Toxic People:What They Do And How To Deal With It

A toxic person is someone whose behavior adds negativity and stress to your life. The more time you spend around them, the worse you feel. The problem is toxic people are often hard to spot and even harder to deal with. Listen in to discover the subtle early signs that someone is toxic and learn how to set boundaries with more ease. Take back your power once and for all!

1 (6s):
Welcome to spirited straight talk the podcast to help you thrive with the help of spirit. I’m Deb Shepard, psychic medium spiritual teacher and author. Each week, I bring new insights to help you heal from loss connect with spirit and turned setbacks into triumphs. So let’s get started.

2 (26s):
There’s one thing I know we, the people love to help people. It’s feeling of value that we’re needed, that we help make a difference in people’s lives. And, and we do that. We certainly enjoy where people see us, or we, they hear a podcast or read our book and say, that was so helpful. There there’s a good feeling about that. However, doesn’t mean you are attracting toxic people because of that. And that’s our topic today about relationships that become toxic and also to look at, are you a toxic person in someone else’s life?

2 (1m 6s):
Because I know when I have been around individuals that just seem to dump on you, that they always have the same issues or the same problems. You feel like the life just got sucked out of you. And the first thing I wanna do is take a shower, have a cocktail and watch them humor. Right? Don’t you feel that too data minute grow around people sometimes. And we are trying to listen and, and be there for people. But there’s times where it just feels like the same person has saying the same thing, the same, same thing over and over. Yeah. And we’ve talked about this in our podcast about creating boundaries. So there are boundaries with toxic individuals, but I also know that we sometimes keep trying to, let’s say, fix the person that’s toxic.

2 (1m 55s):
Like maybe we’ll say one thing or do one thing. And then all of a sudden their life changes. But unfortunately, those people are really addicted to those circumstances. They love having that story. You mean people who wanna help or both sides or the, or the one who, okay. I think both sides. I think the toxic person loves having the story. They love resharing. It, they, they feel like it creates their, their worthiness and they regurgitate yeah. Over and over and over and over again, instead of making the change. Right. There’s one, there’s a difference when someone needs help and you know, you’re there to listen. It’s that person that’s constantly, it might be a different story, but the same circumstances.

2 (2m 38s):
And then if you are the person that is addicted to helping people. Yeah. Because that creates a lot of value, especially if you’re not happy in certain aspects of your life, the first thing you feel is like, if I can help that person, that’s gonna make me feel good. Like, you know, or you’re driven by that. Yes. Yeah. You’re driven to help because of how it makes you feel. So you feel like you have, have to help everyone. Yes. Yeah. And you are just gonna, eventually you’re gonna burn it. Yeah. It sucked dry. Yes. That can really happen. And, and I think I wanna look at different circumstances of this because you may just have a friendship that is toxic, which is a different type than it may be a family member or coworker.

2 (3m 20s):
If you’re in that coworker situation, you may feel as a healer or someone, that’s a great listener that this person always comes into your office or into your space, always dumping on you. And how do you manage that if you’re not their boss, those things. Right. And then if it’s a family member, of course, you know, you wanna support your family. And at what point do you kind of step back and create the right words and the right situation. So that you’re not being mean because you don’t wanna be mean or insensitive and not have compassion. Right. Right. But also figuring out what the attachment is for you.

2 (4m 1s):
Why are you cultivating it? Why are you adding more energy to that relationship? And if you are trying to help somebody that’s toxic, but you complain about it to somebody else over and over, it’s the same cycle. So what you wanna look at is how do you not take that energy on and then go to somebody else and complain what they keep doing to you. So, right. I think there’s a difference. Like I remember being in a situation a few years back where I was constantly complaining about the relationship I was in. It was like, this was wrong and this was wrong. And it really was wrong. All this stuff really was bad right.

2 (4m 41s):
In the relationship. And it was very toxic, but I kept complaining about it and complaining about it, trying to figure out what should I do. And finally, I realized, you know, when I started making decisions, it was stop talking about it, do something, do something. So I think there’s a difference between that type of, or do you feel there’s a difference between that type of processing versus somebody who is toxically trying to get your help on everything, or I, I think it is that there’s times that we do need to process a hundred percent before you end a partnership or leave your job or get angry, of course, is there is a process.

