Don’t let toxic people rent space in your head.
Raise the rent and get them out of there.
Surviving the ups, downs, and lightning storms of other people’s moodiness can be quite a challenge. It’s important, though, to remember that some moody, negative people may be going through a difficult stage in their lives. They may be ill, chronically worried, or lacking what they need in terms of love and emotional support. Such people need to be listened to, supported, and cared for (although whatever the cause of their moodiness and negativity, you may still need to protect yourself from their behavior at times).
But there’s another type of moody, negative behavior: that of the toxic bully, who will use his or her mood swings to intimidate and manipulate. It’s this aspect of moodiness that inflicts enduring abuse and misery. If you observe these people closely, you will notice that their attitude is overly self-referential. Their relationships are prioritized according to how each one can be used to meet their selfish needs. This is the kind of toxic behavior I want to look at in this post.
I’m a firm believer that toxic mood swings (like chain letter emails) should not be inflicted on one person by another, under any circumstances. So how can you best manage the fallout from other people’s relentless toxicity?
1. Move on without them.
If you know someone who insists on destructively dictating the emotional atmosphere, then be clear: they are toxic. If you are suffering because of their attitude, and your compassion, patience, advice, and general attentiveness doesn’t seem to help them, and they don’t seem to care one bit, then ask yourself, “Do I need this person in my life?”
When you delete toxic people from your environment it becomes a lot easier to breathe. If the circumstances warrant it, leave these people behind and move on when you must. Seriously, be strong and know when enough is enough! Letting go of toxic people doesn’t mean you hate them, or that you wish them harm; it simply means you care about your own well-being.
A healthy relationship is reciprocal; it should be give and take, but not in the sense that you’re always giving and they’re always taking. If you must keep a truly toxic person in your life for whatever reason, then consider the remaining points…
2. Stop pretending their toxic behavior is OK.
If you’re not careful, toxic people can use their moody behavior to get preferential treatment, because… well… it just seems easier to quiet them down than to listen to their grouchy rhetoric. Don’t be fooled. Short-term ease equals long-term pain for you in a situation like this. Toxic people don’t change if they are being rewarded for not changing. Decide this minute not to be influenced by their behavior. Stop tiptoeing around them or making special pardons for their continued belligerence.
Constant drama and negativity is never worth putting up with. If someone over the age 21 can’t be a reasonable, reliable adult on a regular basis, it’s time to…
3. Speak up!
Stand up for yourself. Some people will do anything for their own personal gain at the expense of others – cut in line, take money and property, bully and belittle, pass guilt, etc. Do not accept this behavior. Most of these people know they’re doing the wrong thing and will back down surprisingly quickly when confronted. In most social settings people tend to keep quiet until one person speaks up, so SPEAK UP.
Some toxic people may use anger as a way of influencing you, or they may not respond to you when you’re trying to communicate, or interrupt you and suddenly start speaking negatively about something dear to you. If ever you dare to speak up and respond adversely to their moody behavior, they may be surprised, or even outraged, that you’ve trespassed onto their behavioral territory. But you must speak up anyway.
Not mentioning someone’s toxic behavior can become the principal reason for being sucked into their mind games. Challenging this kind of behavior upfront, on the other hand, will sometimes get them to realize the negative impact of their behavior. For instance, you might say:
- “I’ve noticed you seem angry. Is something upsetting you?”
- “I think you look bored. Do you think what I’m saying is unimportant?”
- “Your attitude is upsetting me right now. Is this what you want?”
Direct statements like these can be disarming if someone truly does use their moody attitude as a means of social manipulation, and these statements can also open a door of opportunity for you to try to help them if they are genuinely facing a serious problem.
Even if they say: “What do you mean?” and deny it, at least you’ve made them aware that their attitude has become a known issue to someone else, rather than just a personal tool they can use to manipulate others whenever they want. (Read Toxic People.)
And if they persist in denial, it might be time to…
4. Put your foot down.
Your dignity may be attacked, ravaged and disgracefully mocked, but it can never be taken away unless you willingly surrender it. It’s all about finding the strength to defend your boundaries.
