Defending yourself from unnecessary negativity in your life doesn’t get easier. After high school it was easy to believe that I had mastered the skill of recognizing the sources of negativity in my life and freeing myself from them. My time in college, however, has reaffirmed that removing toxic people from your life, even for your own good, will always be difficult.
Toxic people are great at making it seem like they need you because they’re always in a crisis. Yet, these crises are of their own creation. They create drama deliberately to attract more attention from you and engage in manipulation.
These relationships drain your energy, positivity and overall happiness. Overall, these people are more draining to you than uplifting.
Toxic people are hard to avoid, sometimes they appear like something else and are intertwined with our work, social or family life. Whether it be a friend, significant other, roommate or another relationship, it is first hard to admit that the people you chose to surround yourself with are now effecting you negatively. It is even harder to then make the decision to make a change in that relationship.
While easier, it is naive to expect toxic people to change their ways. Some people are ultimately motivated for what is good for them and what they want out of a relationship with you. Accepting that a toxic person will not change their desires or actions for you will make letting go of the relationship easier.
In college it is easy to feel like breaking or changing a relationship will alter a major part of your life. Here, the people you surround yourself with are your family: you see them daily, eat together, study together and live together. When one of these people are toxic to you, it can be hard to see a way out of your relationship to them. Often we are scared of how other people will judge your decision. Having a great support system can make this process easier.
Toxic people often don’t realize how negatively they affect you, but that doesn’t mean they are any less responsible for bringing you down. Toxic people don’t deserve your stress and they don’t deserve to have control over your emotions. Toxic people don’t deserve your compassion. They don’t deserve your positivity.
Removing toxic people from your life can seem daunting, but the payoff is rewarding. The decision can seem huge at the time, but in a few months or years, you’ll have forgotten it all together.
Be prepared to lose a few friends and undergo some awkward encounters. Toxic people have a tendency to manipulate your choice to remove them from your life by expressing anger toward you or playing victim. In my experience, toxic people will try to make you feel guilt or shame.
Your restored positivity will overshadow it. I’ve removed multiple toxic people from my life, and each time I feel lighter. In the end, these losses and uncomfortable interactions are miniscule compared to your happiness.