10 reasons why it’s ok to remove toxic people from your life [+ How to do it]

We all have people in our lives who bring us down, sap our energy, and make us question our self-worth. But I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to put up with them! It’s absolutely ok to remove toxic people from your life.

Now I know that it’s not always easy to do so, especially if the person in question is a family member, romantic partner, or friend, but eventually, you just have to say, “enough!” You need to prioritize your mental and emotional well-being.

If someone is making you feel drained, anxious, or unhappy, it is ok to distance yourself from them in order to protect yourself. You need to remember that you don’t need to suffer their negativity and that you can’t change them, no matter how hard you try.

To make things easier for you, I’m going to share 10 reasons why it’s ok to remove toxic people from your life, as well as how to do it right.

Let’s get started:

1) They affect your mental and emotional well-being

I know how difficult it can be to cut someone out of your life. You don’t want to be the bad guy, so you keep on finding excuses for their behavior.

Take me for instance. I had this extremely toxic cousin that I grew up with.

Every time we were together, she’d go on and on about how unfair life was and how everyone except for her had it easy. She constantly worked at making me feel guilty that I was doing ok.

Nice person that I am, I kept trying to make her feel better. I listened to her complaints and tried to offer solutions to her problems. It was like talking to a brick wall.

I always felt completely miserable and drained of energy after spending an hour or two with her and I’d often end up going home to cry. Sometimes it would take a few days for me to feel like my old self after seeing her.

After years of this torture, I realized something: I didn’t have to take this anymore!

I didn’t have to keep on seeing her. She was so toxic that she was affecting my mental and emotional well-being.

At the end of the day, it was a choice between her and me and I chose me.

So if you have someone in your life whose constant negativity, criticism, and manipulative behavior is starting to take a toll on your mental health and emotional well-being, you should cut them out of your life.

It’s ok. It doesn’t make you a bad guy.

2) Toxic people can end your journey toward self-improvement

The journey toward self-improvement can be a long and challenging one. It requires hard work and dedication, not to mention the courage to face difficult truths about oneself.

If you have toxic people in your life, your journey is going to be twice as hard. Toxic people can be incredibly draining and destructive, and they can make it difficult to stay focused and motivated on your journey.

Here’s why: Toxic people will bring you down and make you question your decisions and your worth. They will put their own needs and wants ahead of yours and sabotage your efforts to be a better version of yourself.

They are negative and unsupportive and make it difficult to stay focused and motivated to reach your goals. That’s why it’s important to recognize when someone is toxic and why it’s in your best interest to remove them from your life.

Doing so will allow you to focus on being the best version of yourself and ensure that your journey toward self-improvement is not hindered. You’ll be able to take control of your life and focus on the things that matter the most.

Removing toxic people from your life can be difficult, especially if you have a close relationship with the person, but it’s important to remember that it’s for your own good. It will help you reach your goals and live a happier, more fulfilled life.

3) Toxic people can create a toxic environment

Whether they are at work or in your personal life, toxic people can create a toxic environment. This can cause you to feel unsupported, unappreciated, unfulfilled, and even unsure of yourself.

They can also create an atmosphere of mistrust and hostility, which can have a negative impact on your relationships with others.

Be on the lookout for gossiping, manipulation, and constant negativity if you want to spot a toxic person.

At my last job, the office manager was an extremely toxic person who, while pretending to be my “friend”, created a very toxic work environment with her gossip, lies, and manipulation. I felt like I constantly had to be on my guard and that I could never truly be myself.

And so, I quit my job. And while I was out of a job, I didn’t regret the decision in the least because I felt like I could finally breathe.

The best way to combat a toxic environment is to remove the toxic person from the situation. If you can’t remove them (because they’re the boss’s sister-in-law) then you need to leave and find a healthy environment to be in.

4) Toxic people can make us feel like we’re isolated

As I mentioned above, I had a toxic person at work that made my life hell. Her bullying made me feel isolated and like I had nobody to turn to.

Toxic people are negative and manipulative, and often exhibit signs of narcissism. They’ll belittle your accomplishments, criticize you, and make you feel small and insignificant. That’s why it can be hard to stand up to them. Their behavior often leads to feelings of hopelessness and despair. 

In addition to the emotional turmoil they can cause, toxic people can often isolate you from other healthy relationships. They may discourage you from attending social events, or make you feel uncomfortable when you are around them. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and even depression.

That’s why it’s totally ok to remove them from your life. Don’t even give it a second thought.

5) Toxic people are manipulative

Here’s another reason that you shouldn’t feel bad for cutting them out of your life – they’re manipulative by nature. In fact, they often use psychological and emotional tactics to control, manipulate, and exploit those around them. Totally psycho, huh?