Demonstrate that you won’t be insulted or belittled. To be honest, I’ve never had much luck trying to call truly toxic people (the worst of the worst) out when they’ve continuously insulted me. The best response I’ve received is a snarky, “I’m sorry you took what I said so personally.” Much more effective has been ending conversations with sickening sweetness or just plain abruptness. The message is clear: There is no reward for subtle digs and no games will be played at your end.
Truly toxic people will pollute everyone around them, including you if you allow them. If you’ve tried reasoning with them and they aren’t budging, don’t hesitate to vacate their space and ignore them until they do.
5. Don’t take their toxic behavior personally.
It’s them, not you. KNOW this.
Toxic people will likely try to imply that somehow you’ve done something wrong. And because the “feeling guilty” button is quite large on many of us, even the implication that we might have done something wrong can hurt our confidence and unsettle our resolve. Don’t let this happen to you.
Remember, there is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally. Most toxic people behave negatively not just to you, but to everyone they interact with. Even when the situation seems personal – even if you feel directly insulted – it usually has nothing to do with you. What they say and do, and the opinions they have, are based entirely on their own self-reflection. (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Relationships” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
6. Practice practical compassion.
Sometimes it makes sense to be sympathetic with toxic people whom you know are going through a difficult time, or those who are suffering from an illness. There’s no question about it, some toxic people are genuinely distressed, depressed, or even mentally and physically ill, but you still need to separate their legitimate issues from how they behave toward you. If you let people get away with anything because they are distressed, facing a medical condition, or depressed, even, then you are making it too tempting for them to start unconsciously using their unfortunate circumstance as a means to an end.
Several years ago, I volunteered at a psychiatric hospital for children. I mentored a boy there named Dennis, a diagnosed Bipolar disorder patient. Dennis was a handful sometimes, and would often shout obscenities at others when he experienced one of his episodes. But no one ever challenged his outbursts, and neither had I up to this point. After all, he’s clinically “crazy” and can’t help it, right?
One day I took Dennis to a local park to play catch. An hour into our little field trip, Dennis entered one of his episodes and began calling me profane names. But instead of ignoring his remarks, I said, “Stop bullying me and calling me names. I know you’re a nice person, and much better than that.” His jaw literally dropped. Dennis looked stunned, and then, in a matter of seconds, he collected himself and replied, “I’m sorry I was mean Mr. Marc.”
The lesson here is that you can’t “help” someone by making unwarranted pardons for everything they do simply because they have problems. There are plenty of people who are going through extreme hardships who are not toxic to everyone around them. We can only act with genuine compassion when we set boundaries. Making too many pardons and allowances is not healthy or practical for anyone in the long-term. (Read Who’s Pulling Your Strings?)
7. Take time for yourself.
If you are forced to live or work with a toxic person, then make sure you get enough alone time to relax, rest, and recuperate. Having to play the role of a “focused, rational adult” in the face of toxic moodiness can be exhausting, and if you’re not careful, the toxicity can infect you. Again, understand that even people with legitimate problems and clinical illnesses can still comprehend that you have needs as well, which means you can politely excuse yourself when you need to.
You deserve this time away. You deserve to think peacefully, free from external pressure and toxic behavior. No problems to solve, boundaries to uphold, or personalities to please. Sometimes you need to make time for yourself, away from the busy world you live in that doesn’t make time for you.
The floor is yours…
What are your experiences with toxic people? What have you done to cope with their behavior? Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
Photo by: Monkeyc
Thank you for an article aimed at real help in detecting those toxic people who come into our lives, and suck the life out of you, many times without much noise or notice until decades with them has passed,
It wasn’t until my husband of 35 years walked out suddenly of our marriage, without a clue that he wasn’t happy, and nothing was ever said. Once he was gone, and the tsunami or the emotional trauma had subsided, it was clear to me “the what and the who” I lived with for over 3 decades, and would never, ever, subject myself to that type of person again. I was awake and aware of just how much I gave up of myself, my personality, my true self, to someone who never respected, and didn’t love me either, only used me for his own benefit and gain throughout our entire lives together.