2 (5m 27s):
You know, one of my things that I teach is to record your story and listen to it several times a day. People don’t wanna do that, but it’s important to listen to yourself to understand that’s what you’re sending to the universe. And this is what you’re telling people. And how do you think life is gonna change? If that’s your story that you’re sharing and thinking, especially if all of a sudden people start to leave you and start to exit from your life, you know, something’s going on. So yeah, pay attention, pay attention. And again, there’s so much therapy and books and like us, you know, we have our podcasts that can be helpful, but it’s about taking accountability and making the changes in your life.

2 (6m 9s):
And so we have a lot of ideas of how to manage someone that keeps showing up in your life. That is toxic things that you can do, that you can implement that will begin to kind of shift that energy with that person. Because if you keep trying to respond to it, that person is going to continue. It’s like a child that gets upset. And instead of giving them new tools or giving them a time out and we keep talking about it, that kid is so getting attention, we’re putting energy on it. So we talk about this a lot where we, I don’t wanna say a lot occasionally where getting together with somebody, random, somebody in our life I’m, you know, not anybody particular, but where we find it difficult to make that time sometimes because it’s like, you know, walking away is like, you’ve been dumped.

2 (7m 1s):
All this energy has been dumped on you and you feel like you have to cleanse yourself up, right. Take the shower, you know, not, you know, not to say that friendships, you don’t get together with somebody and then talk about what’s going on in life. Yeah. And stuff like that. But if it’s, there’s a difference between being there for family and friends and coworkers and people are like supporting them, supporting them. It’s a difference between that. And someone we’re gonna talk about this, about the difference in the relationship to, to understand the signs that you may wanna look at this relationship and maybe not support it the way you’ve been doing it. Okay. And that’s, so you have some specific things that will help you identify that then.

2 (7m 40s):
Absolutely. I think there, I think I wrote down like nine of, of these things to look at, and then we’ll, we’ll continue with that. But one of them is, what is your part in this relationship? Like, what are you getting? So if it’s a marriage, a business partnership, do you feel like you have to support this relationship versus just a friend that maybe you think, you know what, I just need to let this go. Cause there is a difference. And what part are you playing in it? And is that relationship, are they doing their part? And we’re gonna, as we go through these statements or things that I I’ve written down is to look at how that works. Are you giving 95% and they’re giving five or they still taking a hundred percent.

2 (8m 20s):
So that’s where you wanna create those boundaries, see your value in a different way. And how much do you continue to enable that individual? The second one, are they interested in your life? And you, and I find that where I think, and I think people are not trained or maybe it’s social media, these kind of platforms where people just post things and they don’t really ask questions, or there’s not a response. So if you’re not getting questions from, from that individual, they’re not like you say something and they just move on with whatever they’re, they’re talking. Yeah. And, and there’s more things about those conversations, but it’s never about, well, how are you doing? Or what did you do this weekend?

2 (9m 1s):
Or how was that vacation? It’s just about them. And that’s where you know that, that this there to basically suck up the vibes that you’ve got. And that’s why you’re gonna feel drained. And as we talk about some of the ideas that you can do, that will help shift that energy for you. I hear about this. When people in offices like that, person’s coming towards you and you’re, and you’re like, oh shit, oh shit. They come. Or family, you know, scenarios or whatever that is that you, you feel your whole body feels, it has a lot more extra weight when you have, this is never three. When you have something good to share, do they make you, do they turn it around and make it about them? Do they make you feel guilty for your success?

2 (9m 42s):
Do they say well, that will never happen for me. Or you’ll always have the best luck. I never have good luck making you feel ashamed for your success. Again, that is a person that’s toxic. They can’t be your cheerleader. And they really don’t wanna support you in life. And, and right there, like a comment of, yeah, I did that three years ago. Yeah. That one or, well, they try to one up, you always, the one uppers I call ’em they’re one upper. Oh yeah. It’s, you know, I don’t mind that they share their experience fixer up already. It’s kidding. And you know, I don’t care that they shared that they had a similar experience, but why can’t they give you that know one minute, a 60 seconds of, wow.

