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Readers Respond: Tips for Dealing With Toxic People

Responses: 117


Updated October 25, 2010

toxic adult child

i have a toxic child selfish to the core. but i would have nothing to with but she has kids i am attached to . i thought of leaving ,moving but i am married and he is not willing to move . he is way opposite then i am does not put up with crap. hence the reason they hate one another but i am the one who needs help. any thoughts thanks . a desperate mom
—Guest je

Toxic friend~Day one

Today is the first day that I haven't dealt with my toxic friend. For the last 3 years, this lady would call me EVERY morning and talk to me for an hour and more. And yes, it was mainly SHE talking to ME. If I tried to say something about what was going on with me, she'd turn it back around on herself. ALWAYS NEGATIVE! I didn't know people could be so negative. Yesterday I gently hung the phone up. Didn't tell her I was going to, just did it. When she sent me a text message saying she didn't know if she'd done something to her phone or if I'd done something, I texted her back and told her that I'd hung up and that I would be writing her an E-mail. Chicken way out maybe, but it was the ONLY way I could get a word in edge wise. So, I wrote a "gentle" letter explaining to her why I did what I did and I haven't heard from her since. Today's been weird. I haven't been depressed and drained the way I have been every morning for the past three years or so!!! But it's a weird change
—Guest Sammie

Walk Away

Having grown up in an extremely toxic family i can testify that the only full proof way of stopping them infecting your life is to cut them completely out of it.From as far back in my childhood as i can remember i have gone to extreme lengths to keep them away from anything positive in my life to prevent them from poisoning it with their negativity and poisonous gossip, yet they have still directly and indirectly done damage to me at almost every opportunity.So eventually i decided that the only option was to get as far away from them and anyone connected to them as possible and totally cut them from my life.Doing so was like removing a cancer from my life,i could actually live my life without constant negative intrusion, i recommend it.I also use the same tactic with others who play a negative role in my life,it works,life is too short to allow others to drag you down,cut them away no matter who they are if it doesn't make you happier,then maybe you are the problem.
—Guest Sam

Trying to Stop Being Toxic

I realized today that I had become the "toxic" people in my life. I think what's important to realize is that toxic people feel trapped and unable to get out of "bad" situations. It might be a bad job, bad relationship, etc. But their self-esteem is so low that they fear the worse if they walk away. So they stuck and unhappy and it just eats them alive. When other people are around them, it's like the hatred and fear on the inside is so painful that to be around others is almost unbearable without lashing out in some way. So we, toxic people complain and complain and complain. And if you get somebody who will listen or if someone reacts in a way that makes you feel you can make them "feel your pain" then you use it to make you feel as if you have some sort of control over your life or at least over someone else. And if that person allows themselves to be your dumping ground, they too will become toxic. So be careful friends, toxic people aren't only bad for you, but they came be you.
—Guest Knee Deep In...

Toxic in laws

Characteristics of toxic inlaws: Intrusive phone calls ie at least twice a day Enmeshment between family members Rife intra familial sexual abuse Mental illness like BPD, Bipolar, OCD which is left untreated No boundary formation Hiding presents in cupboards that belong to other people Sociopathic tendencies Physical, emotional and psychological abuse Fixation on people who are dead Internet stalking and harassment Parental alienation syndrome, malicious mother syndrome and hostile aggressive parenting styles that are transgenerational problems Lack of self reflection, self awareness Externalizes blame and responsibility Two faced Adolescent behaviours as an adult Rage when faced with the truth of themselves - often to painful for them to accept so will cut them selves off Either get out or tell them the truth - My families life is sooo much better for the actions we have taken and we are surrounded by beautiful, mature and integrity driven people
—Guest Bluey Murfet

Toxic Family

This is in response to Guest Runner. Sometimes, it doesn't matter what parents do with their kids - they just take a different path. Toxic behavior includes choices for criminal behaviors or choosing spouses who have criminal behavior. The fact that mom and dad question their behaviors make mom and dad the stir sticks. You can't win with these people. Spend time with the grand kids and keep the parents at a distance.
—Guest Theresa

almost free

I've been completely avoiding a long term 'friend' now for 2 weeks. Hoping she'll take the hint soon and stop calling me (lives interstate). She has drained me for 7 years and I've run out of steam. Please give me the strength to keep on walking away.
—Guest ausgal

Toxic Friends Make Horrible Enemies

After getting several toxic people out of my life - including my father - I am so much more positive and happy. These people were so negative and such Narcissists that it was always about them and always how bad life is and how wrong I am in my life. Now I live every day to the fullest, I don't worry about the future and I get SO much done. I'm no longer living my life for THEM and instead have learned how to give energy to those who really need it, instead of giving to a bunch of negative whiners who drain me of all energy and joy, all the while being critical of me. A HUGE weight has been lifted! I love holidays and special occasions now because they are no longer there to be the center of attention and ruin it all. I love the friends I have now and we all RESPECT ourselves and each other. Word to the wise: GET TOXIC PEOPLE OUT OF YOUR LIFE NOW! Life is too short to live it for other people!
—Guest Johnny

Bad apples....

What would happen if you had a barrel of good apples and you added to it just ONE bad apple? Get it? Run from these people...be it your Mom, Dad, son, daughter... just RUN! Let them figure it out. If they are your offsprings then you DID do something wrong in rearing them!
—Guest Runner

Toxic mother-in-law

When I think of toxic people, one person comes to mind...My mother-in-law. Everything about her exudes negativity and she loves to talk about everyone's faults behind their back to someone else. Everytime I'm in her company, I feel so drained out, angry or irritated. I'm a lot happier now that I cut her off our lives. Some people might think it's hard, but my husband agrees with me, and supports me with my decision since he knows his mother better than I do.
—Guest gigglez

Let them go and walk far, far, away!!!!!

I never realized how often I let other people ruin my day with negativity at work! I'm presently dealing with one of the most TOXIC women I have ever dealt with in my life at work! There are no words to nicely describe her - so I won't waste my time! All I can say is "thanks for all the comments posted" - good advice and especially to know that I am not alone! We should send these people to their own ISLAND far, far away to fight it out amongst the other toxic people in the world!!!! AMEN! Life is too short! Walk away from them or run!!!!!!!!
—Guest Kim Anonymous

Surefire way to rid yourself of thetoxic

A surefire 100% guaranteed way to rid yourself of the toxic person I find is to fart upon their faces. Never failed me yet.
—Guest King Bungo

How I finally dealt with toxic friends

I had quite a few friends that would drain me of my positive energy. This had been going on a long time. They would require my undivided attention and help whenever they " stumbled" but when I needed sympathy and help, they would just leave me hanging. Finally, a few ladie's magazines drew my attention to this very common type of behaviour. One piece of advice was to calmly tell your friend that this is not working and why so we need to end this for my sake because I'm tired. Enough is enough. Well, I did just that. Most didn't understand at all. So I put plan B into motion. When a toxic friend called, I would listen a couple of minutes then say any number of excuses for ending the conversation. Like: I am wrappedup on an important essay on line and can't leave it, or I was just on my way out, my taxi is waiting or a real buster : nature is calling and I need to go. After a while some got the picure. those that continued, immediately got the question: why are you calling? Blessings !


I was so lonely I hung around with an aggressive jerk and nothing was mutual. You are better off alone than with someone that is a negative influence. Realize your true nature is joy, freedom,humor and brilliant beauty and friendships have to be mutual and positive or you risk your sanity.
—Guest Dave Clark

toxic ex

I was married for 20 years to a very charismatic, toxic person. We have been divorced for four years now and for some crazy reason I have let this person invade my life again. We still care about each other but it is not a healthy situation for either of us. It is very difficult to stay away and not want to be with him. I find myself reeling as to why I allow this to happened and why can't I break this cycle.
—Guest Debbie

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