How To Protect Yourself From Toxic People: 18 Crucial Ideas

In this new article you’ll learn how to protect yourself from toxic people.

You are in a fantastic mood. Your day is going great. Out of nowhere, comes this person. The one who makes you feel anxious, insecure, and even angry. These people don’t have to destroy your life, no matter how toxic they are. They will only do it if you give them permission to do so.

How To Protect Yourself From Toxic People:

1. Avoid toxic people before they get too close to you.

Everyone has bad days, but such people are constantly in a bad mood. They want everyone to be as depressed and unhappy as they are. It is a good idea to avoid this personality if you never experience feelings other than rage, despair, and jealousy around them.

Watch out for the following potentially harmful traits: jitteriness, nervousness, constant whining and complaining, generalized criticism, and a pessimistic or cynical approach to life.

2. If you feel nervous or anxious around someone, trust your instincts.

When you walk into a store to buy fresh bread, you can tell right away how the cashier is feeling. You can see and even feel it in your interactions.

This is something you can do with friends and co-workers as well! Even if you can’t see the symptoms, you can sense when something isn’t right and know who to avoid. Trust yourself; you don’t have to be among only jerks; there are plenty of happy people around you.

3. Pay attention to your tone of voice and body language.

Pay attention to how people speak rather than what they say. When someone just makes nervous movements, you can spot it. What are people’s reactions to you? What are they thinking when they speak?

Bad body language resembles that of a sullen, pouting teenager: slumped shoulders, no eye contact, big, angry gestures, etc.

A straight back, chin up, shoulders back, etc., is exactly the good body language of a positive person.

4. Keep your eyes and ears alert for toxic people.

A toxic personality is characterized by rage, yelling, and harsh criticism. An angry person needs help from time to time, but it is not your responsibility to be their punching bag.

It is not your responsibility to try to help them! Being around someone like that will make you upset as well. So sit down and find someone else to talk to; you’ll have a lot more fun that way.

People who are in control of their emotions are less likely to yell, so watch out for the noisy ones.

Also watch out for quiet, smoldering rage. Some people won’t say much, instead relying on obnoxious body language and repressed emotions. Such people explode at inappropriate times when their anger is not justified.

If you are dealing with angry individuals, never stoop to their level of anger; you will only make them more angry. Maintain a professional, courteous, and prompt demeanor, and if they lose their cool, just walk away. 

5. Avoid cynics at all costs.

Do you know someone who is always looking for the negative side of things? These people constantly have something to complain about, never see the positive in anything, and profess to despise everything. They will try to draw you into their world because they find it exhausting to think about it alone.

People with a pessimistic outlook are often competitive in their unhappiness, trying to outdo others. This is the absolute worst.

Pay attention to people who talk about their failures and unhappiness all the time, even with glee. Anyone who criticizes the failures of others or seems overly cynical may have a toxic personality and should be avoided.

6. Keep a safe distance from attention-seeking people.

Insecure people can’t build their own sense of self-worth, so they rely on others to do it for them. These types of people can become spiteful when they don’t get the attention they want, even if it’s not always toxic. They will find a way to get it themselves if you don’t offer it to them. No one needs that much drama in their life.

This toxic personality can be characterized by modest bragging (“I can’t believe I only made ten sales today”) and excessive talking.

These people often “overshadow” others around them, or keep coming back to the topic of something about themselves.

SEE ALSO: How To Empathize With Others: Here Are 16 Actionable Tips

7. Keep gossip and gossipers at a distance.

Gossip thrives on jealousy, not on helping others. Gossip can sometimes be exciting and can make you feel connected to your fellow gossipers. If you have ever been consumed by gossip, you are not alone. However, you should be aware that the moment you turn your back, incessant gossipers will start talking about you.

Gossipers are constantly comparing themselves to others (1), which is a sure way to doom yourself to failure and disappointment. Don’t worry about others; worry about your own backyard.

8. Be honest with yourself and ask if any of your buddies are toxic.

Are you a sponge soaking up the negativity of the people in your life, or do they bring out the best in you? Are there people who make you feel terrible when they leave, and those who make you feel amazing when they leave? It’s hard to leave a friendship behind. But don’t let your biggest enemies pretend to be your closest friends.

