Regardless of whether toxic people are relatives (even parents and siblings), friends, acquaintances, or co-workers, they play a huge part in our lives and can be a real problem if we let them. Often toxic people are narcissists. They can be very dangerous to your wellbeing if you let them stay in your life, and most narcissists cannot be cured of their condition.

Realize That Toxic People Will Not Change

Often this is hard to accept because you may love the person. But toxic people usually do not accept their issues and try to place blame on everyone around them. They won’t change because they don’t think they need to change. They’ll declare you’re the problem when it’s really them. Accept that they’re just not going to change and nothing you do has any power over them. This doesn’t make you less of a person or less important; it’s just that their condition will never allow it.

Develop Safe Boundaries and Maintain Them

When you realize you’re dealing with a toxic person, especially if there is no real way to escape them such as if they’re a co-worker (although you can get another job), set boundaries and stick to them. For example, you don’t want them to talk to you, call you, or get in touch with you in any way shape or form, ever. This is very clear, but you’ll have to be very firm and stick to it.

If it’s an ex-spouse, this can be harder to do that if it’s a co-worker. It’s hard if it’s a parent, but it doesn’t matter how close they are to you; if they’re toxic and make your life miserable, you must let them go and stick to it.

Avoid Being Pulled into Their Crises

Sometimes when you seek to end the relationship, they’ll try to pull you back in by making you part of their crises. Avoid allowing this to happen. When they try, ignore it and just move on. This is normal when you’re leaving someone who is toxic. They sometimes think of themselves as a sort of puppet master. They believe they can control others and often they do because people are too polite.

Accept Your Own Problems

You’re not perfect either but you aren’t responsible for someone els’ issues. However, you are responsible for yourself. If you have done things you’re not proud of due to the toxic relationship, accept it and then work on changing that about yourself so that you can do better in other relationships.

Realize They May Try to Stay

This is especially true when it’s a relative. They may beg you, they may promise you, but they’ll try to turn it around to be all your fault too. They don’t ultimately accept that it’s a problem they have, and you’ll soon be able to tell if you stick to your guns because they’ll keep trying in increasingly abusive ways to get your attention. If it’s dangerous, get the law involved so you can get a restraining order.

Accept Their Power Over You

This may seem contrary to good advice, but it’s true that they have had power over you and they’ll try to use it. If they’re a relative, a spouse, or someone you love, this is going to make it even harder. But the thing is, even if someone is related to you that doesn’t make them less toxic and dangerous to you. You’re going to be much healthier when you realize it’s okay to feel something for them, even if you must love them from afar due to their toxic nature.

Choose Your Battles

When you’re deciding to cut someone out of your life, it’s important to choose your battles. For example, if you work with someone, they may have to speak to you about work. Let them know that’s all you want from them. If your ex-husband needs to talk to you about the kids, you may still have to speak to them about the kids. Don’t fight about everything. Choose only battles you can win, because a toxic person will never agree with you about anything and will fight with you every chance they get about literally anything.

Find Healthy Relationships

As you end toxic relationships, it helps to replace them with healthy ones. You can’t replace your mom, dad, or kids, but you can find people who give you those feelings. That way you’re not sitting around thinking about them all the time. Even when someone is toxic to you, it can take some time to get to the point where you can move on without being upset and sad.

Getting toxic people out of your life can be a process. The process isn’t always pleasant. Sometimes it’s downright difficult. Sometimes it’s heartbreaking. But, if you get yourself into the frame of mind that you want to be your own best friend, your own lover, your own caretaker and do the right thing as you would for your child, then you can do it because it’s the right thing to do for yourself.