The onset of a New Year gives us all a perfect opportunity to reflect on personal growth and set resolutions for positive change. If you are involved in a toxic abusive relationship (TAR), the journey to self-improvement may seem challenging – but the journey is worthwhile for your emotional and physical health.
The new year also allows us time to figure out what we want out of the year ahead and craft a plan to achieve those personal goals. However, we all know that’s easier said than done under the controlling glare of the narcissistic light that looms over us.
This month, I will be writing a series of articles that offer some ideas on what you can tackle as New Year’s resolutions. Today’s topic is…
Identifying and Cutting Toxic People Out of Your Life
Toxic people usually hide in plain sight. It’s likely that you know who they are, but over time, the behavior that makes you feel bad or angry becomes normal – inspiring you to forget that you were even dealing with a toxic person.
If you’re in the throes of toxic relationships or friendships, here are some ways that you can figure out who those people are and rid yourself of them.
What are some of the telltale signs?
- Toxic people are very good manipulators. They continually exercise control over who you see, what you do, and other things that should be in your hands.
- They gossip. Toxic people love to gossip and will do so behind your back every chance they get.
- Toxic people always feel the need to be right. They will argue that whatever comes out of their mouth is the truth, even when they are blatantly lying. They will warp the truth or the situation to benefit their argument and make it believable.
- They don’t listen, and they don’t respect boundaries. What do I mean here? For example, let’s imagine that you told a toxic friend or partner that they are constantly belittling you in front of your family and friends. Rather than accepting responsibility, they will completely disregard what you’ve said and continue behaving as they see fit.
What can you do?
- Keep all face-to-face interactions to a minimum. You can’t always avoid a toxic person. The toxic people in our lives can be our roommates, our coworkers, or our classmates. If at all possible, avoid them at all costs. If they approach you, end the conversation as quickly and as kindly as possible. You don’t have to be rude, but you certainly don’t have to put up with their behavior.
- Reject all of their invitations. Rejection hurts, and it will certainly open up an opportunity for the toxic person to position themselves as a victim – and then spread gossip about you. This is important – if you want someone out of your life or at least out of your immediate space, you have to take the lead, follow through, and reject them.
Remember, cutting these people out of your life or creating space between you and them is absolutely necessary. You can’t grow as a person if you constantly have to deal with people who make you feel stressed, angry, and terrible. As the new year starts, wave goodbye to toxic people as you start your journey on a path to a happier you!
In order to become a happy new you, we suggest you practice self-care.
Make self-care a top priority in the coming year. This resolution involves nurturing your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Take 10-15 minutes at least once a day to check in with yourself. Ask yourself how you feel, and figure out what you can do immediately to feel better. In a toxic relationship, you may have become resigned to a toxic person telling you (verbally or nonverbally) that practicing self-care was selfish and that your feelings don’t matter.
Reflect and Learn!
Take time to reflect on experiences and lessons learned. Use the new year as an opportunity for self-discovery and personal growth. Reflecting on patterns in toxic relationships can provide valuable insights into your own behaviors, guiding you to make more informed choices. Most likely, you didn’t know the toxic person was toxic when you first met them. Toxic people hide their abusive behaviors well. The important thing is that you develop the ability to see when you are being mistreated and take action to protect yourself.
As you enter the new year, consider these resolutions as tools for navigating – and hopefully extricating yourself from – toxic relationships. Establishing boundaries, prioritizing self-care, seeking support, practicing assertiveness, and reflecting on personal growth can empower you to create a positive and fulfilling life.
Remember, breaking free from toxic dynamics is a process, and each small step forward is a victory on the path to a healthier, happier you. All of us at TAR Network™ wish you a happy and toxic-free 2024!
In addition to presenting these articles related to New Year’s resolutions, TAR Network would love to help you usher in 2024 with health, happiness, and authenticity.
If you would like to be part of Dr. Jamie’s series “Get Unstuck from TAR and Narcissistic Abuse in 2024” please send an e-mail to mila@TARNetwork.org. Addiction to toxic and narcissistic people is real, and we want to help you set necessary boundaries. Using an analogy from folklore, “TARred & Feathered” will focus on removing – or de-tarring – toxic individuals from your life. Webinars will begin during the week of January 8th.
Wishing you all the best in 2024 as you reclaim your life.
About the Author
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