Have you ever seen those disgusting, slimy leeches that latch onto your legs when you go swimming in a lake after ignoring the warning signs?
Now imagine them being constantly stuck to your legs, sucking away, weakening your body because you’re unable to flick them off.
That is typically your life with a toxic person, except most of the times, not only has the warning sign been cut off, but it’s also been buried halfway into the ground and covered with swampy leaves, making it almost impossible to read!
However, the word toxic gets thrown around pretty aimlessly these days, so how do we distinguish genuinely toxic people from those whose presence is just plain annoying?
And once we’ve realized that we’re in a toxic relationship, is it okay to just cut the person out of your life even if you’ve got a long history?
If yes, how do you even go about doing that?
Well, first you know the signs of toxic people and then you read these toxic people quotes for detox motivation.
But what are the signs of a toxic person?
Unless you learn to spot certain red flags, toxic people can spend months in your life before you realize that they’re the reason for your constant frustration and misery!
They can be found in all aspects of our lives and regardless of whether they are friends, family members, or co-workers; they all share some common characteristics.
Unfortunately, these wicked qualities can be much harder to spot when they’re hidden behind a veil of fake compliments and multiple manipulative stories that keep sucking us deeper into these relationships.
So with an open mind, read through the following signs and see if you recognize them in people in your life.
- It’s always them before you- everything always has to be about them!
A relationship with a toxic person is always one-sided, especially in terms of compromise with you always giving and the other person always taking (because they have a habit of making you feel awful if you don’t).
This can even be seen in the most basic everyday situations for example, when you try to vent to a friend while you’re upset, but instead of listening and acknowledging your feelings, they bring up an incident that’s recently upset them.
So by turning the situation around, they’ve brought the attention back to themselves as they like it.
- You’re always there for them but they disappear when you really need them around!
This one goes hand in hand with the previous one.
A toxic person makes everything about themselves; that means that they demand your attention and support when troubles arise for them but fail to return the favor.
It’s much easier to just say ‘I’ll always be there for you’ than to try to actually live up to that.
It’s impossible for someone to always be your shoulder your cry on but with toxic people, it’s a rare occurrence.
- They will never admit to their mistakes and instead turn the blame towards you
Toxic people are almost impossible to confront about mishaps because under no circumstances are they ever going to admit to their mistake.
If you confront a friend about how they have hurt your feelings, instead of apologizing for it, they will turn the blame towards you and make it seem like you compelled them to act the way they did.
This is very commonly seen in abusive relationships as well where the abuser will blame the victim for provoking them.
- They’re always the victim
Part of what makes a person so toxic is their dangerous manipulation skill! They have controlling personalities.
They have this insane ability to alter any situation to victimize their own selves which can drive you nuts if you don’t understand how they manage to do that.
This includes everything from making absurd repetitive excuses about their behavior and ‘ill actions’ to false promises about not repeating them.
They keep ripping at their own flaws in ways that make you feel awful about calling them out in the first place (even though it was fully justified).
The fights will usually end in you patting their shoulders and showering them with compliments to let them know that everything is okay with the two of you.
- Lying is almost second nature and lack of empathy is common
This one’s a given for someone who has made it their mission to manipulate you into staying with them as long as it’s convenient for them; with constant lies about their whereabouts, their feelings for you, and the reasoning behind their actions.
The lying becomes so common that they lie about everyday situations (that don’t require any lies) just because the concept of voicing the truth terrifies them.
Going off of the constant lying, it is very easy for toxic people to emotionally detach and reattach themselves from others as convenient.
This probably explains all those frustrating moments when it’s been impossible to voice your feelings in a way that gets them to understand.
- Their negative and snarky comments will bring you down!
Whether it’s a snarky comment about your weight or constant judgment about how you dress, walk and talk, etc, toxic people have got this act down!
With the seemingly nice intentions of wanting to ‘help you’, they will always be trying to ‘fix’ things about you.
This again, makes them feel like they control you which empowers them- because as long as you’re in their control you won’t turn to other people for anything.