Examples of manipulation tactics used by toxic people include:

  • Gaslighting: This is a form of psychological manipulation where the manipulator will make someone question their own reality. For example, a toxic person may tell a victim that they never said something when in fact they did, or deny that something happened when it clearly did.
  • Guilt tripping: This is a common manipulation tactic used by toxic people to make someone feel guilty for something they didn’t do. For example, a toxic person may tell their victim that they are selfish or uncaring if they don’t do what the toxic person wants. My cousin used to do this to me all the time.
  • Manipulative language: Toxic people also use language to manipulate people. They may use phrases such as “you should” or “you must” to make someone feel like they are obligated to do something.
  • Isolation: Toxic people may also try to isolate their victims from their friends and family by telling them lies about their loved ones or by making them feel guilty for spending time with other people.
  • Feigning victimhood: This is when a toxic person plays the victim in order to gain sympathy and manipulate someone into doing what they want. For example, a toxic person may make up stories about how they have been wronged or mistreated, in order to make someone feel sorry for them and do what they want. This is something else my cousin used to do. Poor her!

It’s important to recognize these tactics and remove yourself from toxic relationships to protect your mental health.

6) Toxic people never change

If only they could change… but they almost never do. It’s like their toxicity is part of their DNA.

When faced with a situation that requires them to take responsibility for their actions, toxic people will blame others or make excuses. Even if they apologize, they are likely to repeat the same behavior in the future.

This can be extremely frustrating for those around them, as it can make it difficult to trust them and create a sense of hopelessness.

They’re also unwilling to accept help or criticism. They tend to be defensive and resistant to any attempts to help them change their behavior, which can be incredibly draining for those who care about them.

But you know what? They’re grown-up.

That means that they’re responsible for their own behavior. And as difficult and heartbreaking as it is to watch someone you care about continue to struggle with their own toxic behavior, it’s not your job to change them.

Copy of Untitled 1640 × 1200 px 84 10 reasons why it's ok to remove toxic people from your life [+ How to do it]

7) Toxic people are selfish

Another reason why it’s ok to remove toxic people from your life is their utter lack of empathy and feeling for others. They’re selfish people who are driven by their own self-interests and don’t care about the effects their behavior has on other people.

They are often narcissistic and manipulative, creating situations that benefit them at the expense of others. They engage in blame-shifting and will rarely take responsibility for their actions or behaviors.

They’re also known for being passive-aggressive, using subtle tactics to undermine the people around them.

They take advantage of the people around them to get what they want. So why would you want to be around someone like that? What do you get from the relationship?

8) Toxic people are controlling

Toxic people are often difficult to spot because they may be charismatic, charming, and appear to be helpful. However, their true intentions are often hidden beneath a thin veneer of charm.

You see, toxic people rely on control to get their way. As I mentioned before, they’ll use guilt,  intimidation, criticism, or other negative tactics to make you do what they want.

They can be emotionally abusive, making you feel like you are not good enough or worthy of love.

They’ll try to control your decisions and choices by making you feel like you have no other option. They may also try to control conversations, dictate the terms of relationships, and make decisions without consulting you.

The thing is, they may not even be aware of what they’re doing – I don’t think my cousin was. I think her toxic nature was deeply engraved into who she was and she lacked the introspection to recognize it. That’s why it’s important for you to recognize toxic behavior and take steps to protect yourself from it.

9) Toxic people are unreliable

The truth is that you just can’t trust them, they’re incredibly unreliable.

Toxic people are often inconsistent in their behavior – they’ll say one thing one day and something completely different the next. This inconsistency makes it difficult to trust them and rely on them for anything.

They may promise to help you with something important but if something better comes along, they’ll leave you hanging.

And if you’re facing some difficulties and need to talk to someone – look elsewhere because a toxic person might give you half-hearted advice and quickly change the subject to their own issues.

10) Toxic people are negative

If it wasn’t clear from the previous points – toxic people ooze negativity. It’s like their sole purpose in life is to go around spreading negativity to those around them, whether it’s with their words or their actions.

Their gloomy outlook on life can be very draining on those closest to them, it’s like every other word out of their mouths is a complaint, criticism, or bit**y comment.

They’re constantly critical and judgmental of others, they’re unsupportive, unkind, insensitive, and love making cruel or hurtful comments or jokes.

Hopefully, you now have enough reasons to remove that horrible, toxic person from your life. Ultimately, your own mental health, well-being should, and happiness always come first.

How to do it

Now that you know why it’s ok to remove toxic people from your life, here are some tips on how to do it:

1) Identify the toxic behavior

The first step to removing a toxic person from your life is to identify them as a toxic person.

Often, we’ll tell ourselves little white lies to make being around a toxic person easier. “They didn’t mean to say that, they’re just tired.” or “It’s not their fault, they had a difficult childhood.”

Stop making excuses for them and look out for:

  1. Signs of aggression, such as insults, threats, or bullying.
  2. Controlling or manipulating behavior
  3. How they talk to others and how they respond to criticism.
  4. Aggressive body language.
  5. Consistently putting other people down.
  6. Pay attention if they attempt to isolate themselves from social activities.
  7. Signs of passive-aggressive behavior.
  8. Gaslighting.

