Have you been feeling stressed, anxious, or drained lately? Chances are, it’s not just the long hours at your job or the extra pounds you put on over the winter. The company you keep can have a huge impact on your wellbeing. It’s time for some spring cleaning—of your social circle.

To live your best life and be the happiest, most confident you, you need to remove the toxic people bringing you down. We’ve all got at least a few in our lives—the constant complainers, the manipulators, the fairweather friends. While it may seem harsh, cutting these draining relationships from your life is one of the kindest things you can do for yourself.

Your time and energy are precious resources, so save them for the people who truly enrich your life and make you feel good about yourself. This guide will show you how to identify the toxic relationships in your life and how to cut them out for good. A breath of fresh air is coming. Open the windows and let the light in. Your new and improved social life starts now.

What Makes Someone Toxic?

What Makes Someone Toxic
What Makes Someone Toxic

Toxic people are those who constantly drain you emotionally and make you feel bad about yourself. They exhibit behaviors that are harmful to your mental health and well-being.

1. Lack of empathy

Toxic people lack empathy. They don’t care about your feelings or experiences. Conversations always center around them, and they never ask how you’re doing.

2. Constant criticism

Toxic people constantly criticize you and make you feel like you can never do anything right. Their criticism isn’t constructive; it’s meant to make you feel worthless.

3. Manipulation and control

Toxic people are manipulative and controlling. They lie and spread rumors to get what they want and make you bend to their will. They isolate you from friends and family to exert more control over you.

4. Lack of responsibility

Toxic people never take responsibility for their actions. They always blame others for their mistakes and shortcomings. They play the victim to avoid acknowledging their role in the situation.

5. Jealousy and insecurity

Toxic people project their jealousy and insecurities onto you. They can’t stand to see you happy or successful. Rather than supporting you, they try to undermine your accomplishments.

The only way to deal with toxic people is to cut them out of your life. Limit contact as much as possible, and don’t engage when they try to start drama. Surround yourself with people who treat you with kindness, empathy, and respect. Your mental health will thank you.

Common Types of Toxic People

Common Types of Toxic People
Common Types of Toxic People

We’ve all encountered people who just seem to sap our energy and joy. The key is to learn how to spot them and then distance yourself. Here are a few of the most common toxic types to watch out for:

1. The Manipulator

This person constantly tries to control you and get what they want through guilt trips, lying, and playing the victim. They see relationships as a means to an end rather than a two-way street. The best way to deal with a manipulator is to call them out on their behavior and stop playing their games.

2. The Jealous Friend

While a little jealousy in moderation is normal, the jealous friend crosses the line. They resent your happiness and accomplishments, constantly compare themselves to you, and try to make you feel bad about yourself. Limit contact with jealous friends, and don’t share personal details about your life. Their behavior says more about their insecurities than it does about you.

3. The Drama Queen

This person thrives on creating chaos and dragging others into their emotional turmoil. Drama queens tend to exaggerate issues, start fights, and crave constant attention and sympathy. Don’t get pulled into the drama. Stay calm and detached, set clear boundaries, and spend less time with them. Your life will be much more peaceful as a result.

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Removing toxic people from your life isn’t easy, but it’s necessary for your well-being. Follow your intuition, stand up for yourself, and make finding supportive and caring friends a priority. You deserve to be around people who treat you with kindness, empathy, and respect. Surround yourself with positivity, and don’t look back.

Signs You Have a Toxic Person in Your Life

Signs You Have a Toxic Person in Your Life
Signs You Have a Toxic Person in Your Life

Do you have someone in your circle that leaves you feeling drained, insecure, or emotionally exhausted after interacting with them? If so, you may have a toxic person in your life. Here are some signs to look out for:

