This is a topic near and dear to my heart. I grew up in an environment where I had to deal with toxic people. The thing is, it’s less how you deal with them and more how you deal with yourself.
Unfortunately toxic people do exist, and their toxic traits make them very difficult to be around and are a drain on the mental health of the people around them.
The typical advice given to those living with them is to get out and live on your own as soon as possible. Unfortunately, that is not possible for some due to financial or cultural circumstances, and so there needs to be guidance on what to do while actively living with toxic people.
Here are my top tips for dealing with toxic people when you live with them.
Tune Out Toxic People
When I was growing up, I dealt with a lot of yelling from my parents. This created a toxic environment. Tuning them out turned into my best option when their yelling became overwhelming. I would listen to music, absorb myself in a book, or absorb myself in researching information. If they were yelling at me, I would respond as little as possible, and then go to my room.
It is necessary for our mental health to take breaks. This might mean going to take a bath, going to the restroom in order to ‘get away,’ taking a walk; going to local hotspots, visiting friends; anything you can do to have time away from the toxicity is going to benefit your mental health.
Love Toxic People from a Distance
We may still love the toxic people in our lives, and that is okay – it’s normal to do so. However, when loving toxic people, it’s advisable to love them from a distance.
What does that look like when you live with them, though? It means staying on guard for the benefit of your own mental health. Be on the lookout for when toxic traits (such as gaslighting or manipulation) are being used against you. Don’t fall for it.
One thing toxic people want you to believe is that you are at fault for the situation in the household; that you are the cause of their suffering. It’s not true. Don’t let your love for them cause you to bend over backwards in trying to satisfy their negative traits.
It’s easy to feel like you aren’t supported if you isolate yourself around a toxic person. Unfortunately, that is often the case. It’s important to reach out to friends, teachers, and others in your life that can support you when you need it.
Practice Self-Love, Practice Self-Care
Unfortunately, the love that toxic people claim to have for those around them is merely a shell of what love actually looks like. It is imperative to recognize your own inherent value as a person, and practice self-love and self-care on a regular basis. You most likely won’t be getting it from the toxic person, unfortunately.
Know that the following is true above all else, regardless of how the toxic person makes you feel: Yes, you are good enough. You have value. You have love to give and love to receive. You are worthy. You have potential. You are smart. You are beautiful.