How to Set Boundaries with a Toxic Person

Written by Dr. Perry, PhD
Image Credit: Pixabay


“People inspire you or they drain you. Pick them wisely.” ~Hans F. Hansen

We all know at least one person who seems to walk around in a state of doom and gloom. They are in short supply of joy but have an overabundance of negativity. This individual may be a friend, family member, loved one or co-worker. Often times, it is someone you briefly encounter in your daily life; such as, the person who tailgates you in traffic or the rude customer you encounter at work. There are many toxic people in the world that are extremely generous when it comes to sharing their negativity. If you happen to cross their path, they will unapologetically unload their misery onto you.

Toxic individuals have the uncanny ability to transfer their negative feelings onto others. After an interaction with such a person, you are often times left feeling emotions that are not your own. For example, after spending time with a toxic friend, who is constantly complaining about their life, you may experience dissatisfaction with your own life. It is as if you temporarily borrow their negative lens to view the world.

In your lifetime you will encounter individuals, who may not have the self-awareness to not share their negative outlook, or who simply do not respect other’s personal boundaries and will spread their toxicity if given the opportunity. Any interaction, with the toxic person in your life, will leave you feeling drained and dispirited. It is as if they drain your positive life force in order to feed their negative charge. The individual may siphon your energy through constant negative talk directed towards you or others. This negative talk may come in the form of derisive gossip, judgmental speech, critical speech, and constant complaining. The toxic individual may seek to manipulate you into unfavorable situations and you may find yourself in a defensive position whenever you interact with them.

Establishing healthy boundaries is one of the most important things you can do in your life. Clear and firm boundaries will help you navigate potential landmines that a toxic individual will lay to entrap you. Healthy boundaries are personal fortifications that we utilize as a form of psychological self-defense to be used against anyone who does not have our best interest at heart.

There are a number of ways to establish boundaries with toxic and negative individuals. Here are some suggestions that I recommend in my practice.

1. Address the situation
Speak up when someone disrespects your boundaries. This is a direct and bold approach and often times is the most effective. I have found that toxic personalities will often take advantage of our inability to say no or our discomfort for being seen as rude. You must be ok with experiencing momentary discomfort in order to fortify your boundaries. Exercise your boundary reflex. If something does not feel comfortable, speak up and do not participate. For example, if someone is constantly seeking you out to bombard you with their negative talk, speak up and tell them you are not interested in this type of one-sided conversation. In the past, I have addressed this situation by pointing out to the other person that the nature of their conversation felt very negative. I explained to them that I felt as if they were using me to unload the negative content of their life and that I would no longer be a willing participant. Thereafter, this person no longer sought me out to rob me of my time because I had clearly stated my boundaries.

2. Do not add fuel to their negativity by engaging in their toxic games
Toxic individuals come in all shapes and sizes. They may have a personality disorder such as NPD, an attachment disorder or they may just not have proper social skills. They may engage in covert behaviors in order to manipulate you or they may be overtly malicious and abusive. Toxic individuals like to engage in negative conversations such as malicious gossip. These conversations that will leave you feeling drained. Whenever possible, shorten the conversation, redirect it or avoid it entirely. You can also extinguish the negative talk by pointing out positive points.

3. If all else fails, let them “Die on the vine”
What I mean by “Let them die on the vine” is that you consciously choose not to engage or interact with the toxic person. Negativity needs fuel to thrive. If you do not feed their negativity and refuse to engage they will eventually move on to feed off someone else. If this is a loved one or a family member, do not fear the loss of the relationship. Life is too short for negative distractions of toxic personalities.

We do not have a say about the families we are born into, but we can be selective about who we let into our circle of friends and loved ones. Make the conscious decision to only choose people that will honor and respect your boundaries. By surrounding yourself with loving and positive people, you can make sure to have a supportive group around when you need them.

I hope you find these tips helpful. I would love to hear about your experience with toxic people and what you do to protect yourself.

The thoughts expressed in this blog post are my own and are not meant to create a therapeutic relationship with the reader. This blog does not replace or substitute the help of a mental health professional. Please note, I am unable to answer your specific mental health questions as I am not fully aware of all of the circumstances.