- Despite everything, they are very possessive
Now, this is truly the showstopper! Despite everything that toxic people do to bring you down and keep you on a leash, the moment you find other friends or people, they will get extremely possessive.
The sweet acts of caring and gift-giving will increase, the compliments will be at an all-time high and everything will seem great.
This might also be the time for their fake crises to surface.
Because there’s no way that you’re leaving their side if they are in trouble right?
Significance of removing these toxic people out?
Why is it important to cut toxic people out of your life? Is it okay to cut out people that you’ve known for a long time?
Yes! It’s completely okay to cut people out of your life, even if you’ve known for a long time.
Your health and your welfare should be your number 1 priority, and if that requires certain people to hop off your train, then so be it!
- They halt your personal growth!
Because of all the reasons mentioned above, and more, toxic people are detrimental to your mental health and personal growth.
Since their world revolves around them, a sick mentality poisons their minds, which makes them think that if you succeed further in life than they have, then they’ll lose you.
So they do their best to hold you back and show signs of jealousy instead of support when you get a new job or new friends etc.
- They drag your mental health down to the ground!
Having to deal with toxic people is exhausting and can leave you feeling very isolated.
Since your days revolve around constantly trying to please them, you end up spending no time with others and feeling depressed when things don’t work out.
- They can change you- and not for the better!
You might not even recognize yourself after a few months of being around your toxic person because you’ve changed aspects of your personality to suit their needs and likings.
- Your life no longer feels like your own!
You’re stuck in a never-ending loop of trying to please the person and that usually never works out in your favor.
More than that, you forget to live your life because they end up taking all of your free time and ruining the good moments in your life by their negativity.
How to cut out toxic people in your life?
There is a reason that toxic people can stick around in our lives for so long even after we realize how bad they are for us, and that’s simply because they are such a nuisance to get rid of.
Remember that leech we talked about earlier, the more time it spends on your leg, the harder it is to get rid of it.
However, now that we’ve established that not only it’s okay to cut toxic people out of your life but also crucial for your personal benefit, let’s look at the most efficient way to do it. Here we should avoid toxic venting attitude.
Accept that you are in a toxic relationship and that you can’t change them
This is the single most important step in this painful and difficult process.
Regardless of your history with the person, you cannot change the habits of a toxic person.
They have most likely developed over many years and since toxicity can be contagious, the only thing you’ll be doing by sticking around is enabling their toxic habits and passing down that chain to toxicity to people in your life.
It’s very easy to lie to ourselves and say things like ‘oh but maybe they need me…’- correction- YOU need your own self to be stronger!
Realize that this is going to take time
While some people out there can simply cut out, bid farewell, and forget all of the toxic people in their lives, most of us yearn for closure.
Add in constant repentance and arguments from the person plus your own reluctance to let go of someone you’ve dedicated so much energy towards, and you’re looking a lengthy process.
But the important thing is to not get disheartened and to continue because remember for once, you’re prioritizing yourself (and that’s amazing)!
Two ways of cutting them off
- Rip of the band-aid!
The harder, but more efficient way! Remember, you do not owe anyone a 2000 words explanation about how much they’ve hurt you or why you feel the need to cut ties with them.
The best way is to respectfully let the person know that it is not in your best interest to have them around in your life anymore. (Feel free to elaborate as much or as little as you want.)
However, if you dive deep into details, there are very high chances that instead of being heard and understood, your words will be twisted and used against you.
On the other hand, they will always find some sort of a messed up explanation and justification for their disgusting behavior.
Do this in a public place if a person has violent tendencies and you fear getting hurt.
Along with that, if you feel like suddenly cutting them off won’t give you the closure that you need, try writing them a letter.
You do not have to send it in, but it will be a healthy way of getting all of your feelings out in the open.
You could even burn this letter for a true moment of empowerment!
- By slowly distancing yourself
This involves slowly distancing yourself from the person, not meeting up with them as often as you used to, not replying to their texts frequently, and not paying as much attention to them as you used to do.
This can be a long and painful process and will fill you up with guilt on multiple occasions but the idea is to slowly let the relationship fizzle out instead of a big dramatic goodbye.
