29 Ways To Deal With Toxic People

Toxic people’s energy feels heavy and depressing. Negative people can quickly leave you feeling drained and low.

Here are some tips to deal with toxic people that worked for me when I was in a toxic relationship. Some tips worked for the people I coached, and some were given by my facebook readers.

1. Physically distance yourself.

That’s the most obvious and best way to deal with toxic people because no matter how much you try to protect yourself, sometimes they still find a way to do damage.

2. In no way give your energy to them.

Toxic people crave your energy and attention. They especially like when you negatively react to their remarks. Don’t give them such joy – refuse to react with your body and emotions, and they will find you not amusing enough to spend their time on.

3. Limit your exposure.

Think of ways to limit the time you spend with toxic people. Can you physically shift away from them? Can you arrange your day so that your schedule doesn’t meet theirs? For example, if you live with a toxic person, maybe you can go to a library when they come back from work; or maybe you can go to sleep early if they go to bed late. This will buy you easy and light hours of your existence.

4. Balance their heavy attitude with positive influence.

Weigh the scales to your favor by introducing more positive activities in your day. Surround yourself with inspirational books, join positive entrepreneurs’ groups, start some new hobby; do everything to lift your mood, so that the effect toxic people have on you is insignificant compared to all the wonderful things you’re engaging in.

5. Understand that toxic people are in pain.

No person who hurts others is happy with herself. By verbally beating others up, toxic people actually batter their own selves. Their external toxicity is the symbol of how they treat themselves. The pain you feel after their remarks is lesser than the pain and misery they have to live with every hour of their lives. Be compassionate, therefore; this kind of understanding and attitude will help you to be less affected by their words and actions.

6. Energetically protect yourself.

Whenever you perceive some situation as threatening to drain your energy, imagine yourself in a gemstone egg. This egg is impenetrable, and any energetic attack jumps right off the egg’s stone shell. This is a powerful shielding technique to keep yourself balanced and in possession of all your energy.

7. Respect yourself.

The more you value yourself, the less time you spend with people who don’t value you. If you make excuses to spend time with toxic people, like

“But I’ve known him for ages”

or

“I can’t just severe our friendship”

…it’s time to raise your self-esteem. If you willingly choose to spend time with toxic people, your self esteem is low and deep within you think you deserve such treatment. Raise your self esteem and excuses to remain with toxic people will disappear.

8. Don’t let their words sink into your unconscious.

Never allow hurtful words to pass the barrier of the conscious mind into the sea of unconscious, because if you do, your confidence will diminish and your mood will go down; you will start limiting yourself in many ways if their hurtful words take root in your being. Always be on guard to what toxic people say to you; especially be alert for hidden belittling remarks that can sting after some time.

Such remarks, for example, are:

“Your story was inspirational! You probably should have avoided opening up that much, but I thoroughly enjoyed your story.”

These kinds of criticisms sandwiched between praises are easy to accept, and they start damaging your self esteem if they reach your unconscious mind.

9. It’s your choice.

You choose whether to be influenced by toxic people or not. You can stand your ground and refuse to take in their toxic waste, or you can choose to absorb it and make your life worse off as a result.

10. Refuse to lower your energy.

Toxic people can’t affect you if you refuse to lower your vibration to meet theirs. Only when you lower it, do you feed them with your energy and thus become disempowered. Every time you react to their remarks and behavior, you’re doing just that – lowering your vibration to get into rapport with theirs. Thoughtful positive response, or no response at all, on the other hand, keeps your vibration unchanged.

11. It’s not personal.

Do you think those people are toxic only with you? They’re toxic with everyone. A spiky plant doesn’t just hurt one hand that touches it – it hurts everyone who attempts to do so. The same applies to toxic people. This understanding will make it easier to bear them, and maybe you won’t take their remarks too personally anymore.

12. It’s not personal at all.

In addition to the previous point, let me also tell you that the way toxic people react to you is not really directed at You. They respond to their own mental projections of you; they’re fighting with their inner demons. If they’re toxic, the way they see the world and the people in the world is totally inaccurate, so don’t get upset when they hurt you; the image they see of you is not really who you are.

13. Avoid eye contact.

Most drainage occurs through eye contact. If you are quick to lose your ground and energy, therefore, avoid eye-contact with toxic people at all costs.

14. Avoid arguments.

Trust me, toxic people are experts in arguments. They will quickly bring you down if you attempt to over-smart them with arguments.

15. Keep it short.

The conversation with them should be kept as short as possible. Excuse yourself in any way to end the contact fast. Answer their questions in a way that don’t make the conversation continue, like “Yes” or “No”. Don’t feel bad about giving short answers, as it’s them that should be feeling bad about how they treat you.

