We often encounter the word “toxic” in our conversations and how such a person or their behavior can be hurtful and damaging. Unfortunately, we all have at least one such person who is difficult to avoid, but dealing with them can adversely affect mental health.
Even if it’s an important family member or an old friend, there is no excuse for bearing their toxic behavior. You must know your worth and set your boundaries because no relationship is worth staying in and that too, at the expense of your mental health.
While this word gets thrown around quite a lot, and it might seem too simple to deal with, but it is not so. Dealing with toxic behavior can be very exhausting, and hence, it is essential to know how to deal with a person who is toxic for you.
Let’s take a look at some Dos and Don’ts of coping with toxic behavior:
1. Don’t Be Manipulated
The biggest red flag of toxic behavior is manipulation. A toxic person will exercise control over you and manipulate you into believing things that may not be true. They could believe you into thinking you are a terrible person and everything is somebody else’s fault. No matter how close you are to that person, don’t fall into this trap.
What you can do is stay calm and disagree nicely. You can tell them politely what you think, even if it is upsetting. However, don’t accuse the person of anything, even if they are blaming you. Tell them you respect their opinion but also state the facts hurting you without sounding rude or angry. Unable to arouse a reaction from you, they would definitely avoid involving you in their blame game.
2. Do Convey Your Feelings
It is crucial to talk about how someone’s behavior takes a toll on your mental health. It is possible that they might be unaware of how their behavior is toxic. Now it may seem scary accusing them of toxicity straight on their face. Still, you can simply make the conversation neutral. How?
Tell them about how you feel instead of how they make you feel. This way, you avoid hurting any feelings and still send the message across in a more polite way.
3. Don’t Pretend to Be Okay
Everyone should be responsible for their bad behavior. While a few people sometimes blurt out nasty stuff and can be unreasonable, that cannot always be deemed toxic. Life can be challenging, and facing adverse circumstances or having an irritable mood can lead to unjust venting, but that does not justify toxicity.
It is okay to let a friend or a sibling vent out sometimes but don’t pretend to be normal with the constant lashing out or complaining. You don’t deserve to be treated like this every time things go south. So, don’t try to be okay with continuous emotionally abusive behavior. It might serve to let things go initially, but it will cost you your inner peace in the long run. Don’t be their punching bag!
4. Do Define Your Limits
It may seem harsh and might even put your relationship with the person in jeopardy. Still, it is the best you could do for yourself when coping with toxic behavior. They might guilt-trip you for being distant or that you don’t love them enough or are not the same anymore, etc. But having the space for your own peace is paramount. You cannot keep satisfying a toxic personality when it’s costing you your emotional health.
Set your boundaries. Give them the necessary support but step back a little when you don’t see that happening for you in return. It’s very hurtful to give and give and not get anything in return. This is why you have to define your limits and stop when you see the red flags.
5. Don’t Feel Guilty About Moving On
If a person is continuously hurting your feelings with their toxic behavior. Plus, they show no amount of compassion, support, advice, and love. Then perhaps it’s time to move on. Yes, letting go would be painful and difficult. It might even make you feel guilty, but it will get easier with time. Subtracting a toxic person from your life will eventually bring you relief.
You will no longer be worried about not being enough or hurt because of something harsh they had said to you in one of their emotional outbursts. Moving on doesn’t mean you don’t love them or care for them. It only means that you care for your own well-being too.
6. Do Prioritize Yourself
Toxic behavior is often seen as accompanied by narcissism. You should be smart enough to point it out. If they continuously put you down, make you feel bad about your failures, or show indifference towards anything good that happens to you, consider it toxic behavior.
They might also try to make everything about themselves through traits like self-importance and entitlement. It is perfectly okay to be there for them, but you cannot keep doing that, especially at the expense of your self-esteem. You have to believe in yourself and put your well-being before anything else.
7. Don’t Be Afraid of Saying “No”
We all want to make people around us happy and satisfied with us, and in wanting so, we often go above and beyond. While some people recognize and acknowledge your efforts, a toxic person doesn’t. They use your inability to say “no” to anybody and exploit you into giving them what they always want, no matter how unreasonable.
Don’t be afraid of saying “no” to them. Toxic behavior also involves unnecessary melodrama, and hearing a “no” could lead to that. But you have to stay firm and ignore the theatrics. Once you start practicing saying “no,” it will get easier.
8. Do Practice Compassion
While toxic behavior is not to put up with at any cost, it is vital not to label every outburst or tantrum as toxic. Keep your eyes open and practice general compassion there. See if the person genuinely needs your help. Most toxic behavior is self-centered, and it becomes apparent after a specific time.
Even if that happens, you still have to be sympathetic. Remember, you can always avoid getting bashed around without being rude or hateful.
FAQs On How To Deal With A Toxic Person
How to change toxic behavior
Toxic behavior creates stress and unhappiness. It also strains relationships. Those are places you don’t deserve to be. So keep youryour eye on the goal as you begin to address the toxicity in your life. If you’re wondering how am I toxic and how to change, then you have to take note of the following:
How To Stop Being Toxic
1. Set Boundaries
2. Accept the Past
3. Practice Self-Awareness
4. Own Your Actions
Can toxic people change
Toxic people can change; however, they must see their part in the problem before finding the motivation to do so. Unless the person asked the big question, “Am I toxic?” The answers to that query will help the person understand what makes up a toxic person and change from it.
How to stop being toxic and manipulative
Below are some tips to help you stop being toxic and manipulative:
1. Listen to others opinion.
2. Respect others.
3. Try to ease anxiety.
4. Learn something new.
5. Don’t be a perfectionist. Learn to go with the flow.
How to insult a toxic person
Insulting a toxic person will not bring any change, but rather, tell them about how you feel instead of how they make you feel. This way, you avoid hurting any feelings and still send the message across in a more polite way.
How to deal with toxic husband
A toxic husband might have toxic behaviors like resentment, dishonesty, lousy communication, jealousy, lack of support, and the like. But if you practice the 8 tips outlined in this article, you will be able to deal with a toxic husband and any person who feel like a toxic person to you.
You may not be able to see through somebody’s toxic behavior at first, especially when it comes from a beloved, a parent, or a sibling. But even so, you have to step back and not let it damage your mental health. Their behavior is not your fault, and hence, you are responsible for fixing them or tolerating their never-ending drama!
Judith A. Kelly is a relationship expert who, for more than 6 years, has counseled individuals and couples on how to have successful relationships. Judith has appeared as a guest expert on many online publications.