Kindly,
Dr. Perry


CREDENTIALS
Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
M.A. in Clinical Psychology
B.A. in Psychology


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166 responses to How to Set Boundaries with a Toxic Person

  1. Dee says:

    hi Dr. Perry, wonderful and helpful post. I can use these tips on a family member who is so draining. Thank you

    Liked by 6 people

  2. avid reader says:

    Hi Dr. Perry. You always have pearls of wisdom to share. Your blog is always my go to guide when I am stuck in overwhelming situations. I too have a constant toxic person in my life, my own family member. But having suffered so much the person does not know any better. But with your blog I have managed to extricate myself and not be dampened by the person. Thank you for the advice which is always point on and absolutely doable.

    Liked by 9 people

    • Dr. Perry says:

      I am happy to hear this post and my blog resonates with you. It is comments like this that make writing worthwhile and meaningful to me. I hope you continue to set healthy boundaries in your life✨

      Liked by 1 person

      • CeeJai Johnson says:

        Avid Reader, it good to see that you understand that wounded people (toxic) people wound others, without knowing how others experience them.

        Dr. Perry, thanks for helping us with boundaries and energy thugs. Toxicity seems to be an epidemic right now. You have reminded me that self-care is not an option. Thanks again.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. EmpathincA says:

    Personally I like the “die on the vine” technique that you describe. I refuse to interact with negative people. As an empath, I find that they literally make me sick! Thank you for this post Dr. Perry❤️

    Liked by 7 people

    • Dr. Perry says:

      You’re welcome. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts✨

      Like

  4. Trupti says:

    Totally agree !!👍

    We all do encounter such kind of toxicity every now n then. In that case i try to “ignore” them. But when it is not possible to do so i just “go mute”.
    After all “peace of mind” is most precious and one must not compromise with it.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Maneet Kaur says:

    Hi Dr Perry! I have tried all these three points in my life on few of my friends as they were not happy that I was busy with work and they were not. To help them, I tried to explain the differences in the lives me and my friends led but when they didn’t really took on my explanation, I had to set a healthy boundary with them and safeguard my mental health. I was somewhere feeling guilty about it but its good to know that I am on the right track.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Mama Buzz says:

    Thanks for this post Dr.Perry. It’s very helpful. Indeed, I have used :not engaging in their toxic games and addressing the situation. I work in a management role and most of the time, I deal with toxic staff/employees who whines, make excuses and complains a lot more than the work they do. I’ve dealt with numerous mediation between staff. Sometimes it’s draining that they also include you in the game. Addressing the situation and not the person is the most helpful tip I have been doing. Also, not to place your own emotions . With family members, there are instances as well that what I found helpful was not to talk too much about it or not to stick yourself with the negative family member. It really does drain the positive energy in you and it’s not good.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Always helpful info Dr. Perry and you’ve addressed many pertinent points. Being raised in a toxic (and dysfunctional) family, I did not have the self-awareness to know that there was any other way to live. (Often, when someone asked, “What’s new?” The response would be a littany of everything that had gone wrong.)

    It wasn’t until I became an adult and began living my own journey that I discovered other (healthier and more positive) ways to live. Sadly, (in one way) that also meant the time came when I had to totally disconnect from my family of origin (largely due to the chaos and drama negatively impacting my own physical and emotional health). Happily (in another way) it was the first time in my life I felt a sense of peace and calm. Not to say there aren’t times when I miss them or that I don’t love them but in the overall scheme of things this was the healthiest choice — for me and for them (to hopefully find their own path to change and grow). The mantra that became true for me was “The friends I select are the ones I’d have for family…and my family members are not the ones I’d select for friends.” Sounds harsh, but true.

    As far as speaking up, a good friend once said to me, “You are going to feel some discomfort either way — whether you speak up, or stay silent. Things don’t change if there’s no change. Think of it as wearing a new pair of shoes…” That sentiment gave me the courage I needed to make healthy changes.

    I am honored and deeply appreciative of the information you share.

