We encounter all different types of people in our lives every day and unfortunately they aren’t always the best people with the best intentions.  It can be hard to recognize when someone is a toxic source of stress or unhappiness, but it’s important to try to identify these types and figure out how to deal with them or eliminate them from your life.  This will relieve a huge stressor from your day-to-day life and the interactions with those individuals.  Put yourself first and figure out how to work with toxic people, or have the confidence to just say no.  Here are a few helpful ways to do just that.


Assess The Relationship

Is this person bringing you happiness and support or stress and unwanted drama?  This is a quick way to figure out which category they fit into.  Or, even simpler – how do you feel around them?  Do they put a smile on your face and make you feel good about yourself?  Or do they always bring you down and you feel exhausted after dealing with them?  If you’ve identified someone as a toxic person, that’s the first and biggest step.  It’s time to establish some boundaries to protect yourself.  This doesn’t mean you avoid them all together, but you know to be careful about how much you give to the relationship and how vulnerable you allow yourself to be in their presence.  Even if it’s a family member, it’s important to keep boundaries that work for you.


Lost Cause

Realize when someone is a lost cause – meaning they cannot be changed or are uninterested in bettering themselves for other people.  Accept that some people will never accept responsibility for any shortcomings or problems.  While frustrating, it’s best to label it as it is and move on.


Be Your Own Best Friend

If you are having trouble eliminating a toxic person in your life, think about the situation from a different perspective.  If your best friend came and told you about this person, what advice would you give them?  Chances are you would be a bit more protective and strong-willed of your friend and you would tell them to get out.  Treat yourself like you would a friend.  Even if you need to say it out loud in a conversation, have that conversation with yourself.


Your Feelings Are Valid

Toxic people are constantly trying to make you feel bad for your feelings and thoughts.  It’s their first line of defense – it’s not me, it’s you that’s the problem.  They will often try to question or change your opinions of yourself.  Don’t allow them to do this.  Stay true to yourself and know that your feelings are valid.


Seek Professional Help

If you are really having trouble getting rid of or establishing boundaries in a relationship, it might be time to seek professional help.  Either attend therapy together or go at it alone to work up a game plan for how to deal with this person.


Dealing with toxic people is stressful and challenging, but with a little effort and courage, you can take care of yourself.  Learn to put yourself first and you’ll lead a much happier life in the process.