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You probably agree that dealing with toxic people is exhausting. Moreover, toxic people can cause you to doubt yourself, feel depressed, and may even cause you to question your sanity.
The fact is, people with toxic personalities are unhappy… and they want to make sure everyone else is, too. Your success and happiness make these individuals feel threatened, and they will do anything to destroy you.
You may be nodding your head because you are struggling to deal with a toxic person in your life. If so, the good news is we’ve got you covered if you’re wondering how to deal with someone who wants to destroy you.
What are the Character Traits of a Toxic Person?
How do you know when you’ve been exposed to a toxic person? Most notably, you feel emotionally and physically drained after being around them. Toxic people are energy vampires, and this is reflected in how you feel after spending time with them.
Another common trait is dishonesty. With toxic people, dishonesty is the norm. Dishonesty may be overt with toxic people, such as lying or deceitfulness. However, sometimes this person’s dishonesty can be simply general secrecy.
Below are just a few more character traits of a toxic person.
- Nearly everything that comes out of their mouth is negative or cynical.
- Apologies are insincere.
- Abuse of power is common.
- Respect for other people is noticeably absent.
- Personal pronouns (I/me/my) are common in their speaking.
- Toxic people think they’re superior to others.
- They lack empathy.
- Toxic people lack basic manners.
- To toxic people, everyone else is “overreacting.”
- Toxic people are manipulative.
- Victim blaming and guilt-tripping are common in toxic people.
What Effect Does a Toxic Person Have on You?
When someone is trying to destroy you, it is profoundly stressful. Scientific studies have demonstrated that stress has a negative and lasting impact on the human brain.
If you’re exposed to excessive stress and negativity, the neurons in your hippocampus are compromised. This is important to understand because the hippocampus is the area of the brain that is responsible for memory and reasoning.
When you experience weeks of negativity or personal attacks, you are at risk of neuronal dendrites damage. While short-term neuronal dendrites damage is reversible, you can permanently damage your neurons after months of stress.
However, prolonged exposure to stress also increases your risk of physical illnesses, including heart disease, metabolism issues, and diabetes.
Here are some other ways a toxic person can affect your emotional and physical well-being when they try to destroy you.
- Increased risk of depression and anxiety
- Damage to your reputation
- Decreased self-confidence
- Questioning your own value and self-worth
- Becoming physically ill from the effects of the stress of being under constant attack
In short, a toxic person is harmful to your health.
Reasons Why Someone May Want to Destroy You
Are you contributing to it? Here are some reasons a person may be angry enough to try to destroy you.
- Jealousy. They are jealous of your accomplishments, awards, youth, vitality, etc…
- Your own rude behavior. Is your behavior playing a role in how others treat you?
- They lack empathy.
- Being toxic is simply who they are and seeking revenge is a part of their psyche.
- They are so insecure that the only way they can feel complete is to be destroying someone else.
- Someone else is influencing their actions and behavior.
7 Ways to Deal with Someone Who Wants to Destroy You
The sections below outline some critical steps for dealing with a toxic person who is out to destroy you.
1. Understand that you’re dealing with a complex human being.
All human beings are complex creatures, and every individual person has both positive and negative traits. The sad reality is that some toxic people have become toxic through no fault of their own.
- The person who is attacking you may have been raised in a household that was dysfunctional.
- In other situations, perhaps life has genuinely hit them hard, and they’ve become negative and toxic as a result.
- Often, the toxic person you’re dealing with may have a victim mentality where they resent you because they feel like you’re “luckier” or were dealt a better set of cards in life.
- Some people can become so toxic that they become narcissists. People who are narcissistic are disguising deep insecurity. In short, they feel small, and belittling others makes them feel bigger.
Even if someone is toxic through no fault of their own, you can’t allow yourself to become a victim of their vicious circle. It’s your job to protect yourself at all times, and you cannot assume that a toxic person will respect that.
When dealing with someone who wants to destroy you, keep your own integrity intact and remember who you are. Don’t allow yourself to sink to their level and be respectful and as kind as possible at all times. Your own happiness depends on it.
2. Distance yourself as much as possible from the toxic person who is trying to destroy you.
It’s your responsibility to make sure you surround yourself with people who are emotionally healthy individuals. Staying away from negative people is important for your own well-being, especially if someone is actively seeking to destroy you.
If you’re forced to interact with a toxic person, try some of these tips to limit the interaction’s effect on you.
- Just listen. Don’t reply to them. If you reply, it just prolongs the negative interaction.
- Respond with positivity. It’s possible you can shame them into being more positive.
- Stand up for yourself. Don’t be a pushover. In many cases, the toxic person is a bully, and most bullies are unaccustomed to meeting resistance.
- Respond with humor. Maybe it won’t make the toxic person feel better, but it will make you feel better if you lighten things up a bit.
- Get (and stay) busy. If you’re too busy being productive to deal with the toxic person approaching you, you’re less likely to be a target.
3. Suggest or offer help.
Do you know someone who is excessively and intentionally rude to other people? Perhaps you’ve witnessed someone being rude to a waiter or someone in another type of service position. You’re probably dealing with a toxic person.
