Toxic People

Few days ago, I was reading about a story of crabs confined in a bucket. Individually, the crabs could easily escape from the bucket, but instead they pulled each other down which prevented all of them from escaping.

This reminded me of the people who under the garb of friends and relatives pull us down in our life. A chat or a meeting with them leave us drained and add so much of stress in our life. They suck the life out of us. Do you know, they have a term for such people. Yes, they are called toxic people.

  • These are the people who are constantly complaining about everything.
  • Their compliments somehow also take you a step down.
  • They are fiercely competitive and are always trying to one up you.
  • They are judgmental.
  • Giving unsolicited advice is their birth right.
  • They can make you feel bad about anything.
  • They gossip with you and then about you with others.
  • They have this I-Me-Myself syndrome.
  • They often tell lies and bend the truth about anything and everything.
  • They believe that they have been wronged by the universe and wallow in self pity.
  • They are manipulative and practice ‘divide and rule’ with everyone around them.

I sometimes wonder if they are our friends or enemies? Of course, they are not out rightly toxic, as they are subtly draining you and dragging you down. The truth is that all these unhealthy relationships do add stress, anxiety, hurt and even guilt in our life. They rob us of our happiness and all this may turn us into a toxic person too. Yes, negativity is contagious.

Removing them from our life and staying away from their drama is the best solution but somehow it is not possible always. Limiting our interaction with toxic people is in our hands. And when we are with them, we should consciously not share our dreams or secrets with them. While we need people in our life, we certainly don’t need all of them. We need to let these emotionally toxic people go from our life, without feeling guilty.

We need to focus on taking care of ourselves. We deserve to surround ourselves with people who accept us unconditionally, support us, encourage our ambitions and dreams, and make us feel happier simply being around them.

We deserve to be happy.

Don't let negative and toxic people rent space in your head. raise the rent and kick them out! (1)

What are your experiences with toxic people?  How do you cope with their behavior?

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51 thoughts on “Toxic People

  1. I’m sorry you’ve had this experience, Shilpa. I do know that people can be hurtful and mean in their words and actions. Long ago, I wrote a post on how there are no toxic people just toxic circumstances. I still believe that to be true. Sometimes an unfortunate incident or negative outcome can turn people against us. They vent their anger on us in a misplaced manner. From that perspective I agree it’s not healthy to keep their company. There’s no reason for us to seek out toxicity. Ever. Stay the positive person you’ve always been.

    • Agree with you that sometimes it’s the circumstances that lead people to behave abominably. But have known people who have become really toxic, I mean, they just dont have a good bone in them. Thanks for your kind words, Shailaja.

  2. Hugs! I agree with what Shailaja said. I’ve learned to gently let go of people who upset me–and wish them well, because who knows what problems they’re facing that makes them behave the way they do. And yes, focus on those who love you. Sorry you had to experience unpleasantness, but you know what? These make us stronger. ♥

  3. I know what you mean because I see and meet a number of such people but online and in real life. It makes me angry. They leave a bitter aftertaste and I hate it. I think avoiding them as much as possible is the only way to go. Hugs.

  4. Surprisingly, I was contemplating on writing a post on a similar topic. I have had similar experiences and unfortunately some of them come from people you cannot walk away from since they are related to you. It is draining to be around them but at some point, as you said, one needs to switch off from all that negativity to retain your own healthy mindset.

  5. I often wonder why such people are the way they are! What happiness do they derive by being mean and hurtful to others?
    I am not a very social person, and have very few friends, friends who know me inside out and I them. But, the moment I meet someone who gives off a bad vibe (toxic vibe), I step backwards and flee to find some peace in my own company.

    • I have often wondered about that too. I know one person who simply thrives on being mean and manipulative. She is toxic for one and all even her own family. Can you believe that?
      That’s the best strategy to adopt, Shilpa.

  6. So sorry that you went through this. I can recall a few of those myself. Where it’s possible, it’s good to distance ourselves from them and their toxicity. When it’s not it’s really tricky. Forgive them but never forget their behavior. That is what l do.

  7. I usually ignore things unless it is too direct. As an example, I know a person who is simple and doesn’t know how to say things right. So, when this person heard that I am taking up a challenging role she said, “Yeah, what else do you have to do other than work, work and work”. And though I know what she directed her comment at, I just ignored knowing that many women around me think that since I don’t have children, I don’t have a life. But I don’t mind if they think this. The words stayed on but no ill feelings. I can’t change how people think about my choices.
    So, I think it’s their surroundings that make them toxic.

