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How to deal with toxic people- 20 tips

They don’t teach us how to deal with toxic people in school and colleges, just like other important life skills.  It is important to keep positive people around us, and if we do not pay attention to the quality of our company, we may end up in the company of people who are negative, and so negative that they become toxic.

What is toxic behavior?

Toxicity can come in several forms. It can come in your personal life and it can come in your professional lives. You know you are dealing with a toxic person when every time you are around them, you feel unconfident, manipulated, disrespected and far from happy.

It is hard to understand why people become toxic. Perhaps they have been through a series of events which made them toxic. However, as much as you may want to try to deal with them, it is not your responsibility. You can only try so much, and then you need to take care of your peace of mind.

What are the signs of a toxic person?

Although there could be several signs of toxic people, here are a few, which would be most likely present everywhere, in work or home environments.

1. Toxic negativity

A toxic person doesn’t say anything positive. His/her mind, body language reflects negativity and malice. Their behavior towards you makes you feel low about yourself and your life.

2.  They try to manipulate you

Toxic people would make attempts to manipulate you and your thoughts. They would make you feel that your arguments lack merit and somehow theirs are right, and why you should listen to their ideas about your life.

3. Toxic people are dishonest

This is one of the ways they try to manipulate you. They do not admit the truth and create several versions of it to suit their reality. Someone has rightfully said that in order to defend a lie, one has to resort to a hundred more. Toxic people resort to dishonesty to defend their behavior.

4. Toxic people are toxic over a period of time

All of us have our own share of troubled times, when we are not at our best. Our behavior tends to be consistent, however, over a sustained period of time. The behavior of toxic people tends to be negative and toxic over sustained periods of time.  This is a clear sign that they are beyond reform, and have motivations which normal, positive and happy people fail to understand.

The above are a few signs of toxic people. Let us now get to the point, and look at ways of dealing with this toxicity. That’s what you clicked for. You are looking for some ideas on how to deal with toxic people.

Here are 20 ways of dealing with toxic people:

how to deal with toxic people
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1.  Try and understand the source of their negativity

Clearly, they are quite negative and that negativity is affecting your peace of mind. In the beginning if you come across a toxic person, you can make an attempt to understand what makes them so toxic. Perhaps they went through a lot of toxicity themselves. However, that is no reason for them to repeat the negativity with you.

A lot of people go through pain and negativity in life and turn out to be kinder, instead of toxic. May be you can try can rationalize with them that their toxicity is harming the relationship and it is taking you away from them. If they are flexible, may be they would want to change their behavior towards you. However, if it doesn’t happen, then you would have to protect yourself from their toxicity.

2. In order to deal with toxic people, discount everything they say

Do not pay attention to their negativity. It would harm you. Anything that say, serves their cause, which you fail to understand. If you are around a toxic person, behave as if whatever they say is staccato which has no meaning for you.

Do not let their words affect your peace of mind.

3. Understand that toxic people do not have positive motivations

Most people are kind and loving. This cannot be said about a toxic person. They find their motivation by putting others down. This may or may not make them happy but happiness is not what they are after. Their kind of happiness comes from putting others down and making them unhappy.

It is tough, even if possible; to understand the source of their motivations, so do not try.

4. Keep emotional distance from toxic people

There may be times when you can’t maintain physical distance from toxic people. Keep emotional distance. Toxic people are harmful because they cause you to feel disrespected, under confident, lacking in talent and dignity. If you keep an emotional distance from them, anything they might say to affect you negatively, would not affect you since you are not letting your emotions be exposed to them.

Do not let them stir negativity within you.

5. Try to use compassion to deal with their toxicity

Use compassion to deal with negative people
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Make an attempt if you think dealing with compassion may help their behavior in general. If they are being toxic, they wouldn’t only be harming you but would also be harming other people. If it is possible that their negativity can be addressed and be eliminated, without harming you in the process, it is worth making such an effort.

However, if nothing changes over a sustained period of time in their behavior and they continue to mistreat you, then you would need to figure how to save yourself from their toxicity.

6. Help them understand how their behavior is being harmful

If there is possibility of a meaningful conversation, help them understand how their behavior is being harmful to others and to them, as well. Nobody likes a toxic person. If they are being toxic to you, it is quite likely that they are being toxic and harmful to others as well.

Help them understand that their behavior is not serving even them, as they are not getting any happiness out of it, and it is also alienating others in the process.  If they see that they are getting nothing from the toxicity, they may want to consider changing their behavior.

7. Use external help to deal with toxic people

If you are struggling to deal with the toxicity at home or at work, see if you can find some external help.

For example, if this is a work situation and the toxic person is your boss, try and seek help from the human resources colleagues, who have a say in creating a healthy work environment. Tell them how the behavior of your boss is affecting your state of mind, and your work. Since the company is interesting in having a productive work force, they would be happy to probe. If the toxic behavior of your boss is affecting everybody else they deal with too, you may end up finding a solution to the problem.

If you are dealing with toxic family members, for example, a toxic spouse, you may want to get a friend of theirs to talk to them who they may be more inclined to listen to. It is possible that that they are only being toxic to you for a reason and are not willing to tell you.

Getting external help may be a useful idea where there is no progress and the toxicity of the environment is affecting your peace of mind and happiness.

