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Letting Go of Toxic People



Messenger Staff

It is said that some people come into your life to teach you how to let go. Recently, I found this statement to be true. I ended a friendship with someone that I put a lot of trust and time into. It is not that this person does not mean anything to me anymore, but the relationship got to a point where it was no longer healthy for either of us.

It is exceedingly difficult to know when to draw that line with someone. While it can be hard to say goodbye, I believe it is sometimes necessary to let go for your own personal needs. I used to think that letting someone go was selfish, but I have gained a new perspective on the matter.

Just as certain items like drugs or alcohol can be toxic to your life, some people can have toxic effects as well. According to WebMD, the definition of a toxic person is anyone whose behavior adds negativity and upset to your life. A toxic person usually will create conflict, a consequence usually unraveled by instability and stress within their own lives.

Some warning signs of toxic behavior in a person include inconsistent behavior, (happy with you one minute, writing you off in the next), needing constant attention (persistent phone calls, texts, or demands of personal time for emotional support), unending drama (surrounded by dramatic events), disrespecting boundaries (crossing a line that you have drawn), manipulation for personal gain (lying, bending the truth, exaggerating, or leaving out information so that you take a certain action or have a certain opinion of them), and substance abuse (using drugs or alcohol).

If you have a toxic person in your life, it is always best to confront the situation at hand. Let that person know that they are crossing a line that you have drawn and that you recognize their toxic behavior whether it is their inconsistent behavior or their attempt to manipulate you. This lets them know that you will not let their behavior slide and gives them an opportunity to correct themselves or apologize.

If confronting the toxic person does not help, be sure to set stricter boundaries with that person until their behavior changes. For example, if their toxic behavior is substance abuse, limit your time with them until they sober up.

Unfortunately, in cases like mine where the behavior does not change, it may be time to let go and cut ties with that person. There is nothing wrong with that, even if the toxic person is a family member. You can love someone from afar and wish them well without being physically present.

Sometimes the best thing, and only thing you can do is stand yourself up, dust yourself off and move on.