2 (10m 25s):
That is really cool. I’m so happy for you. And I had that experience and it really made a difference in my life versus making you feel like yours is not of value, right? For you have a tendency just like this to hold back and not share your success because they like to make your situation worse. And again, just like what we said, well, I’ve already done that. And it took you long enough to get there or whatever their statements are. So you just don’t say, so you end up not being authentic. You pretend in the relationship or they just bypass what you just told them, which means they’re not listening. They’re not actively listening to you. They’re thinking about their response instead of having that back and forth, understanding and conversation.

2 (11m 12s):
Yeah. We see this in sales. You see it all the time. Oh God. It drives me nuts. So that means toxic nuts. You watch day, cuz you’ve been in marketing all your life and we’re trying to explain what our needs are or what we’re telling them, what we like or dislike about the situation. And they don’t listen. They don’t listen. They’re cutting you off. And you just had this happen this last week. Did I, with that mortgage company, they wouldn’t listen to. Oh and wanted you to apologize to, to him it out. Yeah. We had it out. Cause and that’s that toxic person. Yeah. He wasn’t listening. She just, he was about him and I’m usually really patient until the third time I have to explain something or try to make myself clear.

2 (11m 59s):
And then I get really impatient. And they’re like, where did you come from from? Well, if you, if you let me finish my sentence go and I’ve had to really learn not to interrupt. This has been a big thing for me cuz I would, you know, someone’s told me like, oh this is really great. What, when they’re not done or try to give ’em an answer. And I’ve really had to bite my tongue and listen and listen because it is a technique. It is a practice and people wanna be heard. And so that’s the key here is they want you to actively listen to what they’re saying before you respond is like, listen and contemplate what they’re saying before and respond to what they’re saying versus jumping to another topic or conclusion.

2 (12m 43s):
Yeah. Or acknowledging when you said this, that brought this to mind, that’s a better way to communicate. And this really is about, you know, the language of love, I guess, listening to whoever is in your life. And if they’re not listening to you, how much do you have to participate in the toxic relationship? And that’s part of it. I think that’s a big problem in our society right now is listening. What listening is an art. It really is. I feel like listening is 50% of how to have a conversation. And so many people have trouble with it.

2 (13m 25s):
And even if you read any books regarding good communicators, that is the number one thing, learning to listen and actively respond with. Not, not having your agenda unless you wanna get rid of ’em and get ’em out the room right away or situation. Maybe, maybe that’s different. Yeah. They also, so also they will turn, turn around a situation to make it about them. We talked about that six was they have to advise you so they feel better. You only ask for their question, but you’re just sort of talking and they start giving you advice. You know, that’s fingernails on a that’s fingernails on a chalkboard for me. Right? Remember that when people are talking to you about a problem, don’t feel like you have to respond with a solution because that ends up having there’s more tension with the communication instead by saying thank you for sharing.

2 (14m 17s):
This is my joke. When someone shares and they’ve crossed boundaries and I don’t want to have advice at that time, I say, thanks for sharing because I don’t wanna put more energy into it. But bottom line is don’t give advice. It might be saying, well, I I’m listening to this. You want my insight? You just wanna share sort of set the intention in the beginning of what they’re needing. If they’re talking to you because then you know that it could just be, you’re a listening ear, but don’t try to give advice most of the time, people just wanna have you listen, I feel, unless they say, what do you think? Right. So I really do try not to give that’s just me, myself. I try not to give advice unless I’m asked for it, but because we have a tendency to wanna solve it for them.

2 (15m 3s):
Yeah. Yeah. And I think there’s another way of doing it. That is more powerful. And it’s also not dragging out that conversation if you’re not wanting to be in that situation with that individual. Yeah. So that, that can part of it very true. Seven. They seem to judge at the beginning of the encounter. So they may, if you start talking to somebody and this is, if you are not the toxic person, they already feel like they’re judging you or you feel like you’re judging that individual. So it’s how do you take that piece out so that you’re not engaging more, I guess, or not taking that on. And I always talk with the law of attraction, how energy feels.

