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How to Deal with Toxic People

Updated on May 28, 2018
Mohammad Saif profile image

Mohammad Saif is an aspiring Pakistani writer with the aim to reach out to the world and make a niche for himself.

What comes to your mind from the word toxic? Probably something that can afflict harm. Yeah that’s right, toxic people can be just as lethal to you as they can to themselves; may it be psychological or physical. We as healthy minded individuals need to be equipped with a strategy to deal with these godforsaken creatures. The following five tips will help you tackle unreasonable individuals with ease.

Try talking to them

Most of the times toxic people are reacting to their own bottled up stress and grievances. If you feel that they are approachable then try sorting things out. A casual conversation starter like, “Hey what sup, how’s life at your end?” will get you in business. Ever had a time when you felt disappointed and let someone else face the brunt for it. This happens more often than usual and your toxic pal might just be in that situation. After all, we should understand that nobody is born evil and circumstances land us in such a state. Try offering them help, a shoulder to cry on or refer them to a wellness counselor (Yeah, they exist). Take some time off to understand why they act the way they do and plan your next meeting keeping that in mind. Remember, a positive attitude is your strength and let them know that you are undeterred by their sorry state.

Avoid them if possible

Albeit, nobody wants to be a nice guy and get treated like garbage later; so don’t overdo it. Keep a limit to the amount of importance and patience that you can extend towards said toxic person. Usually three is the golden number of chances that you should give after which it should be an indication that they are beyond repair. Behavior is learnt and human beings learn to discontinue acts that don’t reward them. Hence, avoiding them shows that you are not ready to be part of a toxic relationship and that can steer them towards the right direction (usually). If talking to them doesn’t work out and avoiding them causes them to move further away, understand that they aren’t worth your time. If however the toxic person is someone in your family (God forbid your parents or siblings) then going to a relationship advisor might be helpful.

Don’t let them hurt you

Toxic people are usually spoiling for a fight. Like fire, they need oxygen AKA your attention and fuel (you fighting back). Don’t give them a chance to fight, especially if they can easily overpower you. Nobody has the right to ruin your mood and certainly doesn’t have the right to make you feel threatened. Be prepared for confrontations in advance. Witty remarks to outsmart the bully or keeping a group of supportive friends nearby prove to be good deterrence. A toxic person’s greatest asset is the hurtful comments they so freely hurl at you. Knowing their motive helps lessen the blow so keep this point in mind. If push comes to shove during an argument, stand your ground and instead of attacking them personally, reason with them over how they are at fault. Keep an unbiased audience to back you up if you believe you are right. There is no shame in asking for help either; If the toxicity is too much to bear and inescapable, report the issue to your elders or whoever has authority over her/him.

Don’t gossip about them

What goes around comes around! Justin Timberlake couldn’t have sung it better and these are words to live by. If somebody makes you feel under the weather, returning the favor only makes things worse. Gossiping about how they were a stick in the mud may seem satisfying at first and it should if the gossip stays to one person. However, we all know that gossips have a way of spreading like wildfire. In a world of Whatsapp and screenshots, what seems like a temporary outrage, sets in stone soon. The gossiper becomes the gossiped and your toxic enemy now has proof of your outbreak for all of eternity. Not only that, reconciliation becomes much harder, now that the cat is out of the bag. It may seem like a innocent act but gossiping ruins lives and ultimately renders you untrustworthy, immature and gives the bully an edge by being considered the better person.

Pray for them

Harboring ill feelings and resentment ultimately weighs on you. Experience teaches us that to have a rich life, remove all stressors and grudges that hold you back. If the toxic individual isn’t willing to turn a new leaf, pray for his well being and that he doesn’t hurt someone else the way he hurt you. The feeling you get after forgiving someone is very uplifting and simply makes you a better person. It has scientifically been proven that a negative thinker has a higher probability of experiencing unfortunate events. Don’t underestimate the power of God; praying for your enemies, for their wellbeing and their betterment can be surprisingly refreshing. It’s like setting up reverse psychology to trick your brain into worrying less. Try it out; it might just work out for you substantially.

If toxic people rub you the wrong way, at the end of the day it’s who you are as a person and hence you determine how things play out. Value yourself and know when to draw the line. Hope these tips come in handy, good luck!

© 2018 Mohammad Saif

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    • maggs224 profile image

      maggs224 

      24 months ago from Sunny Spain

      Interesting Hub, and I think praying for people who hurt you is a win win situation. There is an old saying “hurt people hurt people.” and it helps to keep this in mind when dealing with toxic behaviour. As you rightly say don't give back the same toxic remarks and bad behaviour that they are giving you or that is what will increase.

    • Mohammad Saif profile imageAUTHOR

      Mohammad Saif 

      2 years ago from Lahore

      Thanks a lot Jill. Since I have joint only a few days ago, any support and recognition for my work really uplifts my spirits. Furthermore, I love gardening. Look forward to reading your articles. I loved the article on container gardening since I don't have a huge garden to satisfy my passion for floristry. Btw, it's sooo hard to find good perennial flowers that thrive in container gardens.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 

      2 years ago from United States

      Avoiding toxic people and not gossiping about them seems like particularly strong advice to me, the latter most of all since often they are impossible to avoid. As for passive-aggressive toxic people-- when you have a solution to dealing with them, please share! All the best to you, Jill

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