16. Agree with them.

In the conversation, either agree with them or say something along the lines of “I understand where you’re coming from” or “Okay”, or “I see”. This will help to avoid unnecessary confrontations that would result in energy drainage, and it will protect you from more forceful negativity attacks from them. Never bite their low vibration hooks, no matter how carefully they craft them.

17. See whatever goodness they have.

However hard it may be, see what positive qualities toxic people have and focus all your attention on them; be grateful for those qualities, however insignificant they are, like an occasional smile or some sign of humility.

18. Be okay with their traits.

Accept them for who they are and make peace with that. They will change when or if they’re ready to change. There’s nothing you can do if they’re not willing to change.

19. Send them this energetic message:

“You’re in pain- that’s why you behave this way. I’m sending you love, compassion and support.”

Some of them will feel this message and will probably leave you since the energy coming forth won’t resonate with them. Some may benefit from this energy shower and will start changing, if they’re ready to change.

20. Check your vibration.

The hardest thing to acknowledge is that if you regularly attract toxic people, your vibration is not that different. Keep raising it and you will notice that negative people leave your life.

21. Turn it to positive.

Whatever toxic people say, laugh and say that it’s hilarious, when appropriate. This burst of happy energy is a real turn off for negative people and they will leave you in search for easier victims. Another thing to do is find inspiration in any part of their remark, and totally focus on it, like:

“Today is horribly cold.”

“I know, I love looking at snowflakes falling. It’s so beautiful and magical! It reminds me of the time when I was a child and …” (continue as long as you possibly can, getting more excited. This is a total turn off for toxic people).

22. Stand your ground.

Strongly assert your positive energy in no way being swayed by their negative remarks. If you avoid answering toxic people’s negative comments in a direct way, but turn it into something positive, it will help you remain unshaken. For example:

“I hate Bob.”

“You know I recently met Kate, Bob’s sister, and she looks gorgeous! She lost so much weight, good for her!”

Keep yourself on the clouds, so to speak, don’t descend from there. Toxic people will leave you shortly if you’re not subscribing to their gloom-filled reality.

23. Busy yourself.

Make yourself seem too busy to give them your time. Keep finding ways to get busy and keep excusing yourself from having to talk to them. You can even make it obvious that it’s an excuse, for they don’t value your time anyway so you shouldn’t care if it’s an urgent business or not. For example:

“I would like to talk to you about something.”

“Maybe next time as I need to fill these documents so I’ll talk to you later” and leave – no further excuses are necessary – you are busy and they should respect that.

Facebook readers’ tips

Here are some insightful tips that I got from my facebook readers when I asked how they deal with toxic people.

24. What can you learn from them? Are they reflecting some trait you have, which should be eliminated? – James

25. Let them be as they are, while you remain as you are. Leave emotions at the doorstep. – Marcus

26. Be an observer of their drama, there’s no need to react to their negativity. If we react, we start losing power to the situation. It’s a waste of energy. — James

27. Pretend you misunderstood what they said and turn it into something positive. — Anne

Additional tips

28. Leo Babauta in his post on negative people advises to face them with a company, so that it wouldn’t be only you on the receiving end as a target for all their negativity. I think that’s a great tip.

29. Whilst dealing with toxic people, keep working out your escape plan. You should and must create an environment to flourish in and to develop yourself in ways that your soul urges you to. To dictate what people can remain in your life you must be the master of it.

To become the master of your life, firstly you need to master your Self. Strengthen the inner core to get in control of your emotions, finances, relationships and all live’s aspects. This book can help to find courage and inspiration to stop fearing and start living. It helped me to break up with my toxic partner.

Conclusion

These 29 ways to deal with toxic people must surely make it easier for you to face their attitudes. If you have more tips to share that worked for you, please do so in the comments below!

Comments

  1. Richa Soni says:

    Thanks Simona for sharing this article it is very useful for me, i will try to do the things that you have mentioned as i am also fed up of living with such toxic people.

  2. Oindrilla says:

    Hi Simona,

    The article is so appropriate for me now that I am going through a separation from my husband and his toxic father. They seem to be bitter about every thing in life.

    But my concern is how can I keep my child of 5 years away from such toxicity since he will be living with both of them. I wish he was old enough to understand these situations but I definitely wish to guard him from their negativity.

    • If you can’t change some situation, you will need to accept it. We all as children had difficult times and this might be something your child is meant to go through, Oindrilla. I know it sounds negative and even cruel, but life is fair – we don’t know what each soul needs.

