Toxic people are the type of people that make life hard and stressful. Their effect on you is the same as that of any other toxin in the environment – they poison your mind, soul, and body.
Whether they’re jealous, judgmental, needy, hypocritical, manipulative, or dishonest, toxic people can sap all your energy and leave you feeling emotionally, mentally, and physically drained in the blink of an eye.
The longer you stay under their toxic influence, the easier it is for them to manipulate you and make you act in ways that suit their needs.
One thing’s for sure: if you fall into their toxic trap and don’t do anything to get out, they’ll wreak havoc on your overall health and suck the happiness and life out of you.
So, how can you protect yourself from toxic people?
Well, of course, it would be best when you could just distance yourself completely from such people. But it’s not always as easy as that.
The thing is that when the toxic person is a friend, partner, co-worker, or neighbor, you may have to deal with them for a short time. But when the toxic person is a family member, the situation becomes much more complicated.
With family members, you’re almost forced to go the extra mile so as to maintain the integrity of the whole family group.
So, if you happen to have toxic family members and you can’t distance yourself from them completely, here are 7 things you can do that will help you handle them successfully:
1. First things first, don’t ignore their toxic behavior.
Unfortunately, many people turn a blind eye to the toxicity of a family member and avoid confronting them in the hope that this will stop their abusive behavior. But instead of having this effect, this makes their behavior even worse.
The truth is that acting like everything is okay won’t make them put an end to their madness. They’ll only see this as a sign that you’re okay with the way they treat you or that you’re too weak and afraid to confront them, which will make them continue exploiting your weakness and psychologically abusing you.
So, stop putting up with their bad behavior and call them out on it instead. Stand up for yourself and tell them that their behavior is wrong and you’re not going to tolerate it.
2. Be open and direct with them.
When a toxic family member wants to provoke conflict, they can easily make you fly off the handle.
But instead of creating unnecessary drama and entering into a heated discussion with them, try to stay calm and collected. Be open and direct when you express yourself.
Don’t let your negative emotions affect your actions and stay focused on the way you respond instead. And when you notice that the toxic person isn’t actually trying to resolve the conflict, but win it, leave the conversation.
3. Don’t take their behavior personally.
Always bear in mind that the way they treat you has nothing to do with who you are or your worth. It’s very likely that they will often try to shift the blame onto you so as to justify their toxic behavior and get away with it.
Remember that when you let their hurtful words and bad actions get to you, you actually admit that you’re guilty of what they’re accusing you. And the more you take the blame for things that are not your fault, the more they’ll use you as a scapegoat.
4. Keep in mind that they might not be bad people, but it is best to maintain distance from them.
There are cases in which the toxicity is, in fact, a manifestation of a deep-seated problem. A lot of toxic family members actually care about and want the best for us, but the way they live their lives and see ours forces us to please them.
Thus, trying to please them and meet their expectations, we put their feelings, needs, and wants before ours.
But you need to remember that even if they aren’t truly bad people, you should never compromise your own well-being and happiness for them. Sacrificing your own happiness, needs, and priorities for a person who doesn’t treat you right and shows no intention whatsoever of changing their behavior despite your good intentions is simply not worth it.
5. Focus on your overall well-being.
Just because toxic family members can’t be avoided or simply cut out of your life easily, it doesn’t mean that you should allow them to suck all the positive energy and happiness out of you.
The best way you can prevent them from destroying your confidence and self-esteem and ruining your life is to focus on your mental, emotional, and physical well-being as well as your needs, wishes, and priorities.
Remember that if you don’t take care of yourself, no one else will.
6. Forgive them.
Instead of carrying feelings of anger and resentment in your heart and hating them for all the stress they create in your life, let go of all the drama and forgive them for their mistakes and wrongdoings. Forgive them – not for themselves but for yourself.
But don’t forget. Use this negative experience as a valuable lesson and be more cautious in their presence.
7. Walk away.
If you’ve done everything to let them know how you feel and how hurt you are by the way they treat you, and also tried to reason with them, and you still can’t liberate yourself from the negativity and stress they cause in your life, know that sometimes the best thing you can do is let go of them.
Completely distancing yourself from them won’t certainly be easy, but after all, you’re the one who knows what’s best for you, and if walking away is a way to protect yourself from their toxicity, then you should absolutely do it.
Riley Cooper is a professional writer who writes informative and creative articles on topics related to various fields of study. Written with love and enthusiasm, her articles inspire readers to broaden their knowledge of the world, think and get ready to act.