2 (15m 44s):
And sometimes if we’re carrying different intentions, it can add to that conversation or that relationship. Does that make sense? I know it sounds a little weird because you do you mean because you’re putting that energy out there of judgment or I judging you or fearing of being judged. So it just kind of bounces back and forth that energy between the two of you. Yeah. It’s not a great back and forth. It’s not like a great conversation. So again, putting your intention is what is your intention of that conversation? And especially for the person that’s toxic, which may not understand this, but if that person’s coming to you or you’re going to somebody and you’re feeling that judgment, kind of just check in a little bit and think about is that where you wanna go in this conversation?

2 (16m 28s):
Cuz I think that helps. And with Todd, we, we keep saying conversation, but you’re talking about how to deal with negativity in people when it’s just, when you’re surrounded and we all have those people in our life. Yeah. We all can name them. I just hope your name is not the toxic person. You know, that’s listening to this, but if you are start ping backwards a little bit about how you show up to the people in your life. Are you telling everybody your same story? Do you feel that you feel better by telling everybody? Yeah. Can we tell, can we tell a toxic person story? I think so. Go right ahead.

2 (17m 8s):
Which one? You’re we can edit it out so little much, but we had, we had a situation where we were dealing with a group of people and a couple of people in the group were jokingly talking about their sex life. I guess you could say where it was kind of bouncing off each other, having fun in a funny way, in a very fun way. And there was one in particular in this conversation that began to judge all those people, which completely shut the conversation down and everyone back pedaled and they, they stopped the conversation because they felt judged and not free to just that point.

2 (17m 52s):
How I that’s exactly what I’m saying. Okay. Yeah. So it’s kind of like that toxic person stepped in and created a judgment, not only a judgment, but an unsafe environment. And that’s, that’s what we wanna talk about when we have toxic people in our life is they can create an unsafe environment. Okay. And that’s that judgment. So you said it great by giving the story and the example, I could see it in my head, but I couldn’t the words out. So I, if you telepathically said that to me or what, but that’s kind of what brought to mind for me is, is that situation toxic people like to be in control.

2 (18m 33s):
They like to manipulate and you may see this person sometimes as the victim or they’re the narcissist, these are the toxic people that I’m talking about and you, you can’t change them. You can change how I always say how you respond to them, how you respond. And it’s always my number one tool for clients and students. Yes. Including ourselves is like, how do we wanna respond to this? And how do we take it on yes. How much energy do we take it on? Or do we just reflect it back? Because that’s not who you are. Correct. And look to see how many of these individuals you have in your life. So if you’ve got one or two, that’s one thing. But if you have several of these individuals, there’s something you’re attracting.

2 (19m 15s):
We talked about Bair several times. I wonder, can you just hang one around your neck when you know your, so I’m in tray and Bo’s B a G a mirror and you I’ve used it in the past to get rid of annoying neighbors and things like that. So get rid of us and have them move away to a baby place for themselves. Yeah. Please fly away. Leave this nest. What you’re looking for is to not continue to bring that in. And if you’re a person that likes drama, are you bringing it? Are, you want to know the gossip attracting it? Are you attracting it because it gets your energy going and that’s, what’s gonna be since the universe and you will find more toxic individuals.

2 (19m 57s):
So that’s what you wanna look at in part of this too many times, they’re the victim or their superior. And I think that’s what you were talking about when it’s the judgment. If you have someone that’s toxic, they will always blame mothers for their situation. They’ll never take on their part or their piece. So again, if this person’s in your life and they’re constantly the victim or feeling like they know all the answers and their superior, that would be a toxic person. And as we talk about how to disconnect and wean these people off of our lives or out of our lives, that’s what you wanna look like. Who’s toxic. What are you doing? And what part and role are you playing in these connections? Yeah, because we always have our part.

2 (20m 37s):
Yeah, absolutely. What you want to do is begin. Like I always say you wanna assess the situation and that’s what we’ll do sometimes. Well, we’ll sit down and go, how much, much energy do we wanna put into this? Sorry. That was recent. Deb Shipp has learned to listen to me recently when I feel like we might be in a place where we don’t wanna spend no time in Equin we have a podcast about equine using your energy. And it is true to realize that that’s taking up a lot of value in your life. So if your value comes from helping other people or being in this drama and, and having people that are like this, what is it about you that you wanna look at?

