I know, I know – BEAUTYCALYPSE is a clean beauty blog. But toxins are everywhere, and I know you’ll agree: there’s no beauty if the soul is tortured.
Don’t we all have at least one Dementor in our inner circle? A friend who’s always poisonous? A relative who’s always exhausting?
I have a friend who learned to deal with his (highly toxic) mother by the age of 50. He’s a successful, intelligent guy, a top manager, a caring husband and father. His mother made him a very short leash from guilt-trips and reproaches.
I know a girl whose life stops after just a text from a “friend”. She’s immobilised, drained of any energy – for hours. Just one text, guys, but very cleverly loaded with emotional blackmail.
I have experienced poisonous bosses, colleagues and relatives myself. There is no way to change those people. All you can do is get rid of them.
And today I want to talk about how to identify them and how to “detox”.
POISON IVY AND OTHER TYPES
They come in a large variety of colours and disguises: toxic people. Psychologists and life coaches have spent hours of precious time discussing this topic with their clients, crafting typologies, developing strategies…
Interestingly, all strategies have one common thread: Get rid of them.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t see those people anymore; that’s hard to perform with a close relative, or a colleague you can’t avoid. It means to get rid of them emotionally. But – how?
Whether it’s a destructive narcissist, or a borderline personality, or a downright psychopath – it’s not your job to fix them, it’s not your fault they’re unhappy. You got to face but only one decision: do you want to suffer with them (because they will never ever change and you can’t do nothing about it) or not? They want your energy and they give nothing back. And don’t you have better use for your energy than that? What about all that time you could spend fulfilling a dream, or together with people you like instead of being stuck in the toxic mud, being manipulated?
But how do you recognise if somebody is a manipulative type?
Toxic person checklist:
- Has no respect for your time, your boundaries, your needs
- Is always negative about their own life and anything in your life, too
- Is always criticising you, your job, your look, your partner – everything
- Scapegoats; acts like a constant victim and/or never takes responsibility for own actions, you are forced to act like their nanny, mummy, attorney…
- All of his/her (mostly minuscule) help or gifts/compliments/recognition (coming undemanded!) come with an agenda and conditions
- Tries to control you as much as possible
If you had just one “YES”, well, congratulations? – you’ve got your poisonous pal.
Your counter-attack is based on your knowledge that EVERY WORD coming from a toxic person’s mouth is part of the manipulation.
REPEAT WITH ME:
EVERY WORD IS MANIPULATION.”
Are they being nice, asking how your day was, making compliments? The better to lull you, my child.
Are they being helpful, offering their service? Oh no, don’t accept – there are not just strings, there are ugly price tags attached.
Have they bought a cool new handbag but think it would look better on you? Don’t take it.
Don’t do anything that provides them with manipulation material. Sure, they still can scrutinise something you can’t take away from them – your look or the fact that you haven’t called or whatnot. Shake it off. Don’t comment, don’t justify, don’t discuss, don’t explain. This criticism doesn’t mean anything. It’s all part of the manipulation game, designed to weaken, to macerate you so that you’re too powerless when their attack begins.
Your protective toolkit:
- Protect your integrity – a relationship is based on mutual rules. Explain once and for all what you’ll never accept. Be consistent, safeguard your boundaries.
- Detach emotionally – all of the toxic person’s poison is basically not about you, it’s only about themselves. Themselves having fun controlling you like a puppet.
- Spend less time – let the contact fade out. If an ordered retreat feels bad to you – tell yourself that spending time with them is like going for a walk in a pile of radioactive waste.
When you finally get rid of them, you will feel something weird, strange and very beautiful.
You will feel your confidence, and your backbone grow, you will feel your authentic self unfold, and your dreams rise their heads. It almost feels like you spread your wings to fly.
And if you’ve felt that just once, you’ll never want to go back to the toxic place.
BE KIND TO YOURSELF – BE FRIENDLY, YET VERY CONSEQUENT TOWARDS THE TOXIC PERSON IN YOUR LIFE.
Let’s wrap it up with a couple inspirational quotes, to kick-start a happy new era, shall we?
I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.”
– Audrey Hepburn
On being your Best Self no matter what:
People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. (…) In the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”
– Mother Teresa
Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.”
– Dalai Lama XIV
Monday EveryDay, you all!
I have updated this post because it’s being found by new readers several times per week which I’ve never expected.
It’s sad and devastating that so many people have to look for advice.
I get a lot of “toxic mother” and “toxic friends” searches that lead to this post. So I wanted to add this for everyone feeling miserable and drained: