The Art of Leaving Toxic People Behind

Everyone is on their own path, going at their own pace. We often become friends and acquaintances with people because we were aligned with them one some level, or multiple levels (or we had a parasitic attraction dynamic with them). However, at a certain point, we may realize that certain people are making us feel worse after spending time with them.

You may love someone, or what they represent, but if they are causing you to stagnate, or even retract on your own path, it is a sign that they have become toxic for you. Here are some other signs that there is someone toxic in your life:

  • They only pay attention to you when there is something in it for them.
  • They keep teasing or making fun of you about something you did in your past.
  • They make you feel like you are a failure.
  • They project limiting beliefs about what you can achieve in your life.
  • They lie to you and about you.
  • They make you feel “negative” about yourself and others.
  • They compete with you to get something.
  • They make you feel exhausted.
  • They try and force you to be someone they want you to be.
  • They manipulate you for their own desire for control.

If you feel toxic when in the company of someone who has hurt you, then you earn no spiritual points by forcing yourself to be there. Sure, you can make an attempt to stay incredibly motivated, inspired, and true to yourself when around them, but you will quickly see you’re being wasteful with your energy.

You owe it to yourself to have people in your life who exude gratitude, love, and hope. You want your friends to be helpful in your continued personal evolution. The doesn’t mean surrounding yourself with an echo chamber of endless praise. In fact, you should have people within your life who are willing to call you out when you are acting out of alignment with your authentic and best self. You should have people who will shine a light on your shadows and likewise, you should be doing the same for them.

How to Leave Toxic People Behind

Leaving toxic people behind is an art. You probably want to avoid a big scene with a lot of hostility. Here’s how you can leave toxic people behind in the most graceful way.

Accept that it may take more time than you would like

Depending on who the toxic people is in your life, it may take more time than you would like it to. Situations where this is the case involve family members, childhood friends, a boss, or someone living with you.

Listen to your intuition

You have an incredible intelligence within you that can be your guiding compass for what to do in a situation. This insight and advice from your inner being will vary depending on the situation, so it is not my place to say what that would be.

Avoid rationalizing with them or hoping to change them

People who are toxic in your life do not want to change and rationalizing with them will get you nowhere. You should stand up for yourself, but avoid getting into complex debates, since they actually use that as bait to drain you of even more energy.

Create physical and communicative distance

Stop talking to them or communicating with them like you used to. This can be either a gradual tapering off over time or an abrupt cessation of communication, if they are very toxic. Stop meeting up with them and spending time with them in person. Replace the time you would have spent with them on things that develop yourself more. This gives you an option of providing a reason you cannot spend time with them, since you want to avoid lying and also not flat out tell them they’re toxic to you.

Leaving toxic people behind is usually not the easiest of tasks. However, if you follow the steps I mentioned above, you can make the process easier and have a smoother transition into a life without them.