    • True, it’s the circumstances that let otherwise nice people to behave nastily. I think what you did was right. We must find ways to protect ourselves from their unhealthy behaviors.

  8. It is the sensible thing to do of course to keep away from people who make you unhappy. Sometimes a short break from their company also works well. Life is really too short to invest in relationships that make you angry or sad.

  9. I guess being with toxic people is tough, more so when you have to be with such people. You know, if you work with them or something.

    Could it just be possible that sometimes they don’t know the extent of damage they are creating in someone else’s life? Their hurtful actions are forgotten the next day, but the people around them will remember it for a life time.

    Do take care, Shilpa. Sending you positive vibes and hugs 🙂

    • Yeah, it’s possible that they just dont know what they are doing to other people or may be they do know. But it’s true that sometimes these mental hurt/pain turns into life-long scars that may never heal. Thanks a lot for your kind words, Mithila ♥

  10. Usually I cut off all ties. But sometimes they are too closely related to you to cut them out of your life. So I maintain a cool polite facade on the outside, and pretend like they don’t exist. For my own sanity and peace of mind.

  11. It is easier to let go of toxic people who are say your acquaintances or so called friends, but what do you do with someone in your family? Over time, I have developed this hard shell exterior, I have learnt not to shy away from my own happiness.

  12. Keeping a distance from such people is always advisable. I do think that circumstances make them the way they are, but then being a cry baby and complaining about every darn thing is also not a good thing!
    Hence, stay distant from them..

    Hope you’re doing good. Take care 🙂


  13. Toxic people will always be there no matter how hard we try to avoid them….I guess it is the bane of us humans…..But we ought to try hard not to let that poison harm us in any ways….We need to strengthen our mind and heart against such people….and we need to do this constantly. I liked the example of the carbs here Shilpa….Can you share the name of the story please?

  14. Those who when we (I) say something about something nice that’s happened to me personally, change the subject as if I hadn’t spoken …I’ll never understand it …
    But, as Vidya says, “I’ve learned to gently let go of people who upset me–and wish them well, because who knows what problems they’re facing that makes them behave the way they do. And yes, focus on those who love you”.

    • Yes, that’s the best thing to do. But sometimes we have frenemies in our immediate circle and that’s problematic.
      But as you rightly mentioned, staying away from such people, as much as it’s possible is the way forward. Thanks for taking the time to read this post and dropping by, Laurel.

  15. Undoubtedly the right thing to do is cut them off. No one needs their toxicity. You’re absolutely right about it being contagious.
    But I will admit that I have been guilty of hanging on to toxic people on at least three different occasions in my life, even when I knew it was for the worst – unhealthy competition, gossip, lies, the whole package! Better sense led me to better decisions eventually 🙂

    • Oh yes, these people can be big-time energy suckers and have the potential to make your life truly miserable! Glad that you moved away from them. Good to see you here, Sreesha! 🙂

    • Aah! Backhanded compliments… tell me about it. Hate such sly and condescending comments. Thanks for dropping by, Sanchie and thanks for the wonderful prompt.

  16. Its very true that toxic people can drain our energy; sorry to know about your experience, its a challenge when they are within the family, they can cause a lot o damage. I had to learn the hard way, as their association started affecting my relationship with my husband – so I choose to distant myself (of course I have forgiven and even pray for their well being. Just this morning I had a student who was suffering so much because of her father, who was not giving her any space to breathe and today she broke down because she could not take it any longer… cried for very long as she has no mother and cannot talk about it with any body neither can she ignore as its her dad…. so its a very challenging to deal and not easy to distance too… she has to rise above and protect herself….

    • I remember reading about your experience with such toxic people around you. Glad that they are away from you.
      Sorry to hear about your student. I am sure with your guidance, she will find peace of mind and happiness soon.

  17. Excellent advice. Unfortunately, I’ve had to take it a couple of times with relatives. It’s so much easier to find people you can enjoy, than to be with ones who make you unhappy.

    Sorry you’ve had this in your life, but I suppose we all have at some time.

    • Agree with you, we all have experienced such toxic relationships and they do teach us a lot of human behaviour and also how we must not behave with others.
      Thanks for dropping by, Cheryl!

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