5 Tips for Dealing with Toxic People
It’s an unfortunate truth of life that not everyone is a good person. Through life you’re bound to run into some less than savory characters- people who are toxic. In recovery from drug or alcohol abuse, the drama and stress of dealing with toxic people can be triggering, leading to regression and relapse. While it would be nice to be able to avoid these people indefinitely, that’s just not a reality of life. Because of this, being able to properly identify and cope with toxic people in a positive way is vital to long-term sobriety. Here are 5 tips for doing just that:
Set Your Personal Boundaries
Boundaries in relationships are healthy for all parties involved; they become vital when dealing with toxic people. Guilt tripping and other manipulative tactics can make it difficult to deal with people who will do or say anything to get their way. Protecting yourself and your own interests is important to safeguarding your continued recovery and sobriety.
Don’t Play Their Mind Games
Manipulative people have one thing in mind: getting their way. While cooperation can be good at times, we have to know when to put ourselves and our well-being first. Toxic people are masters of mind games; they try to convince you that what they want is in your best interest even if it isn’t. They discredit any thoughts that counter their own; they use underhanded means of turning others against you. Don’t fall into the trap by playing those mind games- stay above the drama.
Pick Your Battles
While it is best not to give toxic people the reaction they’re looking for, there are times where you will need to defend yourself. Not every fight is worth the hassle; learn to pick your battles. Minor slights don’t have to become full out fights, but if it’s something you must respond to, do so correctly. Don’t raise to the bait or engage in meaningless arguing. Say what you need to say and be done with it. The less time you waste on unimportant things, the more you have for achieving your goals in sobriety.
In recovery we learn to focus on the blessings we have in life; on the good of our futures and what we can achieve. Dealing with toxic people takes away from that. You should try to limit your interactions with people who don’t make you a better person or serve you in any way. While avoiding toxic people isn’t always possible, you are in control of how much or how little you interact with them. Don’t feed the trolls.
Let Them Go
Being surrounded by and constantly dealing with toxic people is a serious threat to your ongoing recovery. That’s why one of the first steps in securing a new, sober lifestyle is purging the people who don’t have your best interests at heart from your life. You can read all about identifying those type of people in our free eBook, “It Takes a Village: Finding the Right Support System in Addiction Recovery”. Remember: you can’t be responsible for the actions of others, but you are always responsible for yourself.
How do you deal with the toxic people in your life? Leave your tips in the comments!
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About the Author
Alexandrea Holder is a South Florida native working toward double Master’s degrees in Psychology and English. She finds the psychological aspects of addiction and mental illness fascinating, as both are prevalent in her family’s history. When not researching and spreading addiction awareness, Alexandrea enjoys sparring, artistic pursuits, and admiring puppies online.