Toxic people… they come in all shapes and sizes, they disguise themselves as family, friends and colleagues. Some are quite obviously toxic, but most are very clever at hiding it.
Some are so caught up in their own misery they seem like they want to spread it around until everyone around them is miserable too. They tend to complain non-stop, about anything and everything, everything is a drama, nothing is ever right or good enough, they blame anyone but themselves for anything that goes wrong, and if they can’t then they will find an excuse. They criticise everything others do, but don’t even think about criticising them.
Others are more selective with who gets to receive their venom. Most narcissists select their target carefully. And they make sure they gain power over them before they release the venom. Whether it’s because they hold a more senior position in a workplace or they love bomb you in a relationship, they make sure they have the upper hand. It even happens in friendships; one will be more dominant and won’t take kindly to other one saying no or not being in agreement all the time.
You may be reading this thinking I don’t have any toxic relationships, or it may have got you wondering if you do or not?
The best way to check is to think about how you feel before, during and after and interactions with each person in your life…
· Do you feel happy at the prospect of meeting up with them, or is there any apprehension there?
· Do you feel relaxed and at ease in their company, can you be yourself or do you have your guard up or feel like you have to watch what you say?
· Do you feel like you had a great time or are you second guessing things you said or things they said? Are you looking forward to next time or are you just glad that it’s over and you can go home?
Answering these questions honestly, making no excuses for anyone, will tell you if any of your relationships be it family, friends or colleagues are in fact toxic.
If you have just discovered that some of your relationships are toxic, you have a choice to make…
Do you speak to them about it and try to get the relationship on a better footing or do you cut them out?
It will depend on their type of toxicity, if they are the miserable person I described at the beginning, there maybe a chance of them listening and wanting to change. But a narcissist is a different species. There are two very common ways a narcissist will react if you call them out on their behaviour:
1. They may apologise and tell you they will change. They have no intention of changing, this my friend is just their way of not letting you escape their power. By making you believe they will change and that they are sorry, you will stay in their life allowing them to treat you badly, making them feel powerful or whatever it is a narc gets out of bullying and controlling people.
If they say they will change and don’t, it’s probably time to leave.
2. They will turn it around and make out they are the victim in this dynamic. They will turn the tables and tell you how much you hurt them when you do x-y-z. They may even turn on the waterworks and keep talking until you find yourself apologising for everything you have done and the hurt you have caused. Now you feel so bad that you will do anything to make amends, and now they are back in control of you.
If they turn it around without even discussing what you brought up in the first place, it’s probably time to leave.
You can stay around these people to make them happy, but they will never make you happy. You are not their priority, your feelings are not important to them. Yes, I know this sounds harsh, and it’s not nice to hear, but it is truthful, and you will never become the best version of you or live the life you want to live if you have these toxic people around you. Let them go from your life and find people who will treat you with the kindness and respect you deserve.
When I started this positive thinking journey, which I have been on for many years, I started with the most toxic one which was hard but the best thing I have ever done. Slowly, I began to notice others in my life who were similar, the relationships were on their terms, not mine and theirs, just theirs. Gradually I let each one go. It is better to be alone than in bad company.
You cannot heal or grow when you are surrounded by toxic people, my life has changed for the better and so have I since I eliminated toxicity form my life. And when it shows it’s head in a workplace or elsewhere, I now refuse to let it get to me or worse, get inside my head.
So, I must agree with Bryant McGill when he says that ‘One of the fastest ways you can profoundly change your life is to rid yourself of toxic people.’
You don’t ever have to put up with being treated badly. You deserve to be treated with kindness and respect at all times.
Drop in to my Etsy store Positive Life by Design for great printables to help you on your journey.