I'm a Tennessee-based freelance writer with a passion for true crime, a thirst for knowledge, and an obsession with lists.
25 Powerful Quotes About Toxic People
Letting go of friendships and relationships—even those that have become toxic—is always hard. But you truly deserve to feel happy, healthy, and loved. Here are 25 quotes to help you make the break and start valuing yourself.
1. “You can't change someone who doesn't see an issue in their actions.” —Unknown
This is the most important one to remember. Toxic personalities refuse to believe they contribute to or are the problem. They may even be blissfully unaware of the negativity they cause in your life. Mature conversations about troubling issues are impossible and attempting them is an utter waste of time.
2. “You don’t ever have to feel guilty about removing toxic people from your life.”
“It’s one thing if a person owns up to their behavior and makes an effort to change. But if a person disregards your feelings, ignores your boundaries, and continues to treat you in a harmful way, they need to go.” —Daniell Koepke
Many people experience feelings of guilt after ending toxic friendships and relationships, especially if they experienced psychological manipulation in those relationships. But remember—removing yourself from a situation that actively made you feel unhappy and unhealthy is something to feel proud of, not guilty about. Enough said.
3. “Until you let go of all the toxic people in your life, you will never be able to grow into your fullest potential. Let them go so you can grow.” —DLQ
No truer words have ever been written. Toxic people stunt your growth and act as deadweight in your progress, despite their outwardly projected words and actions. Cutting them loose will give you room to grow and thrive, even if it doesn't feel that way at first.
4. “Letting go of toxic people in your life is a big step in loving yourself.” —Hussein Nishah
You can't love someone nor expect them to fully love you until you genuinely love yourself.
5. “Toxic people spread their toxin to you and then you, in turn, become a wasteland like they are.” —Body Focus
Indeed. And it becomes an extremely hard habit to break. The sooner you can recognize a toxic friendship and let go of it, the better off you'll be.
6. “Sometimes you have to accept the truth and stop wasting time on the wrong people.” —Unknown
It's difficult to accept, but freedom comes when you do indeed accept the truth and act to change.
7. “You have to speak to be heard, but sometimes you have to be silent to be appreciated.” —Unknown
Note that this is not a cold-shoulder game or the silent treatment—both forms of manipulation that you may have experienced over the course of your toxic relationship. This silence is because you're no longer playing their games.
Once you've ended a toxic friendship or relationship, don't allow that person a way back into your life. It may be tempting to listen to their silver-tongued apologies and excuses, but the best thing you can do for yourself is keep your distance and hold your tongue.
8. “Sometimes there are things in life that aren’t meant to stay. Sometimes change may not be what we want. Sometimes change is what we need.” —Don Bolena Jr.
Change is difficult, but accepting the truth about your relationship and deciding to make changes is the hardest part. Once you've done that, the rest will come more easily.
9. “Letting go doesn’t mean giving up, but rather accepting that there are things that cannot be.” —Unknown
Walking away from a toxic relationship isn't defeat—it's accepting you can't make someone be who you want them to be.
11. “The best way to move forward is to let go of the people holding you back.” —Unknown
Unhook yourself from that anchor and sail away to happiness.
10. “You can’t fight for a place in someone’s life because no matter how hard you try to keep your place, they’ll put you where they want to even if it’s not where you should be.” —Unknown
The epitome of the toxic relationship. It's all about them.
12. “Some of the most poisonous people come disguised as friends and family.” —Unknown
Unfortunately, family members are often just as poisonous as “friends,” if not more so. Dealing with toxic family members can be harder than doing so with a friend or significant other, but it's important to understand that just because someone is a relative doesn't mean you have to endure their abuse.
13. “The only people mad at you for speaking the truth are those living a lie.” —Unknown
As they say, a hit dog will holler.
14. “Like arsenic, toxic people will slowly kill you. They kill your positive spirit and play with your mind and emotions. The only cure is to let them go.” —Dennisse Lisseth
You can't grow if you're constantly being broken.
15. “Removing toxic people from your life isn't the difficult part. Not feeling guilty about it is.” —Unknown
This is a sad truth. However, you will feel less guilt with each passing day. And remember—you deserve to grow and be happy.
16. “Sometimes your heart needs more time to accept what your mind already knows.” —Unknown
Relative to the quote above, only time will allow this to happen. Allow yourself to reconcile heart and mind at your own pace. Just give it time.
17. “We teach people how to treat us.” —Dr. Phil
There is so much truth in that one short sentence. People will treat us in the manner we have always allowed. It is up to us, as individuals, to set our boundaries and enforce them.
18. “Actions prove someone is; words just prove who they want to be.” —Unknown
What a powerful statement. To truly understand your place in someone's life, watch their behavior instead of letting yourself be seduced by their words.
19. “Controllers, abusers, and manipulative people don't question themselves. They don't ask themselves if the problem is them. They always say the problem is someone else.” —Darlene Quimet
And that perfectly sums up the toxic personality.