    Liked by 7 people

  8. Fern Cohen says:

    I have a toxic sibling who complains about her life [or perceived lack thereof]. I have given up trying to reason with her and have stopped engaging with her. The last time she made everything about her, I suggested meditation and CBD oil. All communication stopped and I assume she found another recipient of her rage.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. So true. It’s so hard to deal with a toxic relationship with a relative. I find myself feeling guilty when trying to set boundaries……always doubting myself and thinking I should show more compassion for their situation.

    Liked by 5 people

  10. SomewhereinCA says:

    I needed to read this today. I have a family member that is so manipulative and draining. I have decided to set firm boundaries and go no contact for a while. I have to remember that it’s my life and I can’t spend it feeling guilty and exhausted.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Dr. Perry says:

      I’m glad this post resonated with you. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts✨

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Wonderful, as always. I used to have trouble saying “no” and I also felt I had to answer questions posed by others, no matter how intrusive they were. Then I learned to turn it back on them by asking, “why do you need to know that?” It worked beautifully.I felt empowered and over time with continued practice I stopped allowing people to cross my boundaries – stopped answering questions I was uncomfortable with and grew much more comfortable with saying “no”.

    Boundaries are absolutely necessary to my mental health. I like to help people when I can, but some are so toxic and so draining I have had to let them go. It was a hard lesson to learn, but I am so much happier and at peace without these particular individuals in my life.

    Great post and so clearly explained.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Dr. Perry says:

      Hi Carol, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I always enjoying hearing from you✨

      Liked by 2 people

        • Dr. Perry says:

          Thank you Carol. I am positive that your comments and your blog help a lot of people. I’m sending you lots of positive energy and wishing you and your husband the very best❤️

          Liked by 2 people

  12. Luann says:

    Fantastic post. I had a lot of issues with people overstepping my boundaries. I had a difficult time saying “NO” and people took advantage of this. As I got older I have learned to assert myself and not let negative people near me. Thank you for sharing this!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Dr. Perry says:

      Thank you for reading and commenting. The ability to confidently say “no” is very powerful✨

      Liked by 2 people

  13. thecommutary says:

    You have perfectly described my Father. I try to have an adult relationship with him but from time to time he short circuits and tries to drag me down with him. I get so affected by this torture but tend to use the tactics you described above and they seem to work. Not engaging and shutting down his negativity tend to neutralize him.

    Liked by 4 people

  14. Bonnieanonymous says:

    I love this post. It reminds me of my ex-husband. He complained about everything. I useto say if he wasn’t complaining he wasn’t talking. So negative. I finally left him when I got sick. He was bad for my health!

    Liked by 5 people

  15. I find myself avoiding people like this all together. I wish I could just address the situation, shut it down immediately, but it doesn’t seem to be my personality. These type of people stifle my creativity and seem to leave lingering effects hours after interaction. I need to learn how to say, no. Great post!

    Liked by 6 people

  16. Ana P. Rose says:

    Recently, I started cutting out toxic relationships. The one concerned I always have is, am I being petty and immature? Or what if I’m the one that’s in the wrong? But what puts my mind at ease is when I try to reach out to people and they don’t reciprocate, like they couldn’t possibly care any less, or they act cold and angry. At times, it’s difficult because these are friendships of 10 years or more. But I guess we all change, and it’s probably for a reason. So yes, reading several of your blogs and other places too, admittedly, it helped me understand relationships shouldn’t make me feel drained or bad about myself. Anyway, great blog. Thank you. 🌹

    Liked by 6 people

  17. Nikki says:

    “Let them die on the vine” and don’t be afraid if these are family members. This is where I am in the process. I have tried so many methods with a particular person and this may be something I have to couple with boundaries. It’s really difficult for me to do with a relative but it’s necessary for my mental and emotional health as I redefine this new relationship with this person. It’s a lot to deal with!

