Do you have someone floating around the outskirts of your life who can only be described as toxic? Someone who makes you feel bad, brings you down, is an emotional vampire and generally has nothing positive to offer you or your otherwise peace-loving, positively fuelled, happy life!
You might be thinking, why would you have this person around anyway? Well, they are usually there out of necessity. They might be a work colleague or worse, a family member and the only reason they’ve remained part of your life is out of loyalty or a sense of duty. Maybe it’s to appease your partner or keep the peace.
So, instead of grabbing them by the hair and thrusting their head into the closest concrete surface, which BTW, I seriously don’t recommend; what’s a better solution to your toxicity problem? Sure, it might feel good to attack them, but rest assured, when you release them you’ll kick yourself for being manipulated into behaving like someone you aren’t.
There are always much better solutions to dealing with the token toxic person in your life and we’d like to give you some tips before you find yourself in the above scenario.
1. Honour your feelings
It’s ok that you don’t like everyone you meet. We each have a unique personality and sometimes personalities aren’t compatible. Don’t avoid what you are feeling or try to alter your feelings on account of others. Suppressing thoughts and feelings will only escalate a situation and make things worse.
2. Set boundaries and enforce them
Don’t allow yourself to be used as a personal doormat by anyone; including family members. Establish your boundaries and respect yourself. Be assertive in enforcing the boundaries without being nasty. It will be much harder to set boundaries during an established relationship, so get ready for the fallout! Keep emotions out of it and no matter how hard they push, remove yourself from the situation and don’t bite.
3. Don’t expect to receive emotional support from them
Toxic people don’t care about your wants or needs. Regardless of what they say, if you don’t expect anything from them, you will avoid the disappointment they can cause.
4. Be aware of their agenda
Toxic people aren’t interested in giving you their time or attention. Be prepared for them to lack interest in your life. Try to be one step ahead of what they want from you and only give them what you are prepared to have taken. This is not a reciprocal relationship and you need to be fully aware of that.
5. Don’t expect to be able to please them
No matter what you do, you won’t be able to please them. No amount of giving will be appreciated and they may neglect to remember what you’ve done for them. The best way forward is to stop trying to please them and accept them for who they are.
6. Refuse to be manipulated
Toxic people are very successful manipulators. It’s probably their best skill. They are used to getting their own way and don’t care who they hurt, disappoint or destroy along the way. Their lack of empathy for others allows them to take advantage, without any guilt or remorse. Don’t allow manipulation to undermine your integrity or alter your personality or behaviour.
7. Avoid criticism
Toxic people find fault in others, however, they don’t take constructive criticism or feedback very well. In fact, they may use criticism from others as a way to manipulate empathy. In you need to have them in your life try and find something positive about them. In some cases you may need to look exceptionally hard.
8. Protect yourself at all times – physically, emotionally, mentally, financially and spiritually
The only way you can have this person in your life is to thoroughly protect yourself. They will ask for more than you can afford to give, in all aspects of your life. If you don’t protect yourself, you will get lost in their negativity. You can become that person you don’t want to be or even like, for that matter.
9. Stay away from them whenever possible
The only way to sustain a relationship with a toxic person is distance. If they try to manipulate their way into your home because they have nowhere else left to go; save yourself the heartache and torture. They won’t appreciate it and they will use you up and spit you out when they are finished with you. If toxic people are in your life, don’t invite them into your inner circle. This is where they will do the most damage. Keep them on the outer, be polite and live your own life.
10. Make the decision about having them in your life
Over time, this person will wear you down, emotionally, physically, mentally, financially and spiritually. You might result to behaving like someone who isn’t you because of the server stress they cause. Before it gets to that, regardless of how this person exists in your life, you need to make a decision to either tolerate them or walk away. If you are tolerating them for the sake of others, you need to be honest and state that you just can’t do it. It’s unhealthy and no-one should have to live with the level of toxicity some people provide.
No matter how hard you might try, at the end of the day, it ultimately takes two people to make a relationship work. If one party isn’t willing, you will need to resign to the fact that no amount of effort on your part will change it. In fact, the harder you try, the worse it can get.
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