20. “Dear Self: Stop re-opening your doors for toxic people, then calling it ‘seeking closure.’ Certain things don't work out in life . . . and that's ok.” —Reyna Biddy
21. “Because at some point you have to realize that some people can stay in your heart but not in your life.” —Sandi Lynn
It's a painful journey that you must take away from a toxic relationship, but it is one worth taking in the end; the destination of acceptance is one of peace.
22. “Remove toxic people out of your life.”
“Stop maintaining relationships with people that make you feel guilty about things that you like, that make you feel awful about yourself, that put you down, that don’t support you, that are mean. You just get those people and remove them out of your life. Delete them off of Facebook, break it down easily. Because instead of just maintaining these “relationships” with people for the sake of just being polite or civil, you can be civil without having people that you don’t want in your life and you’ll be so much happier. You need to stop maintaining relationships with toxic people because it’s just not good for you and it’s not worth any of your time.” —Rachel Whitehurst
Again, enough said.
23. “Not all toxic people are cruel and uncaring.”
“Some of them love us dearly. Many of them have good intentions. Most are toxic to our being simply because they aren’t inherently bad people, but they aren’t the right people for us. And as hard as it is, we have to let them go. Life is hard enough without being around people who bring you down, and as much as you care, you can’t destroy yourself for the sake of someone else. You have to make your wellbeing a priority. Whether that means breaking up with someone you care about, loving a family member from a distance, letting go of a friend, or removing yourself from a situation that feels painful—you have every right to leave and create a safer space for yourself.” —Daniell Koepke
I have no more words. She summed it up quite nicely.
24. “My father once said, ‘If you're in the desert and you're dying of thirst, are you going to drink a glass of blood or are you going to drink a glass of water?’”
“I think what he was trying to say, interesting coming from my blood father, is sometimes there are people in your family that can be toxic.” —Nicolas Cage
Obviously Nicolas had a wise father.
25. “Sometimes it's better to end something and try to start something new than imprison yourself in hoping for the impossible.” —Karen Salmansohn
Similar to Albert Einstein's definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Both are excellent points.
Remember That You Deserve So Much More
As many of the quotes above attest, leaving toxic friendships and relationships is incredibly hard—but also incredibly rewarding. Though it may take a while for feelings of guilt to subside and personal growth to begin, know that you will get there.
Recovering from a toxic relationship takes time, so try to be gentle with yourself. Surround yourself with positive friends you love and trust, practice good self-care, and seek professional help if needed. Most of all, don't be ashamed of what you experienced; instead, be proud that you recognized a situation that needed to change and were brave enough to take action. Forget the negativity that toxic person brought into your life and remember what you deserve—love and happiness.
Questions & Answers
Question: Unfortunately, my toxic relationship is my marriage of almost 6 years. He never listens to me, his so arrogant and proud, so annoying. He's not supportive. Sex, of course, is zero because he doesn't listen to me. Each time I consider divorce, I worry about my kids. But I'm deeply hurt inside and av no affection for him. I've prayed to God for a way out, but it seems His quiet. What do you advise me to do to get out of my toxic relationship?
Answer: I'm not a therapist so please take my advice as just one person to another and not marital advice.
If you're unhappy and feel that relationship is toxic, you are the only one who can change that. I strongly recommend seeking out a therapist and talking with him/her about how you can begin the steps to change you, your perspectives, attitudes, and behaviors (not meant negatively, we all have areas that need work), and meeting the life goals you have in mind.
Therapy can be a bit pricey but I've found it's worth every single penny. It changed my entire life for the better, so I can't recommend it enough.
Question: When you been dating for 1 year and 8 months and he cheats multiple times. He dated a girl and told her I was pregnant and told her whole school I was pregnant. At the beginning of September, he starts to talk to girls, flirting with, and not helping me with the baby. He then dated a girl behind my back and we split. Now we are friends but he wants sex from me but we are not even together. Afterward, he acts like it’s nothing. Is this relationship toxic for me?
Answer: By asking this question, I believe you already know the answer: yes.
This “relationship” isn’t only toxic for you but for your child as well.
Please seek out the services of a competent therapist to help you understand and overcome a relationship that is more harmful than helpful to all parties involved.
© 2016 Kim Bryan
lucy wamuyu gichuki on September 03, 2020:
My husband dead on 2007 and left me with 6 children my familly hate me so much that is whay ido not lake relatioship with man
Fherleen on May 01, 2019:
Thanks for video about "Toxic Relationship" and the quotes. Hope to move on sooner.
Toniang on March 28, 2019:
thanks for the quotes they are really nice ones
Cherie2020 on March 08, 2019:
Thanks for the heads up on toxic people, who only think about their own worlds
Valerie B on December 14, 2018:
Sad but true, all quotes above
Eric D Knight on July 22, 2017:
Pennington on June 27, 2016:
Excellent list of inspiring quotes. I like number 16. Thanks for sharing them with us.