These people, the sociopathic narcissist, is like “a bitter onion, wrapped in rose petals, but what’s inside is not so pretty, and will make you cry”. These people look like everyone else, charming, smart, and achieving, yet, they are continually thinking up ways to delude, destroy, cut you down, and belittle those who don’t measure up to “their standards”. They are constantly thinking up new ways to outmaneuver those who get in their way of their goals, and will use others to get to their ultimate end result.
I didn’t know and cannot blame myself either, I was just trying to build and maintain a marital union with this toxic individual, more a sub-human. More importantly, I can now recognize more readily and quickly too,, the toxic people and rid myself of them and move on. What I have learned at age 58 years old, is you cannot change the past, cannot change these types of people, but can learn so much of yourself and begin a new day with hope for a better life without them.
I’ve just had this happen to me. He is leaving after 20 years and I don’t know how to begin. I don’t even know me anymore. I am overwhelmed.
In a few weeks I will be exposed to some toxic siblings at a family wedding. I thought I removed their toxic behaviors (5 years) but it is all creeping back as I prepare to “see” them again. Any pointers on what to say to them that will help me get through the event? I want to be kind as I have been the labeled crazy one! I need to rehearse this ASAP!
I have been thru something similar. But not as long? What have been your experiences?
I have just come across this post and would really like to know: how did it go, and what did you say?
Imad LB says
This is a great post. Thank you, it’s very informative and I think it will help many people who are dealing with toxic people in their lives see their situation in a new light.
What if the toxic person is one of your parent? How do you escape then? Especially when you can’t move out…
I was there many years ago dealing with toxic parents and would of given anything to have read a post like this one. I do know that having mentors who gave me an example of how to be healthy and not toxic was what got me to where I am today even though I am always learning to improve. One day you will be living on your own and will be able to choose to put up the boundries that will keep you safe and live a happy life. Don’t forget to journal your emotions and dreams for your future.
Thank you Marc and Angel Hack Life for the amazing information available to me and others. My emotional lifesavers!
hi..just sharing. I was in such situation, and one day i decided i had enough, packed my bag, and went off. called my friend at midnight to stay over before i find another place to stay. took my parent 6 mths to talk to me again with many threats and angry remarks conveyed through my relatives. but it was less toxicating after that. i am able to hold a proper conversation after 6 mths too – it seems that because I am willing to draw a boundary and put my foot down – my words are now empowered as well. personally, i think separating from the toxic source is crucial for own well-being and for better handling the situation in future. I wish you all the best in getting out of the toxic situation soon.
I just confronted my toxic father and was met with the anger and lack of hearing and understanding that I feared. I am now struggling with whether or not to apologize but every time I go to think about what to say I can’t come up with anything because I don’t know how to say “I’m sorry” when I’m not sorry that I finally pointed out the destructive and dysfunctional behaviors that everyone else is acknowledging behind his back but not willing to confront. Am I suppose to say I’m sorry just to make it all better?
Icysurfer Mittenman says
The situation you cite is immensely destructive. We look up to the parent (especially if the history was not bad up to a certain point), as a godlike figure. This discord can cause horrible conflicts that affect self-worth issues, and many other central things. Also, often we have no means of defending ourselves due to size, hierarchy, and fear of even worse treatment. This teaches us to ‘play dead.’ We can keep a ‘victim mentality’ all our lives. PTSD is a very real consequence as well. 420 and Gluten-free diets can help with that. Just try it for a week.
I am struggling with all this, as well as the fact that the parent in question passed away less than a month ago. I actually feel liberated, and am now discovering some even more special things about myself than I knew before. But, I am damaged, and up to now, have done my best. Not bad, at all, but with positive encouragement, I would have perhaps already changed the world. Now, I begin in My fifties to truly explore my potential. It;’s all good..!!! Cheers and LOVE/.!
The toxic person in my life is one of my children. I have decided to walk away. I don’t need him in my life. I have my stepson and my daughter and my daughter’s boyfriend who all love me, so I don’t need the toxicity that my son offers. I realized that I have all these other people so what the heck did I need a toxic adult child for? I don’t. I walked away. He’s insulted me for the last time and while I miss the child he was, he’s someone else now and I don’t even like him. Sometimes you have to walk away, whether it’s a parent or whether it’s a child.
