negativity

How to Detox Your Life of Negative People and Feel Good About It

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” – Mark Twain

First, let me state my definition of a toxic person- A person who complains and dumps their problems on you but doesn’t do anything to change their situation. Someone who is not supportive. Someone who makes you feel badly about yourself. Someone who shoots down your bright ideas, big goals, or bold (and risky) decisions. Toxic people are usually in a place in their life where they are not open to constructive feedback or changing, so they are stuck in their current situation and don’t have the insight to see beyond their own struggles.

Secondly, this article isn’t intended to paint toxic people in a negative light. This article is meant to guide you in making sure their negativity doesn’t impact your life.

First, why it’s important to detox your life of negative people:

  • Negative people slow you down towards achieving your goals. They discourage you from being ambitious or following your dreams by questioning what you’re doing and planting doubts into your head.
  • Negative energy from toxic people effect your energy level, not to mention your stress and anxiety.
  • You need to create space for positive change to happen. Being in toxic relationships with people and allowing their negative energy into your life will hold you back from manifesting opportunities for success. Also, releasing negative people creates space for positive people to enter, who will encourage, support, and help you grow as a person.

How to detox negative people from your life:

Step 1: Decide that you’re worth it

  • You need to feel as if you’re worthy of achieving your goals and changing into the person you want to be. Letting go of any negativity in your life will help you get there faster.
  • How to realize you’re worth it, you ask. Simply make the choice and decide that it’s time you committed to yourself, your goals, and your dreams and you won’t let anything or anyone slow you down.
  • Think about the negative side effects of holding onto these relationships. Ask yourself:
    • What effect are these relationships having on my life?
    • What are my goals and how badly do I want to achieve them? Are these people supporting my goals or slowing me down?

Step 2: Identify the toxic people

  • Toxic people make you feel worse than when you started talking to them. They bring your energy level down. They leave you feeling bummed out. Notice how your body feels after talking to them, particularly your chest and stomach which are areas where most of us carry stress and anxiety.
  • There is a difference between someone sharing with you their struggles/challenges versus someone who constantly complains.
  • Toxic people shoot down your ideas. They always question what you’re doing. They may say something like, “Well, maybe you shouldn’t change careers because you have so much job security here. What about your benefits? Or your retirement?” This is pretty common and sometimes subtle and harder to notice. Even though it may sound like they’re giving you advice, in the end they’re just putting more doubts into your head because your actions may bring up their own fears and insecurity.
  • Toxic people can fall within the spectrum of being subtly draining to all around toxic and poisonous. Even if they fall on the less severe end of the spectrum, it’s important to identify this and work towards letting them go as they will still affect you negatively.

Step 3: Let them go

  • Just start. Use whatever method you think is appropriate. Avoid them. Don’t pick up their calls. Apologize for being distant but know that you do not need to explain why or defend your actions.
  • Avoid explanation because they are probably in a state of mind where they are not open to listening. They may take it personally that you are letting them go, and will probably get on the defensive if you try to justify your reasons.
  • Do it gracefully and with love. Send them off with love and a prayer. Be open to the possibility that if and when they are ready to change and be more positive/supportive, then you would be open to rekindling the relationship.

Step 4: Don’t feel guilty

  • Again, you are worth it. You must be your own BEST FRIEND. If you don’t take charge of your life and well-being, nobody will do it for you!
  • You are not abandoning them even though you may feel like that. There is a distinction between abandoning someone and letting them go so they can find their own way. If you’ve already tried giving them advice, encouragement, or even a wake-up call and nothing happened, then no amount of wise words from you will change their thinking or behavior.
  • It’s not your obligation to keep these people in your life regardless of the relationship. Whatever the reason, people grow and change and it’s normal for relationships to evolve, or dissolve.

Step 5: Bring in the positivity!

Surround yourself with positive people. These are people who:

  • Support your ambitions
  • Encourage your ideas no matter how scary, risky, or seemingly unknown the outcome could be because they know how important it is for you.
  • Are up to big things. They are people you admire because you think they kick ass in life!

You are worth it and you can do this. It begins with an intention to change your life and a commitment to yourself.

