Love Life Stories Advice Wellness

You are absolutely allowed to cut toxic people out of your life

It took me a really long time to realize this but I eventually did get there – if someone tries to critique you (about everything), makes you feel bad about yourself, and does everything, but make you feel good about yourself, then they are not your friend. They are toxic and they don’t deserve to be in your life. 

Dealing with toxic people can be really laborious because, most of the time, we don’t even realize they’re toxic. it’s not easy to identify them. They hide behind the guise of being “the blunt friend”. Their so-called straightforwardness is supposedly the reason why you’re lucky to have them in your life.

“I’m so honest that I’m your true friend” is their catchphrase.

Honesty isn’t the same as outright hurting someone’s feelings, though. So cut the crap.

The place where most of us, including me, falter is that we think it’s not right to leave a toxic relationship. This is natural because inherently, we’re all good people and we don’t want others to suffer at our cost. And a lot of times, we just continue putting up with their bullshit because we think we owe them something.

But you have to realize that waiting for things to get out of hand is extremely dangerous and perilous for you.

Take it from someone who made this mistake – don’t be a good person for once. If the relationship is harming you in any way – big or small – just leave.

I put up with my toxic friend for years until I finally decided it was getting too much for me. I made a huge mistake there because I allowed myself to be manipulated into believing that I needed her more than she needed me. I had become dependent on her and I always tried convincing myself that she wasn’t that bad. When in fact – she was.

I thought a toxic friendship would be more intense, more outright harmful. I thought I was simply over thinking it because nobody around me had pointed out the fact that she was toxic.

But you don’t have to believe anyone’s “standards” as to what a toxic relationship is in order to decide whether it’s worth leaving or not. Only you can understand how and when someone truly becomes toxic to you. What might be toxic to you, may not seem so harmful to someone else and vice versa.

So you have to trust your gut, completely, and if you’re uncomfortable in the slightest – leave.

Here’s the real deal – you don’t owe your toxic friends anything – not even basic decency.

If you realize that a person in your life is toxic, you are allowed to ghost the hell out with no explanation whatsoever.

You don’t owe them your time or energy. You don’t have to stay with anyone who doesn’t help you become a better version of yourself. You don’t have to stay with anyone who harms you – even emotionally. Emotional abuse is a reality that most of us ignore under the pressure of being decent human beings.

We should not be expected to put up with misbehavior of toxic people – no matter how close we are to them.

Friends can be toxic, partners can be toxic, family members too can be toxic. You don’t owe them anything. The only person you owe something to – is yourself.

You owe yourself a good, fulfilled life, that you are happy living. 

That life doesn’t include toxic people.

By Arushi Tandon

Arushi is a Sociology major based out of New Delhi, India. She graduated from the University of Delhi in 2017 and has since worked across sectors which include non-profits, journalism, HR, travel and education. She currently works at Ashoka University as a Teaching Assistant. A voracious reader and literature fanatic, Arushi finds happiness in reading, writing and pursues creative non-fiction as a passion project along with academic writing professionally. Enthusiastic about issues around gender, culture, lifestyle and health - this trickles into her writing and work.