2 (21m 24s):
You wanna assess that is, does this really bring you joy? And cuz some people are addicted to these things. They, they, they wanna help everybody. They’re addicted to the stories. And that’s where we wanna take this to the next level. If you don’t want that. And if you like it well, okay. I think it comes up because everybody talks about, and this has been a recent thing with a lot of clients of yours that when we talk about this topic, they’re feeling sucked dry. Yes. They have no more energy coins or equines to give. Like they’re like I am just depleted and spent and tired and exhausted and we feel that way sometimes.

2 (22m 4s):
And so, especially for me, like in a crowd, I can only do so long. Correct. And I’m like, I’m, I’m depleted, it’s gone. No one has boundaries and crowds. Everyone’s trying to move around and they’ll walk in front of you or cut you off or walk between us. By that time it happened to the airport where this guy was trying to, oh yeah. He almost knocked you down and I to stiff arm him. I’m like, no. So you feel like your defense is up, are up with these yeah. Individuals or these situations. Right? So if you’re a person that feels exhausted and you give to so many people and you feel like you have to, the biggest key is you don’t have to. So how do you start meaning off these relationships?

2 (22m 47s):
Well, who said that you had to take care of these individuals and you don’t have to, we off of them either. You can just keep, stay depleted, stay depleted. Absolutely. But I think we start taking things on. Yeah. And I know I’ve done this in the past and so you just keep giving, but you don’t know. You’re hope. You’re hopeful that this person will have a change and you go, oh great. That was worth it all. But when it doesn’t shift, what is your role in it? How do you look at changing your energy and step number one, not be available. Well, that’s easy. I think it’s really hard for people to say no. One of the, the tricks that I recommend is I would love to help you.

2 (23m 29s):
I can do this on this date for an hour and you put it out there like seven or eight days. You’re not saying that you really have time or feel like you’ve saved enough energy to deal with it. Yeah. It’s, it’s not a crisis. If that person makes everything a crisis, how do it’s like that cry Wolf story, right? How many crisis are really in that person’s life. Now, if this person isn’t that individual, there’s a difference. Yeah. So you have to assess the situation to think, is this really just them doing this again? Or is this a situation where I really have to pay attention and be there? But you’re not saying no, you’re putting it in a situation where you are available and you can give them that hour time.

2 (24m 10s):
If it’s someone that comes into your office or things like that say, yeah, I’ve got 15 minutes, 10 minutes, you know, don’t give them more than that. 10. Yeah. Put a time on it. Cuz I, I have to get this report done or whatever that is, whatever your work is. So it’s really creating boundaries with that individual. If you’re not feeding or putting more fuel on the situation, they’re gonna find somebody else because you and I they’re toxic. They’re just gonna move, move to their next. Yeah. I think too, we were just saying, decide if you really wanna help. We mentioned earlier that listening doesn’t mean you have to help them or find a solution for them. It might be not giving advice.

2 (24m 51s):
And I like saying to people, well I can’t wait till you resolve this. Keep me posted, start being a cheerleader versus a solver. Yes. That’s a great solution. Or coming back and go, I think you’ve had this happen a few other times. What did you do then? I’ve used that recently just, and I remember you, you saying that and I really took that on because that’s a great way to be a cheerleader is, oh, well I’m here. If you wanna run any of your ideas by me. Perfect. But I know you’re gonna get this. I know you’re gonna be able to find, find a way and also recognizing for them how many times this situation comes up in their life.

2 (25m 31s):
Like you were talking about the past relationship. I’ve done that too. Where I, I just keep putting up with complain. It’s like turning butter. It’s like, you keep recruiting. It’s not delightful though. You know, it’s better ice cream. No. So it’s giving them cheerleading, being positive, inspiring them, but making it theirs, not for you to have a solution. And I even say, you know what? Don’t be great. As soon as you get this resolved, let’s go celebrate. I’ll take you out for lunch. That’s a good one. Yeah. Because otherwise you don’t have lunch with them unless they have it resolved. Right? Yeah. But you’re giving them a reward for fixing problem solving.

2 (26m 11s):
Yeah. Problem solving. A lot of people just don’t want it to be solved because that situation or those situations, the toxic energy has more value than them just trying to have a normal life. They they’re really addicted to it. What about the people that think their solution is the best you, you don’t ask them for help, but they’re already solving your, your, as I said, they’re giving you advice when you don’t want it. Right. Or they’re doing things when you haven’t asked for their help. Oh yeah. That’s toxic too. Right. That’s the other side of the coin where people go, well, I wanna help you. I’m like, no, I don’t need, I don’t need your help. And that happens a lot for us at times where people wanna give us advice.

