Keep a Safe Distance from Toxic People

Understanding why we need to stay away from toxic people is the first step towards maintaining a positive space and mindset…

1) The first thing to know about an individual with a toxic personality is that you can’t outdo them or manage them in a healthy manner. They are not guided by logic. Instead, they focus on what they want and how to get it, at any price. They can even pretend to be friendly, or harsh if it serves their purpose.

2) Toxic people will deplete your time and energy- you will feel exhausted and drained after spending time with them. Your mind will start finding ways to avoid being with such people. You will literally feel an emotional-pull away from them.

3) There are different types of toxic personalities, some who love complete control, some are the kind who are always playing the victim, and your job is to always “save” them, or those who are emotionally uncontrollable, lash out and blame you for all the issues. However, one thing they all have in common is a “negative-emotional charge”. Initially, you may not realize it, but slowly and soon, you will start feeling negative around them or after meeting them. You will start feeling guilty or ashamed for reasons that you are not sure of.

4) They will in some way, make you chose them or their demands over someone else or over something that you want. Your choice is always supposed to be them. If you do not choose them, there is hell to pay.

5) There will be a lot of inconsistency and lies going around. They change stories or their meaning in order to serve their purpose. Words and meanings will be played around with in order to manipulate you.

6) Criticism and blame will be a big part of the relationship. A mistake you made, things you didn’t do. They will never admit to their errors and there will always be a justification for their behaviors, but you, you will be wrong!

How to Save Yourself:

A) Protect yourself by maintaining firm boundaries.

B) Do not let go of your values or logic because the other person is manipulating you to do so, do not get swayed.

C) Understand the patterns of the person, once you can point them out, you will know exactly what is a trap and stay out of it.

D) If it gets unmanageable, put your mental health ahead of them, and let the person go.

(Written by Dr. Jyotika Aggarwal, a clinical psychologist with the Lifeworks Foundation; she works with a wide array of concerns with a specialization in Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy.