How to Stop Chasing Toxic People
Top 8 questions you should ask yourself to know if you’re chasing someone (and if they’re toxic), and top 10 methods to stop chasing these toxic people.
I hereby declare that you should never, ever chase anyone, no matter who they are. There is absolutely no one in this world who is worth chasing. You know why? Because the people worth chasing, won’t ever make you chase. And those who do, don’t, and won’t ever deserve you or your chasing. I don’t care how adorable or handsome they are. How charming or charismatic. How much you want to be around them. Or to be seen with them. Whether it’s a romantic or platonic relationship, you should never have to chase anyone for attention or affection. You shouldn’t have to put in all the work and efforts just to see and be with them.
That being said, it’s important to learn and understand what chasing means, and whether it comes from a toxic place. Because some people are just really bad at keeping in touch (like yours truly). They just tend to forget, or space out. Maybe they’re going through a rough or hectic time. It doesn’t come from a bad place, or from not caring. Maybe this is just a time when they need you more. Perhaps they just have a lot on their plate at the moment. It’s important to make that distinction and understand the differences between someone making you chase, and someone who’s just bad at keeping in touch. The main differences are in the way they act around you when you’re together, and how they treat you.
These are the questions you should ask yourself to identify whether or not you’re chasing someone, and if that person is toxic.
If you’re not sure whether or not you’re chasing or they’re just bad at staying in touch, ask yourself the following questions. If the answer to most of them is affirmative… Then you’re likely chasing and need to start taking steps back from them, and to stop chasing. If it’s only one or two, it may not mean you’re chasing, but it does mean you need to be cautious. Depending on which questions they are. Perhaps you should have a conversation with them. It could very well be they might not even realise it. Either way, don’t ever tolerate someone who checks all of the following questions.
1. Are you the one who’s always reaching out?
This can most likely be determined easily. Take a look at your call-log and messaging history. Or just recall from memory the interactions you’ve had with them. If you’re the one who is always calling or texting first, then you’re the one who’s always reaching out.
2. Are you putting in most of the effort?
If you’re the one who goes out of their way on a regular basis just to meet up. The one to make most, if not all of the compromises. The one who has to plan everything, take care of logistics and do all the hard work. Then you’re the one who’s putting in most of the effort.
3. Do you need to work harder for their affection?
Are you exhausted just from trying to get their attention? Do you have to put in a lot of effort just to get them to like you and be tender and kind to you? Are you always overthinking every move and word with them? Then you’re working way too hard for their affection.
4. Are you being clingy and needy?
Be brutally honest with yourself and consider whether you’re overly attached or emotionally dependent on them. Are you willing to do almost anything and everything just to please them and make them like you? Do you always need their attention and do anything for it? Perhaps you’re just too infatuated by them, and putting them on a pedestal.
5. How do they treat you when you’re together? Both alone and within a group?
Ask yourself this: Do they mistreat you, constantly bring you down and insult you? Is their behaviour towards you mostly disrespectful and neglectful? Do they disregard where they do it and who is watching? Do they shame you and laugh at you in front of others? Yet, you keep coming back and trying to impress them and get them to like you?
6. When and how do they reach out to you?
Think of the times they were the ones who reached out to you, if at all. If they only reach out when they need something from you, or when they have something to gain from it, etc… Then they’re not actually reaching out because they care about you, your friendship or relationship.
7. Do they always take advantage of you?
This question goes together with the previous one, as they both question the motives behind their actions. When they reach out to you, or when you’re hanging out with them – do they actually show love and care? Do they give as much as you do? Or do they just use you for their benefit? If they’re just always making you do things for them, or just asking for favours, etc… Then they’re certainly taking advantage of you and your friendship.
8. Are they there when you need them?
If someone is bad at reaching out or putting in effort, but is ALWAYS showing up when you need them, it might be forgivable. Depending on the case and situation of course. But if someone only expects you to be there for them, but never comes through for you, then they’re not true friends or right for you. In fact, they are likely even toxic.
** IMPORTANT NOTE: The person you’re chasing may not even be toxic at all, or have ill intentions. Maybe they’re not even trying to make you chase, but you keep showing up. Even though they’re just not that interested or into you. (see Q4)
10 steps to help you stop chasing toxic people who don’t treat you right.
Now that you’ve answered these questions honestly with yourself, and you have your answers… It’s time to do something about it. It’s not easy to remove someone from your life, especially if you have strong feelings for them. Whether they’re platonic or romantic, it’s going to take time and effort, and you may even stumble back a few times. Remember that you’re only human, that it’s natural and okay. Just don’t let it suck you in and consume you. Take it one step at a time, and don’t rush yourself into something you’re not ready for.
For me, making it through it, then growing stronger after – was a difficult journey, but one filled with many valuable life lessons. I would like to share with you these 10 steps I took to help me stop chasing, and get over the person I was chasing after.
1. Focus on their negative attributes and habits
Make a list of the things you don’t like about them. All of their “turn-off’s”. No matter how “perfect” you think they are, or how infatuated you are by them… You can always find something in them that bothers you. Something you find disgusting, annoying or rude. Such as; The way they talk to you or others. How they eat. How they dress. Their ego. Sleeping habits. A physical trait that bothers you. Or any other ticks they may have. Then focus only on this list. Remind yourself of it as much as you need. Whenever you find your mind wandering to them, just force yourself to fixate on their ugly side instead. Try to also remind yourself why they aren’t good for you. Of how embarrassed and humiliated you felt when you needed to lower yourself for them. Just the shame of that is enough to make you never want to do it again.