    Liked by 5 people

  18. This post is so on the money. As someone who has anxiety, these people add stress.
    I’m a people pleaser. Now in 40’s, I can say NO. I can now put myself first. Not easy, but age brings maturity. Along with years of therapy. 😊

    Liked by 5 people

  19. Edd Heathman says:

    I think the only thing worse than being sapped by a toxic person, is finding out YOU are the toxic person lol. Haven’t had that problem, myself. But I do worry. Don’t like to moan to people :/

    Liked by 4 people

  20. L.M. says:

    I find that people with NPD are the most toxic and manipulative! My ex-husband was diagnosed as a narcissistic and he oozed negativity. I now stay away from people like that. They are dangerous and yes toxic as they can contaminate you with their negativity.

    Liked by 4 people

  21. Sunshine24/7 says:

    Hi Dr. Perry, thank you for taking the time to write consistently great content for your blog. This post is such a reminder that I did the right thing. I had to step away from super negative family members. I useto feel bad for them as I listened to everything that was going wrong in their lives, but then I realized that I was forgetting to live my own life. I can’t waste my life listening to the woes of another.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Dr. Perry says:

      You’re welcome. I appreciate your kind words. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts✨

      Liked by 1 person

  22. davidle13 says:

    I have a customer that is like this and I have to be nice to a certain extent and I found the best way to deal with this person is to say I am busy! If I don’t say I am busy they will stay at my desk and complain for hours on end.

    Liked by 4 people

  23. I think I read in a rather scandalous text once that these types are called “psychic vampires”, lol. Someone else said it above, though: avoid, avoid, avoid.

    Liked by 3 people

  24. jonicaggiano says:

    Thank you for your wonderful advise on how to deal with toxic people. I have tried to be friends with people that are like this by saying something positive when they say something negative. I have also suggested we not discuss certain topics because it is clear that we have completely different views. This is only when the person continues to bring up a subject that they know I feel so strongly against. Often politics or my religious beliefs. I try and redirect the person but this, as you know I am sure, does not always work. I loved your advice about actually telling the person that they are putting their negative thoughts onto you and that you don’t like the one-side conversation. I am definitely going to try that now. It will be hard for me but your right, sometimes I get home from spending time with someone like this and I feel like I need to take a nap and rest. I have had to distance myself and pray for some of the people in my life that are just to hard on me emotionally and that is the die on the vine approach. I am going to try being that bold with one person I love but have difficulty being around, this will be hard for me but thank you for giving me the courage to try Doctor. Also I love the bright blue background with the strong lock what a beautiful picture that says a thousand words on its own. Thanks as always for your very helpful advice Doctor.

    Liked by 3 people

  25. bekitschig says:

    Wish you wrote this years ago. We chose moving instead and I’ve learned removing yourself from a toxic situation is not defeat. Things already started improving after the decision was made

    Liked by 4 people

  26. Mrs. Goetz says:

    Excellent post and topic. I use the straightforward approach with all people. I don’t have the time to waste on negativity. I find that once I put them in their place they leave me alone. Thank you.

    Liked by 5 people

  27. Sonia says:

    Great article! I have dealt with toxic people in the past, unfortunately some has been family. What I do is check up on them but my conversation are limited to just a few minutes. Keep it short and sweet allows me to know they are ok but not get drag into a funk.

    Liked by 5 people

  28. Yep. For sure. Absolutely. The last sentence in #2 WORKS!!!! SO WELL. I use it all the time on a toxic person I must deal with fairly regularly. After YEARS of getting emotionally involved, trying to help them find tools to change perspective, pointing out the HUGE river of good that exists in their life, etc., I made my go-to response, ALWAYS, “Gosh. That must be hard. I’m so sorry. I’m sure You’ll work it out. HEY! Check out those flowers!” or any other positive near at hand. It stops them. I often am given a horribly mean, “You just don’t understand.” remark, head shake or glare as a capper. But dear Lord. Truer words were never spoken. If You don’t feed it: they stop. There is always some poor sucker or completely co dependent type right around the corner who will feed feed feed them. So sad.

