7 Steps to Detoxify Toxic People in Your Life.
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We all have dealt with them somewhere in our life’s journey. They somehow make it past all of our internal security walls. Crawl under our security cameras. Proudly stroll down the hallways of our minds and burrow deep into our hearts before we realize it’s too late. Who am I talking about? Toxic people!
Toxic people can appear in any area of our lives. Our family, job, church, neighbors, introduce through friends, and communities.
If we are not alert to their infiltration, their poison can overcome us and leave us laying on the floor confused, lifeless, and wondering how did we allow this to happen.
What do toxic people do?
1. They manipulate your mind.
Toxic people start by befriending you. They build up a rapport and trust with you. However, this is a smokescreen.
In the beginning, you are thinking you are developing a friendship and this individual cares about your life, interests, emotions, and feelings. The truth is, they are scheming about how they can use, manipulate, and overpower you with their own desires.
The bible warns us;
Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Romans 6:16).
Realizing the manipulation of toxic people can prevent you from being enslaved to a life of hurt, betrayal, sin, and abuse.
2. They feed on your feelings and emotions.
Don’t be deceived, toxic people are very crafty in their deception. After they have befriended you, they will latch onto your feelings and emotions. Then they will play games with them to bend them to their will.
They will play the victim to gain your sympathy. Then they will manipulate your feelings for their own personal gain by trying to convince you they are in despair or right in their offense.
3. They will corrupt your convictions and morals.
Once they have fumigated your feelings and emotions with their toxicity, they will influence your convictions and morals.
Seeking to recruit you to their side, they will corrupt the very core of who you are and what you believe in. Robbing you of your character and value.
Without you even realizing what has happened, you have now become a carbon copy of their corrupted morals and values.
4. They will drain and abuse your resources.
Now that they have transformed you to their mission and desire, toxic people will drain and abuse every resource you allow them to.
They will deceive you into giving them money for various reasons, claiming it is for a good cause or desperate need.
After they have gained your trust, they will exploit every other resource and connections you have. Whither it is your family members, friends, co-workers, or church. Their abuse is relentless!
5. They will disempower you.
Having fully disarmed you, they will leave you feeling powerless. They have completed their assignment of the power-flip. You have relinquished every resource of defense to their purpose. You are now disempowered.
6. They will drain you dry.
You are now an empty shell of your once true self. A casualty of a toxic war.
The deception has become too much for you to defeat and your life became another tool in a game of deceit, abuse, manipulation, betrayal, and mental combat.
7. They will abandon you.
Who you once believed was a friend, family member, co-worker, or even someone in authority in your life, has corrupted your innermost being to someone you may have never thought you would become.
After they have drained you of your life source, identity, and character, they will abandon you. Leaving you alone on the battlefield of a selfish war.
7 Steps to Combat Toxic People
1. Don’t engage!
When you encounter someone that is toxic, don’t engage in their drama, gossip, personal despair, or complaining. This is a ploy to give them support and to gain access to your life.
Although you may feel compassion or empathy for them, remain guarded about how you implement these feelings.
Sometimes, if they sense any signs of comfort, empathy, or compassion, they could see this as support and begin their infiltration.
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (1 Corinthians 15:33). (2016). Crossway Bibles.
Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Proverbs 22:24–25).
Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Proverbs 13:20).
Only simpletons believe everything they’re told!
The prudent carefully consider their steps.
The wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Proverbs 14:15–16).
2. Don’t share!
Don’t share any personal information about yourself, family, work, or any other resources you have.
Sharing any information about yourself with a toxic person gives them ammunition they can eventually use against you.
For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (James 3:16).
3. Set boundries.
Make it clear on what you will tolerate and what you won’t.
If it’s gossip, say, “I don’t feel comfortable taking about people. I don’t know what they are experiencing.”
If it’s their family drama, say, “I don’t enjoy choosing a side without hearing both parties. I’m sure they have their own views and opinions on the matter as well.”
You can also try to have a conversation with them about their behaviour and how it is affecting you and others.
Hot-tempered people must pay the penalty.
If you rescue them once, you will have to do it again.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Proverbs 19:19).
You already know these things, dear friends. So be on guard; then you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and lose your own secure footing.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (2 Peter 3:17).
4. Guard your feelings.
Be aware of how you are feeling when someone toxic is talking to you.
Do they make you feel awkward, belittled, offended, shame, or condemned? These are all red flags of their poisonous behaviour. Be alarmed!
As stated above, you may feel the need to offer compassion or empathy. In a few circumstances, this may be ok, but remember to keep it short and sweet. Don’t be rude, but set your boundaries.
You could say, “I’m sorry you are feeling this way. Have you thought about getting some help with this issue?”
Don’t try to fix them!
If a bird sees a trap being set,it knows to stay away.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Proverbs 1:17).
5. Advise them to get help.
If the individual is consistent in their toxic behaviour, advise them to seek help.
You could recommend them to a good counselor that you know or have researched. This will display a sense of compassion, but also you are setting your boundaries as well.
Don’t offer to take them to their appointments as that could become a toxic situation.
Exceptions to this could be if it is an immediate family member or spouse. Someone you can’t separate yourself from at the present moment.
6. Become unavaiable.
A toxic person could be persistent in their behaviour to seek you out. If this is the case, become unavailable.
Don’t answer your phone or text messages if they have accessed your contact information.
Don’t answer your door if they stop by unannounced.
Change your daily routine.
Adjust your lunch time at work.
7. Walk away.
Choosing to walk away can seem like a complicated and confrontational action. However, it will benefit you in the end.
This could be simply getting up and saying, “I’m sorry, but I’m not engaging in this conversation right now. Excuse me.”
If it is a more delicate situation, like with a toxic or abusive spouse, this may require a more strategic course of action. Sadly, planning an escape may be the only opposition.
Realize this is not your fault. The toxic person needs to change their destructive behaviour.
Remember, people come into your life for a reason, a season, a lesson, or a lifetime.