by Jennifer Zmurchyk – Prairie Sky Wellness
In 2016 I made the decision to take my life back. At the time, I was very ill with Type 1 Bipolar Disorder and pretty much at rock bottom. I realized at the time that I had a choice to make – continue to live a life of misery and darkness, or take my mental health into my own hands and do what I could to change things. I chose the latter and I am so grateful because today I am living a rich and happy life relatively free from Bipolar symptoms.
Part of the changes I needed to make was removing the toxic people in my life. Unfortunately almost all of these toxic people came in the form of family and friends which made it very difficult and it took a lot of courage on my end to stand up to them, put boundaries in place, and when the boundaries didn’t have an effect I had to walk away.
“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet”Gandhi
Signs of a Toxic Person
Gaslighting – a good example of this is when someone exhibits bad behavior or mistreats another person, and when they are confronted with their behavior they blame the very person that they mistreated. Someone who gaslights tries to convince another person that they are at fault for their own toxic behavior.
Physical Reactions – often when we are around toxic people our body will experience a negative physical sensation. Seeing a text from them makes our stomach jump, after having a lunch date with them we feel drained, experiencing anxiety and nervousness when we know we have to see them. It is important to listen to our bodies and any signs such as these are good warning that the person is toxic.
They Always Take and Never Give – if we find ourselves constantly giving to these people and never getting anything in return chances are we are dealing with someone who is toxic. There is nothing wrong with giving, but a healthy person understands the relationship between give and take and we will never feel taken advantage of when giving to someone with a healthy personality who cares about us.
Downgrading and Destroying Self Confidence – toxic people do something called ‘levelling’. If we have a major achievement, instead of congratulating us the toxic person will find a way to dig at, or downplay our achievement. Toxic people do not want us to be happy as they prefer to keep us down at their low level. They point out things that are ‘wrong’ using criticism and judgement and they often do this slowly over time until our self confidence is non existent.
Ignoring Boundaries – if we set healthy boundaries, people that care about us will respect them and have no issues with this. A toxic person will often have a temper tantrum if a healthy and fair boundary is set. Grown adults that are toxic will seemingly kick and scream and pout if we set a boundary.
No Apologies – a toxic person will never apologize when they treat someone poorly. They do not have the ability to face their own shadows and everything they do in life is for them; they do not care if they hurt others. There is no ability for the toxic person to take ownership for treating someone poorly and they often twist it around and blame the other person for feeling hurt.
Conversations Are All About Them – a great indication of a toxic person is when having a conversation with them and the subject matter turns to us, they become bored and will do their very best to steer the discussion back to them. They are not caring or supportive, and they have no interest in us or how we are doing in life.
How To Get Rid Of Toxic People
Though it is difficult to weed these people from our lives, the solution to getting rid of them is actually quite simple.
Leave. Ice them out. Let them go. Walk away and don’t look back.
“The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple“Albert Einstein
There is no reason to hang on to toxic people. None. They drain us, erode our confidence, use us, abuse us, and manipulate us. Why hold on to someone like that? It is not an act of self love to keep a person in our life who treats us like we are expendable. Every single one of us deserves to be treated fairly and with respect. Toxic people, even if they are family members have no business being in our lives.
So choose self love. There is no reason to ever feel guilty about removing someone in our life like this. Toxic people are abusive. We do not need to feel bad about bruising the feelings of someone who abuses when we kick them out of our lives.