9. Don’t try to clean up toxic relationships; you’ll just end up dirty.

Toxic personalities are only harmful if they have a negative effect on you. You can be friends with people who are toxic. You can be friends with people who are negative. Accept people for who they are and what they do, and don’t let it bother you.

Negative feelings have an expiration date. However, if someone is holding on to their rage and negativity, just turn away and move on.

10. Empathize with others, but don’t try to change them.

Ask yourself if there is a reason why someone is such a jerk. Is there something they are going through? Do they have a difficult career or a difficult personal life?

Remember, you can’t change anyone but yourself, so don’t waste time coming up with solutions. Just try to understand where they are coming from; this will make dealing with their behavior much easier later on.

11. Look for positive things in their speech.

Stop listening to someone if you don’t like what they are saying. When that person gets into negative topics, tune into the good and productive parts of the conversation.

They won’t know what’s going on with them if you combat negativity with positivity. When they complain about how bad the job is and how bad the place is, tell them that “at least there’s lunch and a break!” They will move on to someone who is more understanding of them.

Change the topic of conversation. Every time the person tries to steer the discussion in an unfavorable direction,

When dealing with touchy people, stick to the facts. Make a list of what needs to be done to resolve the situation. Avoid expressing ideas or making certain assumptions, and they won’t have anything to try to push on you.

12. Stay away from negative people.

If you have trouble dealing with the negativity that other people bring into your life, it may be time to minimize your interactions. You can’t control other people’s behavior, but you can take yourself out of the situation.

Stop initiating frequent encounters with this person. You are lucky if that person gives up communicating with you.

If someone asks if something is wrong, tell them the truth. 

SEE ALSO: How To Talk To Strangers: (15 Ridiculously Useful Strategies)

13. Remove yourself from any potentially harmful relationships.

End the relationship if someone’s negativity is really affecting your mental health and well-being. It will hurt a little, no doubt, but it will hurt a lot less than spending your entire life with someone who makes you unhappy.

14. Set your values and desires in order of importance.

What things are most important to you? What do you want to accomplish in your life? Pay attention to what others have to say, but remember that you are the decision maker. You are in control of your life, not your toxic friends. They need to get out of your way if they can’t handle it.

Make a list of your immediate and long-term goals. Post it on the wall where you can see it at all times to remind yourself to stay focused. This will also help you when things get tough and you feel compelled to go back to old bad behaviors.

15. You have to make your own choices.

Do you want someone else to make decisions about your life? Make the decision and live with the consequences, for better or for worse.

Allowing other people or their preferences to influence you is not a good idea. It’s true that sometimes you have to make concessions to those you care about. But don’t back away from compromise.

16. Surround yourself with a group of people who are happy and healthy.

Why would you want to spend time with people you don’t like? Look for people who are energetic, enthusiastic, and friendly. Your smiles will act as a natural deterrent to haters.

If you are surrounded by negative people at your current job, try moving to another place or changing jobs. Break up with that person and start a new relationship with someone who lifts you up rather than brings you down.

17. Express the optimism you would like to see in the world.

Use good role models in your life to help you stay away from toxic people in your life. Smile, say compliments, say thank you, make eye contact and do everything else you would expect from a normal, nice person. It’s not hard to be nice, and some people need it.

18. Take a deep breath and relax.

If you’re constantly fighting the negativity of those around you, you need to make a real effort to de-stress. Find something that relaxes and focuses you, and that you can go to when you need to recharge your batteries. 

To relax, no matter where you are, try: meditation, yoga, hiking or walking in nature, martial arts training (2), watching a movie, listening to music, or reading a book.

I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article about how to protect yourself from toxic people. I sincerely hope its contents have been a good help to you.

Przemkas Mosky
Przemkas Mosky started Perfect 24 Hours in 2017. He is a Personal Productivity Specialist, blogger and entrepreneur. He also works as a coach assisting people to increase their motivation, social skills or leadership abilities. Read more here