2) Learn to set boundaries

Setting boundaries with toxic people is a necessary step for protecting your mental and emotional well-being. It can be difficult to confront toxic people, but sometimes you just have to be brave and do it for your own good.

The first step in setting boundaries is to recognize the behaviors that are toxic and unacceptable. This can include verbal and physical abuse, manipulation, or anything else that makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.

Once you have identified the toxic behaviors, it is important to communicate your feelings to the person in question. Make sure to be clear and direct, and to explain why their behavior is unacceptable.

When setting boundaries, it is important to be firm and unyielding. Do not let the person push your boundaries or make excuses for their behavior. It is also important to be consistent and to enforce the boundaries that you have set.

Make it clear that you won’t tolerate any disrespectful, manipulative, or negative behavior.

3) Be polite, but firm

When you have set boundaries with a toxic person, be polite and respectful. Do not allow them to guilt you into changing your mind or making exceptions to your decisions.

If they get frustrated or angry, stand your ground.

It is also important to control your reactions when dealing with toxic people. Do not let them bait you into conflict or a fight, or allow yourself to be manipulated by guilt or false apologies.

4) Limit contact and communicate as little as possible

Don’t respond to messages unless it’s an emergency. Don’t respond to their calls. Never initiate contact with them. If you meet them in public, acknowledge their presence but don’t stand around and engage in conversation.

It’s also a good idea to remove or block them from your social media accounts.

Remember, you don’t want this person in your life.

5) Don’t fall for their tricks

After you’ve told the toxic person that you don’t want them in your life anymore, they may try to make their way back by coming up with “crises” that they need your help with.

You need to be strong and resist the urge to be pulled back into their crazy world. Whether the crisis is real or not does not concern you.

If they need help, they should ask someone else. Period.

6) Remember that it’s not your job to save them

Look, we’re all responsible for ourselves. The toxic person needs to take responsibility for their actions and if they want to be saved, they need to change. You can’t force them to change and it’s not your job to save them.

It’s also not healthy for you to try and rescue someone who is struggling with toxicity or any destructive behavior – which is why you have set boundaries and removed them from your life, so stick to your decision.

7) Ask for help

If you’re dealing with a toxic person, it can be a difficult and emotionally draining situation. Don’t hesitate to reach out to people in your life and ask for support.

Friends, family, or a professional counselor can provide a listening ear, advice, and emotional support. Having someone to talk to and rely on can make a big difference in how you handle and cope with the situation.

How to make sure toxic people don’t get to you

Whether it’s an old friend, an acquaintance, or a family member, toxic people can really put a damper on your day.

While it can seem like an uphill battle to try and stay positive in the face of negativity, it’s not impossible. Here are some tips to help you stay positive and not let a toxic person get to you:

1) Practice self-care

Being around a toxic person can leave you feeling drained of energy and hope. That’s why it’s important to remember to take care of yourself.

If you’ve just spent the day with someone toxic and you feel horrible, you need to set aside some time for yourself. For example, when you get home, draw yourself a nice warm bath. Play some calming music and indulge in a rich, chocolate dessert. Or make plans with your friend the next day. Go spend the day hiking or doing something else that relaxes your soul.

2) Remember to breathe

Don’t underestimate the power of the breath.

Learning how to breathe properly is important for your well-being because it helps to reduce stress, improves your concentration, and increases your energy levels. Proper breathing can also help to improve your overall mental and physical health, it’s no wonder that it’s at the core of yoga and meditation practices.

If you want to learn how to use your breath to access inner peace, clear your mind, and unlock the power of your inner self, then you should definitely take The Power of Your Breath Masterclass with shaman Rudá Iandê.

let go 10 reasons why it's ok to remove toxic people from your life [+ How to do it]

Rudá will teach you how to use the power of your breath to create positive change in your life. He will guide you through the use of various breathing techniques, which can help you manage stress and anxiety, reduce fatigue, and improve your overall health and well-being – something we all need when dealing with toxic people.

By learning these techniques, you can become more mindful and be able to direct your energy in a powerful way. This class is perfect for anyone looking to deepen their understanding of breathwork and how it can help them deal with difficult people and situations in life.

Click here to watch the free video.

3) Don’t take their behavior personally

It is important to remember that toxic people often act out of their own insecurities and that their behavior is not a reflection of your own worth.

So the next time you start to question your worth because of something a toxic person said or did, remember, it’s not about you.

4) Surround yourself with positive people

Finally, to counter the negative effects of being around a toxic person, you need to surround yourself with beautiful, happy, positive people!

Your wonderful friends and family can provide emotional support, help to refocus your energy on healthy relationships and activities, and provide a positive influence that can help to counterbalance the negative impact of the toxic person.

What’s more, positive people can provide a distraction from the negative emotions that can arise when dealing with a toxic person.

All in all, fight toxic negativity with positivity and you’ll be alright.

Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.

Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.