toxic people, blog

Toxic People and How to Cope

Who you choose to surround yourself with is extremely important. The closest people to us, the ones that we spend the most time with, influence us the greatest, whether we realize it or not. Their energy, vibe, aura, or whatever you term it basically encompasses us when we’re with them. As such, it’s very important that you protect you well-being. Today I’m talking about the most common characteristics of toxic people and how you can cope with them in your life. Here are the top 5.

5 Types of Toxic People:

#1 Chronic Complainers

This type of person complains a lot. There’s always something wrong and the person focuses on the negative. They also take little to no responsibility for the things they complain about. They never try to create a solution to fix the issue they are complaining about.

#2 Negative Nancies

This type can be condescending. Perhaps they belittle you. They never say anything good to you. Never share in your successes. No encouragement, just negativity. When someone puts others down, it’s really important to remember this truth. It is 100% a reflection of what’s going on inside the other person. You know the old saying, “misery loves company”? This is that saying being played out in real life. Happy people don’t put others down. Grateful people don’t put others down. BUT you can’t control the other person. You can only control you.

#3 It’s All About Them

With this type of toxic person, everything tends to revolve around them and what they want. They will sometimes make it seem that they are doing things for your best interest. You often hear the phrase, “I’m just trying to help.” What they are really doing is trying to control the situation and have things done to their liking. They don’t know how to compromise. It’s THEIR way or the highway. Bottom line is that person doesn’t want to feel uncomfortable or inconvenienced.

#4 They Lack Direction

This type of toxic person lacks ambition and goals. It doesn’t seem that bad and it may not bother you. However, some get very bothered by this. Everyone needs at least one goal. Otherwise, what gets you out of bed in the morning? What are you working towards?  What do you want your life to be like this time next year? Generally speaking, who you surround yourself with sets the tone for your life. Remember when you were growing up and your mom or dad used to tell you one or more of your friends was a “bad influence”. This is basically the adult version. Who may be a bad influence in your life currently? Who may be consistently bringing you down? Sometimes the relationship is fixable. Other times, it’s so detrimental to you that you need to part ways. Surround yourself with people who are positive, uplifting, and are working towards great things like you.

#5 It’s Not Their Fault (Ever)

With the last toxic person I’m highlighting, this is the person that rarely, if ever, accepts blame. Many of us have a friend or family member who never, ever, ever, takes responsibility for their actions. They ignore what’s right in front of them. They may blame you or others instead of owning the mistake. It’s a whole lot harder to accept blame for something because, once you do, THEN you have to acknowledge there’s something about you that needs work. Accepting responsibility that we made a mistake and screwed up doesn’t make us feel good, so this type of toxic person chooses to point the finger elsewhere. It takes a lot of effort to make positive change, so there are some people that will try to avoid it at all costs. The old saying ignorance is bliss is so true for this type of person. If they don’t know about it then they don’t have to face it and then deal with it. 

Strategies to Cope

Now that we’ve talked about the most common toxic people who encounter, let’s talk about how you can deal with them. Here are 3 tips.

1. Talk to them. You may have to be bold and summon up some courage for this one, but is the person even aware of their behavior? It’s possible no one’s ever pointed it out. Often, a toxic person has no idea how they are coming across to others. You can give them examples in a calm and gentle manner and even suggest a different way they can handle things. Sometimes just talking to them and giving them time to think about it can do wonders. They may not change, but at least you stood up for yourself by addressing the situation.

2. Limit your time with them. If you assess that the person’s behavior is truly affecting you in a negative way, then perhaps you can limit your time with them. You can limit how long you visit with them and/or how often you visit. You don’t have to necessarily cut them out of your life or pretend like they don’t exist. Often it’s very difficult to do this anyways.

3. Is it time to part ways? Has the relationship run its course? Ask yourself if you enjoy spending time with this person? Do you still have things in common? This can’t always be done with family members or co-workers understandably. Taking time to assess the relationship is helpful to determine your next steps.

I fully believe that people are put in our lives for reasons sometimes we never know. Sometimes it’s for a short period of time, and other times it’s for our entire life. It’s good to practice loving difficult people. After all, we are all difficult from time to time.

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]