This week’s tush-kickin’ challenge: Start identifying the negative relationships that you want to let go of and share with me below!

Chinh Pham is fear conqueror, life coach, Hot Hula Fitness instructor, wellness guru, and lover of life! She helps women in their 20′s and 30′s find their purpose, embrace what they’re passionate about, and find the courage to create the life of their dreams! Her vision includes helping each and every woman on this planet look and feel beautiful, inspired, and empowered enough to create a kick-ass life for herself!

To learn more about Chinh, check out her virtual home, Facebook, and sign up for FREE updates here!

 

  • Agnes

    And what should you do when those toxic people are your family? You can’t just let them go.

    • Magda

      I learnt to ignore negativity from my family members. Nevertheless, there are some relatives to whom I am not talking already 5 years and I do not feel sorry for that. I feel relieved. 

      • http://twitter.com/CoachChinh Chinh Pham

        Good for you Magda! Thanks so much for sharing your experiences and encouraging others to do the same :-)

      • guest

        That is what I felt..incredible relief. My chest felt lighter physically. I started seeing how good things could be without the negativity. And I made the decision to absolutely refuse to listen to anything that created drama in my life. It’s been almost three years for me..I feel great!

    • Allyk

       My husband hasn’t talked to his two sisters in 12 years because they are  toxic but you can’t do that with all family members.  I can’t do that to my toxic person in my life my mother. I’ve learned how to deal with her in a different way.

      • http://twitter.com/CoachChinh Chinh Pham

        Thanks so much for sharing Ally! Yes, it’s a matter of being able to emotionally/spiritually separate yourself from them without allowing their toxicity to affect you negatively.

      • Maria2008

        How is that please?

    • http://twitter.com/CoachChinh Chinh Pham

       Hi Agnes! Good question. I will be writing an article to address this issue as I’ve received many inquiries about how to let go of toxic family members. It boils down to a combination of distancing yourself from them, understanding and forgiving them and knowing that they are not intentionally trying to hurt you, not feeling bad about letting them go, and most importantly bolstering up your own self-love! Good luck my dear! Sending you love & courage, Chinh

      • Maria2008

        I understand about toxic people, being a new third year at a University, having the opportunity to go to a glass University in their second year. All the opportunities, my mum says.. sometimes we dont get to do what we want in life. Time is short the place is there for me, pros and cons have been done. This might be a two year way to separate me from the toxic people in my life. Finance is sorted where I am, where I might transfer to it will need to be sorted,..may get minimum. Nothing ventured nothing gained. Although I am scared of leaving what I know. Please help.

        • http://www.facebook.com/coachchinh Chinh Pham

          Hi Maria! Sorry, I just saw your reply now. It sounds like going to this University is a great way to surround yourself with new, more positive people. It’s definitely scary getting out of our comfort zone, but think of these new experiences as an adventure! Think of all the exciting things you’ll do, the people you’ll meet… And if you are scared then think of the worst case scenario. Usually when you break it down it’s not so bad, you will still be alive, healthy, and well, even if you decide you don’t like your new experience at the University that much. You will just learn more about yourself and what you enjoy and what you should avoid. If you want to talk more, email me at coachchinh@gmail.com so I can get a sense of what you’re struggling with. Good luck hun! You have more strength than you know… Hugs, Chinh

    • guest

      Agnes, yes you can..I did it. It was one of the hardest things I had ever done. I was in my 50s when I made the break. I could no longer take the mean, hateful and abusive behavior of my mother..physical abuse when I was young..just kept getting worse and worse as I got older..I was constantly told I was ugly, I was worthless, she should never have had me. But when she began telling me I “owed” her, I started thinking…no, I do NOT. I made the break and told her I was finished. She made things as difficult for me as she could..going so far as to filing a false police report saying we had stolen a car. She died four months ago..sorry to say I did not shed the first tear. It took me fifty years to decide I was worth something..I’m in therapy..I’m healing..honey, you can do it..really you can..be strong!!!

