do their best have a hard time around people who want to complain because 4 things. ..We are already having a hard time remembering and being positive in a negative environment. To many, it is a battle. We know the complaining is draining our energy by listening to it, and it makes us feel bad our friends are having a hard time. We know complaining will only create MORE to complain about. We know we become like those we associate with, so we try to minimize the time we spend with chronic complainers. The thing to remember is you do NOT have to tell all your problems to people. Its NOT that we dont care, most of the time there isnt anything we can do about it. Yes, pain and grief are part of life. Its there to give us an idea what its like, but we have free will to change our thoughts to a way that feels better. Gratitude ALWAYS works! I hope this helps <3

  7. I'm 15 and going through a lot of emotional and mental trauma and change, and I feel like a lot of the problems I'm having right now are caused by my grandma's negativity and bitterness and my mom's negative attitude. My situation would take a while to explain and it's really complicated but.. Something bad happened that separated my family 2 1/2 years ago, I was living with my aunt and uncle for 2 years and in July me and my mom came here to live with my grandparents (my mom came 2-3 months later) because we needed a change and I thought I'd be happier here. It was ok the first couple months before my mom came and the first month my mom was here was ok but since then, it's gradually gotten harder to live here and be around them. I think my grandma and mom are toxic people in my life right now. It'd take awhile to explain everything going on but all I know right now is that I've been away from my mom for awhile and we're finally back together and I just want my mommy back. It's like she's a different person.. It kills me to see her so unhappy and it affects me more than anyone knows.. Is there a website for kids dealing with stress and depression that anybody knows about? Just someplace where I have someone to talk to and explain it better? Please help….

  8. I agree, Loor. I have a lot of hardship in my life right now and instead of coming alongside me, many friends who live in captivity to the "positive thinking" cults have labeled me "toxic" and abandoned me. Most of these people, interestingly enough, are generally unhappy and have never been able to sustain any long term relationships. Makes me wonder who is actually toxic. But the bottom line is if you think you must abandon anyone who is having a difficult time and fails to be happy go lucky enough for you, you will ultimately find yourself alone. Life is hard and pain and grief will come to all of us.

  9. Well loor, I truly dont care that u think its not right to call these people toxic,but it is what it is.we all deal with something on a daily basis, whether it be negative or positive, but it how u choose to deal with it
    Is a problem.just because u may have been dealt a shitty hand in life, doesnt give no one the right to take it out on someone else.do I feel sorry cause u got problems, yea maybe I do, but dont take it out on someone and think they need to be ok with it.yea and you do wish these people would disappear from your life by any means, because you have become tired of their bullshit.for you to say what you say,is like giving a bully the right to torment, because maybe they had a bad life.keep on thinking the way your thinking, and give every excuse as to why these people need to be excused for their mistreatment of others, because I refuse to.they are just as the topic states, TOXIC, and I hope you never have to deal with someone like that, or maybe you need to, so the next time you want to protect them from being labeled negatively, youll come back to this sight with a different perpective on what a TOXIC person is

  10. Some people really are toxic because they change our demeanor and our happiness. I chose to rid my life of those who are most toxic and I am so much happier that I almost skip like a child through each day!

  11. I recognized how my lack of assertiveness or shyness had led to their aggressive nature. Now when they try to put one over on me I have ready statements and they know I will no longer accept their themed attacks. Cutting the conversation away from their favorite topics in planned transition statements also helps.

  12. They may have issue, but they are toxic to your health.i know ine and have been dealing with it for over 25 years, and its hard to remove myself just yet, becsuse I work with this person, but what they dont know is that when I retire (in 1yr) this relationship is capute.im going to walk away like that frienshio never happened, because ive dealt with a mean, angry, nasty, negative, blaming, gossiping spirit for too damn long

  13. I would have agreed with Laura 8 years ago. But then a truly toxic person entered my life. There are toxic people in the world that others might label sociopath, psychopath, or narcissist. They are real and can drain you of everything good inside while dragging you into a dark vortex. This article is great! I do believe they have suffered and the loving spirit is buried in pain with no way out. The compassion is important in handling the disruption but you also need to take care of yourself and that sometimes means saying goodbye. This is one of the most concise articles I've read on the subject.

  14. Loor the article is not BS. As you grow older you will have a chance to deal with more and more people and yes some will be toxic. They will puke their toxicity all over you . they hate this and that thats not fare, I can't do that or this, and yes it's not my fault, it's never their fault. In most cases never do they take responsibility for themselves nor will they lift a finger for others . Always too busy to lend a hand. Spending too much time with that person is not healthy, and reflects on you so yes you limit your exposer. You see that was me and still is meif I allow myself to be that way. I now read just 15 min a day something positive. I now turn off the news as much as I can, and I do my best to set time from my scheduled to help others . Trust me it's a process and I am toxic and will puke my negativity all over you if given a chance . It took me years to see it .

  15. Sounds like you have been blessed to live a life without a truly toxic person, Laura. My own mother is my toxic person in my life & my therapist has taught me these steps to deal with her as positively as I can. And it works! She "behaves" around me….. but continues to be extremely toxic to my siblings….. my hope is to show them these steps.

  16. My mother is the toxic person in my life right now. In my past, in my addiction, I know the shoe was on the other foot. We're both in recovery now, only she isn't really working her own program. Though it's not my place to take her inventory, I am on the front lines dealing with a dry drunk. I've tried to talk it out with her, but every time I speak of my own experiences, she manages to minimize & rationalize her behaviors. I will continue to pray for her…

  17. This article is BS!!!!!! NO ONE DESERVES TO BE LABLED AS TOXIC, A 'BURDEN' OR ANY OF THE SORTS! To tell people that is no better than to tell them to kill themselves, especially if they are going through a hard time already. God I can't believe people actually believe this crap!! Its sickening to my heart and it'll kill thousands of friendships!! >: (

  18. I heard two people's perspective on me & my life, loud and clear, when I had surgery twice in September; got MRSA and had my mother bring me to the city for a second try at antibiotics. Mom, as we got in to my car, exhausted from a tumultuous day at Shadyside UPMC, said, "the next time you need help, with anything. Do not think of me." I was just aghast. Later in the week my younger brother told me "why people in general have a hard time dealing with me" that was a trip! If they label me as toxic, so be it, but I know my faith sits in love on earth. Airing of grievances should be left for the Seinfeld cast. Get real, and if you stay away from so called 'toxic' people, yet your blood pressure skyrockets when the person is mentioned in a conversation. ..maybe there is a toxic connection, not ONE TO BLAME.

  19. Labeling is an issue. I agree with Laura. Each person has a their own name and a separate life. If we don't take each person as they come and care deeply, we aren't being true to ourselves. If we are so shallow that we can't keep our center, then we should move on, but not because they are 'toxic'. That is blame.

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