How To Remove Toxic People And Choose Yourself!
Look at us, on the third instalment of our February self-love mission. We will be taking ourselves off to Paris for the weekend soon.
Part of loving ourselves, is being able to recognise parts of our lives that affect us negatively. This is so important for making our mental health and wellbeing a priority.
I spoke in my previous post, ‘You Can’t Love Yourself Without Boundaries’, about the importance of setting personal boundaries and the positive effect this will have on our mental health. This is a follow-up on that post, concerning points 2 and 4…
2) Be mindful of the company you keep
4) Understand you can only change yourself
What is a toxic person?
Before you start removing all the people who annoy you from your life, let’s actually establish what a toxic person is.
A toxic person is someone who constantly makes you feel bad about yourself. They can do this is many different ways: -
1) Verbally abusive – Using words to make you feel small or insignificant.
2) Controlling – They like everything to be done their way. They want to be a part of your personal decisions, and get most upset if you don’t abide by their rules,
3) Narcissistic – Everything is about them, all the time. They are never in the wrong, they are always the victim, and they will never see your side. They will also talk over you often, steering every conversation to be about them,
4) Emotionally abusive – They get jealous really easily, and make you feel as though you’re the problem. They can be very manipulative, tell lies often and isolate you,
5) Bully you – They constantly try and humiliate you, either in private, or in front of others. They like to make a joke out of everything you say and find it enjoyable to embarrass you.
This is just a brief summary of how toxic people can generally behave. I think we can all agree, it’s totally unacceptable. Which brings me to my next point…
How to know if you have a toxic person in your life
Believe it or not, spotting the toxic people in your life, can actually be quite difficult. Toxic behaviour can really cause you to doubt yourself and distrust your own judgment.
This behaviour can be very hard to rationalise, especially if you are suffering with your mental health, as chances are, you are perfectly capable of doubting yourself all on your own.
So, how to spot them…
1) They drain you – They are a walking, talking dementor
2) They shrink you – They make you feel like you constantly need to change, to make them happy. You are never good enough, and therefore always doubt yourself.
3) They bring out the worst in you – They make you irritable, mean, or even a little toxic when you’re around them.
4) They make you anxious – You feel like you’re always walking on eggshells, trying not to set them off.
5) They put you down – You try so hard to please them, but nothing is ever good enough.
6) You’re a bit of a fixer-upper – You’re always having to make everything better for them. They take and take from you without any appreciation.
7) They don’t respect your personal boundaries – They don’t take no for an answer and can cause you to feel very guilty over doing what is right for you.
How to remove toxic people!
We have established what behaviour makes a person toxic, and how that can affect us. Now, we just need to know how to remove them.
1) Purchase human catapult from Amazon – okay, okay, maybe too far, but I’ll leave that down to your own personal judgement.
2) Set personal boundaries – I have a whole post on that here.
3) Be assertive – You are an independent human being *clicks fingers in front of face* - This point can be particularly difficult, especially if you are one to avoid conflict. Trust me, I hate conflict. It makes me want to crawl inside my own butt hole.
All I mean by this point, is be clear on how you are willing to be treated, and what you will not tolerate. You can do this by either talking to the toxic person in question, by very calmly explaining how they are making you feel, and how you won’t accept it going forward. Or, if that sounds a bit daunting right now, start to distance yourself from them.
4) Distance yourself – Now I don’t mean you have to move to outer space, although that may sound appealing. I just mean, don’t allow this person into your personal bubble. For now on, you decide how often you see them, or even have contact with them all together. If, when you are seeing them, they start to affect you negatively, then remove yourself from the situation. You are in control of yourself and your situation, so don’t be afraid to do what is right for you.
5) Perspective shift – Having a toxic person in your closest circle, can be very difficult. I know from personal experience, you feel as though you are stuck. You feel as though you can’t cut them out completely, but you are aware that they cause you pain. What we must do here, is shift our perspective. My therapist used to say to me, with toxic people, there are two versions of them. Version 1, is who you want them to be, and version 2, is who they actually are. Unfortunately, they will probably never be version 1. Therefore, it is down to us, to change how we see them. We can do this in three steps...
5a) Acceptance - We must accept that they are not the person we need them to be. They will never live up to our idea of what the relationship could be. This can be very difficult to do, it took me a year of therapy to master it. However, once you accept them for what they are, they lose their power. Their power came from you wanting the relationship so badly. Once you accept they won’t change, and that’s not your fault, they can’t hurt you anymore. You know what the relationship is, and you won’t cling to the false hope that damages you anymore.
5b) Mourn – When my therapist said this to me, I thought she was joking. However, this is a completely necessary step. You need to mourn the person you thought they would be. As this is a person you have wanted so much. You have been putting yourself through hell for this person, and they don’t exist. You need to mourn what could have been and give yourself time to accept that. It sounds strange to mourn a living person, but they are not the person you have been wanting, so give yourself time to process and accept that.
5c) Decide – Once you have taken these steps, you will be able to decide what is best. For me, I was able to maintain a relationship with them, as they no longer had the power to hurt me. This took time and effort on my part though, so please give yourself however much time it takes for your heart to heal. However, you may now feel as though the relationship isn’t for you, and that’s absolutely okay.
6) Take a break – Sometimes time away from someone, and their negative behaviour, is all you need to clear your head. Space from anything, can really help you rationalise how you feel, and make a more informed decision.
7) Do what you need to do – Only you know what is right for you. If you want to maintain the relationship, that is totally okay. Just ensure, it no longer has such a negative effect on you. However, if you want to cut all ties, you are absolutely within your right to do so. Your mental health must come first. Please don’t ever feel guilty, or selfish, for doing what is right for you.
8) Love yourself - Keep developing and taking care of yourself. The stronger you get, the less anyone can hurt you.
I really hope this post has been helpful to you. I realise it’s a bit of a heavy post to digest, but I set up Misled Millennial to be the blog I could never find, but always needed. I want to help you with truly loving yourself, and creating a happy life, whatever that means.
Toxic relationships are something I’m all too familiar with, so if I can help you, I will. It took me years of stress, worry and anxiety before I undertook therapy, moved across the world, and made the decision to focus on myself and my mental health.
Self-love is the most necessary thing if you want a happy life, I promise.
If this blog post struck a nerve, and you want someone to talk to, I’m always here. Misled Millennial is your safe space too.
As always, tight squeezes! X
Question of the week: What was your favourite self-love idea from last week? Don’t know what I’m talking about, click here!