self-esteem and toxic people

Self-Esteem and Toxic People

3 Things that Hurt Your Self-Esteem:

#3: Self Esteem and Toxic People

Maybe you’ve worked with someone who complained all the time or someone in your friend group turned into a “negative Nancy” over time. Perhaps you have a friend that always seems to have some type of drama going on, and it’s hard not to get roped into it for instance. It can be draining to be around that negativity. In addition, it can be especially difficult because we may have been friends with this person for years but one day realize they are super negative. Maybe you’ve heard the term “toxic relationship” or “toxic person”. In this post, we’re going to dive into self-esteem and toxic people, how you know if you have them in your life, and what steps you can take to cope with the negativity.

If you’ve been following this series, we’ve been talking about things we do that hurt our self-esteem. The first post in the series was all about social media and how it can affect our self-esteem negatively. You can check it out here: The second post focused on our physical health and how that affects our self-esteem. Hint: it’s more than just exercise! You can read more here: Now we are wrapping up the series with the third thing that can hurt our self-esteem: toxic people. This post focuses on the people we have been allowing in our lives, toxic people, that don’t encourage or support us in any way and ultimately hurt our self-esteem. Maybe you are aware of who these people are or maybe you haven’t really connected the dots to know it’s a problem.

Signs Your Friend, Co-worker, or Relative is Toxic

So how can you tell you’re hanging around a negative person? A toxic person can be described by any or all of the following:

  1. complains a lot
  2. doesn’t encourage you
  3. doesn’t provide you with any support
  4. lacks ambition/goals
  5. is never satisfied/grateful for what they have
  6. puts you down/belittles you
  7. yells at you

How They Make You Feel

In addition, what’s super important to notice is whether, after spending time with this person, you feel any of the following:

  • sad
  • frustrated
  • unmotivated
  • have a negative outlook
  • emotionally drained
  • down on yourself

The truth is that, sometimes, we can’t just cut the person out of our lives. For example, it may be your co-worker or a relative that is toxic. There are also varying degrees of how toxic a person is. You can have a relative who yells at you and puts you down or you can have a friend that is queen of drama. Above all, what’s important is how this toxic person or people affects you and your self-esteem. Here are a few tips on how to deal with a toxic person.

How To Cope With a Toxic Person

  1. Stop and evaluate whether the person is toxic to you. Use the criteria I mentioned above to start.
  2. As I stated above, if they are putting you down, calling you names, or similar, I strongly believe you need to distance yourself from this person as much as you can. This type of behavior could even be considered verbal abuse. Sometimes we think verbal abuse is only something that happens in romantic relationships, but it can happen in any kind of relationship.
  3. Can you talk to the person about your concerns? Maybe no one’s ever told them they complain a lot or that they seem to seek drama. If the friendship is valuable to you, I suggest trying to talk to them calmly and from a place of love. Just know, the person may not take it well, but you can’t control that. Give them a little time after the talk to see if they do try to make changes. Then you can decide whether you need to put some distance in between you or not.
  4. If the toxic person is a co-worker, I would suggest always being cordial at minimum, but you do not have to engage in long conversations with them and have lunch with them every day. Try to keep to yourself, spend time with other co-workers, or get to know someone new at the office. Think positive. You may end up with an awesome new friend.
  5. Sometimes we grow apart from our friends and that’s okay. Evaluate the pros and cons of the friendship. Are you having fun when you are with this person? Can you rely on them? Do they encourage you and support you?

There are really 3 options when it comes to dealing with a toxic person. You either keep things the same, put tighter boundaries in place (i.e. distancing yourself), or you cut the person out of your life by ending the relationship. Each situation is unique in it’s circumstances.

If you find yourself struggling with one or more toxic relationships and aren’t sure how to move forward, I’d love to help you figure out a plan. Email me at [email protected] or call/text at 904-204-9308.

Maria Inoa

Maria Inoa

Maria Inoa is a licensed clinical social worker and the owner of Full Potential Counseling. With over 12 years of experience, she specializes in working with women on building healthier relationships with themselves and others. She strongly believes that women are warriors and that every woman has worth, significance, and purpose. Maria provides in-person sessions at her office in the Ortega area as well as online sessions for the busy woman. For a free phone/online consultation or to schedule a session with Maria, call 904-204-9308 or email her at [email protected]