Interpersonal connections are a vitally important part of life. Without relationships and friendships, we can feel isolated, lonely, and depressed.
However, if we allow toxic people into our lives, these relationships can also cause similar feelings of anxiety, anger, and confusion.
If you have found yourself in a toxic relationship with a family member, friend, co-worker, or partner, you must find an appropriate way to address the situation.
Although I understand that some people hesitate to completely eliminate certain people from their lives (often because they are family members), this article is addressing those who desire to remove these toxic people from their life entirely.
Below are 7 steps to take to eliminate toxic people from your life.
1.) Recognize that this person is not going to change
The first step in this process is full awareness of the situation.
In the past, this person may have apologized, promised to change their behavior, or maybe even shown some behavioral progress. But they always go back to showing their true colors – red hot toxicity!
You must realize that your forgiveness, kindness, and long-suffering personality will not change who they are.
In the end, the only person that you are hurting is yourself – over and over again.
Letting go and closing the door to that relationship may hurt you in the beginning, but it will be an important step in allowing yourself to heal and build back positive confidence.
2.) Remove them from social media
This is absolutely not a passive aggressive or childish move – especially if you are a private person.
Toxic people tend to gather information, gossip, and spread rumors about the people that they do not like. When they sense that you are distancing yourself from them, they will make you their next target.
Your social media accounts will be used to gather details about your life to misconstrue to others. If you share aspects of your personal life on social media, it is very wise to remove them from these accounts. This will help you protect yourself from unnecessary contact and hurtful rumors.
3.) Do not talk negatively about them to others
Don’t fall into the same toxic trap of gossiping or spreading stories (even if they are true). Remain above the situation by choosing not to talk about them at all.
If they come up in conversation, you can always choose to say something short and cordial. “I wish them the very best in life.”
Even if you are deeply unhappy with that person, there is no need to divulge your true feelings to people who do not need to know the details. This will resurface your resentment towards that person, causing you unnecessary anxiety.
Choosing to remain silent on the subject to those who do not need to know will help you to mentally move beyond the toxic situation and towards healing.
4.) Realize that you do not owe them anything
As they become aware that they are being removed from your life, they may retaliate.
Some people respond with the silent treatment, while others launch a smear campaign against you. Some will subtly mock you behind your back, while others would prefer to accuse you to your face.
Although toxic people all respond differently, one thing remains the same – you do not owe them a thing!
If they expect you to explain yourself, give them a list of reasons, or apologize for your rude behavior, you must realize that you do not owe them any explanation for your decisions (not to mention an apology). If their toxic behavior is upsetting to you, don’t put yourself in a situation where you can be hurt all over again.
5.) Do not respond to their manipulation
As you distance yourself from a toxic person, they may try to contact you. Their communication may come in the form of accusations, victimization, guilt-tripping, or even a profound (yet worthless) apology.
Regardless of their chosen form of communication, they will always have a manipulative agenda that only benefits themselves.
When faced with this predicament in the past, I have chosen to not even open and read their messages. If necessary, I have someone who is not involved in the situation (my spouse) read the communication and deem whether I should read it or not. If it is hurtful and falsely accusatory, I simply delete or dispose of it.
To truly remove toxicity from your life, you cannot constantly open yourself up to being a victim of someone’s cruelty over and over again.
If necessary, block their number from your phone. Don’t allow your curiosity to get the better of you in these situations! It is better to never know what someone sent to you then to read their cruel comments and be negatively affected by their toxicity all over again.
6.) Do not allow other’s opinions to bother you
In these types of situations, your self-confidence may be lacking. When life gets you down, you may find yourself being more prone to make lifestyle choices that ruin your happiness.
One of these choices is allowing yourself to be negatively affected by what you assume others are thinking about you.
I’ve been here – several times actually. If someone looked at me the wrong way, made a comment in my direction, or voiced their disapproval or my decision, I would become overwhelmed with feelings of worry and self-doubt. I was making myself sick obsessing over how to please everyone. This destroyed my happiness!
As you distance yourself from a toxic person, some people may not agree with your decision. But you are not them and you cannot handle the same situations that they can!
Make a conscious effort to stop reading into things and looking for signs of what others think about you. Even if they voice their disapproval or concern, stand up for yourself!
Kindly remind them that you have made the decision for yourself and they are welcome to their opinion. However, you will not be changing yours. Reassure yourself that you have made the correct decision for yourself. Putting your physical and mental health first is incredibly important!
7.) Stand your ground and move forward
As time goes by, don’t allow sympathy or regret to change your decision. Toxic people are often very perseverant, so don’t allow them back into your life based off a belief that they may have changed.
If you are a compassionate person, you may find yourself making excuses or rationalizing that person’s behavior. Or you may notice that they are being kind and possibly changing their ways. You may start to sympathize with them and take the steps towards a rekindled connection.
Don’t do it! Even the worst of people do nice things once in a while.
Over time, as you stand your ground and guard your boundaries, the toxic person may move on and distance themselves from you. This can only happen if you maintain consistency in your treatment of them.
As they fade from your life, you will be able to move beyond the hurt and focus on more positive aspirations.
In the days of electronic devices, it is easy for toxic people to take “cheap shots” at you on social media or hide behind their phones as they send you a hateful text.
Don’t allow yourself to be hurt by their behavior. Taking the steps to remove them from your life is an important part of maintaining your physical and mental health.
If you have any questions about this article, just let us know in the comment section below! We’d be happy to help you out!