What exactly a toxic person is depends on who you talk to. However the underlying result is always the same: they leave you feeling powerless, vulnerable, and depleted. Feeling this way for long periods of time can be detrimental to your well being.
People who are aggressively physical have obvious toxicity. But what about the subtle types? The ones that ravage you from the inside out?
- takes and never gives in return
- constantly complains
- puts you down
- makes you feel guilty
- can only criticize
- Walk Away
Say, for instance, you are in a room full of people, and someone starts ranting about this or that, complaining about politics or people's lifestyles, and you know - you KNOW - that no matter what you say, however eloquent, you will never change this person's mind...just walk away. You DO NOT have to be there to hear all of the negativity. Your presence is NOT necessary. Leave! Save yourself! Stand up, totally calm. Grab your children nonchalantly and leave the room. Come back in when you know enough time has passed that everyone else in the room has argued till they were blue in the face with the toxic person, to no avail, and the topic has been changed. Phew! You saved yourself from a toxic encounter!
- Take Yourself Out of the Equation
How about this...There was a huge misunderstanding and, if it had happened with someone who was able to have a normal conversation, it would be done and over with in a calm conversation. Yet your dealing with a toxic person who DOES NOT have such skills. They are gossiping to everyone how you did this and you did that. It doesn't matter if it's false or true, take yourself out of the equation. Don't play the game. Don't counter act all the assaults. Leave. IF need be, say your bit TO the toxic person, just the facts, totally calmly, and then let it go. Chances are everyone else is just as fed up with this person as you are. They will see that it's just another one of this person's tirades and will start to follow you. They too will remove themselves from this person's path, seeing how calm and relaxed you are not being involved with this toxic person. If they don't, it's not your problem. Take care of yourself.
- Take Responsibility
For your health! It's YOUR health. If you don't take care of yourself, who will? No one. Are you going to continue to let this person shape your life for the worse? Allow yourself to feel the effects of their negativity so much that it is effecting your health? They take and never give. Who is to blame? Them? No! They are always going to do what they do. What they do to YOU is up to YOU. No one else. If you don't want to be treated poorly, don't allow it. Do what you have to do to take control of your life. If that means no longer engaging someone in a conversation because you KNOW it's going to turn sour, don't! If you know that just by being around a certain toxic person brings you down and causes you to feel horrible for days, weeks later, then limit or restrict your contact with that person. You are in charge of your life, of you. Don't let others bring you down. You have to take care of your health so that you can take care of all the other things and people in your life you are responsible for.
There are many other ways in which you can save your sanity and your health. If you have any additional ideas and tips, please share! We can all use additional tools in our arsenal against our toxic common enemy.