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How To Live With People Who Have Toxic Behaviours


In your daily walk of life, you would have likely come across a friend, a family member, or a colleague whose behaviour is unpalatable. Instead of dealing directly with their toxic behaviours, you find yourself throwing tantrums directly at them.

It is possible to deal with toxic behaviour squarely without necessarily attacking the toxic person.

There’s currently no psychological definition for toxicity but it is quite easy to identify toxic behaviours when confronted with them. When you learn the dos and don’ts of dealing with toxic behaviours, you’ll be at peace with almost all the people you deal with.

According to Barrie Sueskind, there are pointers to the toxicity exhibited by people, these pointers include”

  • self-absorption or self-centeredness
  • manipulation and other emotional abuse
  • dishonesty and deceit
  • difficulty offering compassion to others
  • a tendency to create drama or conflict”

Now, if you are looking to deal with toxic behaviours without getting on your nerves, do the following.

Avoid playing into their reality

Some people are fond of victimizing themselves in all the incidences that happen to them. When telling the story, they paint a picture of being the person who isn’t at fault.

Do not be tempted to nod or even smile at their story as it might make them feel encouraged to tell more lies about their situation. It is better to disagree with them but respectably and you can do this by describing what happened with facts and without accusations.

Your disagreement will likely upset them but they’d never return to involve you in their negativities.

Don’t get drawn in

Toxic behaviours drain energy from people at the receiving end. Toxic people often complain constantly about the demeanour of others or even make false and wrong accusations.

Resist the temptation to join their complaint train. Do not also attempt to defend yourself against whatever accusation they label on you. Saying “I’m sorry you feel that way” would suffice for that kind of behaviour.

Pay attention to how they make you feel

Paying rapt attention to how the toxic behaviour of someone makes you feel is certain to help you relate with them better,

it is quite possible to feel uneasy, sad, or even vent out when they don’t. This is not necessarily toxic as we all have our low moments.

However, you should have an introspection to find out if verbal abuse and other forms of attack describe your daily interactions. Find out if they know if their words or actions affect you.

Talk to them about their Toxic behaviours

Some people are not aware that they possess toxic behaviours. They see their manipulative, deceitful and deceptive nature as natural. Regardless, they could become better if you let them know in a conversation about their traits.

Ensure that you use the “I” kinds of statements so that the other person does not feel accused, this way you are also setting boundaries that will work for you.

Example: “I respect truth in a relationship, so I won’t continue with this relationship if you lie again”

Put yourself first

There is nothing really bad about being a tad selfish. You should not make an offer of support or advice at your peril.

Every healthy relationship is about giving and taking. The moment you are the only one giving and giving, you’ll gradually move on to where you receive.

Offer compassion, but don’t try to fix them

Some people can change or outgrow certain behaviours, but this is only possible where they deliberately put in the work to do so.

You must realize that trying to change people or help them become better, is a game of chance. Some people are teachable while others are

So, if they are not willing to change, you’d be wasting all of your efforts but if they are willing to change or grow, you’d find it delightful to help them.

Say no (and walk away)

If you find it very difficult to say no or turn people down, you are not alone.

Toxic people are manipulative and they have tendencies to guilt-trip other people into changing their minds.

However, you must stick to your guns and say NO when needed. No matter the gimmicks they try to employ to get you on their side, learn not to back down. You can get used to saying no and enjoy the easy life.

Remember, you aren’t at fault

Toxic people will make you feel you are at fault even when you didn’t do any wrong.

There might even be instances where people with toxic behaviours get personal, accuse other people of hurting their feelings or even twist the words of other people. This could make you, the recipient of the behaviour check yourself for what you have done wrongly.

Always put it in mind that their behaviour has nothing to do with your person. Set boundaries and avoid taking spite personally. If you feel like walking away, do so.

Make yourself unavailable

According to Sueskind: “can often sense who they can manipulate,” Sueskind says. “They may move on when they see their tactics don’t work on you.”

If you make yourself scarce, they are likely going to stop engaging. This strategy is helpful for working-class people, because of the honest excuses that abound in that space.

If you are accused or confronted with some unpalatable remarks when you lay bare your excuses, be mute instead of responding. It is not really about you.

Limit your time together

This is somewhat related to making yourself unavailable. If you feel really stressed or emotionally drained while in the company of relatives or friends, it is a sign that you should not see them often.

Toxic people are only interested in themselves and what they want. They fail to take responsibility for their failures and do not care about the feelings of other people.

If you want to have peace, it is better to scale back the time you spend with people who have toxic behaviours else, they’d push you beyond your boundaries.

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