Hello Portia — I’ve had to do the same with my son. Long story, won’t go into all the details now, I realized that no matter what I did or said, it wasn’t going to be good enough. He married a 30 something woman, going on 15, who manipulates him and he can’t see it. I pray for him daily, and that’s all I can do. But life does go on, and I choose to be a victor, not a victim. Peace and hope from Elva
Ken Natco says
There are times in life we need to find the strength just to endure. Remember that your real parent is God. Forgive your human parents and do your best not to internalize their judgements of you. Build yourself up with loving affirmations and forgive yourself. Resist the temptation to retaliate with anger. If you can get your hand on a copy of David Viscott’s “Finding Your Strength In Difficult Times,” that might help you, too.
What do you do if the toxic person is your husband? And you have two kids? I am trying to take some space to figure out what I need to do because I am not happy. He is not happy either. He seems to be someone who is never happy. I have been trying to be me this whole marriage but everything that is ME, he doesn’t like. And sometimes he throws it in my face. I trained horses when we met. We moved across the country to a place where I knew no one. And my identity was in the horses and training. It was sort of what enticed my move though part of it was financial (though looking back we could have stayed in California). But he was not supportive – not emotionally. He started out doing some things but for everything he did, I had to emotionally pay for it. And in the end, massive fights about loans he took out against the farm – for things not in my control at all. I felt terrorized – he constantly talked about divorce. And I was scared to death because we have two small kids and I have no career anymore since we moved away from California. Then my mother died and I felt more alone.
Right now I am trying to figure out how to make my own money so I don’t feel so afraid. I cant even decide what I feel about him because I am in so much fear. He seems to think I am having an affair or something – he does not think like I do. I told him I am trying to sort myself out on a spiritual level and he basically dismissed it. He said you have been going through this for 8 years – face it, you will never be happy. I did the Artists Way years ago so I started writing morning pages a week ago again – I get afraid he will read them – a lot of stuff comes out that isn’t really right or true completely – they are just the ramblings of a confused soul trying to sort it out. I already had been collecting quotes. So now I have 7 cards not 2 with them – I guess I will find 2 that resonate the most over time. One is May your choices reflect your hopes not your fears. I really need to replace the fear energy in my life with love energy. Your post was amazingly syncronisitic (I invented a new word I think but you can guess its meaning). God bless
First, figure out a way to make your own living, to regain your independence – find a babysitter, get a part-time job that will hopefully lead to a full-time position. Secretly save some money and when you have enough, think about moving back to California. Yes, he’ll try to fight you with the kids because that will be the only weapon he has. Contact Legal Aid. See what your options are. If you can and whenever you can, follow your bliss even if it means getting rid of him. You can do better. Good luck!
If you are afraid , file a protective order with the court, it doesn’t cost anything. Sign yourself and your children up on any government assistance you can get, just temporily and seek your Independence, file your income taxes and claim your children and yourself , before he has a chance to file. Get down and dirty if you have too. If he’s gonna act like a control freak take away his ability to control anything. Take out a credit card in both your names, this is legal, you won’t be divorced yet, move back to Cali with your children and start new. There are ways to turn the tables. You are not a doormat, and if he’s being weird and your afraid, get that protective order ASAP
Narcissism….been there….if you wanna hear someone speak about it (and believe me, once you do, you’ll wake up from the pile of horse hockey a narcissist has piled on), check out this lady named Lisa A. Romano…she’s a “breakthrough life coach”…very earthy, well spoken…just a plain cool lady…she explains a LOT in a way that’s easy to understand…she has many videos on Youtube….God bless….
Kate Madey says
This article speaks to me! I was in a long-term relationship with a toxic person. It took quite a while for me to realize the toxicity. I mean a really long time! When I finally got to that point, I ended the relationship. Believe me it wasn’t easy; it was painful. But as some time passed (it’s now more than a year and a half) I realized how truly damaging he had been and – even though there are still some missing pieces in my life – I can think about him and that time without pain. As you say in number 5:
“Toxic people will likely try to imply that somehow you’ve done something wrong.”
