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.
What are your experiences with toxic people? How do you cope with their behavior?
Linking this to
January 27, 2017 9:20 am|
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.
January 31, 2017 11:02 am|
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.
January 27, 2017 9:32 am|
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. ♥
January 31, 2017 11:04 am|
Yes, we do not know what battles others are fighting, but it makes sense to stay away from their negativity. Thanks for your words of comfort, Vidya. ♥
January 27, 2017 9:32 am|
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.
January 31, 2017 11:20 am|
Agree, we have to limit our interaction with them, for our own good. Hugs, Nabanita.
January 27, 2017 11:43 am|
They are sleepless at night because you sleep well at night.
January 31, 2017 11:21 am|
January 27, 2017 12:21 pm|
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.
January 31, 2017 11:22 am|
Oh yes, the close ones are tough to deal with, but then at some point of time we need to decide what’s good for our own self.
January 27, 2017 3:34 pm|
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.
January 31, 2017 11:26 am|
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.
January 27, 2017 5:16 pm|
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.
January 31, 2017 11:27 am|
‘Forgive them but never forget their behavior’… agree with this completely.
January 27, 2017 6:36 pm|
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.
January 31, 2017 11:30 am|
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.
January 27, 2017 7:19 pm|
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.
January 31, 2017 11:34 am|
Agree, distancing ourselves from them for a while – removing all their negativity from our own systems is a sound strategy. Thanks for sharing, Tulika.
January 27, 2017 9:01 pm|
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 🙂
January 31, 2017 11:38 am|
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 ♥
January 27, 2017 9:33 pm|
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.
January 31, 2017 11:41 am|
I like your strategy, Shantala. It is so very important to protect ourselves from such energy sapping people.
January 27, 2017 10:48 pm|
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.
January 31, 2017 11:43 am|
Yes, we have to device ways and means to protect ourselves from such unhealthy behaviour from those around us.
January 28, 2017 8:57 am|
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 🙂
January 31, 2017 11:45 am|
Well said, Geetika.
Yes, all good this side. Thanks.
How have you been? Long time! 🙂
January 28, 2017 6:03 pm|
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?
January 31, 2017 11:46 am|
Agree, since we cant remove them from our life and can’t change their behavior too, the best we can do is to change our own attitude/behaviour!
Here’s the link to the crab story, Sunaina…
January 28, 2017 8:25 pm|
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”.
January 31, 2017 11:50 am|
Oh yes, I have seen such people too. How annoying and hurtful that is. Agree with you, we need to focus on ourselves and those who uplift us and move forward in life!
Thanks for dropping by Susan. How have you been? Long time!
January 31, 2017 6:49 pm|
all good thanks Sharpa – a bit hectic but basically fine. I hope so with you too 🙂
January 31, 2017 6:49 pm|
Where I got Sharpa from I do not know – I meant Shilpa – xx
January 31, 2017 9:26 pm
LOL 😀 That’s ok, Susan! Auto correct on phone sometimes has a mind of its own 😀
January 31, 2017 9:27 pm|
That’s wonderful. All good this side too 🙂
January 29, 2017 12:44 am|
I believe it’s important to choose your friends wisely, and to stay away from toxic situations – or at least limit your exposure to them – for your own mental health and well-being. Thank you for your thoughtful post.
January 31, 2017 11:57 am|
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.
January 29, 2017 7:40 am|
I lived with such people for a brief period of time ! Living with them increases our stress levels and by default we tend to get that negative attitude! Thank god now I m far far away from them.
January 31, 2017 11:58 am|
Oh such people like leeches can suck all the happiness from our life. Glad that you are away from them now, Shilpa.
Welcome to this space!
January 29, 2017 10:18 am|
So agree with you that keeping away from the toxic company is the best!
January 31, 2017 11:59 am|
That’s the only way to maintain our sanity. Thanks for dropping by Mr Bhatia.
January 30, 2017 2:49 am|
Agree, completely agree. There’s no time or place of toxic people in our lives. Life is too short handle all the negativity.
January 31, 2017 11:59 am|
January 30, 2017 11:58 am|
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 🙂
January 31, 2017 12:07 pm|
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! 🙂
January 30, 2017 4:05 pm|
Toxic people drain the life and soul out of us, don’t they? I especially hate those who give backhanded compliments…they manage to put you down even when they pretend to be nice. So weird! Great post Shilpa! Thanks for linking up 🙂
January 31, 2017 12:10 pm|
Aah! Backhanded compliments… tell me about it. Hate such sly and condescending comments. Thanks for dropping by, Sanchie and thanks for the wonderful prompt.
January 30, 2017 4:10 pm|
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….
January 31, 2017 12:12 pm|
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.
January 30, 2017 9:47 pm|
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.
January 31, 2017 12:19 pm|
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!
February 3, 2017 7:36 am|
Dear Shilpa, you almost poured out my heart in this post and I could relate to every single word buddy. You have brought the toxic people forth brilliantly and I do agree to your advice infact I do practice the same buddy.