Toxic relationships are bad for your health, emotionally and physically.
Emotional vampires, financial terrorists, "Debbie Downers," gold-diggers, social climbers and "users" are all toxic personality types. Most of these toxic individuals are deliberate in their actions, but others are clueless in how their actions cause you harm.
The worst of these toxic individuals do not have your best interests at heart. Their intent is to destroy or undermine your confidence so they can gain some form of power, money or social status. These toxic people are bottom-feeders who know how to manipulate and do not think twice about lying. Many times, lying is second nature to these individuals. Many of them are borderline sociopaths.
There is an underlying psychological issue beneath the toxic individual’s negative and harmful behavior. Their issues need to be addressed by a professional like a therapist or psychologist. The last thing you want to do is act as their personal therapist.
The most important thing to realize is that you cannot change the toxic person’s behavior. However, you can change your behavior and how you react to the toxic individual.
If you are in a toxic relationship, here are some tips to eradicate yourself from the destructive relationship:
• The first thing you need to do is identify if you are in a relationship with a toxic tart or toxic thug. If you are unsure about the relationship, you can take Dr. Lillian Glass’ Toxic People Quiz at http://www.drlillianglass.com/quizzes/toxic-people-quiz/.
• Next, accept responsibility for the relationship.
• All healthy relationships have boundaries. First, think about the types of boundaries you desire in your relationships. Second, set these boundaries and don’t be afraid to say no. Also, call out the toxic individual’s bad behavior. Tell the toxic individual his or her words or actions are mean or disrespectful.
• Decide if the relationship is worth saving. One key thing to remember is that almost all toxic relationships explode when they end. Also, ask yourself, will this person alter his or her behavior if you tell him or her, “I feel we are in a toxic relationship and things need to change."?
• Professional help. Consider discussing this matter with a psychologist or psychiatrist. Also, suggest the toxic individual do the same. If your toxic friend reacts negatively, explain that you only have his or her best interests at heart and you are making an effort to help your friend address his or her issues.
• Minimize your time with this individual.
• Consider ending the relationship. It is very difficult to end any type of relationship, especially a relationship in which you may be heavily invested. However, your well being is number one and this toxic individual is causing you harm emotionally and/or physically.
If you are in a toxic relationship at work or with a family member, it may be difficult to end the relationship. However, there are additional strategies to manage the relationships. Additional sources include:
• Toxic Relationships: How to Regain Lost Power in Your Relationship by Kimberly J. Brasher
• I Thought I Was the Crazy One: 201 Ways to Identify and Deal with Toxic People by Amorah
• Toxic Relationships and How to Change Them: Health and Holiness in Everyday Life by Dr. Clinton McLemore
• Toxic People: 10 Ways Of Dealing With People Who Make Your Life Miserable by Dr. Lillian Glass Ph.D.
Reviewed June 21, 2011
Edited by Alison Stanton