There comes a moment in life when you realize that you have to cut ties with someone you once loved. That realization can stem from various reasons, whether it’s that this person isn’t so great or simply a change in direction. Sometimes, however, it’s the realization that this person in our life is downright toxic. While everyone has a rough patch here and there, the relationships in our lives should add to them in positive and meaningful ways. Not all of them are, though, and sometimes, we will find ourselves entangled with someone who takes from our experience more than they add to it.
So, how do you identify the toxic people in your life? Toxic people are people in our lives that do more harm than good. Learning how to identify these individuals in our lives allows us to protect ourselves from the consequences of their actions. Sign number one – toxic people are drawn to drama. Drama gets them sympathy and attention, and it allows them to manipulate the emotions of people around them. Another sign is a self-centered nature. Thinking and caring for yourself is one thing, but thinking of only yourself is another. Toxic people are obsessed with themselves and think only of their feelings and opinions, showing little to no concern for others.
More signs include lying and twisting of the truth, a need to be always right, and being a permanent victim, among others. Spotting these signs from the start can be difficult, but they have a way of revealing themselves eventually. I’m telling you all of this because I found out that one of my closest friends was, in fact, a toxic person. Now, looking back, the signs were always there. She was self-centered, lived for drama, didn’t care much for other people’s feelings, and always found a way to make herself the victim. We had multiple falling outs through the years, but somehow, even when I desperately wanted to, I never managed to cut all ties with her. I tolerated her toxic behavior and put up with it for way too long. I wasn’t brave enough to accept the signs in front of me telling me to bolt. We aren’t supposed to live our lives in misery. Our environment should enrich our lives, not bring us down. Leaving can be hard, but in certain circumstances, it is crucial. When your friend doesn’t show you such things as friendship or kindness, it’s time to detach and start living a better life elsewhere.
So, how do we let go of the toxic connections and people in our life? Moving on is easier said than done, but it’s a necessary step in our growth. Sadly, there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution when it comes to cutting ties with toxic people. However, keeping the following truths in mind can help. You must understand that it’s O.K. to walk away. Relationships don’t last forever, and most of them will come to a natural end eventually. You must focus on your healthy relationships. Even if one toxic relationship brings us down and consumes all our energy, we must not neglect the people that are there for us and support us. Rely and focus your energy on the people that you trust and that bring you joy. Phase-out contact. Avoid contact with the person as much as possible, but when you are forced to interact, keep it civil and brief. Eventually, they’ll take the hint and will walk away. Stop making excuses. You have to be honest when it comes to walking away from someone destructive. Ask yourself what you want from the relationship, and then be brutally honest about what you’re receiving from it. Walking away from toxicity isn’t easy, but it is always brave and right. Letting go may even come with guilt, anger, and rage but it is these feelings that teach us the most about ourselves and what we want.