Posted in Family, Personal

Dealing with Toxic People


Hello everyone, I hope you all had a Happy Fourth of July. I know I did. I enjoyed some sun and surf with my kids and extended family. Hanging out by the water was the only thing we could do and stay comfortable during the heat wave. Luckily, things have cooled down and the humidity is gone for a few days any way.

Photo on Visualhunt

I also took a few days off from my writing and I’m trying to get back into the swing of things. It’s always good to get back into it. It’s such a stress reliever for me and a sense of accomplishment when I get a scene right.

But enough about that, today I’d like to talk about dealing with toxic people. They rear their ugly heads in both our personal lives and our work lives, and it’s important deal with them in a way so their toxicity doesn’t affect our lives.

Photo on Visualhunt

How do you know when someone is toxic? By gauging how you feel when you’re with them. Do they drain your energy by their negativity? Do you feel steamrolled by them? Maybe they’re so critical you feel diminished by them. If you have any of these feelings on a consistent basis when you’re with a particular person, they are toxic.

So what can you do when you run into someone like this? What happens if they’re a family member or a coworker?

First of all you have to set boundaries and stick with them. These people will try to push past them because they don’t understand what they are. They may also try to manipulate you so that they get their way. They’ll try tactics like the silent treatment or giving you dirty looks and glaring at you. They’re trying to obtain the upper hand and control in the relationship.

Photo credit: Ed Yourdon on VisualHuntCC BY-NC-SA

Another thing you can do is limit the time you have to be around them. If they’re in your family, you can select the gatherings that you attend and if you can avoid them that’s the best answer for everyone involved. The reason I say this is because if a toxic person has set their sights on you, their negativity affects everyone. Everyone in the family sees it. They may not do anything about it because they don’t want the toxic person’s spotlight on them, but they are all brought down by the negative behavior.

Photo on Visualhunt

One last thing to remember, a toxic person isn’t going to change without some sort of intervention. They need counseling and the only way they’re going to get that is if they admit to themselves they have a problem. Most toxic people aren’t going to admit they have one so don’t get sucked into their cycle of abuse.

So when you run into a toxic person and you can’t get away from them, then emotionally detach from them and observe their behavior, and look at it from a clinical point of view. Maybe you could use their particular toxicity for fodder in your writing.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. Have you run into a toxic person? How did you handle it? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!


I'm a Young Adult Author with two new series, "The Starlight Chronicles" and "The Super Spies." The first one's a coming of age series and the second one's a mystery/thriller series. I'm also the mother of two boys who keep me hopping and they're my inspiration for everything. When I'm not shuttling my boys to school or a play date, I'm writing. When I'm not writing, I'm reading, hiking, or sometimes running. I love anything chocolate and scary movies too.

16 thoughts on “Dealing with Toxic People

  1. I think there’s really good advice here, Lisa. There are difficult people everywhere and it’s so important to understand and enforce our personal boundaries when we’re with them, otherwise as you say they can have such a negative effect on our lives. I’m also a great believer in limiting time with toxic people and concentrating on those you feel really good around.

    1. You are so right, Julie. It is hard to disengage because toxic people are very good at manipulating people. I’ve also noticed that people will let the toxic person have their way because then they’re easier to deal with. I’m not one of those people.

      1. Good for you, Lisa! It’s so true that people give in because it’s easier – often it’s their own discomfort at standing their ground that makes them give in. I feel it’s important to learn to tolerate that discomfort and reassure yourself that it’s the other person’s behaviour that’s at fault, not yours. That way it becomes easier to assert your boundary which, as you point out, is essential when others are attempting to manipulate you. Wonderful post, thank you.

      2. Again, you are so right, Julie! And you’ve added a component that I didn’t think of when writing this post. The person standing their ground is going to feel discomfort especially if other people in the group aren’t used to standing their ground. They’ll probably pressure the healthy person to follow their lead. It could get very uncomfortable, but they need to preservere and maybe be a model for other people in the group. Thanks for stopping by, Julie and sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it!

  2. Boundaries for sure! If necessary, cut them out of your life. I’ve done it. Wasn’t easy, but I saw that our friendship had ran its course. Since I’m an Empath, I also do a bubble meditation to protect myself. Great post, Lisa! Another word for toxic people is ‘energy vampires’. Cheers!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Sharon. I didn’t know you were an Empath. So am I! I should have known we seem to have many things in common. 🙂 We should get together in real life some time!

  3. I feel toxic people sap your energy. It is difficult to stay away from toxic relatives.

    Lisa, I hope you are better now as you mentioned earlier that humidity is causing lots of problems!

    1. Yes, Arv! Finally, there was a break in the humidity and we had a couple days of cooler temps, but it’s supposed to get hot again. Hopefully, it’ll be around the time we go to the lake!

  4. Toxic people can be truly exhausting cant they! Im always wary of someone that I feel my energy drop when Im around them. I always feel its my body telling me to proceed with caution. As we know, hurt people hurt people so toxic people are often in some kind of pain, so my heart always feels for them. I do cut toxic people out of my life though, I try to avoid any kind of negativity around me. Some great advice here xx

    1. You are so right. Sometimes I get so caught up in my hurt feelings that I forget that toxic people are in pain, too. But I do remember a good friend once told me. That you don’t go and hug a rattlesnake and expect it to not strike. That’s just their nature. So, some people you can’t help and the best you can do is protect yourself. 🙂

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