mean toxic peopleWhatever the underlying reason is, we’re all going to bump into mean, toxic people in our life.

And then it’s up to us to figure out how best to handle them, and retain our peace and wellbeing.

Nasty toxic behavior hurts. It also delivers a double whammy of confusion whilst stealing our very life energy.

Not the greatest feeling in the world.

Experiences with mean, toxic people can be brutal. But you truly don’t have to accept being repeatedly demeaned or bullied by your boss, or partner or family member.

You can protect yourself and your very sense of self and wellbeing.

You can find ways to alter your perspective and put in place some much needed boundaries against the meanest, most toxic people you come across.

The bottom line is that the obnoxious boss who asks for your input, tells you that your ideas are terrible and then later produces them as his own, no longer needs to have the power to upset you.

And the sibling who always rains on your parade, no longer has the right to disrespect you.

Or the partner who manages to laughingly share your mistakes with others and tells you that you’re being overly sensitive when you ask them not to, can no longer steal your dignity and self-worth.

Here’s some basic skills to arm yourself with, when it’s difficult or impossible to cut all ties with the mean toxic people in your life.

1. Limit your exposure 

In the work place try to ensure a new seating arrangement if you’re sitting close to toxicity incarnate.

It’s wise to not sit too close the them, lest you become like them.

According to Dylon Minor of the Kellogg School of Management, meanness and nastiness can be catching. Don’t let the shadows of their darkness darken your days.

At home you likely need the help of a professional who can show you how to best navigate the murky waters of toxicity in your personal relationships.

2. Manage your reactions

Set boundaries. Start saying ’No’ to requests that feel unreasonable. Take a breath before responding and remember you don’t have to justify yourself.

Take action today to buffer yourself from stress by strengthening your ties to those who treat you with the respect you deserve.

They’ll help you balance your perspective and give you a reality check that allows you to see that within you is a treasure worth so much more than anything anyone can say or do.

And if the mean one is someone you live with, and you are not ready to manage the situation in a more lasting way: like removing yourself permanently, find outside activities that give you a break.

Take a class, join a club. This not only gives you a fresh, healthier environment, but you’ll gain a true sense of yourself in relationship to the rest of the world.

3. Don’t expect empathy

Trying to explain yourself and expect an understanding of your point of view is generally a waste of your breath and time.

And regardless of whether those mean, toxic people care about you or your problems, remember that true happiness begins to arrive when you stop looking at life from the perspective of being a victim of these people.

Within you is an inner power that nothing in this world can stand against. So smile and be proud of the being that you are. This is the path to success when handling mean, toxic people.

You can be proud in knowing you made the effort to be the best you possible in any situation.

4. Avoid mean toxic people where possible

Lastly, practice spotting the mean, toxic ones before you’re on the receiving end of their venom.

Recognize the traits. The drama queens. The aggressors. Those who display little regard for the feelings of others.

You deserve to be valued and respected in all areas of life. At home, at work, in families, but the mean and toxic can be found in all these places.

This doesn’t mean you have to grin and bear it.

Arm yourself with these few skills for spotting and managing the mean toxic people around you and life will become less stressful, happier and certainly a lot more peaceful.

The last word

Goes to Don Miguel Luiz….

“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.”

Encourage one another.

Love Elle


Elle Sommer is the author of 4 books and a workbook. Her latest publications are a series called The Power of Consciousness, and you will find all three books in this trilogy now available on Kindle. She shares quotes, inspiration and positive vibes on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And her greatest desire is to encourage and inspire others to create not just a good life, but a phenomenal life.


  1. Margaret

    Dear Elle,
    Thanks for this well worded and positive note to wake up the parts of our persons that must always seek higher ground when dealing with negative people. I believe in live and let live and now more than ever recognize that my biggest role/job is to create my happiness…in spite of…beside…and now I practice…through it all!

    • Hi Margaret…that’s so wonderful…you are just the kind of person I want in my life. 🙂

  2. I love that quote from Don Miguel Ruiz! It really hits the essence. These are such helpful tips, Elle. It’s easy to become embroiled with people who are not good for us. We need this encouragement to know that we don’t have stay and allow ourselves to be hurt and bullied.

    • Isn’t that the truth Sandra. And for so many, it’s a hard thing to do…to take care of themselves in this way. 🙂

Pin It