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If you're like me, you've probably had a toxic person in your life. Maybe it was an ex who made you feel bad about yourself and left you second-guessing everything. Maybe it's a coworker who never seems to be satisfied with anything you do, no matter how hard you try. Or maybe it's just that friend who always needs something from you but never offers anything in return—and then complains if he or she doesn't get what they want! Regardless of what form toxicity takes for you, there are ways to protect yourself from these people without sacrificing your own happiness:
It is not selfish to put your needs first sometimes.
We are conditioned to believe that being self-aware and putting yourself first is somehow “bad” or “wrong.” It's not. Self-awareness is an extremely important part of any healthy relationship, whether it be romantic or platonic. If you're in a relationship with someone who makes you feel bad about yourself for wanting time away from them, then I'm sorry to say that person isn't worth being around—and you shouldn't let their opinions dictate how you feel about yourself.
The truth is there are times when we need alone time and no one should make us feel guilty for taking care of ourselves in those moments; even if it means saying no to something they want us to do (or yes... if they ask nicely). We all deserve our own space and self-care rituals!
Knowing when to say no, take a break and distance yourself from the toxic person is important. When you’re being pulled in too many directions or feel drained and exhausted, it’s time to take a step back.
The following are some signs that you need to remove yourself from the toxic relationship:
You dread seeing them or talking to them on the phone
They constantly put you down
They criticize everything that you do
They never have anything good to say about anyone else but themselves
If this is happening for more than a few weeks or months at a time (or if it happens frequently), then it's time for YOU—and only YOU—to decide whether this person will continue having an impact on your life going forward.
If someone makes you feel guilty for saying no, it's their problem, not yours. You are giving them too much importance.
It is important that you protect your time and energy by setting boundaries with toxic people in your life so that they don't suck the life out of you. If someone doesn't like that then they need to take responsibility for their own feelings and learn how to deal with them appropriately rather than playing games with your head!
In order to avoid unhealthy relationships, it's important to take care of yourself first. If someone is constantly bringing you down or making you feel bad about yourself, your best bet is to distance yourself from that person. It can be difficult to keep toxic people out of your life, but if you want to be a healthy person who can help others in their times of need—and not let them drag you down—you'll have no choice but to set boundaries and walk away from negativity.
You can choose your own happiness over anything else. It's not selfish to put yourself first; you have a right to be happy, too! You can't help someone who doesn't want help, and you definitely can't change anyone but yourself.
It's okay if your toxic friends don't want to change themselves or their behavior—it's not your job to fix them or chase after them when they run away from you. Instead of wasting time on people who don’t give back what you give them, take a look around and see if there are other people in your life who make it better by being there for you or making it easier for everyone involved when good things happen. If there are such people around already (and I hope that there are!), then invest as much time as possible with these folks so that the positive effects spread even further around the world!
In the end, you have to be happy with your decision. You should always feel comfortable with your choices, even if they aren't the right ones. If you don't feel happy with yourself, then there's no point in making any decisions at all!
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