To whomever this relates to,

There is a person that has made a huge impact in your life, whether it is a family member or a friend, and you want to keep them around but they are truly toxic to you. They make you feel that you are not good enough or take away your confidence to be who you truly are. Every time you are around them they suck the air out of the room, causing you to suffocate as a result. You end up worrying more about them or spending more time trying to please their unquenchable wants and needs. Spoiler alert, you will never satisfy them, in fact, the more you spend on them will make you feel less of an adequate person. They are like a leech, sucking the energy from you. This is not normal or okay.

I urge you to cut the toxic person out of your life completely. If you cannot do that then slowly distance yourself from them. It is not worth your sanity to continue on, trust me. I have experienced it quite a few times since I am a natural people-pleaser. I want everyone around me to radiate happiness but for some, being happy will not exist since they will never be content with a job well done. It makes you feel worthless and leads to a state of depression. Some even make you feel like you are the toxic or crazy one. The mind games drive you insane until you finally hit rock bottom and think, "This is not normal."

So how can you distance yourself from them? Well, you have already recognized the issue so that is a solid step in the right direction. Now move on by setting some firm boundaries that they cannot cross. By setting boundaries, you are showing them that their behavior is not appropriate and you will not put up with it. In this, you need to make sure that when the push the boundaries, because they will sooner or later, that you do not back down. Boundaries for toxic people must be rigid because they will push to see how much they can get out of you. Also, it is beneficial to find and keep a solid support system for yourself during this time. Whether this is another friend or family member, make them aware of the situation so that they can help if needed.

Some of you may think, "Well, I cannot distance myself from the toxic person in my life. So what now?" You will get through it. In fact, there are ways to cope with those that you cannot avoid, such as family members or co-workers. Again SET LIMITS. I cannot stress this enough. By putting limitations in place, you are essentially putting a boundary around yourself that says, "you cannot overstep me" in a subtle way. Also, toxic people can be very persuasive and charismatic. Do not fall for their tricks, look through them and visualize the motive that they have behind all of it. It is also important to be aware and in control of your emotions. You cannot control them but you can control how you react to their actions. When you feel overwhelmed with emotion, try to find the things in life that are concrete. Count the objects around you. State what you are doing. Finally, use "I feel" instead of "You are" because they will be defensive to your language. By stating how you feel or factual information that they cannot argue with, you are stripping them from using your words against you or twisting them for their prerogative.

It is so hard to deal with toxic people, but you will make it out a better person. My mom always says that there is a takeaway from every situation so maybe you can benefit from this experience in some way. I believe in you to make it out of this.