      • Alexandra

        Come and join us freedomandempowerment.com we help victims to become survivors to thrivers. I am also in my late 50′s

    • Maria2008

      You can learn to avoid talking to them about certain issues, that is what I do. You can try and focus on you and the achievements you have made and to think ahead of your goals. You can struture your day so that you can avoid them in the day. A text to remind them you are alright might be a good way too.Certain family are toxic I realise that now.

    • Guest

      crazy how I used to be called the drama queen in my family. I “broke up” with the negative souls and guess what I found out 3 years later? No more drama! yep they are gone and so is the drama, go figure! I do feel lighter, stronger and more happy. And yes Agnes, you can just let them go.

    • Ranta

      Especially family members! People, when you think about we’re all not here for that long a time. Do NOT let the burden of blood-ties dictate how you live your life. Because in the hierarchy of your human relationships, family should be the LAST people to condemn, judge or abuse you, vis a vis the last people you would expect such hateful treatment from.

      Keep chin up, breathe and keep moving.

  • http://twitter.com/UpbeatBrain UpbeatBrain

    Your post reminds me of an idea in Illusions by Richard Bach: “If you really want to remove a cloud from your life, you do
    not make a big production out of it, you just relax and remove it from your
    thinking. That’s all there is to it.” I suppose that it rarely feels that easy to remove negative people, but maybe if we see the process as less complex, it will be. I’ve always found that the effort is worth the result when I am increasing the positive energy around me.

     

    • http://twitter.com/CoachChinh Chinh Pham

       Love your comment and thanks for sharing! Indeed, ‘what we resist persists’ right? It’s easy as long as we believe it is. So glad you are increasing the positive energy around you!

  • Kevin Dieudonne

    I really think it hurts when you can’t get the people you want to support you. Some people do it naturally and don’t realize, it maybe a matter of telling them that they can support you or leave your life. I have been on both sides apparently, I have been called toxic because I did not agree with the way things were done. On the same token I have been called a great motivator,excellent friend and supporter. As I always look for a way to advance in life and make things better, besides if I was a toxic person I wouldn’t be as big of fan of Pick your brain as I am.

    • http://twitter.com/CoachChinh Chinh Pham

       It does hurt when people don’t support us or believe in our dreams as much as we do. Thank you for being honest and sharing that you have been on both sides of the equation. I think what’s most important is at the end of the day you are advancing your own life and making it better. Keep rockin’! :-)

  • eminem

    I can relate to this topic. But I can’t explain why I cannot go on with negative people when we are so close before. They though i had an issue with the person. :(

    • http://twitter.com/CoachChinh Chinh Pham

       Thanks for sharing! Obviously you are not the only one who is letting go of negative people in their life, so keep doing what you’re doing and don’t worry about why these folks don’t understand. You got this :-)

  • Wheather1

    I have one of these people who happens to be the parent of a friend of my 7 year olds. Her daughter has had the same effect on my daugter and her classmates to the point that they switched schools to get away from all the problems (of course the school got blamed and the issues were not addressed). My problem is that she keeps following us around and my daughter still thinks she is friends with the other little girl. I don’t let them play together because I don’t like the influence she has on my daughter. However, we join an activity and next thing we know she joins. How do I get away without just pulling my daughter out of everything she enjoys? 

    • http://www.coachchinh.com/ Chinh Pham

       Hi there! I think you are doing everything right, putting your daughter in activities that she enjoys and trying your best to avoid your friend’s daughter. It’s tough being a mother and explaining to your child what you think is best for her and expecting her to understand it. Without knowing more about your situation, I still think there must be SOME activities that you can put your daughter in that your friend’s daughter won’t be in, or even try introducing your daughter to some new activities she’s never done before with new girls that she could be friends with. I would say to keep trying and don’t give up! You are doing wonderfully :-)

  • http://www.fitnesskings.net/yoga-vs-pilates/ Christine@FitnessKings

    Wow!! The
    quote took my breath away: “Keep away from people who try to belittle
    your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel
    that you, too, can become great.” – Mark Twain

    Also your definition of a toxic person actually reminded me
    of a friend that I have known for over a decade. She is the definition of a
    toxic person and yet I stayed trying to give her the best advice I could. I thought
    that her seeing me trying to aspire to be something great…that she would too.
    However, she is still in the same place she was last year and I realized that
    in order for her not to bring me down, I must distance myself from her. I have
    and it feels great!!!

