Breaking Up With Toxic People In Your Life Like An Adult

There would come a point in your existence where your work may affect your personal life and vice versa. Sometimes, it’s the toxic people in your life who are causing you some trouble in both areas. 

This often becomes more apparent when you reach a certain age. There are just some things you cannot put up with, such as the mood swings, the tireless rants and negativity, or worse, the abusive behavior.

When friends or people around you are not setting you up for success, you should consider letting them go. You can also at least minimize your interaction with them.

But where do you start? How do you get rid of toxic relationships?

Who are these toxic people in your life?

These people come by a number of names, though there are those who truly meet the criteria.

According to The Art of Charm, some people are simply difficult, and you shouldn’t mistake them with toxic people. Just because someone is overbearing, doesn’t mean he or she is toxic.

Toxic people are batshit crazy, unreasonable and often times, exhibit manipulative tendencies. 

Heysigmund.com noted that they could be anyone from the users, such as those who use you as a punching bag or doormat, to the expert manipulators who would control you to get their way.

There are also those who are always trying to change you. They are basically projecting their insecurities on you.

Pink track pants, to be exact. (via GIPHY)

Be wary of how these people are fooling you. You’ll be surprised at how easily you can spot how they manage to do so eventually.

Last but not the least is the negative Nancy, who doesn’t really have bad intentions towards you. Her life, so it seems, is a big soap opera. Despite all your efforts to cheer  her up, it seems like she really loves to wallow in her misery.

How to gently walk away from toxic people

Walking away from toxic people in your life is a very difficult endeavor as you have been used to the “toxicity” for so long, and may, in fact, crave for it.

But before walking away make your feelings known to these persons. Make them aware of their faults.

Joe Barton, a guest columnist at Quick and Dirty Tips, advised: “You need to have the courage to tell a toxic person the truth. Not only is this the only way to remove a damaging relationship from your life, but that person needs to have his feelings hurt so he can examine his life, face his own toxicity, and hopefully make a change.”

Barton warned though that the person may still disregard your opinion. Be that as it may, this step cannot be ignored.

Good riddance, assh*le. (via GIPHY)

By letting the person know how toxic he or she is, you are acknowledging that change has to happen in your life.

“If toxic people are getting the best of you, it’s important to limit their influence. In some cases, that may mean refusing to waste time thinking about that person. In more serious cases, it may mean cutting a toxic person out of your life,”says Amy Morin, author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do.

There are other ways of course that you can let go of these people without having to confront them.

Lakshmi Raman, a columnist at Tiny Buddha, has a few tips that include writing the person a letter and burning it. She also recommended finding new hobbies that will fill up the hole that the person will leave in your life.  

Showing toxic people in your life compassion

While walking away could help you, remember that these people also need your help. It could be that they just need a little understanding.

Oh boy. (via GIPHY)

Be generous in expressing that you understand them, and lend an ear to them. Do so while keeping in mind that your happiness is important to you, too. 

Understand that leaving the toxic people in your life will never be easy. But always remember that as a human being, you are born with pride and dignity. Respect is your foremost and fundamental right no matter who you are. So is your happiness. Good luck!

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Sandy Miguel is an independent website publisher, journalist and photographer from the Philippines. She used to be the managing director of an advertising technology provider where she managed around 50 online contractors at one time. Sandy writes about managing work-related stress, exploring one's options outside the four corners of an office, and work-life balance for Get Over Your Job.