This was exactly what he did to me time and again… but now I have moved past all of that and my self worth has returned (almost) to where it belongs. Thank you!
Kate, I can relate to this. I had been in a relationship with this person for a year. We had dozens of problems and although they make me extremely happy they also make me extremely miserable. I have cried many times and belittled myself thinking that whatever i do i cannot make this person happy. I changed my life style, my attitude, and how i was in general for this person. Some things i learned in the relationship helped me. I did become more patient and compassionate. But at what price? I cant tell if its a good thing or if it is sad at the fact that i sacrificed many things for this person and only earn small rewards. When we are not fighting i feel ontop of the world but unfortunately it never lasts long before i do something wrong and he guilts me, cuts off communication with me, hurts my feelings or tries to control what i do and justifies it by guilting me with how i messed up. I hate how ive been told im not good enough, i hate how ive been told that there isnt a future between us and there never will be, i hate how ive been told im loved and cared for and then told that they want to break up or go on a break. If you truly love someone and care about them wouldnt you try to figure out your problems? Wouldnt you want to make them happy and not hurt them? Why would you want to dismantle their whole self worth just to make yourself feel better? I feel sad for this. At the moment we are on a break and im frustrated as hell. I feel like this person is toxic for me, maybe we just dont mesh well. But when your in love it makes it hard to walk away. You always think you can change the person and help them but you cant unless they want to change. I love them and have made it clear to them when they hurt me. They apologize and genuinely seem upset but then later do it again. I dont know what to do honestly. I love them very much and care about them greatly. I dont want to end things with them but i dont know what to do with this behaviour and treatment from them. If you or anyone has any advice it would help! I loved reading this article. I have followed some of these steps in the past but nothing helps. Ive tried letting them go aswell but we had gotten back together when we felt miserable without one another. I feel lost on it all. Ive been told i need to let them go, and it seems like latley we are more miserable together then anything. We have long distance between us aswell so i know that adds more stress. I always believe in working on your problems with someone, but for how long do you do it for? Until both people are tired, eventually give up and let all the memories they had become sad reminders of something they had once but feel they never tried enough to keep it? Im always worried that if i let go that i will always feel like i didnt do enough. I feel like this even now. I think of the memories that we have had and i think of how wonderful it all was, i always hope that we can creat more wonderful memories but they dont make an effort to want to do the same, even though they say they love and care for me. It probably seems like and obvious thing from and outside perspective as to what i should do. I guess in a sense i know as well. But like the famous saying goes ‘its easier said then done’. But some more insight from you or anyone else would help me greatly.
I completely feel you! I have years in my eyes as I read your post because I feel the same. My boyfriend telks me how much he loves me and needs me and wants me in his life, yet it’s all words. He promised to move me in a year ago…. promises made, trust issues from his past, the price I pay for this. He told me he wanted to marry me and has a ring for me. Which I have never been given. That’s been since December. His parent who he is extremely close to has cancer, he’s been out of town for months supposedly dealing with that. I am not allowed to go there, to comfort, support in any way. Then 3 weeks ago, going on 4 he has completely dropped out of sight. No communication at all. I’ve texted, called and nothing. He told me if anything ever happened to his parent he would be a basket case. I guess I will never know, because I was not worth an explanation. I beat myself up daily and try to move on, but i, like you, love this person and find it impossible. I’m stuck in limbo. Are they coming back? What do I do? I know it’s not an answer or comfort to you, but you are not alone and even though I hate what we are going through, I’m glad someone out there understands. ?
This article was really helpful. I have been dealing with a person that I thought was going to be a new friend for close to 2 years. This person is a social climber type and for some reason wanted me and my families friendship so we thought. It was really strange. She would extend friendship but was not friendly. IF that makes sense. Mostly behaves like a snob most of the time, like she is above everyone and can do whatever she pleases.
We would not see this family very often only at sports/ school/community events. I noticed that she seemed to be trying to get my husband “interested” in her. I also noticed that she would not even speak to me if it were just me but would if my husband was around. In fact she has been very rude to me but not my husband. She did many things trying to get my husband to notice her. He never did. I had to tell him.