There are few things a toxic person loves more than creating an unbalanced power dynamic. Toxic individuals don’t want any part of relationships where reciprocity and mutual respect are present.
A toxic person is unhappy if they don’t have the upper hand. Being able to control other people is key to their own identity.
Toxic people tend to be argumentative and quick to anger. However, a toxic person will seldom offer a sincere apology. When they do apologize, a toxic person’s apology is usually followed by a “but.”
Also, a more sophisticated toxic person may use loaded language when they offer their insincere apology. For example, they may say that they’re sorry that you think they did something wrong. In effect, they’re putting the blame for the situation right where they want it: squarely on your shoulders.
Without accepting blame, consider offering to help the person who is trying to destroy you. Try to find out if there is a problem that they have with you that you can help them with.
In many instances, you may find out that the problem the person has is more to do with them than to do with you, so it may not even be personal.
Don’t allow yourself to be manipulated. In some cases, a toxic person may be passive-aggressive as a way to manipulate you. In other cases, the toxic person may be blatantly controlling.
4. Make yourself willfully ignorant.
It’s possible that the person who is trying to destroy you may be unsuccessful in their attempts. In this case, you can simply ignore them. Don’t give these people space in your head unless you absolutely have to.
If a toxic person is threatening to reveal personal information about you, you can be proactive and reveal this information yourself. No one can destroy you by revealing info about you if you remove the threat and reveal the info yourself.
Perhaps someone is trying to “dox” you by publicly putting your personal information and contact info out there. In this case, you can change your phone number and increase security around your home as much as possible.
5. Try to get to the bottom of why this person is doing this to you.
If you can determine why someone is trying to destroy you, it may be possible to mitigate the damage that this person is doing. In some cases, you may already know why someone may be trying to destroy you.
For example, if you had a romantic breakup or a run-in with a colleague, it’s going to be clear why someone is out to get you.
In other cases, you may have no idea why someone seems to be trying to damage either your person or your reputation. If this is your situation, you may have to take matters into your own hands and be proactive to find out what’s going on.
One thing you can do is simply directly confront the person who is trying to destroy you. If you do this, try to keep the conversation as non-confrontational as possible.
Meet in a public place so that there is a decreased chance of the toxic person causing a scene and/or harming you.
When dealing with someone who is toxic, it’s best to remain as calm as possible. Once you have figured out why this person is trying to destroy you, you can begin to intelligently and calmly argue your own position.
6. Keep yourself safe.
If the person who is trying to destroy you is stalking you, the best course of action is to ignore them. When dealing with a stalker, anything you give them could validate them and cause the harassment to continue.
In cases of stalking, here are some things you can do to protect yourself.
- Seek help immediately. Tell someone trustworthy what is happening and contact the authorities if you feel threatened.
- Remain observant at all times. Pay attention to your surroundings, especially when you’re in a familiar area where you would normally pay less attention.
- Document carefully. It’s imperative that you document every call, email, text, or message that your stalker sends you. More importantly, carefully document any physical contact such as the person visiting your home or workplace. Be sure to note the times, dates, and any witnesses.
- Cut off all communication with them. Any response from you validates them and encourages more contact.
- Don’t give them any signs that they may misinterpret. Be unresponsive to messages or calls, even if it would give you some temporary peace to allow them to connect with you.
- Protect your personal information. In many cases, a stalker will misuse your personal information or use it to hurt you. Be extra diligent about what you share on social media. If you end up having to move because of the stalking, share your new address and contact info with only the people you fully trust.
- Report the stalker to the police. Sometimes, a stalker will be deterred once they realize that you’re serious enough to report them to the authorities.
- Have a safety plan in place. Keep your phone and devices charged at all times and keep your car’s gas tank full. If you go somewhere alone, make sure your loved ones know your whereabouts at all times.
7. If all else fails, cut off contact completely when possible.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could cut off all contact with the toxic people who try to destroy us?
Toxic individuals never think they’re wrong, and if they ever do admit wrongdoing, they lack accountability and expect to be instantly forgiven. However, toxic people create endless drama all around them. They can’t seem to resist starting an argument, and they have no respect for boundaries.
Cutting negative people who are trying to destroy you out of your life completely seems like it would be the best and easiest option. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to do that, and in some cases, it’s impractical.
When you cut a person completely out of your life, it’s essential to remove every avenue of contact. If they won’t leave you alone, block their phone numbers and social media profiles, and try to avoid going places where you know they may be.
Final Thoughts on Steps to Deal with Someone Who Wants to Destroy You
When you’re dealing with someone who wants to destroy you, you’re probably experiencing a great deal of stress. Be sure you’re taking care of yourself during this difficult time by practicing healthy self-care.
Remember that growing your own emotional intelligence will help you in many areas of your life, including dealing with difficult people. You are in control of how you react to their actions.
If the person who is trying to destroy you is your boss (it happens more than you think), be sure to check out our article “15 Signs Your Boss Is Threatened or Intimidate by You.” Alternatively, you can learn to deal with negative co-workers by reading “15 Signs Your Coworkers Are Intimidated by You.”