    • http://twitter.com/CoachChinh Chinh Pham

       Woohooo Christine you ROCK girlfriend! Thanks so much for sharing your experience about your long-time friend. And so glad you liked  the quote. Good for you for being aware of how others make you feel and knowing that people need to change on their own and follow their own path. You are fab! <3

  • Ladygurl009

    I recently let go of a toxic relationship with a friend who I knew I shouldn’t have become Friends with again in the first place. I thought after a
    Couple years of not being friends we both may have matured but after rekindling she began to do the same selfish things to me that broke our friendship
    Before. I felt like she envied me for some strange reason. I
    Had anxiety thinking about this friend where I didn’t before. I just got married 2 weeks ago and she was in my wedding and I was to be in hers next month. After my wedding things spiraled down hill. I let her go with congratulations and well wishes. I feel great about it! This article just solidifies how great letting go made me feel!

    • http://twitter.com/CoachChinh Chinh Pham

       Ahh I love this! Thank you so so much for sharing and congrats for being SO brave and committed to yourself! You rock girlfriend!!! <3

  • http://www.webdb.co.za Stop Hurting Start Healing

    This whole article is crap (only my opinion)

    Who and what you are is determined by you! It is your feelings and your experience thereof. More importantly it is not what people say to you, but how you interpret what was said.
    If you give permission for others to change you, you should not blame them! 

  • Poor Employee

    What happens the Toxic people are your manager and a co-worker together and you are not in a position to resign your job due the kicking in of GFC?

    • guest

      I am in the same situation….I am around several very negative people at my job and have spent a few years thinking if I “combat” things with a positive attitude, change would happen in this work environment.  Several others have tried as well.  I feel trapped because the job market is not good….I am actively looking for another job, but, there is just nothing out there.  I will continue searching but in the meantime, I am stuck in a very negative situation.

      • http://twitter.com/CoachChinh Chinh Pham

         I’m glad you combat their negative attitudes by staying positive. That is the best thing you can do while you’re in that situation. Like I said in the comment above, keep looking for jobs (indeed, the market isn’t good but it’s not hopeless, I was get another job 1.5 years ago), make sure you take good care of yourself through meditation, relaxation, exercise, and good eating. This is only temporary so any time you feel things are getting really difficult, remember all the things you are grateful for in your current job to get yourself out of that negative state of mind.

    • http://twitter.com/CoachChinh Chinh Pham

       Hi! I understand your situation and can relate. 1.5 years ago I was in a job where there were a lot of toxic people and I also felt like I couldn’t get out of that job. The best thing you can do is to keep looking for new jobs and keep in mind that the job you’re in now is only temporary. Spend your 8 hours there, then outside of work take good care of yourself by meditating or doing things that are relaxing (to get rid of stress/anxiety from work) and also eat healthier and exercise if you aren’t already.

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  • Juanitao

    Bring in the positive people! In which land do they live?

    • laila helen

      I am here Juanitao <3 love you< 3

  • Benjaminj

    I have been dating my girlfriend for a little over three years now. I have noticed habits and activities in which I love to do and work toward my goal of becoming an artist have slowly shortened in time.

    You see I’m an urban sketcher, meaning I draw on site or on location. So its common to see me on the sidewalks next to trashcans drawing for an hour to two. I love waking up early going and grabbing a nice cup of coffee and going sketching. That said since we moved int together I notice those things are slowly dissappearing.

    She hates it when I leave in the morning and don’t let her know. So when I’d tell her it became an issue of me not cuddling with her in the mornings. Then the situation became that she’s bot invited. It’s not like that though. When I wait for her or should I say anymore when I go she is barely getting up at ten in the morning and we are leaving by eleven if I am lucky.

    At that point all I think is, well I could have left at 7 or 8 and already have finished at least two sketches before you even wake.

    Another dynamic is the fact that we are currently living with her parents. Any insight.

