Dealing with “Toxic People” in Our Lives
By Sameera Ali
When you read the words “Toxic People” the first thing that comes to mind are people that are forced into our lives, like in-laws. While that might be the case for many people, sometimes it’s the people you chose yourself to be in your lives that turn out to be toxic. Yes you guessed it right, these can be your “friends.”
We have all seen them; there is always one in a group. You know the one who will be the first person to publicly point out that you have put on a couple pounds, or the one who takes a recipe from you and then shares it with others as her “original” recipe, or the one who never responds to your messages or the one who is always hit by one calamity after the other. While these might seem like harmless personality traits, if done repeatedly, can cause you hurt feelings, frustration and anxiety.
So the question is, how to deal with such people?
Whatever way you chose to deal with this problem, make sure that your goal is to eliminate the source of negativity from your life completely. That also means refusing to waste time thinking about that person. In more serious cases, it may mean cutting a toxic person out of your life. Life is short and full of uphill battles, the last thing you want is to surround yourself with people who bring unnecessary stress in your life by those who bring you down.
Now to figure out a way to deal with such people. Well, that mostly depends on what kind of person you are.
If you are a non-confrontational/passive type, your best bet is to pull back, make fewer plans, be polite but not overly friendly. Don’t be dishonest. Make the other person aware that you don’t like the way she treats you if not in clear words, than at least through your reserved behaviour.
If you’re the assertive type than the solution is pretty straight forward. Let your friend know what’s bothering you. Come out right and say, “Your attitude is upsetting me right now. Is this what you want?” Challenging this kind of behavior upfront will get to her to realize the negative impact of her behavior and even if she denies it, at least you’ve made her aware of the problem and also realized that it’s time to move along.
The goal is not to try to change anyone. That is not your job. Your job is to defend your boundaries. It is your right to make sure that you feel safe in a relationship. Letting go of toxic people doesn’t mean you hate them, or that you wish them harm; it simply means you care about your own well-being.
A Healthy Relationship
Remember, a healthy relationship is reciprocal; it should be give and take, but not in the sense that you’re always giving and they’re always taking. Toxic people are bullies which is why it’s even more important to stand up to them, not just for yourself, but for others around you.
Let us know below how you deal with toxic people and how eliminating them has helped you live a better life!
About the Author:
Sameera Ali is a full-time freelance content writer /SEO expert and a mom of four wonderful kids who keep her busy and thankful always.