As we become more and more self-aware of our energy, needs, and spirit, it’s natural to feel increasingly sensitive toward the relationships and people we allow into our life. It might come across as an unpopular opinion, but I don’t consider people as toxic, especially not in the loose way that this label is beginning to be used.
For one, a label comes from the primitive part of us – our ego that wants to protect us from unpleasant experiences. Not a bad thing, but a label doesn’t do much more than create the said protection (aka separation). And second, yes there are some really challenging people and circumstances out there that can dim our light. But labeling someone or something as “toxic” is disempowering and takes away our onus of control over our emotions and actions.
And so, associating a spiritual sense to such people, I derive their purpose in our life. My conclusion is that they are fulfilling their part of the Spiritual Contract, and are helping us redefine our relationship boundaries with them.
For this article, I want to specially emphasize working out our soul contracts without rushing to block or delete someone from our life. This is because blocking out our soul contracts with even the most annoying people doesn’t serve us. We will perpetuate the lessons (and in more intense ways) if we prematurely try to exit challenging relationships.
I’ve often noticed that attempts to block such people out are futile when the lessons aren’t learned. It just seems so difficult for things to “end”. And I’ve also seen that once someone learns the soul lesson, such relationships automatically lose charge and dissipate in their effect on our life!
So, I’d like to invite you into trying out some simple practices to balance your boundaries and deal with the so-called toxic soul contracts.
TIP #1 – Limit your conversations with toxic people.
The first personal boundary is to become mindful of your own time. Therefore, it’s always great to have a few genuine ‘exit lines’ at hand to get yourself out of the energy that no longer serves you.
- I should get back to doing x, let’s catch up some other time!
- I hate to cut this conversation short, but if I don’t leave now, I’m going to get late. (You don’t have to specify for what, if you don’t have an immediate activity)
- Hey, can I catch you later? I have to go now. (Again, no details are required)
TIP #2 – Don’t be rude, just be disengaged.
I am not a fan of blocking or ignoring anybody, for the simple reason that you aren’t learning to stand up for yourself by resisting this energy coming your way; you’re actually running away from the problem.
And you are bound to manifest another toxic encounter worse than this one until you start taking measures of self-preservation.
My advice here is that one-word/short replies are your way of fulfilling your human courtesy while gradually making it obvious that this conversation isn’t leading to anything.
Don’t fuel the drama, just disengage and hold onto your sanity.
TIP #3 – Be honest.
Sometimes, a person that doesn’t get the message needs to be told upfront that you’re not interested in pursuing whatever they’re trying to pursue with you. You’re doing both of you a favor, and this is a great use of the Throat Chakra in speaking your truth.
Again, don’t be rude or close your Heart Chakra to them.
Try a simple but direct “thanks for your interest and effort but I just don’t think I resonate with you. And it would be healthier for both of us to take a few steps back to respect each other’s space”.
You don’t have to entertain the harshness that comes after that. If you are polite and come from a place of compassion but also of self-compassion, your deed is done. The reaction cannot and should not be pacified by you.
TIP #4 – Don’t feed the toxicity.
To limit your exposure to less-than-healthy circumstances with this person, be unavailable to their plans.
Whether they’re suggesting a trip together or a simple coffee, it is your responsibility to disengage.
Be unavailable without feeling guilty about it and giving in. Yes, I know, it isn’t easy to always say no, so here are a few responses to help you learn how to say no.
- I don’t enjoy doing that, but why don’t you carry on? And have a great time!
- I won’t be able to make it, but thanks for asking! (No explanation required)
- Maybe next time. (if you’re both in-person when asked, start this with a pause, and end with a smile).
- If the event isn’t specifically planned out, like a vague “we should catch up sometime”, just smile. You neither have to confirm nor deny.
This can also be true for gossip – be unavailable, and don’t feed it. Sometimes people gossip ‘for fun’. But if you’re trying to refrain from those vibes, the best you can do is become passive in the conversation. Even better if you are able to change the topic to something else!
Tip #5 – Mellow down the opportunity.
Finally, I understand that it isn’t always possible to cut the conversation short or decline spending time, but there are always ways to mellow the opportunity.
- Make shorter commitments if going out is required. You can monitor this best if you have a schedule to back you up. In other words, another commitment follows this short meetup.
- Instead of plans that require a lot of communication or more energy, plan something less investing, such as a movie or a concert. Or instead of lunch, just meet for coffee.
- Suggest something else at a different time, both of which are more agreeable to you. I always like to think that if you’re able to enjoy yourself on your terms, it is half as draining.
- Try to include more mutual people in the plan who can dissipate the effect of the toxicity you experience.
It takes time and conscious effort to not resent people who bring a bad vibe to our spirit. The fact is, we are the ones unable to navigate out of situations because we don’t want to stop ‘being nice’.
The methods suggested remain in the territory of humaneness and allow you to start keeping a distance. So feel free to use them without a second thought.
However, if you are in a relationship that is more intimate and has become toxic for you, please consider if terminating the relationship is better.
Vasundhra is the Founder & Writer of My Spiritual Shenanigans. After seeing 11:11 on the clock one fateful night, her life turned around. Ever since, she has been blending modern psychology and ancient spirituality, to help herself and people around the world elevate the quality of their lives.
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