Embracing Singlehood,  Single Life Blog

Removing Toxic People From Your Life

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These are my top 10 methods for removing toxic people from your life, to help you embrace yourself and your singleness.

In two of my previous blog posts I wrote both about chasing toxic people in romantic relationships, or in dating… And also chasing people in platonic relationships, or friendships. In both blogs I discuss different methods to identify toxic people and relationships… And how to cleanse them from your life. In this blog post I will deep dive further into the top 10 steps that will help you remove and cleanse them from your life. 

Just like most processes and journeys that are good for us… It won’t be easy, and there will be many times where you just want to give up and into your urges to see, call or text them. It’s imperative that you first of all understand that it’s normal and okay, we all have these moments. And second, that you need to fight through them as much as you can. Try to distract yourself with something else in these moments, and the urge will pass.

1. Focus on their negatives

This is something I’ve mentioned before, and it’s the first on the list here… Because it is one of the most fundamental, basic and effective steps in this process of removing toxic people from your life. Many times, one of the reasons we chase someone and put them on a pedestal… Is because we are blinded to their flaws, and focus only on their “amazing” qualities and attributes. They can basically do no wrong. Well, wrong! They do many wrong things, and they have many flaws and negative, ugly sides. Those are the aspects you need to start focusing on. 

  • Make a list of all their negative attributes and the things you dislike about them. Both in their physical appearance and in their personality.
  •  Go over the list every single day until it sinks into your head. Until they seap so deep, you won’t even be able to stand the look of them.
  • You can also create another list with all of the annoying things they do, or how they’ve treated you badly. Constantly remind yourself of them. Rile yourself up, not to the point of obsession… But just to get yourself aggravated enough to not want them in your life.
2. Cut ties with them and all connections

This one should be a given, and should be the very first thing you do. No stages, no easing into it… Cold freaking turkey, like ripping off a plaster. Just get it done at once, otherwise it would drag on forever and cause you even more harm. No texting them on their birthday, no commenting on their posts, no calling to check up on them, or bumping into them “by chance”. Just cut them out of your life completely, because it’s likely that if you even leave a crack open, it will quickly deteriorate and worsen. So just shut that door, lock it on bolts and chains if you need. No exceptions, no matter what. 

  • Don’t call, text or try to “bump into them”, and if they try to contact you first. – Don’t answer them, no matter what. If they’re bad for you, there’s no good enough reason to answer them. It will only open the gate for them to hurt you again.
  • If you can, try to even cut ties with their friends and people you met through them… People who will be a constant reminder, and will likely bring them up a lot.
3. Delete them from everywhere

This one is a great way to help you cut all ties and connections with them. If you find that it’s still difficult, and you keep checking their accounts, then go as far as blocking them. This will prevent you from seeing them everywhere on your socials, and removes some temptations to contact them. You don’t need to see their latest stories of their adventures, and what they’re up to. That will only suck you back in very quickly. And no, it’s not petty or pathetic, and it doesn’t make you weak. You’re simply getting them out of your radius and removing the temptations. Simple as that. There’s also no need to make a big deal out of it, it’s just another step to living your best life.

  • Delete their number from your phone, unfriend them on Facebook, unfollow them on Instagram, and every other social media platform you have.
  • It’s even good to remove them as your follower, so you can’t see if they liked or saw your posts and stories. Out of sight, out of mind.
4. Stop hanging out where they do

You don’t have to go all out and be too dramatic. There’s no reason to map out your town and cross off routes and places on it. Just be minded to the places they usually hang out, and never go out of your way to be there. If you know they always walk down the same street at certain times, or get their coffee at a specific cafe… Don’t purposely go there to get a glimpse of them, or “coincidently” be at the same time and place as them. 

  • Avoid any place that you know they usually hang out in, or any place which is their “regular spot”. Stick to your own places and routes you always used to go to and through. 
  • If you have a place you both used to hang out in, try to either replace it (because no place is irreplaceable)… Or just go there on days and times you know they don’t.
5. Throw away reminders

No need to make a huge deal out of this either, or create a whole ceremony around it… This is yet again another step towards cleansing your life and making it better. Because having these items of theirs, only serves as bad reminders, or will make you miss them and want to go back to them. When you remove these reminders, it will be so much easier to forget and let go of them. And of course, remove them from your life. 

