New Year's Resolution Idea #1: Cutting Toxic People Out of Your Life

Updated on January 9, 2018
Dylan Buckley profile image

Dylan is a freelance writer specializing in the self-development and cryptocurrency investment industries who loves producing great content.

Happy New Year! I just want to take a brief moment to thank you for clicking on this article and hope that you're coming into the new year with a solid idea of who you want to be and what you want to do. As always, it is a time for us to reflect on our past year, figure out what it is that we want out of the year ahead, and craft a plan to go after it. However, that is typically easier said than done.

That's why I am going to do a series of articles this month to give you some ideas on what you can tackle for your New Year's resolutions. This one, the first of the series, will be identifying and cutting toxic people out of your life. If you have some relationships or friendships that are less than ideal, here are some ways that you can figure out who those people are and get rid of them!

Step 1. Step Back From Your Relationships and Take an Honest Look at Them

Toxic people are usually hiding in plain sight. You probably know who they are but over time, the type of behavior that makes you feel bad or angry becomes normal and makes you forget that you were even dealing with a toxic person in the first place. What are some of these telltale signs?

  • Toxic people are very good manipulators. If they are constantly trying to exercise control over who you see, what you do, and other things that should be in your hands, they are definitely toxic.
  • They gossip. Toxic people love to gossip and will do so behind your back at every chance they get. It doesn't matter whether or not it is true and you'll most likely lose a lot of existing or potential relationships because of this person.
  • Those people who are toxic are also victims. No matter what happens to them in life, they are always wronged and it is always by the hand of someone else. That person may even be you sometimes!
  • They always feel the need to be right. They will argue that whatever comes out of their mouth is the truth. Even if they know it is a blatant lie, they will try to warp the truth or a certain situation to benefit their argument.
  • They don't listen and they don't respect boundaries. What do I mean here? For example, let's imagine that you told a toxic friend or partner that they are constantly belittling you in front of your family and friends. Rather than accepting responsibility, they will completely disregard what you've said and continue behaving the way that they do.
  • Toxic people are takers. They love to have their hands held out and watch as stuff falls into them. No matter what they are taking, they never reciprocate and if they do, they expect something in return. No favor that they give out goes unpaid.

If you see any of these signs, although most of these will be present in a toxic person, this is a big red flag.

Step 2. Attempt to Have a Civilized Conversation With Them

We don't always want to have to cut out someone from our lives, especially if they are a close friend or relative. If you think that you can get through to them, sit them down and have a conversation with them about their behavior. What you may find is that they were unaware of what they were doing and that they're willing to change. However, you always have to be prepared for a conversation where they blame you, shut you down, and then proceed to act out in the same way. The first situation may be the one you're hoping for but it's most likely going to be the second outcome that you will face.

Step 3. Start Nudging Them Out

As I stated above, it can sometimes be difficult or sometimes near impossible to remove someone from your life. If you have no problem cutting someone out, then you can skip this section and begin removing them from all aspects of your life. If you do have a difficult relative or friend, however, you can create vital space by...

  • Preventing them from reaching out and making contact. It can be difficult for a toxic person to realize that you don't want to speak with them anymore but they will eventually take the hint. Delete them from your contacts and block their number, block them from social media, and remove them from anything else that you see fit. If they can't reach out, they can't be toxic to you.
  • Keeping all face-to-face interactions to a minimum. You can't always avoid a toxic person. Sometimes, the ones who are toxic are our roommates, our coworkers, and our classmates. In these types of situations, avoid them at all costs. If they approach you, end the conversation as quickly and as kindly as possible. You don't have to be rude but you certainly don't have to put up with their behavior anymore.
  • Rejecting all of their invitations. Rejection hurts and it will certainly open up an opportunity for the toxic person to position themselves as a victim and gossip. However, if you want someone out of your life or at least out of your immediate space, you have to follow through and reject them. Like I said before, it will be a rocky situation for them but they will eventually understand that the relationship is over.

Remember, cutting these people out of your life or creating space between you and them is absolutely necessary. You can't grow as a person if you constantly have to deal with people who make you feel stressed, angry, and terrible. As the new year starts, wave goodbye to these people as you start your journey on a path to a happier you! Did these tips help you or do you think I left anything out, let me know in the comments below!

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Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        Lauren 

        3 months ago

        I've had to recently cut off a bad friend he was probably toxic too the friendship was one sided he was always seeing his girlfriend and family first then his friends if he had enough time that's what he told me and I always had to text him first go visit him he's not the guy I knew anymore yes I miss him but not who he is now I miss who he was not who he is now the guy he is now is a bad toxic friend he never put in any effort into the friendship it was always me the awkward part of it is he's my neighbor

      • profile image

        shetried 

        10 months ago

        I have had to cut both parents out of my life. Incredibly dysfunctional and toxic people. I will say by doing so it has left me sad on the inside and lonely. I can never go back to visit. I can never call. It was that bad. My dad passed away very recently and it brought up all kinds of emotions for me. Anger, a feeling of being cheated from a relationship with him, sadness because he to missed out on a relationship with his daughter. My hope is that I will see him in heaven and all this nonsense will be done.

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