Five ways to deal with toxic people

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Toxic people are everywhere. We meet them at all stages of our lives and sometimes even find ourselves spending time in their company. Reckless, intrusive and rude – these people tend to leave us feeling powerless and empty. A perfectly logical solution to the problem might simply be to stay out of their way, but there are situations when that’s just not possible. We’ve provided a guide on how to deal with toxic people in a healthy way.

#1 Be prepared

So-called “energy vampires” are well aware of people’s triggers and once they know yours well enough, they will suck you dry, playing the same game time and again. Try to analyze the situations in which you fall prey to them, and prepare appropriate reactions or an elegant withdrawal from a toxic situation. You’ll likely find that this takes time and requires patience. But stick with it: once you’ve developed a good strategy to separate yourself from them, you’ll be able to apply it to many other similar situations in life.

#2 Don’t take it personally

If someone continues to offer nothing but negativity and brings you down, just make it clear to yourself that you’re not the problem. There’s a high chance that the toxic person is experiencing personal issues, perhaps inner conflicts, and projecting onto you. Don’t let yourself be fooled!

#3 Spread the love

Let’s believe in the innate good in people. There’s often an underlying reason for a toxic person’s bad vibes. Maybe they’ve been hurt in the past, pushed away or disappointed by others. Now, they carry the emotional baggage with them everywhere they go, creating a circle of negativity. Try and break the cycle. We can offer the person understanding and empathy. We can listen and allow them to work out the origins of their toxic behavior. You don’t need to be a therapist to offer someone the impetus to think about the reasons for their behavior. An act of sympathy can go a long way.

#4 Be at the center

Toxic people are often egoistic. They tend to interrupt when someone else is speaking and constantly have to be the center of attention. They can also lack empathy, which can lead to invasive and intolerable behavior. To make matters worse, they often don’t even realize when they upset others. In that case, it may be helpful to mirror their behavior. Try to explain what feelings their behavior may trigger in you, but avoid accusations, personal attacks or extreme emotional reactions.  

#5 Find help

Dealing with toxic people can be an intense and tiring experience. If you lack the necessary distance and you’re finding it hard to keep calm or your emotions in check, it can be a good idea to ask for outside help. Depending on the context, you could seek the support of your friends, family, colleagues or mediators. They’re able to view the situation more neutrally, which can help to de-escalate a situation. They will also have your back, thus clearing the way for healthy contact with a toxic person.

Want more self-love? Then celebrate yourself and be proud of yourself!


Author: Konstanze Teschner

Photo by Larm Rmah on Unsplash

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