10. Do not give in to manipulation by toxic people

One of signs of a toxic person is that they try to manipulate you. They try to make you feel that your version of truth makes no sense and their version does. The manipulation is intended to put a veil on the reality and make it sound like it is something else.

Beware of this tactic and do not be manipulated. You have your reasons for your reality and there is no reason why you would let them change the truth.

11. Always remember that nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission

Nobody can make you feel sad without your permission- remember that while dealing with toxic people
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Roosevelt said that, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

This quote holds significant weight when you are stuck in a toxic home or work environment. The problem with toxic people is that they would make you feel defeated and useless. They would find faults with your actions, thoughts, and in general make you feel wasted about yourself, if you let them.

Once you decide that their opinion of you holds no importance to you since all they do is make you feel discouraged, you would not be affected by anything negative that they to you, and about you.

12. Do not get sad, get angry

This is one of my personal rules for life. Whenever I feel that someone is treating me badly or that I am being manipulated, I have two choices. Either I could get sad, or I get angry.

Frankly, being sad doesn’t really solve anything because I get caught in a painful bubble and just end up feeling sorry for myself. If you feel sorry for yourself, honestly, nobody cares.

Life is hard and you would end up in situations, not of your own making, where you would have to deal with toxic people. In those situations, don’t get sad, get angry. Instead of being on the defensive, get on the offensive. Deal with the situation head on and do not let yourself go down.

13. Limit your interaction with toxic people

Find ways to not interact with toxic people. The reason why most people find it hard to deal with toxic people is because in most situations, they are either a part of their family and close colleagues at work. If they were far colleagues or far relatives, we would just don’t care. The people we are really talking about here are toxic colleagues or toxic family members. You know this is true, otherwise, you wouldn’t have read this far.

Find out a way to limit your interaction with these people. Clearly you have tried talking to them, being compassionate and offering your point of view, but it is not working. They don’t want to see your point of view, and you cannot accept their impositions on your life.

So, find ways to limit interaction.

14. Beware of the ego of toxic people

One of the signs of almost all toxic people is a big ego that just won’t be satiated. They would blame others of being self-obsessed when they are the ones who can’t get themselves out of their mind. The reason they become toxic is because they only care about their feelings and their lives while presenting themselves as the victim.

If you want your peace of mind, do not deal with ego. There is nothing much you can do about it since they have concluded that they are the ones who are being made a target. Toxic people don’t really care about the impact their actions are having on you and others. Be careful of this ego and don’t say anything to them that may hurt this rather bloated ego.

15. Figure out how to eliminate your dependence on them

If you are dependent on a toxic person emotionally or financially, you are on dangerous ground. They would use this situation to take advantage of you, and make you do stuff that you don’t want to do.

Find out ways to eliminate your dependence on this person, as soon as possible. Get a new job, or a new department, if it is work related. If this is personal, get out of their house as early as possible before things become really ugly.

16. Once you have some distance from them, try and see if they would be willing to take medical help, if needed

Use medical help to deal with toxic relationships
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It is possible that they need medical help in the form of a therapist or a counselor who could listen to them, and help them understand if they are suffering from any psychological problems.

You would do this if you still care about the toxic person you are dealing with. It is an effort that is borne out of love and compassion, since you know that toxic people do not end up creating any happiness for themselves either.

17. Beware of violence

Toxic people are prone to violence when they lose control over themselves, especially in personal spaces. In professional spaces, people are forced to maintain decorum since their jobs are at stake.

However, in personal spaces, that’s not the case. If not checked toxic people could resort to violence and you would rather protect yourself before that becomes a possibility.

18. Do not meet them alone

If you think that violence or abuse could be a possibility, do not set up a meeting when they are the only person around you. When in doubt, don’t meet them. If you must see them, ensure that you have help with you in the form of a friend or a relative.

It is never easy to deal with a toxic person, and especially when they could be at their worst. Although you want to take care of them, and that’s the reason you want to meet them, you also want to take care of yourself in the process.

19. Make up your mind how far you are willing to go for the relationship

You need clarity in your mind how far you may go for the relationship. There is a lot that you would need to invest emotionally in order to try and save a toxic relationship.

You would need to have clarity in your mind how far you would go for the relationship. You may want to move on with your life if the toxic person in your life is spoiling all aspects of your life. These may be difficult decisions to take. However, the buck must stop somewhere. It has to stop with you.

20. If nothing works – cut off the toxic relationship

We have come a long way to try and understand how to deal with toxic people. The truth is this is a difficult question to answer. No one really knows how to deal with a toxic relationship because each relationship is also different. So, these points may not apply to your life.

If they don’t, I am sorry I couldn’t help you, and I would try again. But, if nothing works and the relationship is causing irreparable damage to your life, the only way to cut the relationship off and move on with your life.

In conclusion– how to deal with toxic people

It is never easy to learn how to deal with toxic people in our lives. All relationships are different and so are all toxic relationships. This list is a set of thoughts which may help you in dealing with a toxic relationship given certain conditions. I do hope that some of these situations would apply to your life, and I would be able to help. The key of dealing with a toxic relationship is with as little damage as possible, if possible. I wish you luck.

Thank you for reading.

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I appreciate the time you spent in reading the blog and wish you happiness.



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