7 Tips on How to Deal with Toxic People

Do you have people in your life who are dragging you down? Here are 7 tips on how to deal with toxic people and regain your mental energy.

There are some people that absolutely lift you up and make you feel wonderful with their positivity and zest for life. Then there is the other type of people. You know the ones. They take so much mental energy that you’re exhausted after having contact with them. They’re like poison seeping into your blood stream, killing you slowly. No doubt about it: They’re downright toxic.

While we’ve certainly all come across these second types of individuals from time to time, the more you are around them, the worse you feel. You start to lose your own good nature and, before you know it, you’re feeling just like them. You hate life.

How to deal with toxic people and how to spot them? Sadly,  toxic people can be found almost anywhere and come in all shapes and sizes. Okay, their methods may vary, but the result of any dealings with them is always the same

Let me share with you my top tips on how to spot some of them and their different categories. Here are 6 types of toxic people and how to spot them.

What can you do to make sure this doesn’t happen to you? Here are seven options that will keep toxic people from dragging you down with them, allowing you to regain your mental energy and restore your life balance. Here is how to deal with toxic people:

#1 Set boundaries

Although some people are toxic about everything, most have a few hot button topics that really send them on a meltdown. These are the negative issues that they are passionate about and want to talk about over and over again.

Once you’ve isolated which ones they are, set boundaries and make those topics off limit. Simply let the other person know that you’d rather not discuss that issue because you are trying to focus on positive things instead.

Boundaries may also include not taking their phone call when you’re not in the mood to deal with them or limiting the time you spend with them, which brings me to my next suggestion…

#2 Set time limits

Girl look at watch

Some people in your life may be toxic but you can’t really kick them out of your world, like relatives, coworkers and others who you can’t help but associate with on a regular basis. Therefore, you may have to simply limit the amount of time you spend with them so that you don’t catch their attitude problem (it really can spread like a cold or flu).

Boundary setting is hard, but necessary in many facets of life. Learn how to set boundaries and be assertive, which is the key to establishing and maintaining these imaginary lines.

Limit the number of days that you visit with them or lower the amount of consecutive minutes you spend in their presence. Don’t overdose yourself on their toxicity or you’ll soon find that you yourself might start to become toxic too.

#3 Don’t be a good listener

How to deal with toxic people? Don’t be a good listener!

Normally, I would never suggest that you not listen to someone else, but there are times when you have to let things go in one ear and out the other. This is definitely one of them.

If you’re talking to someone and they are getting under your skin due to their negative, condescending attitude, simply let them be without taking anything that they say to heart. It is sad that it has to be this way, but if you don’t want to let their discontent for life seep into your own pores, you’re better off letting their words fly by you without allowing them to sink in.

#4 Change the topic

When dealing with a toxic person who is on a rant about a particular subject, try to switch the topic so they their toxicity levels don’t rise too high. Get them talking about a subject that actually makes them smile if at all possible and work to send the conversation in a new and better direction.

Think of things that are funny or talk about something that isn’t controversial. The more lighthearted the conversation, the less likely it is that they will emit their toxicity.

#5 Always be positive

how to deal with toxic people

You’ve probably heard the expression, “Kill them with kindness.” Well, this particular bit of advice works well with toxic people because it will either help them change their ways or they won’t want to be around you as often because you don’t allow them to spread their poison. Both options are a win!

Counter their negatives with positives and see how they respond. If they become more positive themselves, that is a bonus for you. If your positivity has no effect, then at least you know you tried.

#6 Don’t try to change them

Part of the frustration of dealing with toxic people comes from trying to change them. You work to make them happier and see life from a different viewpoint. However, you cannot change someone who doesn’t want to change themselves so it can feel like you’re repeatedly hitting your head against a brick wall.

They are who they are as much as you are who you are. So, don’t allow yourself to get angry when they don’t see the things the way you do. Simply understand that things have happened to them in their life that have set them on this toxic path and love them regardless, or, if you can’t…

#7 Make a decision

If there is someone in your life who is extremely toxic and they are affecting your quality of life, you may have to make a very hard decision to let them go. It may be sad that you can’t have contact anymore, but it also doesn’t make any sense to allow yourself to go down the drain with them as that does no one any good.

Of course, there are going to be times that this isn’t a possibility (like with a close family member or a good friend who is only toxic because they are going through rough times), but if you can close the door on someone toxic, then maybe you should. In the end, you may find that you’re happier if you do.

One in three people have either dealt with a toxic partner or a toxic family member. Leaving a toxic relationship is hard, but staying in it is even harder!

Toxic people have the ability to suck the life right out of you if you let them. Don’t let them. You deserve better than that!

About the author

Christina DeBusk

Changing careers mid-life from law enforcement to writing, Christina spends her days helping others enrich their businesses and personal lives one word at a time.

1 Comment

Click here to post a comment