    Liked by 6 people

  29. Susan O. says:

    Thank you for another great and relevant post! I use a combination of these tactics when I encounter overly negative people. They can be such downers! I don’t know why people think they can just share their negativity whenthey don’t even know you. I have this one lady at work that just over shares and complains a lot. I completely avoid getting personal with her.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Dr. Perry says:

      You’re welcome. I’m happy you like it. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts✨

      Liked by 1 person

  30. trilynn88 says:

    “Die on the vine” is what worked best for me. I’ve learned to disengage from conversations with a toxic friend. It’s been one of the hardest challenges in my life, but I feel like a ton of bricks have been lifted off of my shoulders. When I don’t put fuel on the fire or respond back with a negative response like she wants, she moves on and unloads on someone else that will give her what she needs. Toxic people are definitely like vampires and will suck the energy right out of you! If I do talk to her and she is negative, I reroute the conversation to something else and normally our conversations don’t last very long. Thanks for sharing! Great read!

    Liked by 5 people

  31. trekking cottage apartment says:

    Great post, I have cut many toxic people out of my life, and left them hanging on the line, and it’s the only way forward. Now I spot them early before the poison strikes, as if you leave it to long there is no antidote so will need much stronger methods, which is always difficult.

    Liked by 5 people

  32. Madhvi says:

    Very informative post. I have always tried to keep myself away from negativity. But, sometimes we cannot throw everything out of our life. Instead, we must try to safeguard ourselves from so-called toxic people.

    Liked by 5 people

  33. lawrenceez says:

    Hi, have had real problems with abusive people, incl family members. They see me as a “target” to criticise, then cant understand it when I eventually get very angry.
    Interesting article. I must learn to say ‘no’ from the onset.

    Liked by 4 people

  34. I remember I have a friend who was critical. Everyone was always wrong in her eyes. She likes gossipping about others. I started feeling uncomfortable then I decided to limit my communication with her. Only when something is really important then we communicate. I also practise “listen but not listen” when I can not avoid interacting with negative people and it works.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dr. Perry says:

      Thank you for sharing your insight. I like what you mentioned, “listen but not listen.” Great advice✨

      Liked by 2 people

  35. “There are many toxic people in the world that are extremely generous when it comes to sharing their negativity.” This is often happening at work places and sometimes the best thing that we can do is ignore. They may take as rude, but at the end of the day, we need to preserve our positive energy to last for the whole working day.
    Thanks for this post.It is very informative.

    Liked by 3 people

  36. In the world of boundaries I go by the expression: “if it’s good for me, then it will be good for them.” This helps me in overcoming my worries regarding possibly being abandoned if I set a boundary. Thank you for your posts.

    Liked by 5 people

  37. What perfect timing! I really needed to see this today, last night I had to set two hard boundries and I’ve been on a roller coaster all day. I know I did the right thing, but the energy it took to fight the vampires was sooo draining😒 But that’s to be expected.
    Thanks for sharing this, reading it literally made my day💕

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dr. Perry says:

      I am happy to hear you set your boundaries and that this post affirmed your decision. Thank you for your comment!✨

      Liked by 1 person

  38. Ravina says:

    This is something I was discussing with a friend yesterday during dinner. Some people are so toxic! Thank you sharing your insight. These are helpful tips!

    Liked by 3 people

  39. alightchaser says:

    Time is a finite resource, I tell myself, and then sidestep the game. One way to do this is to ask naive questions. If someone is gossiping, I ask, “Do you have permission from that person to talk about her without her present?” in as neutral a voice I can. Stops the toxic person in the diatribe, and saves me time from having to entertain negative talk.

    Liked by 3 people

  40. Editor says:

    Great post. Toxic people will drain your energy and move on to the next victim. As an empath, I used to always let people in. Now I am much more selective and much happier to be living life on my own terms!

    Liked by 3 people

  41. Wow! I just followed you a few minutes ago and the first article i landed on was exactly what i needed to read. I mentioned to a work colleague this week that she was toxic after a long time fighting with thought of how to break the news. These steps will definitely be helpful. Just struggling with option of letting them die on the vine already. Its so hard! Thank you for the tips

    Liked by 3 people

  42. Dr. Perry, Thank you so much for this. I’ve recently been dealing with some of these issues with an individual. Just today I had to call my oldest brother on how to respond. It was like he read this blog (lol). Thanks again!