  • Just collect all of the things in your life that remind you of them… Either, gifts they bought you, a sweater you stole from them, or anything else of theirs you have. And get rid of it. 
  • If it’s of real sentimental value to them, give it back (perhaps even through a third party or just a quick drop off). But otherwise, either throw it away or donate it.
6. Have an ‘emergency contact’

This is a great trick for the difficult, desperate moments where you are super tempted to text, call or check their socials. Designating a close friend who has a positive, strong impact on you… Will not only help you get over that temptation and remove them from your life, but they will also lift you up and help you get to a better place. So whenever you get an urge to see, text or call them, contact your ‘emergency contact’

  • If you need, replace their number on your phone with a different friends’ number and text them instead. 
  • And if you deleted their number (which is preferable)… Just call another friend instead, one that knows you and the whole story well, and can truly help you in the moment.
7. Replace them with better people

This one is definitely one of the hardest steps in the whole process of removing toxic people from your life. But it’s also one of the most important and crucial ones, if you want to stop chasing toxic people. This starts with setting your worth and high standards for the people you allow into your life. Without compromising or making exceptions. Don’t be ashamed and never feel guilty for doing what’s best for you, by removing or not allowing toxic people into your life. 

  • Don’t hesitate to be picky with who you allow into your life. Make sure to take the time to find the right people who deserve you, who put in mutual effort. 
  • Replace anyone toxic, with people who enhance the value of your life and bring positivity. Even having no one is better than having all the wrong people.
8. Fill your life

When you fill your life, and keep yourself busy and productive, you not only have less time to chase toxic people… But you will also care less about the person you were chasing. The more you fill your life with meaningful and significant things, the less you will want to waste your time and energy on chasing all the wrong people. Don’t only pretend to be busy to impress, or to put up a front… Actually BE busy, and find the things you love, enjoy and are passionate about to fill your schedule with. 

  • Create a schedule that fulfills you, including a variety of aspects. Like, your hobbies, your career, working out and other self care methods. 
  • Invest in people that matter and seize opportunities, go on adventures, etc.
9. Focus on yourself

Focusing on yourself will not only improve the quality of your life, but will also help you remove toxic people from it (which will also improve your life). When you focus on yourself, you deepen and strengthen your self-connection, which will make you care about yourself more. When you care about yourself, you won’t want to allow toxic people into your life. You will be more picky about who you let in, won’t settle for less or feel guilty about it. Not to mention, that when you’re busy doing your own thing, you won’t have time or the capacity to deal with toxic people.

10. Get away for a bit

This may be the most complicated step on this list, as it’s not the easiest to execute. Getting away alone can be daunting, especially if it’s your first time. And it can also be logistically difficult as it takes time, planning and money to do so. Which not everyone has much of. That being said, I highly recommend you put in the efforts to find a way to make this work… As it can also be one of the most effective and helpful steps. Getting away gives you not only physical space between you and the person you’re chasing… But also allows you to completely disconnect and just focus on recuperating and recharging. It can be a great way to reconnect with yourself, but if you find it too difficult to go alone…

  • You can either go somewhere local and close, or a bit further out. It doesn’t have to be for long, even just for a weekend can do the job.
  • If you’re feeling too vulnerable and scared… It’s also okay to find a good, close friend to go with, because that can also be very effective, and is certainly better than nothing at all.
  • If you have a tight budget, try to find a friend or family who live in a different city and you feel comfortable with them, and go visit them. While you’re there, you can hang / go out with them, to let go a bit and think about other things. You can also go out and just explore on your own.

No matter how much you think you need someone in your life, if they’re bad for you – YOU DON’T! It may sound terrible, but there’s no one person in your life who is indispensable. If someone can’t treat you right, if they have a bad influence on you, if they neglect you, put you last and make you feel bad – remove them from your life. Being in your life should be a privilege, and anyone you let in should add value.

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Stay safe, stay healthy and stay strong!
Michal B.L.

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Hey there! My name is Michal, I was born and raised in Israel, currently I live in a small city near Jerusalem. I'm a certified life coach, and in my Single Life Blog, I write about single life in all its glory and share Single Life Lessons to help you embrace yourself and your singlehood. I offer tips and advice for a better, happy single life, how to be independent, feel comfortable in your own skin and company, and how to not chase toxic people - all of which are based on my own 7-year single life experience.

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