5 Ways to Productively Deal with Toxic People

On this beautiful journey called life, we come across two kinds of people – they can either be a blessing or a lesson.

A lot of times, life puts us in difficult situations with difficult people that we just cannot  get away from. Most of the times, the most toxic people can turn out to be the most important ones in our lives (I’m sure we all face a couple of them in our daily lives) – whether it’s a best friend, a boss, a family member or a partner.

We can either go ahead and endlessly whine about these people or move ahead with things by taking matters in our hands. My previous personal post got a lot of conversations started on the topic of toxic people (read it here). I find it pointless going over the characteristics of toxic people though, it’s so much better to actually work on improving the self. Here’s a few things you can try:

  1. Be compassionate

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I used to endlessly bash the bad people in my life and set them out as twisted villains that I had to defeat. That perspective got me nowhere. Then I tried putting myself in their shoes.  I started having empathy for their situation. Swearing at your bad boss will not get you anywhere. Shouting at your negative partner won’t really help them see the light. We all fight our own battles on a daily basis and sometimes, forget to treat people the right way.  Show compassion towards the toxic people in your life, show them you understand what they’re going through (when was the last time you really did that?) – a little bit of it can go a long way in improving all your relationships.

2. Learn to love and appreciate yourself

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It’s easy to attack and unsettle people when they do not think well of themselves. It’s like catching a cold, you’re only more vulnerable to it when your immunity is weak. That being said, not everyone can perfectly learn to love themselves and there is a fine line between self-love and self-conceit. Start nurturing and loving your own self first. Treat yourself the way you’d like others to treat you. Remind yourself of how valuable you are no matter what you’re told (even if you have to look at yourself in the mirror, go ahead and do it). The minute you start doing that you will gradually see a difference in how the toxic people in your life treat you – they will stop getting to you or, better yet, they’ll slowly move away from your life.

3. Stop the self-criticism

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This is just another aspect of loving yourself. It’s so funny to think that the degrading things toxic people said to us are usually very close to the things you told yourself in the mirror in the morning. I like to think of it as an endless hamster wheel that we run on – if you’re feeding yourself constant thoughts of self-criticism, people are bound to repeat them back to you. Turn those self-critiques into positive words of encouragement instead and you’ll see and feel the difference over time.

4. Don’t hate on people

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If you think people are inherently evil and out there to get you, then guess what, they simply will. If you expect the worst treatment from people, you are bound to receive it. As with the law of attraction, like attracts like and the minute you start to perceive people more positively, the better they are bound to treat you.

5. Forgive them and bless them on their journey

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It might be the hardest possible thing to do but the only way to truly let toxic people go is by forgiving them. The more hate you harbor for that mean, toxic person in your life (and some people can be very easy to hate so I know the struggle), the worst you will feel and do. The only way to truly set yourself free is by forgiving that person and blessing them from the bottom of your heart.

Say it verbally to them or say it aloud to yourself (most of the times, once just isn’t enough). I know it’s not easy but once you try it you’ll see that you’ll not only be at peace with yourself  you’ll have healthier relationships with everyone around you. For a productive exercise on  forgiveness, read this from Louise Hay, one of my favorite self-help authors.

Most of all, remember that we are all on a constant journey through life and find the right people at the right time – those who wrong us are only there for a reason. Besides if every person in our life was an angel sent from the heavens, life wouldn’t be much fun, would it?

Do you have any productive ways of dealing with the difficult people in your life? Let me know below..


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