“Don’t let toxic people infect you with the fear of giving and receiving one of the most powerful forces in this world… LOVE!” ~ Yvonne Pierre
Protecting Yourself from Toxic People
I got to a place in my life, where I have learned to honor everyone I come into contact with. To treat everyone with love and respect. To be kind, sincere, transparent and loving with all human beings – it’s how I treat myself, so it feels natural to treat those around me in the same way. But there are times when I ask myself whether that’s a right thing to do. Whether it’s okay to think that there is goodness in everyone and that all people are kind and loving.
When you encounter all kind of toxic people who use one another for their own selfish interests, perceiving others as tools and objects that are meant to help them get the things they want in life, and when they lie and act with a lack of love and integrity, you start to question your own behavior. You start to question whether you are right to think that all people are good and whether you should close your heart to people just so that you won’t get hurt.
“Of course, when I say that human nature is gentleness, it is not 100 percent so. Every human being has that nature, but there are many people acting against their nature, being false.” ~ Dalai Lama
Dalai Lama was right. Underneath it all we are all good, we are all pure, kind and loving, but unfortunately, not everyone lives life from that place. And in order for you to continue to live life with your heart wide open, no longer fearing the toxic and unhealthy behavior of others, you need to make sure that you get clear on who you are – what matters to you, and how you want to live your life. Because by doing so, you will know how to protect yourself from toxic people who act against their true nature.
Here are 8 clever ways to deal with toxic people without allowing their toxic behavior to contaminate your heart.
1. Pay close attention to the signals of your heart.
“The heart has its reasons, which reason does not know. We feel it in a thousand things. It is the heart which experiences God, and not the reason. This, then, is faith: God felt by the heart, not by the reason.” ~ Blaise Pascal
If you love to live your life with your heart wide open, and if being kind, generous, loving and compassionate are things that come naturally to you, continue doing what you are doing. Continue being yourself. Don’t keep your light from shining and don’t try to shut your love from others simply because some people have a problem with that. But make sure to always pay close attention to the signals your heart and soul are sending your way.
If you feel that something is off about a certain person, and even if to your rational mind it makes no sense to feel what you are feeling, choose to listen to your heart. Pay close attention to the signals your heart is sending your way and act accordingly. Keep in mind that people are not always what they seem.
“People trust their eyes above all else – but most people see what they wish to see, or what they believe they should see; not what is really there” ~ Zoë Marriott
“And thus I clothe my naked villainy With odd old ends stol’n out of holy writ; And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.” ― William Shakespeare
A great way to protect yourself from toxic people is by understanding that we live in a world where people wear all kind of masks, pretending to be something they are not and constantly playing different roles and adopting different attitudes based on the people they interact with. One moment they wear a certain costume, and the next one, a totally different one. Depending on who they interact with, and depending on how much they think you can help them to get the things they want out of life, they are either charming or not so charming.
Pay close attention to how people interact not just with you, but with everyone around you. See if there is attitude-behavior consistency. And if you notice their behavior changing based on the importance of the person they interact with, you should keep your eyes wide open and start seeing them for who they truly are and not for who they pretend to be.
“Be slow to fall into friendship; but when thou art in, continue firm and constant.” ~Socrates
Even though it’s nice to have a lot of friends, you have to remember that real friendships take time. They don’t just happen overnight. In order for you to build a real and valuable friendship, and in order for you to have a deep and profound connection with someone, you have to first lay a strong foundation. So make sure you lay a strong foundation first before rushing into calling someone your BFF.
“There comes a time in your life when you have to let go of all the pointless drama and the people who create it and surround yourself with people who make you laugh so hard that you forget the bad and focus solely on the good. After all, life is too short to be anything but happy.” ~ Karl Marx (composer)
Respect yourself enough to walk away from all those toxic people who are poisoning your heart, your mind, your soul and your life. Listen to what your heart is telling you. Pay close attention to the feelings in your body, and choose to be honest with yourself. Let no one keep you from living your life in a loving, peaceful, harmonious and balanced way.
“Don’t take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.” ~ Don Miguel Ruiz
No matter how many times you get hurt because of what others say or do to you, you should always remind yourself that their toxic and unhealthy words, actions and behaviors have little or nothing to do with you, but a lot to do with who they are. Keep in mind that people give what they have in their hearts to give. And if they act in selfish, mean, unkind and loving ways, that’s because their hearts are full of fear, full of darkness, and full of pain. Don’t take it personally.
6. Don’t let the toxic behavior of one person make you think that all people are toxic.
“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
Chances are that you will encounter quite a few people who will use you, who will lie to you, and who will do things that will cause you to feel hurt, disappointed and betrayed. And even though your mind might try to generalize, wanting you to think that all people are mean and evil and that you can’t really trust anyone, you have to make sure that you don’t allow those things to become your beliefs. Don’t allow the toxic behavior of one person to cause you to think that all people are bad.
7. Never fight fire with fire… you’ll end up in ashes.
“People who fight fire with fire usually end up with ashes.” – Pauline Phillips
If someone acts against their true nature, being false, and projecting their pain and hurt onto you, you have to be very careful not to fall into the trap of thinking that you have to “fight them with the same weapons”. Because if you do, if you fight fire with fire, and anger with hate and resentment, without even realizing it, you will start acting against your true nature; being false and allowing your heart to be poisoned by all that darkness and negativity. Don’t fight fire with fire.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
A great way to protect yourself from toxic people is though love. Because love is who we are. Love is what gives us power, radiance, and strength to continue to believe in the goodness of people and the beauty of life. There is no force more powerful than that of love. A pure, honest and loving heart, even though it is seen by many as a “weak” and “soft heart”, it is one of the most powerful weapons you can have against everything that is dark, evil and unkind.
Love is your superpower. And if you can let love be your guide, keeping your heart safe and protected at all times, then you will know how to live in peace and harmony among people who aren’t always acting in alignment with their pure, kind and loving nature. You will know how to love those who act in unkind and unloving ways towards you. And by doing so, your heart will be filled with more and more love and radiance, and your life with more and more beauty, prosperity, happiness and abundance of all kind.
What about you? When faced with toxic people, do you fight fire with fire? How do you protect yourself from toxic people? You can share your comment in the comment section below