June 01, 2021

Toxic People and How to Deal


How do you deal with toxic people? You’re probably thinking, “Ditch ’em.” And we don’t blame you, but as you bounce from friendship to friendship, you’ll likely find that everyone has some toxicity.

In this episode of Life In Motion, Heather and Jamie talk about confronting toxicity in you and in others.  We’re all broken people. Unfortunately, if that brokenness goes unaddressed it will affect not just you, but also the people around you. So, let’s talk about it.

Confronting toxicity in you

What’s your toxic behavior? What areas of your life need the truth and grace of Jesus? Most people want to love Jesus but struggle to make their lives look like His.

Even if you’ve been a Christian for a long time, your family history, past relationships, hurts, and failures affect your ability to be a good friend—to love people well. Pete Scazzerro says this, “Jesus may be in your heart, but grandpa is in your bones.” He’s driving home the point that although scripturally you are a new creation in Christ, if you never address your past it will affect your future. Before you address toxic tendencies in others, start addressing them in yourself.

So, what do you do about your own toxicity? We highly recommend counseling and talk therapy. Last season we shared a list of Tulsa counselors that we trust, we’ll share those again here:

Cornerstone Christian Counseling 
Hope Forward Counseling & Coaching
Joy Christian Counseling

Considering going to a counselor? Read Counseling: What to Expect and When to Go

Confronting toxicity in others

“Some people are in such utter darkness that they will burn you just to see a light.”

What do you do when you’re in relationship with someone that’s not safe? Well, let’s start by saying this: there are some people you should not confront. With those people, it’s the right choice to put some space between you and the other person. And there are some people you have to just flat out, cut out of your life.

But what about the people you can’t cut out of your life? Coworkers, family members, etc. In those relationships, remember that the way people act often has more to do with them than it does with you. So walk into the relationship with love, peace, and kindness no matter how they respond.

Before you confront or address the toxicity, identify it. Take some time to reflect on your encounters with this person. How do they make you feel? What is it that they’re doing or saying that makes you feel that way? Identifying what drains you in the relationship will make it easier for you to communicate with them during the next encounter.

Once you’ve identified the toxicity, make a plan for what you’ll do the next time it happens. Maybe the toxic trait is gossiping. If you have a close relationship with this person it might be appropriate to lovingly address the trait head-on. You may need to consider just redirecting the conversation from gossip to something else a few times before you address it head-on too. Before your next encounter, think about how to respond, make a plan, and practice what you’ll say.

In this episode, we are addressing nonviolent and non-psychologically damaging toxicity.  If you’re in a dangerous or abusive situation, you need to get safe first and foremost. Please use the resources below for help.

DVIS – Domestic Violence Intervention Services, Inc.
Family Safety Center
Oklahoma Safeline

Leave us a Voicemail: 918-270-8590

Heather and Jamie love to bring people together. So naturally, their podcast is a place where they want to do the same. Every season, we set aside episodes to hear from YOU and talk about YOUR thoughts. In each episode, you’ll hear Heather and Jamie mention their voicemail inbox; that’s where they hear from you!

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