Woman walking

Do you have a poisonous person in your life? These are the type of people who can be draining, non-supportive, and difficult to be around. They make you feel like you are walking on egg-shells, use you for their own personal gain, and do so in such a charming way that you might not even know you are stuck in an unfair relationship.

Poisonous relationships can come in all forms from family members, coworkers, romantic relationships or friends. They can even be the people you think you should trust the most, like your fellow church members or boss. While most of humanity only has loving, honest indentations with others, the reality is that there are predatory people out there.

There is a chance you are regularly letting poisonous people in your life, and they are restricting you from living a happy and joyful life. Here is a look at why you are letting these people in and how you can stop it from happening moving forward.

What is a poisonous relationship?

John Mark Green once said: “toxic people attach themselves like cinder blocks tied to your ankles, and then invite you for a swim in their poisoned waters.” This is such an accurate depiction of a poisonous person. They sneak into your life, latch on to your kindness, and then expect you to keep them afloat as they let you drown. They don't care about you, but know you care about them, so they take advantage of the situation.

A toxic person is more than just someone that annoys you from time to time. Toxic people are manipulative and will play the victim to make you feel guilty so they can get their way. For a toxic person, only one person’s needs will ever matter and that's there’s. You should never expect to hear the word sorry come from their mouths, because they never take responsibility for how their actions could affect others. A toxic person will have a lack of compassion and empathy and others, being instead only self-absorbed. They are always criticizing others for not being good enough, and find joy in putting other people down.

Again, all of these negative behaviors might not pop up when you first meet them. At the beginning, they may be suave, easy to communicate with, and charming. They are masters at getting what they want, and sometimes that means fooling you to thinking that they are a good person. In reality, they are not.

Can you fix a poisonous person?

We cannot fix a toxic person, although we hope to do so. It is impossible to control other people’s behaviors. You will never be able to change a truly toxic person. Their behavior will bring you down to their level. You will become bitter and angry, and their toxicity will be spread to everyone you come in contact with. Toxic behavior is like a virus that spreads like wildfire. That is why it is so important to remove toxic people from your life as soon as possible.

The best we can do is set an example through our actions. There is a possibility that if we set an example for people around us, people see our efforts and decide to become more like us, although there is no guarantee. Hence, our focus should be on ourselves and not necessarily on fixing the people around us.

What if poisonous people try and come back?

Letting a toxic person back into your life can be dangerous. When you let go of a toxic person, they might eventually see the value in your friendship and apologize for their behavior, promising that this will not happen again and they want to be a part of your life.

If you decide to let them back in, only give that person one chance. However, set very clear boundaries. If they exhibit any of the toxic behavior that they have in the past, they will lose you forever. Make sure to stand behind your words, and show the other person that they cannot overstep your boundaries. While compassion is crucial, make sure you’re putting yourself first and thinking about this person’s effect on your life as well.

Why am I susceptible to poisonous people?

Some people can’t be pleased and some people won’t be good for you. Many times that will have nothing to do with you. It’s them that have the problem, but they don’t see it that way. Poisonous people will look at all your insecurities and use them against you. They are able to get in your life by making you feel worthless.

Be confident and own your own faults, your quirks and the things that make you shine. You don’t need anyone’s approval to be happy. If someone is working hard to manipulate, it’s probably because they need yours. Poisonous people are broken and empty, which is why they need to prey on others. One of the surefire ways to make sure they don't do this to you is by learning to say no, standing strong in who you are, and not wavering your confidence. Don’t be afraid of what they may say or do, because you are doing what is best for your happiness.

Relationships are complex and it may not be easy to deal with toxic people until you have learned from previous interactions. One you know the signs, though, it will be easier to spot and let these people go. The bottom line is that if you feel bad about yourself as a result of a relationship with another person, it’s time to sit down and assess the issue. They may be unlikely to change, but you can.

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