I have gone back and forth on if I wanted to write a post about toxic people. It leaves the safety net of healthy recipes and workout tips, and tends to dig more at people’s hearts.
If there is one thing I have learned more than anything else since developing a chronic illness though, it’s the power of your mindset in health and healing. Which is why I think the topic of eliminating toxic people needs to be discussed.
What is a toxic person anyway? A toxic person is someone who consistently brings you down instead of up. This is the person that you walk away from feeling drained, depleted, exhausted, or negative. A toxic person brings toxic thoughts, emotions, and feelings into your mind every time you come in contact with them.
We all know someone like this right? It could be a relative, a friend, or that super negative mom you run into at your kid’s school. Sometimes it is really easy to get rid of a toxic person. If they aren’t related or close to you, you can just not engage with them anymore.
But what happens when it isn’t that cut and dry? What if the toxic person in your life is your spouse, your parent, your in-laws, your sibling, or your close friend? These are sticky situations that we often times can’t just dissolve and walk away from.
I know because I have been there. I have had MANY toxic people in my life. Some were easy to eliminate. Some were excruciatingly painful to let go of, and some are still slow works in progress today.
How did I separate myself and my emotions from these toxic people? I set up a process of 6 steps to follow. This process allows me to take my emotional connection out of the equation, so that I can see the toxic behavior for what it truly is, TOXIC!
My 6 Steps To Eliminating Toxic People In Your Life
- If your gut tells you that you are dealing with a toxic person, you probably are. Take a good hard look at how you feel after being around them each time, and decide if it needs to change.
- Once you have decided a person is toxic, decide if the relationship is worth fighting for. If it isn’t, let it go. If it is…proceed to #3.
- Establish what toxic behavior this person is exhibiting. What boundaries need to be set to stop the toxic behavior?
- For example if you are dealing with someone who screams at you any time they get upset, your boundary is that the person is only allowed to talk to you in a calm voice. If yelling starts, you leave or hang up the phone.
- Inform the person of your boundaries in a calm, non-heated conversation. Do not wait until the person has upset you before you inform them of your new boundaries! That would make anyone feel defensive.
- Once you have established your new boundaries, follow through. If you ask the person to stop name calling you and they continue to do it, protect yourself! Leave the conversation or place and inform them they have crossed your boundary.
- Finally, if the toxic person continuously refuses to treat you respectfully, it may be time to cut the cord. When the person is blood, this can be brutal.
- If you are struggling with this step, find help. Surround yourself with LOVING people. See a counselor or support group that can help strengthen you when you feel weak.
Toxic people are damaging to and your family…period. Whether they are a family member, best friend, or just a distant neighbor, if they are toxic, they are harming you. This harm will continue until you put a stop to it.
If you struggle with a chronic illness, depression, anxiety, or negative self talk, why would you want to add fuel to the fire? Be an advocate for your healing and self improvement. You would never intentionally inhale a skunk for months on end, so stop inhaling stinky attitudes and behavior!