    • http://twitter.com/CoachChinh Chinh Pham

       Hi Benjamin! All I know is, a relationship should help you become better and give you room to nourish your soul. For you, it’s through art. You cannot compromise on who you are just because you’re in a relationship. It will lead you toward losing yourself and becoming someone who you don’t want to be. I would suggest having a heart to heart with your gf and communicating with her the importance of you needing time on your own to do things for yourself. We all need to protect our “me” time so we can maintain and grow our identities. I hope that helps! Good luck :-)

    • Maria2008

      You need to do whats best for you, she needs to learn to understand this. I am in limbo at the moment, a third year at a University and have the opportunity to go to another University  in a different town that specialises in glass. I am a glass artist who wants to follow my dream to be a organic lighting artist…I have certain family who are telling me to stay where I can, toxic they are saying you are not able to do what you always want,..controlling I see now. I love drawing that feeling of freedom and expression is amazing like free flowing water cascading over me. :)

      I have a partner who has only started to realise I want more, to follow my dreams too. We did have drawing days together and drawing days at my parents.

  • Trushit Vaishnav

    I recently removed all the negative elements from my life. I literally removed them. Just to share with you guys here.. I simply made up my mind not to deal with them anyway. It takes great amount of tenacity. I stopped using internet, cell phone and other unwanted communications and stabilized my mind to think in one particular way. Getting yourself away from others for some time helps to to talk to your own self and know your own self. 

    Now I will feel good. I can concentrate better. I can sleep well. 

    • http://twitter.com/CoachChinh Chinh Pham

       Hi Trushit! Thanks so much for sharing your experience! I’m really glad turning off all your electronics and social media helped you get there :-) Keep on rockin’!

    • Maria2008

      I definitely believe in this some times we get so wrapped up with technology it can be consume us.

  • NDJ

    loved this! how can you sore with the eagles if you are surrounded by pigeons! 

    • NDJ

      *soar

      • http://www.coachchinh.com/ Chinh Pham

        Hi NDJ! Love this quote, thanks so much for reading and sharing!

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  • Alyson Burn Student

    Wht has there not been advice given to the little girl with the toxic friend? We all know how that stuff starts in childhood & tbe messages can stay for a lifetime.

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  • Abdulrehman

    Thanks for
    sharing such a nice article..it is really a need of time..

    We all face/meet
    toxic people in our life..Either in family or at workplace and sometime it is
    really difficult to avoid them because of the close relationship or closed
    peer. I used to avoid them by not listening their ideas and thinking something
    else…you can call it absent mind stage. I think they just want to dump their frustration
    on you. So instead of focusing on their negativity either involve yourself in
    doing something or thinking something else, pretending you are listening to
    them..thanks
    @arakbar:twitter 

     

    • http://www.coachchinh.com/ Chinh Pham

       Love your advice! Yes, we can always put a barrier up between the negative person and ourselves, and seeing them as wanting to release their frustration helps us be more compassionate to their struggles. Thanks for sharing!

  • Anonymous

    I’ve just read this and I am keen to hear you process…

    There is an individual at work who I feel is not open to advice from people younger than them, they doubt information given to them and want to find it out for themselves – even tho you industry knowledge has 5+ years on them. No I work with this person and I need to let them go but also still maintain a amicable and “professorial working” relationship…. any advice would be greatly received :) I need to know how to do this respectfully and diplomatically in order to carry on achieving and striving to become a manager.

    • http://www.coachchinh.com/ Chinh Pham

      Hi there! I have run across people who are older and don’t like to take advice from someone younger than them. As a matter of fact a lot of people don’t like taking advice in general! I would suggest to act as a role model for them. When you exemplify the qualities that you advise others on, you are not only setting an example for others but you give them permission to do the same for themselves. You begin to start a chain reaction which allows others to begin their own self-improvement. So no need to give this person advice. Just be an awesome colleague: supportive, collaborative, helpful, hard-working, and exuding integrity. Thanks for the question and good luck!

  • Sktn5446

    Wow. I feel like I use to be a toxic person. I lost some friends after becoming depressed and started a spiritual journey that has led me here. I felt the close friends that left me in my time of need sucked. This helps me not be upset with them. Its a hard thing to do still but I understand why they did. 