2 (26m 54s):
Yeah. And that’s why I said earlier, oh thanks. Sweet. You know, thank you, Deb shepherd. Yeah. Does it deal with that kind of thing? No, not very well. I don’t mind having advice and suggestions. If you ask for, if I’m in the place of, Hey, what do you guys think? Otherwise, I wanna do my own processing. I work with my guys very well. And sometimes there’s a timing before it’s solved. You know, I think we, like we said, we have a process before we end a relationship or change a situation. We have our own process. So if someone gives me advice where I don’t want it, I go just thanks for sharing because I’m not ready to resolve it. And if that person that keeps coming to you is not ready to, to resolve it.

2 (27m 36s):
It’s okay for you not to be there for them. As I said earlier, why don’t you record your story and then play it back and see what advice you would give this person? Or when you resolve it, let’s go celebrate. When you figure out what direction you wanna go, let’s go celebrate. Let me know. Right? My recommendation. If these people are in your life, don’t give a lot of ideas. Don’t provide a bunch of solutions. Don’t first of all, because they probably don’t wanna hear it. If they keep coming back too, they don’t want it to be resolved. And also you’re putting a lot of energy into it. And then you may be disappointed that they come back with the same problem, but they didn’t take your advice.

2 (28m 19s):
So that’s the judgment and that energy too. It’s vicious cycle. Yeah. And you know, I always teach, keep it simple, sweetie. Yes. Kiss. The biggest thing is you have some really simple one liners for these individuals. And don’t talk a lot because again, you are giving energy that you don’t wanna give. So keep it simple by going, Hey, you got this, you know, let me know what you choose to do. Have you talked to anybody else? I’m sure. So, and so would love to hear your story, giving them those simple things or when they’re sharing or popping your own balloon, taking out what’s success for you to have some, one liners that you can use to nip it where it’s not feeding your mind and taking energy because we will regurgitate what happened in that conversation.

2 (29m 11s):
Yeah. Because it does affect us. Yeah. We’ll replay it and replay it. And what we’re trying to do is give ways to not take that negative energy on because that does dim your light. It does. And you should shine. You’ve worked really hard. And why you think they’re coming to you? Yes. Because you’re shiny. You’re shiny. Yeah. When you carry that energy of being positive and being a problem solver and having just that care for other people, it’s like the, the moth to the flame to beacon, to beacon and people are gonna be drawn. And now I just dim my light. I’m just kidding it. We put a scarf over bit at my light. I think the biggest thing is don’t enable individuals that are not willing to take care of themselves.

2 (29m 55s):
People that are toxic don’t feed in and argue, or be that warrior, pull yourself energy back. That energy is for you. And when you waste all that energy, you become, I’m using depleted, dehydrate you depleted. Yeah. So I remember you wanna be able to shine in other areas and you wanna attract. Yeah. But if that’s where you wanna spend your econs stay there for it. Yeah. If you wanna use your E points for other things like love yeah. Prosperity health. So this is about it’s okay to care about people and be there for them. But you wanna look at how much are they willing to work for their own life? And I tell all my students, this I’ll work for you and be there for you, but I’m not gonna work harder than you.

2 (30m 39s):
And that reason is because I believe that they have the ability to empower their life. When you keep enabling somebody, what you’re letting them say is that they can’t do it on their own. So you don’t believe in them. So taking that back and reflecting on what is your intention with these relationships and what is the right thing for you? What do you need from this relationship and what is best for you? So if you get a chance, you haven’t listened to our energy coin podcast, go back as it will back this up and make you feel empowered to create the boundaries and have a voice in your life.

1 (31m 19s):
Thank you for listening to today’s episode. I hope it inspired you. If you enjoyed our conversation, make sure you subscribe so that you get notified of new episodes and let’s get connected. Visit Deb she.com for more insights, support workshops and a book session with me. And finally, always remember your loved ones in spirit are just a thought away, even though they’re on the other side, they’re always by your side.

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