2. Block or delete them from everywhere
If you’re constantly seeing them everywhere, in your face, how can you ever forget them? Especially if you’re looking at their social media posts, and what they’re up to. They’ll just keep showing up as a constant reminder. Also, delete their number from your phone (and memory) so you can’t get tempted to call or text. If you have any of their family members on your phone or social media – delete them as well. They will only serve as reminders. You don’t need to make a huge deal out of it, or be dramatic. You need to get them out of your sight, and even go as far as blocking them if they keep popping up. And even more so if they’re pursuing you and trying to stay in your life.
3. Stay away from places you know they frequent
If you want to get over someone, get them out of your head and stop chasing, you need to stop seeing them on a regular basis. And if you want to stop seeing them everywhere, you need to stop hanging out at places you know they’ll be. Whether it be pubs, bars, clubs, cafe’s, restaurants, etc. If it’s somewhere you know they tend to frequent, then make sure to find other places for yourself. Or at least avoid them on the days and times you know they’ll be there. That way you’ll see them less, and it will be much easier to move on. Again, no need to go overboard or obsess over this. If you see them once in a while, it’s not the end of the world, and don’t make it a huge deal. The point is not to go somewhere they frequent if you have other, maybe even better, alternatives.
4. Remove anything that reminds you of them from your life
In addition to removing them from socials, your phone and certain locations from your list… Try to also remove any item that reminds you of them as well. Odds are, they’re contaminated by their toxins, and might influence your mood and feelings. Again, you don’t want to obsessively throw away everything you own. But you should get rid of anything that stirs up bad feelings. Like gifts they gave you, clothes you borrowed from them, or anything else that belongs to them and ended up with you. These things usually hold no value, and only serve as a bitter reminder of them and your time together.
5. Personal development – focus on yourself
This is something I preach about in most of my blog posts. I do so, because personal development is key to leading a happier, better single life. If you work on loving yourself more, by caring for yourself better, your self worth will be higher and you’ll no longer put up with sh*t you don’t deserve. You will be stronger, more independent and won’t chase anyone, ever again. Odd’s are, you’ll also learn how to be happy with yourself and in your singleness. And when you do so, you’re less likely to chase.You’ll also be a better version of yourself, which means you’ll have so much more to offer to the world. More of a chance to inspire, make an impact and a difference in someone else’s life as well as your own.
6. Build a strong, deep and healthy self-relationship & connection
One of the best ways to self-love and self-care, is to focus on developing and maintaining a relationship with yourself. You can do this by working on growing comfortable in your own company, in your own presence. And that can only be achieved by actually spending time with yourself. QUALITY time. Whether it’s by doing fun and exciting things with yourself. Spending time on your hobbies. Or by dating yourself. Start spending more time in your own company, and make sure that it’s valuable. Create for yourself dates that will help you spend some quality time with yourself. Whether it be at home or out and about, make sure that you put in the effort and time. When you have a strong self-connection, you won’t want to lower yourself and chase after anyone.
7. Fill your life & time with other, better things
Instead of focusing your energy on chasing and obsessing over the wrong, toxic people… Try to spend your time doing things that really matter, that elevate your energy and spirits, not bring you down. Start redirecting your time, energy and efforts onto filling your life with more valuable substance. Filling your life with more productive things and activities. Focus on your hobbies and things that you’re good at. Try to learn new skills or languages. You can also start utilising your energy and time to find and build your passions and career. Focusing on yourself and more things you love and enjoy this way, is fun, energising and productive. And definitely a healthier way to spend your time. It will also keep your time and life full and busy, you won’t even have time to spare a thought on them anymore.
8. Focus on better, healthier relationships in your life
First of all, try to find a friend that you can call or text every time you even think of calling or texting the person you’re chasing. They can help you forget, give you the support you need, and also prevent you from actually sending a text or calling. Also, make sure to develop and maintain your best friendships, put in the effort to grow them (as long as it’s both ways, and has a good influence). Go out, have fun and join different activities, and talk to them instead of the person you were chasing. Focusing on better relationships, will also prevent you from feeling tempted to invite them over or out. Because now you have other, better people to invite and hangout with.
9. Keep a full and productive schedule
Have you ever been so busy that a whole day goes by and only at the end of it you go, “oh hey, I completely forgot about that”? Usually, when our schedule is filled with activities and things we enjoy, that keeps us busy… We have less time to think about them. If you’re doing productive things, you’re more likely to be happier and feel better about yourself. You’ll probably feel good enough not to need or want them, let alone think about them. You also won’t have the time and will likely forget about them naturally, more and more, as the time passes. So try and build yourself a nice schedule, with all the diverse and productive activities I mentioned above. Hobbies, passions, skill learning, self-care, self-dates, other relationships, etc.
10. If possible – get away for a bit and disconnect
I mean, when is a trip not a good idea? I love to travel, and I love nature and I believe that it’s one of the best forms of therapy. It doesn’t have to be too intricate, complicated or expensive. It can be as simple as just driving an hour away to a remote B&B by a lake, beach or in a forest. Or even just in a different town or city. Whatever is closest to you and is within your means. Personally, I also love a good hike, maybe even sleeping out in nature. You can go with a group of friends that you feel good and comfortable with – just make sure to also spend some alone time. If you can, try to do something by yourself, it will give you a great opportunity to really disconnect and start working on yourself and your self-relationship. Bonus points if you go somewhere without reception, then you really can’t check up on them, call or text them.
In conclusion – no one is worth the chase
If you find yourself constantly putting in most of the effort, on a regular basis – you’re the one initiating calls, messages and meet-ups… Then you need to take a step back and put a stop to it. You might need to force yourself at first, but it will get easier with time. The key is to just keep pushing through, keep moving forward through the hurdles. You need a large amount of perseverance and persistence, and most importantly – you need patience, and you need to believe in yourself. In the end, not only will you get over them and stop chasing, but you’ll also be so much stronger and more independent. To the point where you’ll never be able to give up any power to anyone ever again.
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