    Liked by 2 people

  43. Pug Philosophy says:

    Thank you for being an ambassador for positive thinking! Those of us who strive to provide hope and encouragement will continue to share our messages in order to help a world filled with fear and despondence.

    Liked by 2 people

  44. I think I’m at stage 3 with 3 individuals. I don’t believe I can engage them constructively to talk about or ward off their toxic behavior. I think that is mostly because they probably do have NPD. To engage with them at all is just another way for them to manipulate and control my time and control the discussion. I’m sure they’d be the first to deny that they are being toxic in any fashion, but any conversation with them, in any form, I find to be exhausting. I enjoyed the post. As always, valuable info and clear insight.

    Liked by 2 people

  45. Jess says:

    “You must be ok with experiencing momentary discomfort in order to fortify your boundaries.” This really hit me. I have trouble letting people go even if it’s best for me. I know who I am and who I want to surround myself with and reading this reminded me its okay to turn people away. You have to do what’s best for you. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  46. Kate Sholonski says:

    Excellent piece! My favorite reminder to myself when it comes to my interactions with any toxic individuals is to NOT give away my joy. With this reminder, I can tend to more quickly say or do whatever is necessary to protect myself.

    Liked by 3 people

  47. There is only one person who is toxic in my daily life. She is a neighbor in the 16 unit condominium association building we share. Her negative behavior is chronic and relentless, despite repeated attempts to set boundaries between this owner and the president of the association’s board of directors. She has been told repeatedly not to leave notes o the board president’s front door, a disturbing practice during my four years as president and the three years of the current president’s tenure.

    Her complaints are frivolous, oppositional, and demanding immediate action regarding matters over which the board has no responsibility or control. She has been told repeatedly to arrange a time to discuss whatever is concerning her, and to cease the practice of taping cryptic notes on the president’s door. Her negativity is toxic and unavoidable, and it’s affecting the spirit of a great association leader whose dedication to the association’s business far exceeds what the office requires of him.

    Short of filing a restraining order, any advise will be a gift from heaven!

    Liked by 4 people

  48. James says:

    Hi Dr Perry. Great article, thanks for sharing. In the past I have tried dealing with negative people in my life by being positive with them, and offering practical advice. I found that often they aren’t looking to solve their problems, merely to wallow in them. I now realise it’s very hard to help someone unless they are willing to help themselves.

    Liked by 3 people

  49. DREW5000G says:

    OMG! Just read post and as I have that person occupying my space right now it resonated. I went to comment as much when I found myself scrolling down the whole page to be able to write in the comment box because so many others had also left a comment. It is good you have advice that helps so many I personally just want to say thanx 4 the post it is helping at the very moment I am typing. I was going to get into an argument but I will blank them as I already offered them the opportunity to go to another room but I wont be having my mood dragged down no sir

    Liked by 3 people

  50. Ron Bouchard says:

    What an informative article! Thanks, great insight and advice. I want to try to be a blessing to those “toxic” people, but there comes a time where continuing the relationship as it is hurts both of us. Again, thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • This is an excellent topic. We all have encounters with toxic people and it is good to know how to respond to them. I choose to stop it immediately. Personal assaults can come out of the blue, at unexpected times. Your posts are fantastic and so helpful.

      Liked by 1 person

  51. Angela says:

    This is a very good article. I have a negative individual in my life who I would say is toxic. My dad is a very negative person, and I try to keep to myself as much as possible. Cutting ties sounds like a nice thought, as while I’ve been around him, he has made me feel belittled, but I’ve moved out on my own, but not my brothers. They still live with him, and have to deal with him. I do worry that if I cut ties with him, I’d leave them out in the cold, and I don’t want to do that. I want to be a part of their lives, but at the same time don’t want to be belittled. So at the moment, I just try my best to keep to myself, and if I do have to see him, I try to focus more on my brothers. I feel bad for them that they have to put up with it still.