  3. Jessica says:

    Bless you Simona, you hit the nail on the head! I was nodding to each example because I live with a toxic person. It’s fascinating to note that since I’ve got back into my writing hobby (of which he’s jealous, & purposely disturbs & criticizes it), joined meditation groups with positive people, he is now wishing to end our friendship & living arrangement. It’s very difficult as we share a studio apartment; he’s addicted to TV while I need silence or soft music, & he won’t stop talking, constantly finds fault with me & others, until it degenerates into an argument that could classify as verbal & psychological abuse. Worse, I get pulled into the same vicious cycle. As some people agreed, one cannot win such an argument. I’m no health professional, but I wonder why it is not considered a psychological condition.
    Heaven knows I’ve tried to help him, presented him with my learnings, but as the adage says, one can lead a horse to water but can’t make it drink. We’ve finally decided to find new living arrangements.
    I’ve also heard this type of people referred to as “psychic vampires” because an otherwise ordinary conversation with them is more exhausting than a two-mile run.
    I do appreciate your advise such as the egg shield, not letting them see us affected… well, all of them! It was exactly what I needed, and I will share your article on my social sites. A big thank you! :)
    P.S.: More tips: I spoke of it to a Pagan friend, who suggested making theatrical comments like “I’m SO tired,” yawning, stretching, looking sleepy, and frequently wiping one’s brow with a white handkerchief as though not feeling well (a fresh kleenex works fine, too). Seeing a seeming lack of energy, they give up. I would be interested to know if they work for anyone else as well!

    • ” As some people agreed, one cannot win such an argument….”

      That is what causes arguments. People have that need to be right and when you argue, you also want to “win” the argument.
      Say what you have to say and if the person wants to continue to argue, then, the person has a problem.

      • Yes, Kentb. Sometimes it’s tough, and sometimes I find myself willing to argue back. It’s always good to have self-awareness!

  4. Hi Simona

    great – the point which you had indicated ” toxic people are experts in arguments ” absolutely right and its easy to identify who is the toxic person amongst as I have experienced this all persons who argue too much always give a negative vibe

    Hari

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  6. One will always encounter negativity in others and in life when one has emotional and mental blockages within. So, while we work our way uphill, these tips are invaluable to preserving positivity and open-ness to the endless bounty of energy. But, ultimately, the toxicity of others resonates off of the fear and timidity we keep within, else it couldn’t touch us – so, at the top of the hill, one may eventually be able to stand in a toxic crowd without injury. The less investment you have in the world, the less the horns of little beasts can move you.

    Blessings and lovely post,
    M

    • The last sentence is particularly true, M. Catlett. The more you are contained within, the less damage toxic people can do. No matter how positive you are, however, you should always keep yourself away from negativity. A beautiful flower will die in a toxic soil.

  7. Pankaj Manral says:

    Hi Simona, It’s really a beautiful post. And I think we all face these peoples everyday in our life and one can find these people every nook and corner.
    Thanks for your post. Now I have got an idea that how to tackle these……………

  8. Just as Ananth said. What if the toxic person is a relative? It wasn’t until I grew up that I realized that my dad was terribly toxic. He would provoke me when no one was around and if I reacted or got angry, he would tell the family and turn them against me.

    • The same points apply, Ann. Distance yourself as often as you can, even though it’s a family member. Don’t let anyone, even family members, affect you. Your well-being should be most important, as only if you’re well, can you bring light into the lives of others. You need to be selfish in such situations, but such selfishness actually translates into selflessness eventually. It’s always your choice how you spend time and with whom.

  9. This post just come in time, as I was just thinking of getting rid of some some toxic people in my life. Thank you Simona

  10. Towhidul says:

    Thank you so much.

    Really needed this. I have been thinking about how to deal with my toxic family all week and suddenly this post arrived in my email.

    Thanks again.

  11. Dear Simona,

    Just as I was going about my morning routine I was thinking of excuses for staying with my highly toxic husband. When I stopped to pick up my cell phone I found this email from you. It was the timing that amplified it’s message for me.

    Even toxic people can appear loving and that throws us off, to where we find ourselves trusting and hoping the best again. Then when we least expect it they project some of their inner turmoil out onto us as if to say, “Here is some of my pain…could you carry it for me for awhile so I can catch my breath enough to keep on living this life.”

    It is so hard to witness and participate in . Yet, we bond ourselves closer, tighter to THEIR turmoil and as much as we truly want to help them, we find ourselves being pulled under with them.

    I think at some point we open our eyes enough to see that yes, we love this person and wish to rescue them from their misery. And then we ask ourselves, “Would I do the same for me? Do I love myself enough to put that same amount of effort into pulling myself to safety?”

    Let us keep reaching for the higher energy until we reach that place inside of us where we can answer that question with a resounding, “YES!”

    Thank you so much for your post. I needed it. I will use to redirect my energy.

    Kindly, Penny

  12. Margaret says:

    Wow! Simona, I must confess by reading this I have learnt a lot on how to deal with toxic people. I have friend like that and I have honestly been looking for a way to handle it.But now…all thanks to you.

  13. Thanks Simona! for this post. But how would you deal with a toxic person if they happen to be close to one’s heart, like parents/spouse/children? I would like to change them for better.

    • You can’t change them for better, Ananth. They can only change when they decide. Then and only then can you help them out, if they allow you to do so.