  • Admin

    Fantastic article, exactly what i needed to hear! I am detoxing my friendships now and liked your part about not feeling guilt, it really helps!

  • Macculu500

    “Toxic people shoot down your ideas. They always question what you’re
    doing. They may say something like, “Well, maybe you shouldn’t change
    careers because you have so much job security here. What about your
    benefits? Or your retirement?” This is pretty common and sometimes
    subtle and harder to notice. Even though it may sound like they’re
    giving you advice, in the end they’re just putting more doubts into your
    head because your actions may bring up their own fears and insecurity.”

    Simply put, tell me only what I want to hear

  • Laurie Amos

    How do you remove or deal with a very toxic boss?  I would love to let her go, just afraid if I take the wrong steps she will fire me.

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  • Joe

    This is valuable advice, provided it’s taken properly and one doesn’t start justifying being obnoxious to people by telling the self “they’re toxic!”

    That said, both the notion and the term “toxic person” and the accompanying advice to get them out of your life are not original with the author here. These are self-help/motivational speaker cliches.nThe reader should be aware of that.

    Also, some ‘toxic people’ simply cannot be tossed away. You may have a child or parent or other indisposable person who is ‘toxic’ like this. Most mothers are, for example. So advice like this needs to be understood as the pep talk boilerplate it is and taken with a grain of salt.

  • http://fundless-sponsor.blogspot.com/ Capitalistic

    Thank you.

  • Me

    I live with my son; and you don’t get more toxic than he is. EVERYTHING that comes out of my mouth is cause for resentment, question, or confrontation. I really needed your article today to show me I need a new plan of action — one in which letting him go his own way and pay his own consequences is the best thing I can do … for both of us. Thank you.

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  • Nicki

    Definitely agree! I just let go of a few people this week one who I have known for eleven years. You can wish the best for someone but if they are stuck in their ways let them go!

  • CandyWii

    There are mean negative whom ruined and hurt my life deeply, beside I has long history of being abuse mentally and physically. Indeed I don’t know why they has that much time to spreading lies and sneakily stalk my privacy, but for a vey long time I try to ignore to hope that will stop. Then they attacked good people around me too after steal all my stuff, or blame me for their loneliness to took my happiness away. Now I learn to be stronger and love who I indeed am already, I indeed hope they stop back bite so I can have a peaceful life back. Thank you for a grate structor guiden and hope I can feel happier soon.

  • Aubrey Benz

    I used this page in a post to explain to someone the reality of negativity in the people surrounding me. I have too much positivity to attend to in my life than to even consider making room to deal with the emotions of these negative people. They have to find their own way!!!

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  • VioletandPine

    I have a very negative, gossipy office housekeeper at my place of employment. I couldn’t take her badmouthing of her co-workers every morning and constant negativity. I felt trapped. I learned to vary my routine and now go to the mailroom while she cleans. I feel free!

  • http://www.stopstressandanxiety.com/ Mulyadi Kurnia

    nice and inspiring article. thanks.

  • ditto

    Wow! As I read your reply, I was taken back as I thought; it may have bren something I wrote in my sleep. Word for word. Except in place of youfalse report, my mother came into my home while I was at work and gave away all of my belongings (Including my childrens things) It sounds like our biological mothers are the same kind of crazy. As a mother, I am disgusted that someone could outwardly hate their child like she did me. I never did anything wronfg, in fact was always perfect because I hoped that it would help her to love me. Finally, at age 30 I gave up the idea of that and wrote her off…thats when her backlash kicked in full force. How dare I deceive her by denyng her to run my life! It has been so much easier to live day to day withouther presence. I love my children. My life goal is to spend every moment making them feel love, acceptance and importance.

  • Anita

    I learned that when a family member is mean to me…it has nothing to do with what I did…it’s there own pain that let’s them react that way…..If I can remember that….before I react…. I am on my way to recovery…..just let go….

  • Nelly Perry

    This is good stuff.
    Buy Spiritual CDs.

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  • Shoshannah Lamppin

    Great article and comments!