    Liked by 3 people

  52. Great post, Dr. Perry! Have used all the methods you suggested; all effective. In answer to your invite to share experience with toxic people and protecting self, the most difficult for me was directly addressing the situation. Did however develop an effective work around that was helpful to alleviate my discomfort, give me confidence/nerve, and shut down persistent toxic people I have had to be in continued situations with. I show with body language they only have half my attention, then begin with a kind toned “I’m so sorry,” followed quickly by stating only that I’m not able to engage in the conversation, accompanying them anywhere, etc. (in a very matter of fact, resolved tone). Concluding with full attention, brief eye contact and sympathetic “so sorry”; immediately disengaging my attention. It has been my experience that the kind tone at beginning and end throws them off balance, and they don’t follow after me to continue speaking. They move-on, as relatively no attention given. Also, when I’ve had to remove family, it eased my mind to know I could still care for them in my heart, even though I had to take them out of my daily life.

    Liked by 2 people

  53. Brick says:

    Thank you Dr. Perry.

    I agree 100% with your suggestions…I had to take it even further though and had to cut a covert NPD completely from my life. They caused a lot of damage over these past 20+ years…

    Now if only there was a road map on how to save my children from their codependency nightmare!!

    Liked by 2 people

  54. duzy23 says:

    Hello Dr. Perry, just went through a very draining psychological relationship much like what you describe. The person would only talk about them selves, they never had money or forgot their wallet when we went out so it was always me paying.

    When it came to introducing me to their friends, who they would introduce me to and then not include me in further conversation while also morphing personalities. It was bizarre.

    Another friend of mine warned me about this behavior and so when we were out one time I did set a boundary of splitting the bill in the future.

    It was like throwing a match into a dry field, the individual went a bit crazy and stocked out of the restaurant, deleted me on social media and told people I bullied them. It’s nice to see I am not alone and being taken advantage of by people like this.

    Liked by 2 people

  55. Holly Coop says:

    Thank you Dr Perry. I have quite a bit of toxicity (via family members) in my life these days and with each encounter I feel more depleted. I can almost feel (physically) a piece of my spirit being extinguished each time.

    Your article was very helpful.

    Blessings,
    Holly Coop

    Liked by 4 people

  56. Thanks for the post. It contained solid advice for dealing with toxic people. I call toxic people energy vampires. If you let them they will suck you dry emotionally. I do believe that just like vampires are attracted to blood, toxic people are on a search and destroy mission for their next victim. They will pass over you if they sense you are not going to buy into their tale of negativity.
    That being said, people often need to ventilate their feelings when they are upset. When that happens I’m all in.

    Liked by 3 people

  57. Many of One says:

    Thank you for your take on this! I had removed myself from a very toxic family hierarchy 10 yrs ago. Prior to meeting them, I was raised in the system @ 13 till 18 Anyway, I was lost for awhile wondering if *I* was a toxic person; as well [after breaking away from all family]. I am…is my finding…& limit other’s exposure to me [bad social phobia…list can be endless] while I continue to work on me…..self acceptance [even the toxic parts(?)] feels a misnomer lol 🙂 TY for your informative posts & sharing your time.

    Liked by 2 people

  58. This is an excellent article — and one that I wish I had read many years ago! I am 46 years old, and I only recently began recognizing the importance of limiting or eliminating the effect of toxic people in my life.

    You make an especially good point about how we shouldn’t fear the loss of relationships, because life is too short.

    Liked by 1 person

  59. filosopete says:

    I have a family member with Noonan’s, a condition of which the psychiatry isn’t well researched. I’ve just had my ninth stroke and simply couldn’t tolerate his neverending negativity and slandering of about everyone else. That includes Dr Andrew Murray and similar. So I blocked his phone number as I needed peace more than anything else, leaving him to see how many good people will put up with him.

    Liked by 2 people

  60. I loved this article. I am a little late to it, but I am currently dealing with trying to set boundaries with my ex but it’s hard because he is also the father to my child. I wish we could talk more depth cause nothing seems to work, but none the less thank you for the follow and keep up the good articles!

    Liked by 3 people

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