So I had enough of her disrespectful behavior towards me and my marriage and told her one day during a jrhi football game. This woman came to speak to me about a trip for the school, while she did this she decided to sit very close behind my husband and rest her hand on the base of his neck while she talked to me. He leaned forward to get her hand off. So then she stood up. While standing she touched his back with her knee. So I took her aside privately and told her she has inappropriate behavior with my husband and to keep her hands to herself. I also began that conversation with I am not trying to hurt or offend you in any way but you have been inappropriate with my husband. She immediately went on the defense. She has sent me hateful emails, lied about me, has spread rumors about my reputation, and her and her husband give us HATE looks and I mean very HATEFUL looks anytime we see them. They sort of behave like they are still in jrhi. She has tried to put others against us as well. Just takes the joy out of watching my son play his sports when someone is hating on you and have twisted the truth to make them look like the victim. We live in a smaller community. Which makes it hard to ignore. Should I say something to them about the hateful looks or just keep ignoring?
Just sharing my experiences.
I grew up in a toxic environment and managed to attract more toxic people around me as I grew. Guess its my personality – I react and emphatise too much until I am almost always drained.
A venerable who taught Buddhism shared this tip with me and i found it very effective for my case – be silent and let the other party talk. Sometimes a toxic person just need to let out their “toxic” as they too full of them. by giving advice, empathy or even trying to correct their negativity will impede the process. Just be silent and let them say all the negative stuff they want. They will stop after not getting any reaction from you gradually .
for the “toxic bullies” – they usually try to poke you where it hurts and they confirm the effectiveness of their strategies from your reactions Likewise – do not give a reply if it is irrational or you feel that the person will not listen to you anyway. Just be silent. He/she will lose interest in getting any reaction from you in time to come. Worst case is to react at every retort attempts. I feel this kind of reaction is the most rewarding for these bullies – whether they are ill or not.
Speak only if you can improve the silence.
Hope the above can help some.
I’ve recently made a break from a toxic friend. It’s been over a month now since I’ve spoken with her and it’s been such a relief.
I tend to be a people pleaser and don’t like to see anyone upset. For over a year my toxic friend really took advantage of my kind nature, and would use emotional manipulation to get me to do things for her. She didn’t drive and had supposed health problems, etc. After a particularly grueling day with her, I realized that she had become more of a part-time job than a friend. Because I knew that she would get very upset (and potentially threaten suicide) I made a slow break from her by becoming busier and busier with other things when she would ask for favors. I’ve made sure to still maintain a friendly, but busily distant rapport with her on social media, simply so there isn’t too much awkwardness if I run into her around our city. It’s one thing to do a favor here and there for someone, but when someone asks you for several huge favors every week and nothing you do seems to make things better for her, it’s just too much to deal with.
Most toxic people are highly defensive, lack fairness and transparency, play dirty games behind the back, play favorites, flaunt their closeness to those in power, blame others, push their responsibilities on others and try to belittle and demean others purposefully. They are generally smooth talkers and expert in faking their genuineness. Such people are the proverbial jackal in sheep’s clothing. The fact is that toxicity can be very difficult to handle for an average person who believes in being positive and professional. Some of the toxic people are real troublemakers who are impossible to manage. If nothing works out the best thing to do is the move on.
Thank you very much… just what I needed today and everyday ??
How do you do this or help your child do it, when it is teammates? My daughter is facing this and we thought it would end with volleyball and has carried over worse to basketball. It is even taking a toll on the coach.
This website totally gets me. The Toxic person in my life thinks they should do whatever sport I do and already is planning for us to go to college together!!, but that’s not what I want at all. I feel like this website will really help me with my Toxic problem. Please respond Mark.
