It’s not easy to avoid toxic people, as they may be family members or lifelong friends. Toxic people are those in your social circle who betray your trust, undermine your confidence and spread negative energy around.
Human beings can’t live in isolation, because we’re social creatures. To succeed, you need the co-operation of the people around you, but you also need compassion, empathy and positivity to survive in this world. On the other hand, toxic people will drag you down like a sea anchor. No matter what you do, they’ll make you feel hopeless, worthless and empty.
If you love yourself, you shouldn’t be hanging out with such people. Cutting off people who don’t help you in any way is one of the best decisions that you’ll make in your life. The thought of being alone can be daunting, but it’s necessary that you “break up” with toxic people if you want to grow and improve the quality of your life.
It can be difficult to break up with toxic friends
When a relationship starts going downhill, both parties can sense it. Things start getting awkward. You start arguing every time you see each other, and you don’t look forward to meeting up like you used to, but you may also avoid dealing with what’s happening to the relationship until it reaches a climax.
Parting ways with your friends or significant other can be difficult, because they were supposed to stay with you till the end of time, right? Maybe not.
Regardless of how you’ve imagined these lifelong relationships, if you want to improve your life, you’ll need to create a conducive environment for yourself. Changing your thoughts and habits won’t make much of a difference if you’re spending most of your time with people who challenge your values and stop you from achieving your goals.
No matter how much you try to avoid the unpleasant truth, if nothing’s going to change, you’ll need to break up with your toxic friends completely. Don’t hang out with them. Don’t party together. Don’t call or reply to their messages.
For the first week, that’ll be extremely difficult, but don’t give up! Don’t be tempted to do this halfway, because you’ll end up achieving nothing in the end.
Set your own standards
You don’t have to be available for anyone who calls or messages you 24/7. Instead, figure out who really deserves your time and attention. You shouldn’t waste your time and energy on individuals who don’t enrich you, as there are more than enough people around you who can help you become a better person. But before you meet such people, you’ll have to break up with toxic friends.
10 ways to avoid toxic people in your social circle
Let’s take a closer look at how you can effectively avoid toxic people in your life. As you’ll see, these 10 steps are simple and practical.
Don’t have any expectations
To avoid toxic people in your circle, you’ll need to accept the fact that you can’t force them to change. How they think and behave is entirely out of your control. They may tell you how they want to change, or beg you to help them become better people, but this is almost always an impossible project.
People will only change if they want to. Toxic people will try to suck you dry, because of their complex needs and problems, but when you stop trying to change them, it’ll be easier to break up with them.
Toxic and manipulative people will drain your resources by pushing you to work hard to please them. In the end, you’ll probably end up compromising more and more of your own needs, which can be exhausting and frustrating.
To avoid this sort of situation, you need to think about the things that you can or can’t tolerate from family members, partners, friends and colleagues. When things aren’t feeling right in your interactions, go through your boundary checklist and enforce your boundaries rigidly.
Focus on clearing your mind and heart
Toxic people will make you feel angry and awful as they create problems in your life, but if you focus on them, you’ll be frustrated and miserable.
Instead of focusing on them and the problems that they’re responsible for, focus on clearing your mental and emotional mess. Spending too much time trying to understand a toxic’s person behaviour will suck away all of your energy, even when the person isn’t present in your life.
Don’t get pulled into “dramas”
Toxic people will make it seem like they want you around, because they’re always having problems. The most important thing to remember, though, is that they typically create these problems for themselves.
Put simply, toxic people create drama to attract attention and manipulate the people around them. You may feel sorry for them when this occurs, but you should keep in mind that you likely aren’t dealing with a genuinely distressed person.
Acknowledge your weaknesses
When you’re dealing with a toxic person, you’ll notice that he or she tends to exploit your weaknesses. Following that, they’ll come up with ways to use your weaknesses for their own benefit.
Fortunately, you can dramatically reduce the chances of this happening by taking the time to get to know yourself and acknowledge your weaknesses. Understanding your strengths, believing in yourself and improving yourself will also help you avoid becoming the target of a toxic person’s destructive patterns.
Stand strong against resistance
Toxic people may start throwing tantrums when you ignore them, because it’s clear that you’re no longer giving them the power to manipulate you. They might try crafting new strategies and using additional tactics to hook you. Nonetheless, if you keep on keeping on, they’ll eventually back off and look for other people to meet their needs.
Don’t give in when things escalate. Instead, remind yourself that you’re helping the toxic person acknowledge his or her behaviour while improving yourself.
One of the reasons you might be clinging to a toxic person is a lack of trust in yourself or your judgment. If you’re always trying to rationalize their toxic behaviours or giving them the benefit of the doubt, it’s time to stop and figure out why you’re excusing them. You can learn to trust yourself by repeating affirmations, reading self-help books, listening to podcasts and journaling during your free time.
As you break up with toxic people, it’s important to avoid battles as much you can, as conflicts with toxic people can be a huge waste of time and energy.
When a toxic person attempts to provoke you, you don’t have to respond or retaliate to feel better about yourself. Save your precious time and energy and focus on nourishing yourself and developing healthy relationships.
Don’t normalize toxic behaviour
This is especially true if you’ve been in a toxic relationship for years, or you’ve grown up around people who used their words as weapons. Toxic people may demean, dismiss or marginalize you or other people, and then try to rationalize their behaviour or show how sensitive you are.
Refusing to talk or ignoring you can also be considered abusive. These people may lie or tell you partial truths, and then blame you for not asking the right questions. You should never be OK with verbal and emotional abuse.
Build healthy relationships
Avoiding toxic people can be painful, especially if you deeply care about them. Regardless, no matter how difficult it is to not have them in your life, you need to let them go. When you let them go and focus on improving yourself, you’ll start attracting like-minded people instead. Healthy relationships with like-minded people will not only enhance your well-being, but also accelerate your growth.
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