“LETTING TOXIC PEOPLE GO IS NOT AN ACT OF CRUELTY. IT’S AN ACT OF SELF-LOVE.” — A SMART PERSON
Spring is the time where the weeds are taken out, and the flowers finally get a chance to grow.
You are the flower.
The weeds? Toxic people.
A toxic person is the epitome of a vampire. They suck the life out of you through discouragement, negativity, and “assholery.” (A word from Wynonna Earp that I thought was perfect for this sentence.)
You don’t need these people in your life, not when you want to grow and shine. These people dim your light, and unless you want to be brought down, don’t surround yourself with them.
Ditch them. Leave them behind and find a new group of friends. Start talking to people that will only bring you up and with people who want you to grow.
Connect only with the people you want to connect with.
So, here’s a guide to how you can let go of toxic people.
1. FIGURE OUT WHO THESE PEOPLE ARE
In order to let go of toxic people, first you have you have to find out who the toxic people in your life are.
Since you’re reading this, I’m assuming that you already know at least one toxic person in your life, but really think—are there more? Is there someone else in your life that you don’t want in it anymore?
*Reminder: not all toxic people in your life can be left behind. Sometimes you have to deal with bosses, co-workers, family members, etc. for the sake of life.
Let’s talk about how you can identify a toxic person.
2. WHAT ARE THERE PATTERNS?
Toxic people have patterns, these are the things that make them toxic in the first place.
What kind of patterns do the toxic people in your life have? Here’s a few that you might identify with:
- They only talk to you when they want a favor from you
- They’re pessimists (lots of people are pessimists, but if their negativity is having an effect on you, that’s when you leave)
- The majority of their conversations include talking shit about others
- Discouraging and putting you down is a hobby of theirs
- They don’t respect your time, and you can’t count on them
Figure out what patterns, maybe it’s something that’s not on the list. Once you know this pattern, remember it.
You want to remember toxic patterns for two reasons:
1. When you remember what their patterns are, you can identify a toxic person early. You’ll save yourself the struggle of developing a relationship, only to find out halfway through that they’re not good for you.
If you’re not sure whether or not they’re toxic, you’re lying to yourself. Those “bad feelings” that you get about someone are trustworthy. Learn to trust your gut.
2. Knowing these patterns becomes a guide of the person you don’t want to be. Let go of toxic people but learn from them first!
And if you have any of these qualities, just stop them. Stop judging people, stop talking to people only to ask for favors, etc. You may identify them in yourself, but don’t beat yourself over it. Just forgive yourself, and don’t do it again.
3. SET BOUNDARIES
Now, the actual answer to how to let go of toxic people. What you want to do first is set boundaries.
Let’s say that there’s somebody who only talks to you because they need a favor, and it’s something that they’ve done countless of times. When they ask you to do something, you have a choice. You can say yes or you can say no.
As of right now, you probably keep saying yes because you still have that toxic person in your life. This person is toxic because all they do is take. They don’t provide any value to you, and if you were to ask them for a favor, they’d probably say no.
This is where you set boundaries. Next time they call, just say no. They’re going to repeatedly ask why not, and they might even insult you, but all you have to say, “I just can’t help you out,” and leave it at that.
If you don’t want this person in your life at all, then don’t even pick up the phone. Decline the call everytime they call you. If you don’t want this person in your life, then not picking up the phone shouldn’t be difficult.
If all they do is judge people in conversations, then change the topic. If they bring it back to the judging, then go somewhere else.
Here are a few more ways that you can set boundaries with toxic people.
4. STOP SEEING THEM SO GODDAMN MUCH
Vanessa Van Edwards, a genius who studies people, suggests that when it comes to toxic people that you still want to see or don’t want to see but you have to, you can minimize interactions.
Maybe there’s a coworker that you need to see for some work stuff over coffee, but you’ve never really liked to work with them because they’ve always given you a bad feeling.
What you can do is minimize the interaction. If you need to talk about things, stay for an hour, and not a minute more. You’ll go through what you need to quickly because you’re on a time limit.
MINIMIZE TOXIC EVENTS
You can let go of toxic people, but you can also minimize toxic events.
Maybe you’ve set up a time to go to a party on Saturday, but you hate parties. What do you do? Cancel the event.
If your friends asked you to go the club on Friday night, but crowded spaces give you anxiety, then cancel your plans.
If you don’t feel good about something, you don’t have to go through with it. Go through your calendar and see if you have any of these events coming up, and cancel them!
5. SAY NO
You’re allowed to say no, decline, and totally object to someone or something.
If somebody wants to make plans with you, and you don’t want to see them, then say no politely. Don’t be an asshole about it either, and if they insist, don’t give in!
You never owe anyone an explanation. You can say, “I just don’t feel it. Anyway, I have to go. Talk to you soon,” and hang up.
You don’t have to explain to everyone why you’re not feeling up to something because most of the time they won’t understand. They’ll continue to insist until next thing you know you’re in a tight dress and heels, dreading your night.
6. DITCH THEM ALTOGETHER
Stop answering their calls. Don’t text them back anymore. Stop making plans with them.
If you think that a person doesn’t deserve an explanation, and you really do need to get away from them, then ditch them.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU JUST CAN’T SAY NO
There will be times where you can’t let go of toxic people.
Sometimes you don’t have a choice but to go see someone. Maybe you and a person from your class got put in a group together so you have no choice but to meet them at the library.
That sucks, but you have to go. You have to get your work done—you can’t just not show up.
That’s why you refuel after.
Refueling is just you setting up something that you enjoy for yourself. So, after going out with a toxic person, you set up a spa appointment after, or you go to the library to read, or you go to dinner with friends.
Whatever it may be that you enjoy, set it up after you’ve hung out with this person. This way you’re able to get your mood up again, plus it makes going to meet the person less dreadful because now you have something to look forward to after you’re done meeting them.
So, I hope you take all of these tips into consideration! Which one of these are you going to start with? Let me know in the comments.
Remember to share this with someone you know who wants to let go of toxic people, too!