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Terminating the Toxicity in Your Life – Part 5 of 8 – Strategies – The Process


“All action takes place, so to speak, in a kind of twilight, which like a fog or moonlight, often tends to make things seem grotesque and larger than they really are.”
Clausewitz – On War

We all think we’ve chosen people wisely who are our friends and make our lives easier and more fun to experience. However, sometimes, despite our defences, a toxic person manages their malignant manifestation.

You’ll soon detect them. Over a period of time their continuous backbiting and attrition becomes wearing. Or they do or say something so odious and reprehensible that it creates a tipping point, and you know that they deserve no place in your life.

So how do you deal with them? The straightforwardness of the approach is breathtakingly elegant in its simplicity. It may require determination, resolution and perseverance in how you play it out – qualities that are very useful to develop in any case and are replicable for other situations.

Consider it as a character forming act.

Tell them you will have nothing further to do with them. Then ignore them. Don’t engage with them again however much they entreat you to do so. Ensure that they understand this and secure their unqualified commitment if you can.

It may also help to have a few things to counter them with just in case they fail to get the message and act upon it. This should only be considered as a last resort and is best done through an attorney or legal representative, depending upon whether the other party’s actions escalate into the murky and illegal worlds of harassment or stalking.

Remember, people who add no value to your life have no right to be in it. All these individuals are inimical to your physical, mental and emotional health. They are not worthy to be your ‘friend’.

The Process

The following can work face to face or via email or social networking. An elegantly penned letter can be used if you wish to practice your skills in the fine art of calligraphy.

You need to be assertive, direct and polite and ready to counter any arguments. Remember, this will be your last interaction with this person, so it’s important to get it right. What you are about to do should resonate within their mind and psyche.

And get them out of yours.

Begin by rehearsing the scene in your mind and focus on the outcome that you want. Work out how they might react, based on your knowledge of their behaviour and psychology.

Will they try to make everything your fault and play on any residual guilt? Will they try to drown you in a lake filled with their own emotional incontinence? Will they resist your logical entreaties vigorously and beg for ‘one last chance’? Unfetter your imagination, write down every potential scenario and come up with a range of responses. Use visualisation to practice your reactions and clarify your objectives.

If you have any suspicion that the person might resort to physical violence, exercise extreme caution. You may wish to avoid any physical contact with them. Raise your concerns with a family member, attorney, law enforcement official etc. Always stay safe.

Once the person is out of your life, move on and don’t pay any mental attention to them. You might find this difficult initially so have a number of things to do that will enable and facilitate this process.

Your engagement with this person may have formed some neural connections within your brain – remember the expression ‘neurons that fire together wire together.’ Luckily neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to create new patterns of thinking) and neurogenesis (the brain, in particular the hippocampus, creating new brain cells) are your friends here.

You are looking to create new, powerful, associative and transformative neural patterns which, as a fortunate and serendipitous by-product, also serve to terminate any negative associations with a toxic person.

Take this as an opportunity to do different things and give your brain a real workout. Find new friends, challenging and stimulating things to do, practice mindfulness meditation. Read “The Power of Now”, a book that will nicely root you in the eternal present, free from the grasping encumbrances of the dead hand of the past, and pointless speculation on the unborn future.

You are looking to get rid of any trace of this person that lingers around your mind to ensure any effect on you is eradicated.

A forthcoming article will cover the topic of optimising both mind and brain for pleasure and profit. Imagine your brain as a finely tuned sports car, and your mind as both the driver and the mechanic.

Mind Sculpture

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