  • They constantly criticize you or undermine your accomplishments. Toxic people have a way of making you feel like you’re never good enough.
  • They lack empathy. Toxic people don’t seem to care about your feelings or consider how their words or actions affect you. Conversations always revolve around them.
  • They break promises or cancel plans. Toxic people are unreliable and unpredictable. They don’t respect your time or priorities.
  • They make you feel guilty or obligated. Toxic people are manipulative and controlling. They use emotional blackmail and drama to get their way.
  • They create drama or chaos. Toxic people always seem to be involved in some crisis or controversy. They thrive on negativity and drama.
  • You feel worse about yourself after interacting with them. Spending time with a toxic person is emotionally draining. They have a way of making you doubt yourself and feel bad about who you are.
  • You feel like you have to walk on eggshells around them. Toxic people are judgmental and easily upset. You feel like you can’t be yourself or speak openly without fear of backlash.
  • They lack boundaries. Toxic people have no sense of personal space or privacy. They constantly overstep boundaries and make unreasonable demands on your time and resources.

If any of these signs resonate with you, it may be time to reevaluate that relationship, set better boundaries, or cut ties altogether. Surrounding yourself with positive, supportive people is essential for your health, happiness, and well-being.

The Effects of Keeping Toxic People Around

Keeping toxic people in your life can have serious negative impacts on your wellbeing. Their behavior and drama sap your energy, time, and happiness.

Mental Health

Toxic people can drag you into their vortex of negativity, criticism, and conflict. This constant exposure to pessimism and stress takes a major toll on your mental health and self-esteem. You may experience anxiety, depression, or just a general feeling of being unsettled and unhappy. Removing their influence is vital for your peace of mind and stability.


Do you ever feel like you can’t get anything done because you’re constantly distracted by the latest crisis or drama? Toxic people demand a disproportionate amount of your attention, which cuts into time better spent on self-care, relationships that uplift you, and pursuing your own goals or hobbies. Free yourself from their grasp so you can refocus your efforts on the things that really matter to you.

Opportunity Cost

There are only so many hours in the day, so make sure you’re spending them with people who enrich your life rather than drain you. For every hour you waste on a toxic person’s nonsense, that’s one less hour you could have spent strengthening healthy relationships or working on personal growth. Evaluate how you’re investing your limited time and cut your losses. The opportunity cost of keeping them around is just too great.

Removing toxic influences from your life may be difficult, but the rewards for your wellbeing, productivity, and relationships will make it worth the effort. Don’t let their toxicity hold you back from living your best, happiest, most fulfilling life. Take back your time and mental space so you can surround yourself with people who lift you up rather than tear you down.

How to Remove Toxic People from Your Life

How to Remove Toxic People from Your Life
How to Remove Toxic People from Your Life

To remove toxic people from your life, you need to identify them, set boundaries, and cut ties. Toxic people are those who drain your energy, manipulate you, or disrespect you. They can harm your mental and physical health. You deserve to be surrounded by supportive and positive people who respect you and your choices.

Removing toxic people from your life can be challenging but rewarding. Here are some tips to guide you through the process:

1. Look for red flags in their behavior.

When cleaning the house socially, it’s important to watch for behaviors that signal a toxic person. Some red flags to be on the lookout for include:

Lack of respect

Do they frequently interrupt, talk over, or dismiss you? Healthy relationships are built on mutual respect. If someone constantly disregards your thoughts or feelings, it may be time to reevaluate the friendship.

Jealousy and envy

While a little jealousy is normal, excessive envy of your success, relationships, or good fortune is a sign of insecurity and can breed resentment. If someone never seems happy for you, it will ultimately drain you emotionally.

Manipulation and lying

We all tell white lies at times, but frequent deceit and manipulation are deal breakers. If you catch them lying repeatedly or if they play mind games to get what they want while making you feel bad, it’s probably not a healthy dynamic.

Lack of Compromise

Relationships require give and take. If someone is unwilling to meet you halfway or always insists on getting their way, they likely won’t be there for you when you need them.

Constant drama and negativity

While everyone experiences ups and downs, some people seem to thrive on crises and chaos. If spending time with someone always leaves you feeling drained, anxious, or bad about yourself, their toxicity may be rubbing off on you. Limit exposure for your own wellbeing.

