- The debauchery, excesses, constant procrastination, second-guessing, giving yourself no attention, the busyness, the avoidance, laziness, the analysis-paralysis, being hard on yourself, you losing yourself slowly, the anger, unforgiveness, harsh criticisms of yourself and others, the self-defeating talks, the inflated ego, the mistakes of 5 years ago that you can’t let go of, the self-degradation, narcissistic tendencies that are getting out of hand more frequently lately, exerting/extending/pressurising yourself more than is necessary, the incessant complaints, the worries, taking yourself for granted, not asking for help when you need it.
- That one person, or maybe 2, or 3, or more, that just keep rubbing you off the wrong way. The ones that agitate you and leave your air with a stench that you need to disinfect-but you keep indulging them anyway. The depreciator, the individuals that weigh you down, the slanderers, intimidators, the emotionally abusive and manipulative.
- The habit or behaviour you know is wrong, but you still engage in anyway. The one that poses a danger to your health, that pushes people away from you and keeps leaving you broke.
- All the clutter in your home, your body, your head, your space.
The word ‘toxic’ is such a downer and it is not the most uplifting topic but we engage in or encounter some of these things regularly, either consciously or unconsciously. It’s quite hard to screen people for toxicity levels, because you can be the nicest person on the earth, or the most generous philanthropist, have the kindest heart, be a diligent churchgoer and still draw the vilest people into your life or engage in the most despicable behaviours. You could be on the receiving end of toxicity, or perhaps you are the one dishing it out. Toxicity knows no bounds and it’s as universal as the air we breathe. This is why my post today focuses on getting rid of toxic people.
Late last year, after evaluating how some unhelpful toxic people were negatively affecting me, I finally decided enough was enough and decided to purge my life of a few toxic friendships. Your life needs to be enriched as much as is possible and honestly, when your stress levels keep on increasing after certain interactions with people year in year out, you need to ask yourself why you are subjecting yourself to such cruel treatments. When you start feeling physically drained, doubting yourself and getting emotionally checked out, then you know you need to act. But how?
How to get rid of toxic people (6 ways)
- By trusting your instincts. I think our ‘gut feeling’ is one of the most powerful innate tools we have as human beings. When you are with someone and you continuously feel conflicted and incongruent, that’s a red flag. Pay more attention to how this person makes you feel. When you keep getting weird vibes, and you struggle to be in sync no matter how hard you try, that’s your instinct at work, giving you vital clues. It’s almost like your antenna, picking up the signals in your environment. It’s up to you to ignore these clues and still try to believe the best of the toxic individual but the thing is, the red flags will always be there.
- By admitting things for what they are and stop making excuses for it. Recognise and admit the effect a toxic individual has on you and stop making excuses for them. It is debilitating to you and bad for your well-being. Stop saying ‘ this is the way this person is’. Sometimes, because you have a soft spot for certain people, you indulge them for far too long and make excuses for their bad behaviours. These people know you well and know your weak spots so they are able to manipulate you. Deep down in your heart, you know you won’t put up with the same behaviour from someone else, but just because you have a soft spot for this person or you’ve both come a long way, you put up with their bad vibes. Admit to yourself that you need help. If there is no awareness of the desire for change, there will be no steps to creating newness. Also, recognise how you are not always your true self when you around this person or how such a person limits or holds you back. In my own case I ask myself- what does this person trigger in me, resulting in me feeling used, manipulated and taken advantage of?
- Communicate your feelings to this person. For a few individuals, your tolerance of their bad behaviour has made them think it is acceptable and they are willing to change (or not). Explain how they make you feel, be honest with them. This is one of the most vulnerable and toughest things to do, but it is necessary. You do face the risk of being intentionally misunderstood, lashed at or being manipulated even further, but it is a great way of getting stuff off your chest and addressing issues with a toxic person for ‘possible’ behaviour remediation/ readjustment on their part.
- If nothing changes after communicating, establish your boundaries, stick to these and then start drawing away slowly. This is not like a friendship that dies a slow and natural death rather, this is a conscious effort to weed this person out of your life deliberately. When you begin to draw away, expect to hear things like- ‘you’ve changed’. Expect to be manipulated, expect the boundaries you’ve set to be tested and interrogated because in the past, this person was given free reins. Become less accommodating of bad behaviour and become more assertive with them. If you’re not the type of person who finds it easy to tell people where to get off, it will require great effort on your part. Reprimand once, gather more courage, try it again and repeat until the person gets the message loud and clear, until it becomes business as usual. This is a bit of a ‘trial and error’ process but when you are determined and fed up of being treated badly, you will find the courage.
- If the above does not work and they keep testing your boundaries, then take a drastic action and cut this person off. As in, cut them off, block them or delete their numbers to end any form of communication. In some cases, it’s impossible to avoid this person so what do you do? Make sure your personal exchanges with them are as brief as possible. This is where you learn to grow your ‘IGNORE MUSCLES’ because you will need to ignore them and withdraw from their spaces. You may come across as a rude person but at this point, to get control of your sanity, you need to take this drastic step.
- Seek professional help. Sometimes, everything else just fails. But if a toxic person keeps taking its toll on you and you are unable to handle things yourself, you need to reach out to someone who can help you.
When a relationship or behaviour is a constant drain on your physical, emotional and mental wellbeing, you need to take action. We are so guiled into tolerating bad treatments from certain people until it becomes the norm, but until we make a conscious decision to identify toxic behaviour for what it is and stop it, we will keep being trampled on. I’ve been there and it is so draining.
Have you been in that space before, how did you handle it?
Thanks so much for stopping by today. Till we chat again, stay clear of the toxic elements, keep shining, share the blog with your awesome tribe and take care of yourself XOXOXO