Do you tend to attract negativity? Do you often date toxic people? Perhaps you hang out with the wrong crowd? Do you often feel taken advantage of by others?
If you’ve answered yes to any of those questions, then you may be attracting these people to you. While other people’s behavior is never your fault, you should know how you inadvertently encourage these flawed individuals to gravitate toward you. Here are three reasons you attract toxic people, and ways to repel them.
1. You’re Too Generous With Your Time
Generosity is, for most, a positive trait. It means you make time for others and are willing to sacrifice some of your free time – or even busy time – for them; then people will appreciate how much you do! Well… most of them will, at least.
Unfortunately, the downside of generosity is that there will always be people who seek to take advantage of it. Toxic people are naturally drawn to those they can use, and your generosity can be used against you by the wrong people.
- Expect you to answer all their messages and calls as soon as possible.
- Tend to repeatedly put you in situations where you must drop your commitments for their sake?
- Seem almost naturally to expect you to fulfill their demands and requests?
- Become resentful, angry, or upset when you don’t give your time to them or when you set a rare boundary?
Toxic individuals can be very good at seeming innocent by gradually upping their expectations of you in a way you may not notice. First, they ask that you cover for them every two weeks, then every week, and every few days. It’s not uncommon for toxic people to put themselves first, but compromise with just enough positive traits to have you think well of them. The trouble with this is that it’ll happen so slowly that you’ll feel unreasonable for even having a problem with this, to begin with.
So, what do you do about it? To repel toxic people who are attracted to your generosity, you need to set boundaries that they can’t take advantage of. Here are some tips:
· Note Your Emotions
Get in touch with how you feel. Being aware of your emotions surrounding your interactions with others will give you the information you need to determine when you need to put a wrench in things. If something makes you feel uneasy, uncomfortable, or upset, it’s time to communicate how you feel.
· Set Restraints On Your Time
Your time is valuable; even if you’re generous, you should remember that not everyone deserves some of it. Be selective about who you give your time to and set restraints on how much you will give to others. It’s much healthier that way.
· Make Time For Yourself
There should be time for just you every day, and a longer time for just you when you have days off. These times are non-negotiable and should not be given up to anyone with whom you don’t genuinely want to spend your time. Though there may be occasional extenuating circumstances, for the most part, you should be able to have this time for a little me-time.
· Get Better At Setting Verbal Limits
Communicating your time limits is essential, especially with toxic people who will find ways to interpret non-refusal as agreement. “I have to go to dinner in ten minutes, so let’s make this quick,” “I’m tied up right now but we can talk after work”, “I don’t want to do that tonight”, or “I have prior commitments this weekend” are all examples of ways to set clear limits on your time.
2. You’re Repeating Old Patterns
The patterns you saw and experienced while growing up are ones you are most likely to recreate. The standard joke of people constantly choosing to date or surround themselves with toxic individuals is a stereotype because, many times, it’s true – and that’s according to studies!
This is especially true for intimate relationships. You learn your attachment style based on how you group up, who raised you, and the environment you saw as a child. Good, respectful, loving, unconditional, accepting environments and circumstances will form a secure attachment. Negative environments and circumstances, on the other hand, have negative effects on attachment. These adverse circumstances may involve unsafe environments, abandonment by those loved and trusted, or parental figures who were neglectful, critical, abusive, or cold.
You may wonder why you would recreate toxic patterns if you hated being in them. Well, as it turns out, that may be the entire problem. These toxic patterns are the only example of love and comfort that you grew up with. You unconsciously choose people who continue to give you these sources of maladaptive comfort, even though it hurts you because that’s what’s familiar and what you’re comfortable operating within.