- Be firm and direct
In most cases, it is very important to be firm and direct about the fact that you are no longer associating yourself with them.
Even if you slowly cut them off, chances are they might keep lingering for an explanation.
You just need it to spell it out for them that- it’s a decision you’ve made and they need to respect that.
If they provoke you, try not to respond. After all, they can only pine for so long before they get tired of the lack of attention.
However, if the person is threatening or blackmailing you, you need to let someone reliable in on the situation to help you figure out the best and safest way out of that relationship.
- Block on socials
Once you’ve made your point clear about not wanting the person to be a part of your life anymore, you need to back this up by blocking them on social media platforms.
This is a very important step to ensure that they won’t be showing up in your DMs 2 weeks later with new excuses.
Plus this way you won’t be reminded of them and your relationship, every time you see them interact with others online. As the saying goes, out of mind= out of sight!
- Find a good support system
To guarantee that you come out of this journey somewhat sane and not more depressed than when you were in the relationship, you need to make sure that you have a good support system with you.
It’s important to find other distractions and regain control of your life.
Whether it’s coming out of toxic friendships or toxic relationships, you need other, more supportive friends who you can spend time with instead.
On the other hand, if friends are not an option or you’re having a hard time communicating with your family about it, try seeking out the help of a therapist in your area! But make sure you choose the right therapist.
- Do not romanticize the past!
It can be so easy to get sucked into memories of the ‘good old times’.
While some reminiscence is natural, a very unhealthy habit that people tend to adopt is that of romanticizing the past.
This means that they look past the saddening (more abusive) details of their relationship and instead only focus on the good parts.
This creates a false image in their minds which the person (whom you’re trying to cut out) can use to their advantage to get you back.
- Don’t let them back in, resist that temptation
When you cut off a toxic person from your life, they will try and do everything in their power to get you to take them back, from apologies to false promises to even gifts and emotional blackmail.
While it is okay to give second chances to people who show a genuine change, reserve this compassion for people you’ve actually had great times with, in the past.
However, leniency should stop there!
Remember you don’t owe them anything and as hard as it may be to detach yourself especially when they show vulnerability you need to stand your ground!
What to do if you just cant avoid that toxic person?
“What do I do if I can’t avoid the toxic person in my life- for example, if it’s a family member of a co-worker/ boss?”
I know what you mean…
This could be a family member, an ex, a coworker, or even your boss.
While exes and friends can usually be avoided even if you go to the same school or have the same workplace, in certain cases avoiding someone is not possible.
So, the question is what do you do when the toxic person in your life is someone you interact with and see every day?
Family members tend to be particularly hard to deal with, especially if you live with them. If you’re dependent on them and not financially stable yet, you can’t just pack up your bags and leave that toxic environment they’ve created.
However, what you can do instead of physical distancing is emotionally distancing yourself from your family.
Don’t let their toxicity and negativity drain you dry. Getting provoked and upset by their toxic traits and mannerisms will only work against you so it’s best to learn to pick your battles with them. However, if things get too tough then it’s best to start saving up until you can afford to move out.
A very important tip to remember is to not constantly indulge in negative thoughts about them.
Yes, they can make life miserable, and yes it sucks but you’re not helping anyone (especially yourself) by indulging in such negative thoughts all the time.
Instead, it’s best to find an outlet for yourself, whether that’s therapy, art, running, or any sports. Anything works as long as it lets you get your frustrations out without harming yourself.
With your coworkers or bosses, it’s best to know when you need to speak up and stand up for yourself.
Set up your boundaries and if they’ve crossed a line, let them know.
Focus your own work and if you have to work in group projects with the said toxic person, don’t let them hold you back; just give the project your best.
Emotionally distancing yourself is also a technique you can apply here that will help you out.
Go on a hunt for a better job to be able to get away from your toxic work environment, if your boss is that manipulative.
While you’re on the hunt try and apply the same principles for avoiding other toxic people to coworkers as well in your current workspace.
Look out for that moment of empowerment!
Remember, the sole purpose of cutting a toxic person out of your life is so you can truly thrive.
When things get tough, just keep looking out for that soon -to -be felt moment of empowerment, upon your success!