Letting go of toxic people
'When a toxic person can no longer control you, they will try to control how others see you. The misinformation will feel unfair, but stay above it, trusting that other people will eventually see the truth just like you did.' - Jill Blakeway
Two years ago I became friends with a toxic person and coming across this today made me realise how much I have learnt from being around a person like this.
I am now at the stage where I am completely indifferent to this person and feel like I would like to truly let go by letting it all out here.
A couple of years ago I made friends with someone who at the time I thought was lovely. They were fun to be around and always had the time of day for me. However it slowly became apparent that this person wanted to spend every waking hour with me, ringing me constantly, texting, coming round to my house unannounced. It was too much.
This all got too much when spending time with others became an issue. I got closer with other friends and this was no okay for them. I slowly hated being around this friend, they bitched about others that I had got close with and couldn't understand when I turned down invitations to hang out because I had uni work to do. I am not a confrontational person and never wanted to say anything to upset this friend, I tried to make it really obvious that all of this behaviour was really getting me down, saying things like 'these people are my friends, you can't say those things to me'.
So naturally we weren't as close and didn't really hang out much anymore. To me this seemed a mutual understanding, but then the bitching happened. Friends I had made through this friend unfriended me on Facebook, blanked me in the street etc. I started to get very confused, what had they said to them, what kind of poisoned version of events had she been spreading.
I was seeing their true colours and it disgusted me, I had gone from a sense of relief that I didn't have this unhealthy relationship in my life, to now dreading wondering which person she had poisoned now. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not at all a horrible person, I don't put people down or make them upset on purpose, it's just not me. It hurt me that these things were being said about me, I was constantly worrying what this friend was saying.
In the end, it turned out the people that knew me that I actually cared about saw through the lies and actually said to me that the things being said were so far fetched and pathetic that they knew the things said weren't true.
Now all of this is over and I am so glad that this person is no longer in my life, I still see them around but I am the bigger person, I smile, but I would never give them the time of day again, it's never more than a 'hi'. I need it to be that way as they have tried more than once to patch things up.
I just wanted to share some things that would have helped me or did in fact help me at the time when dealing with this toxic person:
TIPS FOR DEALING WITH TOXIC PEOPLE
1. Call out the obsessive behaviour straight away. If they start behaving this was towards you, point it out to them.
2. Walk away sooner rather than later, perhaps me being more honest with myself and her and saying that this friendship is not going to work might have prevented the bitching in the end. But me being me and trying to see the good in people, I genuinely wanted the friendship to work at the time.
3. Rise above the poison they spread. The lies bothered me at the time but now I think do you know what, you did me a favour, you got rid of those fickle people for me, so thanks.
4. Talk to people you trust about your situation. Thankfully my other friends aren't bitchy and helped me realise from an outside perspective how toxic her behaviour was, having people with an unbiased point of view can be really helpful.
5. Breathe, smile and be thankful you are not them. (This one might seem small, and maybe you are thinking pathetic? It really isn't, you know in yourself that you are not this malicious, obsessive person. I had actually witnessed them from an outside perspective lose friends since, it didn't give me any satisfaction, it actually made me feel sorry for them, that they hadn't learnt at all.