Keeping an eye out for these trouble signs can help you identify unhealthy relationships and make better choices about who you allow into your inner circle. Protect your peace of mind by distancing yourself from those who would diminish it. You deserve to surround yourself with people who enrich your life.

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2. Have an honest conversation.

Having an honest conversation with someone who is toxic in your life can be difficult, but ultimately freeing. This is your opportunity to clarify how their behavior makes you feel and set clear boundaries for the relationship going forward.

Be direct but compassionate.

Speak openly and plainly about how their actions have impacted you, using “I” statements. Say something like, “I feel disrespected when you make hurtful comments about my choices.” Share specific examples of things they’ve said or done to cause you distress. Do this with empathy and care, not hostility.

Listen with an open mind.

Give them a chance to respond and share their perspective. Try to understand their intentions and motivations. Look for opportunities to find common ground and areas of agreement. Say something like, “I appreciate you explaining your point of view. I can see this issue is complex with many layers.”

Explain what is and isn’t acceptable to you going forward. Be very specific about what they need to do differently in order for the relationship to continue or improve. For example, say, “Going forward, I need you to respect my boundaries and not make personal attacks. Can we agree to communicate in a more constructive way?”

Follow through

The conversation is meaningless unless you enforce the boundaries you’ve set. If their behavior does not change, you may need to spend less time with this person or end the relationship. This is difficult but crucial for your own wellbeing. You deserve to surround yourself with people who treat you with compassion and respect.

3. Create emotional distance if needed.

Toxic people can wear you down emotionally and mentally. If certain individuals in your social circle are bringing you down or causing distress, it may help to create some distance. This doesn’t necessarily mean cutting them out of your life completely, but establishing boundaries to protect your own wellbeing.

Stop confiding in them or sharing personal details. The less they know about your life, the less ammunition they have to manipulate you.

Don’t engage in their drama or hostility. Remain calm and detached, and don’t get pulled into arguments or unhealthy debates. Respond in a neutral, matter-of-fact manner.

  • Spend less time with them. If possible, limit interactions to shorter periods and less frequently. Be polite, but don’t feel obligated to always be available to them.
  • Focus on the positive relationships in your life. Shift your time and energy to the people who love and support you. Their positivity can help offset the negative effects of toxic people.
  • You may need to be direct if they don’t respect your boundaries. Politely but firmly tell them their behavior is unacceptable and needs to change if they want to remain in your life. You deserve to be around people who treat you with kindness and empathy.

Creating space for toxic individuals is challenging but necessary for your wellbeing. Stay calm and remember why you need to establish boundaries. Don’t feel guilty for putting your mental health first. With time and distance, their grip on you will weaken, and you’ll gain a newfound sense of freedom and empowerment.

4. Set clear expectations for the relationship.

To have a healthy social circle, you need to be very clear in communicating your expectations for each relationship. Let people know exactly what behavior you will and won’t tolerate.

Tell friends and family what your limits are and stick to them. For example, say, “I won’t be able to respond to texts after 9 p.m. during the week due to my work schedule.” or “Please don’t drop by unannounced; call first.” Be polite but firm in expressing your needs. If someone repeatedly disrespects your boundaries, it may be time to reevaluate the relationship.

Call out toxic behavior.

Don’t be afraid to speak up right away when someone says or does something hurtful. Calmly and directly tell them that their behavior was unacceptable and that you deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. Give them a chance to sincerely apologize, but if their toxicity continues, limit contact with them as much as possible. Your mental health and happiness should be a priority.

Spend less time.

If setting boundaries and addressing issues don’t improve a relationship, you may need to simply invest less of your time and energy into it. Be polite, but be more distant by not always being available to chat or meet up. Focus on surrounding yourself with people who enrich your life rather than drain you. Don’t feel guilty for pulling away from those who don’t treat you well.

Cut it off completely (if necessary).

In some situations, cutting off contact completely is the healthiest option. This is an extreme step, but it is necessary for chronically toxic relationships where the other person shows no signs of change. Make it clear the relationship is over, then block them on all platforms so they cannot continue to negatively impact you. Move on to build new connections with kind, supportive people.

