Toxic People – 5 Ways to Neutralize Them!

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Toxic People – 5 Ways to Neutralize Them!

Girl tossing up leaves. Young woman in autumnal forest playing with foliage. Nature outdoor relax concept.

Unless you live in a bubble or you’re a hermit, it’s just about impossible to eliminate toxic people from having an impact on your life to one degree or another.  You might want to do something easier, like figuring out the answer to world hunger or getting a camel to go through the eye of a needle.

Being around those types of people can cause stress.  They make you do more work because you are always trying to find a way to not be around them.  In short, they’re a pain in the you know what.  Their impact on you can be magnified when you’re out here trying to do something you’ve never done before, like start a business or recently gone through something life changing, like a breakup.

Recently, I allowed someone close to me to get me off my train of thought.  I started focusing on how ridiculous they were acting. One day they had a smirk on their face they couldn’t hide because they were happy that I’m having an issue with hair loss.  Then they thought they caught me in a lie (I have at least 50 people as witnesses that I was where I said I was…at church in a bible study class) and they spent half the afternoon telling anyone who would listen.

I had to pull back, stop playing the tape in my head about all the things I could come back at them with, which, quite frankly, I don’t have to even think about because their life and health is in such shambles. I can’t lower myself and jump in the sewer with them. Every minute I focus on how I was wronged and the way it made me feel hurt and upset, is every minute I’m not concentrating on how I’m going to make my circumstances better and how I’m going to “blow up” my business and hit my financial goals.

I needed to remember that I don’t owe them any explanations. In fact, engaging them in their own twisted reality only encourages them to continue to try and find new ways to act woefully immature, stay in my business and be mean-spirited.  In short, it fuels the demonic. I was starting to absorb their negativity.  God defends me.

As my friend, Amy Coello says, “when people attack me, speak word curses over me and celebrate when I trip and fall, they’re going to have to understand that I’m going to use it a teachable moment for others”.  That’s exactly what I’m doing now.  What the enemy meant for evil…God will turn it around for your good.

So, here’s how some experts suggest that you can neutralize toxic people in your life:

  1. Operate from a position of power.  This is particularly true if the toxic person is someone you work for or with everyday.  It’s all about perception.  The key is to make your decisions on how you move forward from a position of power.¹  Your power is born out of what you believe, not what they think.  Decide that you’re going to get done what you need to get done in order to control them and their behavior and not because you are a victim of their manipulation.
  2. Say “No” without guilt.  Try to limit your time around toxic people as much as humanly possible.  That could mean making decisions that are uncomfortable for you and others who are close to you.  So, you might have to bow out of that family invite for Thanksgiving and make your own turkey dinner or say no to the holiday party at work.  But, saying no will limit their ability to pollute your atmosphere.²
  3. Set boundaries.  Sometimes when the toxic person is someone we work with or live with, we think that there is no way to control or avoid the chaos.³  They are like vampires, they suck all the energy and joy out of the room. Once you make the decision to understand that hurt people…hurt other people, it helps to take the emotion out of the situation.  Then you can see that toxic people have very predictable patterns.  This helps you know what your boundaries should be and to stick to them.  Deciding when and were you will engage with the toxic person will allow you to control and limit the nonsense they bring to the table.
  4. Tap into your support system.  There are people who are in your sphere of influence, whether at work or outside of work, who root for you.  They have your best interest at heart.  Two heads are better than one.  Talk over your situation with the people who care about your wellbeing.  Often times the answer will come out of those conversations because you need another set of eyes on the problem.  You’re too emotionally invested in the situation.
  5. Forgive but protect yourself.  I had to rip a page from this playbook myself.  I have forgiven this person.  I let go of my right to feel offended by what they said and how they behaved, even though any reasonable person would be pissed.  But, I limit any information that I give to them.  They don’t know anything more about what’s going on with me personally but what everybody else knows on social media.  Just because I’m healed from it doesn’t mean that they are.  And if they’re not, they will do it again and again.  So, I have to protect myself because I know they will use any information I give them against me.  I can’t trust them.  Sad but true.

Here’s the real takeaway.  Toxic people exist.  They will be a part of your life.  Don’t let them get under your skin.  Know their patterns, set boundaries, protect yourself and let the mayhem go.



¹  Toxic People: 16 Practical, Powerful Ways to Deal with Them, by KarenHey Sigmund,, retrieved October 30, 2016.

²  Id.

³   How Emotionally Intelligent People Handle Toxic People, by Dr. Travis Bradberry,, retrieved on October 30, 2016.



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