As you make your way through life, you will almost certainly come across some toxic people at some point. They can be your friends, your partner, or even your family. They will come into your life and slowly poison it from the inside out. You probably won’t even realize that it’s happening until your mental health starts taking a hit. Toxic people all have very similar characteristics and the more you know about them, the easier they are to spot.
These are some signs of toxic people and how to deal with them
1 Gas lighting.
This is extremely commonly used by toxic people. The dictionary defines gas lighting as: “Manipulating someone by psychological means into doubting their own sanity”. They often times will use any means necessary to manipulate you into making you doubt yourself. For instance: they could tell you over and over and over that there is a party on Saturday. Come Saturday, they say they have no idea where you got the idea that there is a party on. It may seem small and insignificant but gas lighting can cause a lot of harm to your mental health. They want to make you feel like you are going crazy. They will then use those feelings of self-doubt and use them against you.
2. They are surrounded by drama.
There is always a problem they need your help with. Whether it’s an issue in their work-life or personal life. They’ll ask for your help, and make you responsible for fixing their issues. But as soon as one crisis is taken care of, another one undoubtedly arises.
3. It’s all about them.
Everything has to be about them. The conversation always comes back to being about them. They will interrupt you to bring the conversation back to what they want. Some will try to control you, what you do, say and even what you think. They try to manipulate you into “being on their side” or “their team”.
4. Accept that it won’t happen straight away.
It’s not as easy as saying goodbye. Toxic people often don’t want to let go. They have worked hard to manipulate you and don’t want to lose that. Start by explaining your boundaries to them and how they’ve overstepped them. This should only be a one-time conversation. They will continue to try and push your boundaries or get you to change your boundaries.
5. Do it in public.
As I mentioned earlier, some toxic people can react badly, even violently to someone leaving their control. Being in public gives you a whole new safety net and if things escalate, you can always get up and leave. It’s important to mention that not everyone will get physically violent. It may be verbal abuse that they respond with. But it is still best to play it safe.
6. Block them on ALL social media.
Taking away their ability to contact you is such a significant step. They will try every which way to draw you back into their lives. By removing them completely from your life and your social media, you will be able to reconnect with those who love and respect you and start healing yourself.
Arm yourself with knowledge
These are just a few signs that you’re dealing with a toxic person. If you feel that you are dealing with a toxic person, My best advice would be to cut them from your life. It is very important to remember that these kinds of people don’t change. They will do anything to keep you from leaving their life and to keep control over you. It’s always difficult to cut a toxic person from your life, but it is much harder when that person is your family member. They have more they can use to manipulate you. They will often try to bring the blame back onto you and make themselves the victim. Toxic people can react badly to being cut from someone’s life so there are some ways to make the process as quick and smooth as possible.
Toxic people will show up in your life. It starts slowly and then all of a sudden, you’re in this horrible situation that can be really hard to leave. Arming yourself with knowledge is the best thing you can do. You don’t have to put up with it. Your mental health comes first and if you think you are in a situation with a toxic person, reach out to someone. A colleague, a friend, family, or even a counselor. There is always some there to help you identify and cut out the toxic people in your life.
There are quite a few support services in Australia to help, especially when it comes to your mental health deteriorating.
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Beyond blue: 1300 224 636
These services run 24/7 so there will always be someone to help you through any situation.