Toxic people are the worst. We all know who I’m talking about: those energy vampires, the ones that drain the life out of you by being controlling or needy. And I’m sure that, as you’re reading this, you had at least one specific person come to mind.
Dealing with toxic people – especially around the holidays – can be extremely difficult. Maybe they are family members who you feel obligated to see around this time of year. Maybe it’s a so-called friend with whom you can’t quite yet cut those ties. Or maybe it’s your boss; you feel like he is the one who makes sure that your family is fed, but you can’t get out of that situation at the moment.
In some situations, we simply aren’t in a position to end those relationships, for whatever reason. But we can’t allow those people to destroy us. So what do we do? The best thing is to set up boundaries. You can’t control what other people do, but you can control the types of behaviors that you consider acceptable and will deal with. Call someone out when they speak down to you. Don’t answer the phone when that ‘friend’ calls you in the middle of the night. Wait to respond to that email until you’re back from vacation. There are many small things that we can do to say, “No, I won’t put up with this treatment.”
Remember that not getting your way is not the same as someone crossing boundaries. For example, quitting your job because you didn’t get that promotion you wanted isn’t necessarily you upholding boundaries. But it’s important to hold people accountable. We can’t afford to let people walk all over us or suck out our energy. The most successful people in the world are the ones who dare to speak up.