I truly feel my daughter is a “toxic” person and have had many episodes over her 48 years where she has verbally abused with her accusations, condemnations, silence , blaming her siblings and me about her problems. I have tried numerous times as have her siblings to talk with her, to discuss what is wrong between us, but she refuses to believe it is her. Just the opposite..it is us. The latest episode happened in April of 2015 when she so upset me I actually related the story to my son and his wife..a first foer me to be so honest about what she does to me. I told her I would not tolerate her behaviour and would not talk with her until she made some effort to change her ways of dealing with her anger at me. It has been almost a year and except for infrequent tests we do not communicate about our relationship.I have felt so much better without the drama..but she is now wanting me to visit with her or to visit with me. I am actually anxious about this and worried about what could happen if all does not go well. I am wondering what I should do, but guess after seeing this in writing, it is best not to have that “alone” time with her and chance more of the same after the initial day or two of the visit wears off.If there is anything you can offer please advise
Charlotte O'Toole says
As a parent keep the lines open. Have another person with you. If she says something you don’t like. Say. I’m your mother and I love you but I deserve your respect and if you can’t show me this then I will go. If she carries on being disrespectful it is important that you walk away, but say, I want to be part of your life but only when you are respectful to me.
Really great article, practical, useful, and very empowering to those of us who feel “victimized.” Knowledge and community is power to take yourself back.
I really appreciate the info here I’m going to try and use these tactics.I think I’m handling some things wrong. My reaction to negativity are not good sometimes but I like the idea of setting boundaries it seems hard but I’ll work on it As they always say it’s 50 50 in a marrige. I’m just looking for answers right now so I can live a happier life.
Scripture says; Fools want to show their foolishness to the world.
‘Don’t give reply to a fool, then you will be counted as a fool’ says the scripture.
Same scripture says that: ‘give a right reply to the fool otherwise he will counted as he is right’.
It is better to give the explanation if it is required. That’s what i did when my colleague complained about me to the higher authorities.
I neglected when the person spreading toxic with others whom i don’t care.
DON’T GIVE THEM A CHANCE.
I have a sister-in-law who is toxic. Married for only 2 months. My brother found out he had a brain tumor. They removed it then within 24 hours he had 2 massive strokes. Long road of rehab and getting ready to go home. I am terrified my sister-in-law is mentally not capable of dealing with him .
She has everyone convinced she is so great. She whispers nasty things when I’m around. She treats my father and I like garbage. Now she threatens us we will not be able to see him. I’m the wife and what I says goes. That’s all we hear.
My father and I have cared for my brother every single day while in the hospital and rehab. We try to updated her when she comes in and she throws her normal temper tantrum him and act like we don’t know what we’re talking about.
We are scared once he goes home she will block us from seeing him.
I need advice!
Jennifer Leigh says
I called off our wedding 5 weeks before, due to his mother’s bullying over the wedding, our relationship and other outrageous demands. He failed to recognize the problem, and without hesitation or regret, I had finally had enough and ended the relationship.
E M D says
Thank you for a very helpful article. I grew up with an abusive older sibling who grew increasingly toxic as I stopped tolerating her bullying and she is perpetually angry because she views lack of preferential treatment as abuse committed againt her. Because we share a home and familial responsibilities, I am exposed to toxic rants and daily swearing tantrums aimed at me and I came looking for advice on how to not let it get me down every day. I do value my alone time, and only recently managed to stop my toxic sibling barging into my bedroom when I’m in bed.
I believe my sibling’s toxic behavior is worsening and incurable. When anything goes wrong, she does not see the need for a solution but condemns the entire situation and goes into a tantrum about how much her life sucks. For example, if something breaks from not being taken care of, she calls it a piece of junk and finds some way to blame me for it. If a car ever needs servicing, she calls it a lemon and rages about being cheated by the dealership. If a drain gets clogged or some part of the house needs repair, she rages about how she hates the house and calls it a piece of crap and that she wishes of would burn down. This nearly middle aged adult cannot see that she has any role to play in managing her life and possessions and goes on screaming banging tantrums whenever life doesn’t treat her like the princess she wants to be.
I have managed to establish boundaries by responding aggressively to physical attacks and speaking up against direct verbal attacks. Now she resorts to daily impotent rants, not daring to attack me outright but raising her voice to make sure I am aware of her anger and hatred. I cannot leave because I have other family members to look after so I am trying to accept this increasingly venomous sibling as my lot in life and find a way to keep my head above the river of emotional sewage that my life has become. I feel better for just having said all that and I will read your article again.