Toxic People
 We all have  them in our life. Or if we are lucky we had someone like that in our life but had the foresight to  move on.
I bet that title has already brought several people to mind. 
You know who I mean. Those people who make cutting remarks; about your weight, your job, your life and when you get upset they merely turn to you and say “ What I was only joking/teasing? Don’t be so sensitive/ defensive. Lighten up” 
Guess what? 
It’s not you.
It is them.
You are entitled to your feelings and if you feel hurt or upset by something someone says it is not always down to you being  “too sensitive” . I’ve never understood what that phrase means. I feel things . Maybe I do feel more intensely than others. This is a good thing. It means I haven’t numbed out everything in my life in order to exist. Sensitivity, therefore, should be celebrated, embraced and cherished.
Not scorned or ridiculed by those who have chosen to numb themselves to their own  emotions . Why is that considered a good thing to do? So you can move callously through the world with complete disregard for others emotions? No, thanks I’ll stick with sensitivity.
What do we do about toxic people in our lives?
It is not always easy, generally because they have convinced us that we are the problem. Us, with our sensitivity, our emotions and feelings, not them with their callous disregard, lack of compassion and hard heartedness.

It can be even harder if these people are members of your own family, that safe, nurturing sanctuary.  

  •  Accept that it is not your issue:

We are entitled to feel what we feel without censure or ridicule or being told to “lighten up”. Once we accept that our feelings are valid we can then decide how we are going to react to the situation.
If we constantly feel that the other person is justified in their statements we begin to devalue ourselves, our feelings and our reactions.STOP! Anyone treating you badly for feeling how you feel is a dick. The end 

  •   Value your feelings:

Celebrate your sensitivity!  It makes you more compassionate, more loving and more open than those who are less sensitive.
Allow yourself to feel  what you feel without censoring it for the benefit of others.

  •  Establish a clear boundary:

Now that you have acknowledged the validity of your feelings it is time to let those people who have  treated your feelings with casual disregard that it is no longer acceptable and that you will not tolerate it.
Pick a time when you are not feeling emotionally vulnerable and approach the person concerned and calmly tell them that you do not appreciate their constant negating of your feelings and ask them to stop treating you this way.
This may bring on the usual round of “ stop being so sensitive. Lighten up”  etc so practice being a stuck record and ask them (nicely, calmly) to respect your feelings in the future.
Refrain from name calling or blame , merely state your position and ask them to respect it.

  •  Distance yourself :

If they continue to disrespect you once you have established your boundary then you move on to the next step of avoiding contact with them.
Some people won’t change. This is the way they have always been and they truly believe that it is you that has the issue. In this case you have no choice but to avoid them. Yes,even if they are family.  Especially if they are your family. Family is supposed to be the one place that we can go to count on for love and support and nurturing. It is supposed to be a place to retreat from the world. Sadly this is not always the case as I know only too well.
It is okay to love them from afar. You don’t have to put yourself in the place of being treated badly. Sure, give them the option of treating you right by telling them how what they are doing or saying is making you feel. If they continue to do the same old, same old then you have the choice to not show up any more for that treatment
I can hear you now; Yes but how do I do that when they are family/ a coworker/ my partner? Well guess what ? As Dr Phil says we teach people how to treat us.

How do we do that?

But putting up with their shit.

If you don’t like it say something and keep on saying it until you are heard. It is called the broken record technique.

Think of a two year old; they ask for something and you say “No” so what do they do they ask again … and again ….. and again until you give  in just to get some peace. So if your toxic person doesn’t get it the first time that you tell them their behavior upsets you tell them again… and again …. and again. And keep your distance. Don’t engage with them. Just stop: talking, texting, Facebook messaging, phoning, emailing or catching up to “just chat”., if at the end of these things you are left feeling; less than, drained, belittled,  or bad about your self then this person IS. NOT. GOOD. FOR. YOU. Full stop, the end.

If you need help forming clear boundaries then contact me to set up a Skype or one on one session  :
Details Here

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