Your relationships are a reflection of how you value yourself. Demand nothing less than respect, compassion, and positivity from those around you. Make room in your life only for people who enrich you and make you feel good about yourself.

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5. Fill your life with positivity.

Surrounding yourself with positive people who share your values and support your growth is key to a happy life. Make an effort to strengthen bonds with people who uplift and inspire you.

  • Identify the people in your life who radiate positive energy and make you feel good about yourself. Spend more time with them. Make plans to meet up, call or text them regularly, and express your appreciation for them.
  • Evaluate the people who drain you or bring unwanted drama and stress. Politely start to distance yourself from them. You don’t need to make a big announcement; just become less available by not always being the one to reach out or initiate plans. Fill your time with the positive people in your life instead.
  • Join local social or interest groups to meet like-minded people. Take a class on something you enjoy, join a sports league, volunteer for a good cause, or get involved in a charitable organization. New friendships take time to develop, but putting yourself in environments where you’ll interact with positive people increases the opportunity.
  • Limit interactions with negative people on social media. Mute or unfollow people who make you feel bad or share hurtful opinions. Social media should inspire and uplift you, not bring you down. Follow more people and pages that post positive and meaningful content.
  • Practice self-care and work on being your best self. When you feel good about yourself, you attract good people and relationships into your life. Make time for hobbies, exercise, meditation, or whatever helps you relieve stress and boost your confidence and optimism.

Focus on surrounding yourself with people who share your positive outlook and values. Make the choice each day to strengthen those relationships that uplift and support you while limiting interactions with those who don’t. Your social circle has a significant impact on your wellbeing and happiness. Choose wisely!

6. Don’t rely on them for support.

Don’t rely on toxic people for emotional support or advice. Their negativity and criticism can drag you down when you’re already feeling low.

Find other sources of support from people who genuinely care about you. Connecting with close friends or family members who share your values and want the best for you can help fill the void. Look for local support groups or online communities focused on positivity and self-improvement. Their encouragement and advice will be much more constructive.

If you have to interact with toxic people, limit the time you spend with them as much as possible. Be polite, but keep conversations superficial. Don’t share personal details about your life, goals, or struggles. Their snide remarks or unhelpful “guidance” will only make you second-guess yourself.

You have the power to surround yourself with people who enrich your life rather than bring you down. Make the choice to distance yourself from toxicity and instead foster relationships with those who appreciate you for who you are. Your mental health and self-confidence will thank you.

7. Set healthy boundaries with toxic people.

To cut toxicity out of your life, you need to set clear boundaries. Be firm yet kind in your communication with these people.

Express your needs

Politely but directly tell the toxic person how their behavior makes you feel and what they can do differently. Say something like, “When you constantly criticize me, it makes me feel disrespected. I need you to speak to me with kindness.” If they continue to cross the line after this, limiting contact may be necessary.

Limit interactions

  • Avoid one-on-one time with toxic people when possible. See them in group settings or keep visits brief.
  • Don’t engage in long phone calls or respond to every text right away. It’s okay to limit communication with those who drain you.
  • Politely decline invitations to events or outings if you’re not up for the negativity. You don’t owe anyone an explanation.
  • Mute or unfollow them on social media to avoid constant exposure to their toxicity. You can still check in on your own terms without the barrage of updates.

Set consequences

Be prepared to issue appropriate consequences when your boundaries are not respected. For example, tell the person, “If you continue to yell at me, I will have to end this call.” And follow through if they don’t stop. The more you reinforce your boundaries, the more they will learn to respect them.

Cutting toxic people out of your life or limiting contact can be challenging, but your mental health and happiness depend on surrounding yourself with people who love and support you. Stay strong in your conviction, and know that you absolutely deserve to be treated with kindness and respect.

8. Don’t share too much information.

Sharing too much personal information with toxic people gives them ammunition to use against you. Be selective in what details you disclose.

Keep conversations surface-level.

Don’t open up about your deepest feelings, struggles, or insecurities. Stick to lighter topics like hobbies, entertainment, or casual stories. Keep things superficial and avoid emotionally charged subjects. The less they know about you, the less they can exploit you.

Watch what you post on social media.

Toxic people lurk on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Only post things you’d be okay with them seeing and commenting on. Be wary of oversharing personal thoughts or posting emotional status updates, since these can be used against you. Consider tightening your privacy settings or taking a social media break if needed.

Don’t tell them your weaknesses or fears.

Revealing vulnerabilities to toxic people is like handing them a loaded gun. They will store that information away to use when they want to manipulate or hurt you. Keep your doubts, anxieties, and sensitive areas to yourself, or share them only with people you fully trust.

Be firm in communicating your limits for what is and isn’t okay to discuss. Don’t feel obligated to share anything you’re uncomfortable with just to please them or avoid conflict. Your boundaries exist to protect you, so enforce them to avoid oversharing and prevent toxicity from seeping into your life.

The fewer details toxic people have about your private life, personal struggles, and

emotional weak spots, the less power they have to disturb your peace. Keep interactions superficial and share selectively to maintain healthy boundaries. Protect your information and safeguard your sanity.

9. Don’t try to change them.

Unfortunately, not all relationships in life are meant to last. Some people are just too toxic to keep around, even if you’ve known them for a long time. As hard as it is, cutting ties with certain individuals can be necessary for your well-being and happiness.

You can’t force someone to change their ways, no matter how much you plead and reason with them. Toxic people typically lack self-awareness and don’t believe they need to change. Your energy is better spent surrounding yourself with people who share your values and treat you with kindness and respect. Let go of the notion that you can “fix” this person. The only person you have control over is yourself.

Focus on self-care by filling your time with supportive friends and family instead. Make new connections with like-minded people who enrich your life. Don’t dwell on the past or feel guilty for stepping away from the relationship. Remind yourself why this person was toxic and how much better you feel without their negativity.

Over time, you may find their absence causes you little pain or regret. You gave them chances; you tried to make it work, but they failed to meet you halfway. You owe it to yourself to build relationships where your efforts and affection are reciprocated. Letting go of lost causes and toxic connections is a courageous act of self-love that will open you up to healthier, happier relationships.

Though it can feel difficult, removing toxic people from your life is often the kindest thing you can do for yourself. Surround yourself with people who treat you well and support your growth into your best self.

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10. Know When to Cut Ties With Toxic People

Knowing when it’s time to cut ties with toxic people in your life can be difficult, but your mental health and happiness depend on it. Some signs that a person’s negativity has become too much to bear are:

  • They constantly criticize you and make you feel bad about yourself. Their demeaning comments chip away at your self-esteem and confidence.
  • They violate your boundaries and disrespect your needs. They pressure you into uncomfortable situations or ignore your requests for space.
  • They make you feel drained and exhausted. Interacting with them requires so much emotional energy that you feel depleted afterward.
  • They lack empathy and never take responsibility for their actions. Their drama and self-centeredness make every interaction about them.
  • You dread spending time together. The thought of seeing or talking to them fills you with anxiety, stress, or resentment.

If someone exhibits these toxic behaviors, it may be time to reevaluate the friendship or relationship. This doesn’t necessarily mean an abrupt end; you could try communicating your concerns first to give them a chance to change. But if they continue to negatively impact your life, don’t feel guilty about cutting ties.

Surround yourself with people who treat you with kindness and respect. Removing toxicity from your social circle will open up space for healthier, mutually supportive relationships. Though it can be difficult, choosing to cut out negative influences is an act of self-care that you absolutely deserve.


So there you have it—some tried-and-true tips for giving your social circle a refresh. Removing negative influences and energy-sucking people from your life isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. You only get one life, so make sure you’re surrounding yourself with people who lift you and make you better. Once you’ve trimmed away the toxicity, you’ll find yourself with more mental space for nurturing the relationships that matter.

Your true friends, the ones who have been there through all your ups and downs, will appreciate you making the effort to create more quality time to spend together. Do some spring cleaning, open up the windows to let in fresh perspectives, and get ready to bloom. The possibilities for new growth are endless!


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