Dealing with Harmful People in Your Life

“A person who could muster the courage to remove from his daily life the products that he basically doesn’t need would automatically delete the negative thoughts and the toxic people in his life.” ~ Anuj Somany

What makes a person toxic, poisonous, or harmful to you in your life? I think the answer to that question can take up the whole article, but let’s just list a few things.

  • Moodiness
  • Negativity
  • Chronic illness
  • Lack of a loving sense
  • Manipulation
  • Selfishness

Psychologists call these people psychic vampires because they will take all of your good stuff on a regular basis, leaving you frustrated, angry, empty, and lacking positivity. It is wise to develop a way to keep them at arm’s length, because when all your best efforts have been valueless, you will see clearly that only they can resolve their issues. You may love them – probably a lot more than they love themselves – but you have to protect yourself from their modus operandi.

Invite them Out

The best way to tell if a person is toxic or destructive to you is to ask yourself “Do I feel comfortable around them?” If you are suffering, uncomfortable, worried or frustrated, you are not comfortable. And if your very best efforts to help them have failed, then ask yourself “What is  my good reason for keeping this person here?”

After a toxic person is invited out, you’ll find life more pleasant, breathing a lot easier, and making decisions for yourself more enjoyable.

True friends indulge in an even give and take. If you’re doing the giving and they’re doing the taking, it’s not equitable and it needs to be ended.

This doesn’t mean you despise them. It means you love you.

Classify Their Behavior Honestly

The psychic vampire type person has ways to manipulate you into giving them preferential treatment. They may email you or call you beyond the normal rate of other friend’s contacting you. They want to be listened to and heard, but your short-term fix for them ends up in being a pain in the butt for you over the long haul. Your attention rewards them for not changing, so classify this behavior honestly as psychic manipulation and stop it.

They are adults. They need adult behavior and they will unfold it if you quit propping them up.

Tell the Truth About What’s Happening

Oftentimes, we think our observations don’t deserve a voice based on social mores like politeness, kindness and the like. Toxic people intuitively know how to work others, until someone says “Hey! The King has no clothes on.”  Be that speaker.

Anger, intimidation, interruptions, and negative comments are all forms that toxic people use to keep you there – in place – showing them attention. Say what you see! Say what you feel! “I hear you using pity to get me to feel sorry for you. I feel uncomfortable inside me when you do that, so stop it.”

You may not be comfortable in the beginning being this forthright, but for their sake as well as your own, give it a try. This can show them what they are doing so they can change. If they don’t choose to change, at least they know that you know what they are doing and they won’t be able to manipulate you quite as easily.

But if They Persist…..

Once you go through all the tips above and they’re still dancing their craziness on your chest, you will know for sure that you must draw a line that says “This far and no farther.”

They may rage. They may sulk. They may insult you. They may put the blame on anything other than themselves. They may make snide remarks to your face or about you behind your back.

Don’t allow your Selfhood to be affected by any of it. It can’t get inside without your permission. And remember, if they’re still out there toxically polluting, if you refuse to accept it, it gets to remain with them. It’s okay to walk away and ignore them.

It’s Not You!

You are a good person with a big heart and a lovely degree of generosity. Hang on to those ideas, because the toxicity is them and not you. You haven’t made any mistakes beyond maybe listening to their error too long.

Don’t take it personally, in other words. It is them talking and acting. It’s Them! They act this way toward others, not just you. You might feel offended personally, but that is not what’s going on. It’s their M. O. – finding a weak spot in another and manipulating the other to pay attention to them via that weak spot. You will feel so free to see this objectively and put a stop to it.

Have Compassion.

Toxic people have sad little lives because they don’t see their toxicity and the emotional ravages they foist on to others. They need help, but it doesn’t have to come from you, particularly from you. Don’t allow them to foist off on to you their desperate circumstances. Care about them, but refer them to a professional. You do not have the skills that professional has to help them.

You aren’t helping the toxic person if you tolerate their behavior just because they’ve had a tough life or have other problems. We all have problems. Set boundaries with heart-felt compassion and wish them well for your own sake.

Once You’ve Said “No More”

Be kind to yourself as you recuperate, because you must allow yourself time to heal after these kinds of encounters. Their behaviors can be exhausting, and you can become affected by their toxic ways. Take a step back in whatever way you can and give yourself the time for these events to fade in your mind.

You deserve peace and harmony in your life. Find the ways to re-institute them in your no-longer-toxic life experience.

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Comment by Kathy Custren on May 14, 2016 at 4:33pm

Hi, Maria - thank you for your submission. It is missing your bio paragraph, if you could please add it. Thank you ~ Blessings! 

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