As we all know, being human comes with many challenges — sometimes one of the greatest challenges is trying to coexist with "toxic people." I use quotes here because I don't really like labeling people, especially in a negative sense.
I love giving people the benefit of the doubt and strongly believe that most humans can awaken and become so much more than they ever imagined.
But we can't deny the fact that sometimes when a person is hurting deep down inside or can't quite seem to find the loving spark needed to inspire those around them, things can get rough.
I'm someone who wants to see the good in everyone, so sometimes I've found it tough throughout my lifetime to identify whether or not a person is toxic or if I actually did something to deserve their treament.
Thankfully, I'm getting better and more proactive at caring for my soul, especially where relationships are concerned. In my daily life, I have identified a 4-step process that helps me best deal with people who are bringing me down.
#1 - Recognize and Identify
It's quite easy to fall into the mindset that you're doing something completely wrong, when a friend, family member, or colleague is bringing you down.
This is why it's extremely important for you to take a second to analyze the situation. Pay attention to the way this person is making you feel.
Are their actions, words, and behaviors indeed toxic? Do they constantly hurt your feelings or put you down? Are you constantly feeling manipulated or used?
Once you recognize and become aware of the fact that their words and/or behaviors are bringing you down, you can take the necessary steps to remedy the situation.
#2 - Address the Situation
Once you have recognized and identified the toxicity, think about how you can best approach the person for a talk.
Set up a time to connect, let them know why you are wanting to talk, and then when you meet tell them exactly what is negatively affecting you.
The goal is to have as open a conversation as possible — where you both hear each other out and deeply consider the other person's point of view.
Be as real, raw, and authentic as possible, while making it clear that their words and/or actions are causing you stress, anxiety, and hurt. Allow for them to explain themselves and practice deep listening.
#3 - Set Boundaries
Dare to be strong and take your needs seriously. Don't get drawn in or manipulated or get caught in a back and forth about who is right and who is wrong.
Lead with kindness and compassion, but stand strong in your own convictions. If things don't resolve in a healthy, adult manner, remove yourself from that person and situation immediately.
You may need to take a break from him or her. This may be for a few days, a few weeks, and maybe even years. The separation may be painful, but your mental health and ability to thrive must be protected at all costs.
#4 - Let Go and Move Forward
You have to remember that your friend, family member, or colleagues behavior is a reflection of their inner world, not yours. Stay clam and mindful when dealing with them.
If you need to walk away, wish the person well, distance yourself, and move forward with positivity and love. Do everything you can not to hold a grudge or be angry.
In moving forward with positivity, we pour possibility into the universe rather than our unresolved hurts and pain. If it is meant to be, your relationship will heal. If not, you must know that it's for the best.
Dealing with a friend breakup? This post may help you heal.