“People inspire you, or they drain you—pick them wisely.” – Hans F. Hansen
Do you know that old saying about frogs pulling down other frogs to escape a pot of boiling water? As dramatic as this is, this scenario is so true in our lives as well. No matter who you are, there will always be a few people who will try to put you down, make you drown in negativity and force you to doubt yourself. This is what you call ‘toxic people’ and a common rule to go by is to avoid such people whenever and wherever possible.
The quality of your life will always depend on the people you interact with on an everyday basis. Some of them positively influence you while some others can intensify your stress levels and shoot you with negative vibes. According to research from the Department of Biological and Clinical Psychology at Friedrich Schiller University in Germany, it has been concluded that being exposed to stimuli that cause negative emotions can trigger a huge stress response is this is precisely what happens when you’re around toxic people.
Talking about toxic people, who are they and how do you know if you’re surrounded by them? Read the below signs to see if you have toxic people in your life and if that happens to be the case, then carry on reading to know how to deal with such people.
How to recognize toxic people
- They cause you to be emotionally affected by their drama and no matter what the situation is, they leave a very negative influence on you when talking about people, situations, etc.
- You hate being around them and feel as though you’re stressed around their presence.
- You feel insecure and lack self confidence around them.
- You feel utterly exhausted when you’re around them or feel angry after your interaction with them
- You find yourself in a recurring cycle of trying to fix, rescue or care for them.
So, what can a toxic person do?
- They speak negatively about people all the time
- They will probably bad mouth about you to others
- They will criticize you in front of others
- They will play no role in your success
- They will trigger your mind against other people
- They will expend all their energy in complaining
Phew, these people are a handful, aren’t they? Which brings us to the grand and most important question –
How to avoid and deal with toxic people?
- Do not expect them to change – Toxic people are usually motivated by they own complex problems and they generally don’t care about how their behaviour affects others. So, expecting them to change is easier said than done. You can’t force toxic people to change and when you accept the fact that they are not willing to change, it becomes easier on you to let them go.
- Maintain boundaries – Toxic people have the power to drain you emotionally by constantly making you feel insecure, leading you to compromise and please them. This can be extremely exhausting and intolerable so when you start sensing anything like this, enforce some personal mental boundaries for yourself so you don’t end up draining unwanted energy on them.
- Don’t allow yourself to be pulled into crises – Toxic people can make it seems as though they need you when they find themselves in a crisis.They could even deliberately create drama to attract attention and manipulate others so keep this in mind. Don’t allow yourself to be pulled into their crises.
- Focus on the solution – Toxic people will make you feel angry, confused and sad but if you focus on this, you would end up being miserable yourself. Rather, turn your attention to clearing up the emotional challenges you’re facing without dwelling too much over it.
- Your weaknesses and difficulties should be yours alone – A toxic person can exploit your flaws and use it against you. You can avoid this from happening by learning to accept your weaknesses and by committing yourself to self-improvement. This way, even when a toxic person tries to highlight your flaws, you wouldn’t be manipulated by it.
- Know how to resist – When they feel ignored, toxic people will end up throwing tantrums. When this happens, don’t give in but remind yourself to resist as this will teach them that their old tactics will no longer work with you.
- Be wise in choosing your battles – Fights with toxic people requires tons of time and energy. It’s easy to be instigated but choose your battles wisely and save your energy and focus on building relationships that are genuinely healthy for you.
- Surround yourself with positive people – Removing toxic people from your life can be painful if they happen to be people you care about in some way. So to allow you to cope with that, be sure to build relationships with those who make you feel loved, happy and safe.