Getting Rid of Toxic People

Sunday, September 2, 2018

We have all been there. Unfortunately, at some point in our lives, we might find ourselves in a place were the people we care about most seem to be tearing us down rather than building us up.  Honestly, that is one of the most horrible and heartbreaking situations to be in. The connections that we build with others are meant to nourish, support and strengthen. If a relationship is doing the opposite it is probably time to say goodbye.

My experience

I have had my fair share of experience with relationship disappointments. Trust me, there´s nothing worse than realizing that you decided to include the wrong people in your life. In my case,  I couldn´t help but feel responsible for the situation, for allowing myself to naively walk into the wrong relationships. The thing is, I take pride in seeking out the best in those that surround me, and while everyone certainly has virtues to appreciate, I eventually learned that not everyone´s best-self is a positive addition to my personal journey.

My most recent experience with toxic people was this year. I was spending time with an extremely negative girl on a daily basis. Despite trying to approach her positively when I first met her, I quickly began noticing how uncomfortable, judged and out of place I felt in her presence. As harsh as it may sound, there´s no way around it, she didn´t respect me at all and anyone could see it from miles away. She constantly disrespected me, my relationship with my boyfriend and other people around us. Negative comments, gossiping, back-talk, mocking faces, you name it; it was all part of her daily modus operandi.

Note: Let´s take a breather: I´m not saying she is evil. We never know what problems and monsters each of us carry. BUT no matter what those torments are, none of it is an excuse for letting ourselves become a monster for someone else. Yes, being kind and understanding is extremely important. However, not judging doesn't mean staying in a destructive environment out of empathy.

After spending time with her, I felt so moody, drained and tired, as if all of her negativity went right into me. I no longer felt peaceful or comfortable enough to be myself. While her personality may appeal to some, it simply didn't fit in with me. The peace, positivity, and joy I like to surround myself in are not compatible with having this type of people as friends. One day, after I came home utterly exhausted by the situation, I realized: I have no obligation to be around people that are bringing me harm. This is my life and feeling happy and comfortable is my priority. No one is worth sacrificing my peace of mind.

After that it was easy to make the decision, it was time to say goodbye. In the kindest way possible I walked away, modified the routine that included her to run smoothly without her, and that was it; she was out of my life for good.

Identifying Toxic

If your gut is telling you there´s something wrong with your relationship, chances are, there is. Feeling uncomfortable and unhappy in any kind of relationship is reason enough to end it. However, when dealing with abusive, manipulative, negative or toxic people sometimes identifying the problem, and most importantly accepting and coming to terms with it can be tricky. There are a few red flags that can help make the task of recognizing them easier.

A toxic person:
1. Constantly gossips about others and spreads rumors
It doesn't really take a genius to know that gossiping is a horrible practice and those engaging in it rarely have good intentions at heart. At its best gossiping is about finding entertainment at someone else´s expense; at its worst, it is about harming, mocking, judging and destroying reputations. If you are dating or hanging out with someone that finds that appealing you should watch out. Gossiping is a contagious bad habit and chances are if a person gossips with you, he/she is also gossiping about you.

2. Is dishonest, unreliable or not worthy of your trust
Broken promises and commitments can be incredibly disappointing but mostly they are a sign that you are placing your trust in the wrong hands. If you can´t count on a persons words, secrecy, and support you are better off alone.

3. Doesn´t respect you, your life decisions, or your time
The key point in healthy relationships is respect of each other´s individuality. If you don´t feel free to express yourself or do what you love for fear of losing your friend's or partner´s approval then you are not respected in that relationship at all. A healthy relationship involves an ally, not an enemy.

4. Constantly disappoints you or lets you down, while expecting the opposite from you.
You were supposed to meet up and you end up sitting at a table alone. Sounds familiar? Do you rush to their side in any of their emergencies, but when you are having a rough time your friend is nowhere to be found? Do they promised to do this and that, but they never actually get around to it? Sorry to break it to you, but the relationship is only flowing one-way.

5. Is manipulative and controlling. A toxic person will try to impose his/her will on others.
You should never feel obligated to do something you don´t want to do simply for the sake of someone else. Period. It´s not healthy; its a clear-cut sign of abuse.

6. Makes you feel afraid or as if you have to walk on eggshells around them
I´ve been here: feeling hurt and too scared to bring it up because you might end up feeling worse. It took me a while to learn this but I hope I can convince you of it: Your feelings and your thoughts matter. If you are in a situation in which you feel afraid you should walk away and reach out to someone.

7. Is extremely judgemental and critical of you and others.
Negativity can only create more negativity. Don´t be part of the cycle. The mouth speaks of what the heart holds so I urge you to surround yourself with people that empower, praise and give words of encouragement.

8. Acts and talks in a negative way, or treat others poorly
Don´t only pay attention to how a person treats you, look at how they interact with the world. That´s what will paint the truest picture of their identity. Are they rude? Do you witness them insulting or mistreating others? Pay attention to the warning signs.

9. Doesn´t help you succeed nor feels happy to see you doing well
It breaks my heart to realize how many people respond to others´ success with anger and envy rather than supporting happiness. Someone who loves you wants to see you be happy and successful. You don´t want to surround yourself with competitive and jealous people secretly trying to bring you down.

10. Lacks compassion or empathy
Being unable to put yourself in another´s shoes is not only uncaring, it is even a sign of an antisocial personality disorder.

11. They fight, argue, and are quick to lose their temper. The desire to win or be right is the most important thing.
If pride and winning have a higher rank than your relationship, there´s nothing there worth fighting for. Don´t surround yourself with aggression.

12. Is self obsessed and talk way more than they listen.
Balance is about there being space for both people to thrive. You don´t have to carry both of you on your own.

Don´t let the red flags slide. You are responsible for your life, and it´s your responsibility to establish barriers for how you allow others to treat you. If someone around you fits the list above, you are gaining so much by losing them. It can be hard to accept that someone that we love or care about isn´t good for us, but the only one capable of making that call is you. Only you have power over your relationships and only you can decide when to walk out.

How to end a toxic relationship

 1. Acceptance
 The most important step is gathering up the strength to accept the reality of the situation. When we realize that  someone we love and care about deeply is no better for us than poison, denial is no strange response. The key is to remember that our first most responsibility is to love and care for ourselves. It's at this point that you must make the decision to love yourself more and let go, however sad and difficult it may be. It all comes up to one principle: self-love. When you love yourself, you will realize your value and won´t ever tolerate behavior you don´t deserve

2. Stopping contact
The most efficient approach is the most radical. Stop communication, stop hanging out, stop answering their phone calls; simply cut the chord. Make plans with other friends and start reworking your daily life into a schedule that doesn´t depend on them to function. If approached about the change, kindly and calmly explain that you are moving on. (Note: being kind doesn´t mean not being firm with standing your ground. Toxic people can be very pushy and manipulating when realizing they are losing their victim)

3. Focusing on self-care
The end of any relationship can bring about a period of grief. Make sure to make looking after yourself a priority. Focus on building positive connections, pampering yourself, throwing yourself at your passions and hobbies, etc. I personally found so many great insight on self-care from this article on tiny buddha, so if you want some ideas on self-care you should totally check it out.

Finally, I want to leave you with this thought:
You can't change the people around you, but you can the people you choose to be around

Have you ever been in a toxic relationship? How did it make you feel? How did you end it? Share your insight below. That way we can all help each other.

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