How to Remove Toxic People from Your Life

People who suck the life out of you with constant negativity, complaints, gossip, selfishness, or extreme dependency are damaging. Guest author Joe Barton has 3 steps to get rid of the toxic people who are poisoning your life.

Joe Barton
4-minute read

Step #1: Establish Boundaries and Don't Apologize for Them

Boundaries are instrumental in maintaining your sanity and health. If people don’t respect your boundaries, they aren’t respecting you. Make a list of your own personal boundaries, and don’t be afraid to tell other if they cross them. 

Step #2: Know that Toxic People Won't Leave Easily

In any ecosystem, toxins must be met with powerful forces to eradicate them. Toxic people will not just “go away.” They may push back and become irrational, angry, or act like victims. Don’t beat around the bush or defend yourself; tell toxic people the truth and be consistent and firm in your decision.

Step #3: Recognize Signs of Toxicity in People

You have to learn to recognize the signs that a person is toxic, or it won’t be long before the seeds of toxicity develop stubborn roots. You must learn to protect yourself from toxic people in the same way you protect yourself from catching a cold by washing your hands and avoiding contact with infected people. Watch out for people who negatively affect your other relationships, invade your space, and take up a lot of your time. If a person makes you feel uncomfortable or unproductive, he’s probably toxic.

It’s Ok to Say, “I Don’t Want to See You Again”

Because toxic people are drawn to those who are empathetic and trusting by nature, it can be difficult for that kind of person to do what it takes to free himself. At first, you might feel as if you’re being harsh or mean, but recognize that it’s Ok to defend yourself and your sanity. If you value your physical, emotional, spiritual, and relational health, you’ll do what it takes to get rid of toxic relationships.

It’s important to remember that when you remove toxic people from your life, you’ll go through an adjustment period during which you might question your decision or rationalize the behavior of the toxic person. Be strong and remember that you are doing this for your own good — and for the good of your family. Negativity will eventually manifest itself physically and emotionally, causing a ripple effect that will impact both you and your loved ones.

The truth is that we need relationships, but we don’t need every relationship. Surround yourself with positive people who bring you up, rather than drag you down. You don’t have to sacrifice your sanity because you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. You don’t have to be controlled by your own kindness. You can be a good person without bending to the will of those who damage you with their own selfishness.

You deserve to be happy.

Joe Barton is the founder of Barton Publishing and other websites that promote natural health through teaching people how to cure themselves using alternative home remedies (using simple grocery store items, herbs, vitamins, exercises, and more). Connect with Joe on LinkedIn and Google +.


Toxic image courtesy of Shutterstock.