If you tend to attract many toxic people and tend to be attracted to them, too, it’s time to consider your background. What sort of attachment style do you have? What was it like growing up? Often, this requires the aid of a professional, but there are some ways you can begin undoing this damage on your own. Learning to undo these patterns will help to repel them. Here are some tips:
· Locate Patterns
Think about all the people who turned out to be toxic in your life. What were their key personality traits, both good and bad? If you seemed to have a type, what type was that? Remember, these linking factors may not be as obvious as they seem. Person A may have been very affectionate while Person B was standoffish, which makes them seem very different. But perhaps they were both overly critical, tried to monopolize your time, or could have taken things personally very quickly and easily.
· Compare Parental and Familial Patterns
Once you find the first patterns, think back to your familial situation or the circumstances of your upbringing. What traits in those patterns continue to be sought out in the people around you today? These traits may be a mix of both negative and positive.
· Find Triggers That You Experience With The People Around You
When meeting new people, especially those who will become close to you – romantically, platonically, or even professionally. Consider what seems to trigger your interest in them. What is building on the attachment patterns you have? What do you see in people that triggers that familiarity?
· Understand You Are Not Broken
There is nothing wrong with you for what you feel and experience. There’s a reason that this sort of repeated pattern-finding is so well-studied and researched – it’s how the human mind reacts to negative attachment styles in childhood. You are not broken, there is nothing wrong with you, and you deserve better than to be stuck in this pattern forever. As soon as you realize that, you can repel toxic people much more easily.
Being too nice sounds good until you realize it’s something toxic people love because they can take advantage of it. No, there’s nothing wrong with being kind or nice in general, of course – but there’s such a thing as too kind and too friendly. That happens when you don’t have sufficient boundaries in place and people can walk all over you. This isn’t a positive trait – it’s a sign that you have some learning and growth.
This may also involve an inherent belief in humankind. That kind of positive thinking is admirable, but unfortunately, though there are many good and excellent people in the world, there are also bad ones – and those bad ones are the toxic people you’re trying to repel. Those toxic people want you to be too nice to them because then they get to take advantage of you.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you tend to believe in the good of everyone, even when you see evidence to the contrary?
- Do you believe that anyone and everyone is redeemable, no matter how questionable or toxic their actions are?
- Are you prone to brush off the toxic behavior of others, forgive them very easily, or persist in showing them above-average kindness?
- Do you hold onto relationships and friendships because you believe others can change?
- Do you let optimism and positive thinking dictate how you view others?
There’s nothing wrong with being optimistic or believing that others can be better. However, there is a line to be drawn. You shouldn’t put up with abuse, toxicity, and negativity for the sake of helping those who have wronged you in their journey to self-improvement. Ultimately, you can’t fix others – they are the only people who can fix themselves.
Your high tolerance for toxicity gives you an edge in repelling them. It means you can be less susceptible to the rubbish they spew and won’t get as emotionally harmed by them when you stand up for yourself. So, how do you repel toxic people when you have a history of being too kind? Here are some tips:
· Listen To Your Gut
You may brush off reflexive worries about the people you’re around because you want to believe in their goodness. Don’t do that right away. The human body has its ways of intuitively sensing even minor danger, and that ability increases if someone has caused you harm that you may not have registered before. Being wiser will help you to repel toxic people.
· Learn To Be Selfish
When you’ve spent your whole life being too selfless, it’s hard to view selfishness as something you want to be. But selfishness can be positive in the right circumstances. You have to look out for yourself and prioritize yourself often, and you can’t keep going out on limbs for people who would never do the same for you. Toxic people will be repelled by your evident care for yourself, as they can’t take advantage of you.
· Set Boundaries
Setting clear boundaries that put your safety and comfort first is the absolute best way to repel toxic people. Toxic individuals hate boundaries that are properly enforced because it deprives them of the ability to be toxic to you.
Final Thoughts On Some Reasons Why You Attract Toxic People And Ways To Repel Them
Toxic people are everywhere; if you attract them, it’s time to end that negativity. You deserve better than constantly being at the mercy of people who don’t treat you well. Learn what you’re doing that attracts them; you can figure out how to repel them, too.