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Anna Thetard / Her Campus
Mental Health

Letting Go of a Toxic Person in Your Life

It takes a lot of strength and courage to finally come to terms with the fact that maybe it’s time to let a person go. This person has obviously had a huge impact in your life, either negative, positive or even both. There are many reasons as to why this person has become so toxic. Maybe you gave this person way too many chances and they keep screwing it up, or you’re constantly getting disrespected by this person. No matter what the reason is, your relationship with this person may not have always been like that, making it a difficult decision to make.

However, if you have finally come to this decision and you are doing what is best for you in the long run, I am super proud of you. Like I said before, it is a super brave thing to do and to come to terms with. You are not alone in this situation at all. Here are some tips for when you are letting this person go.

Get a Sense of Closure

This may not be for everyone depending on the situation. It is important to at least get all of your feelings out and in the open. This can be done by having a straight up conversation with this person or writing a letter and sending it to them. Whatever it may be, just make sure you lay everything on the table. I’m not going to lie, this may or may not change your mind on the decision because you might receive the other person’s perspective on certain things. Regardless, the ball is in your court and I truly believe you’ll make the right decision for you.

Block/Unfollow Them on Social Media

I already know what you’re thinking, but this is the better option. This is one of the downfalls of social media. Back before the age of social media, when you cut someone off, that was it. You never truly heard or saw them again unless you bumped into them somewhere. Unless you pull the plug, you’ll be stuck in a cycle where you’re always going to check their profile. You’ll feel all these mixed emotions, which can start becoming a habit. You’re going to keep wondering what they’re up to. You might even question if you made the right decision at one point. You are trying to form a new and healthier habit. I know it’s going to be hard, but it will be better for you and your mindset.

Limit Their Access to You

There are different ways to do this. If you can, openly set your boundaries with this person. For example, if you have a class with them and you usually sit together, go sit somewhere else. If it is in a large lecture hall, I would recommend sitting far away but in front of them. That way, you won’t have to look at them or get distracted. If you know that you will bump into them during a commute to class, try to find another way you could take. If you decide to not block their number, do not text them as much. If at one point they try to call you, tell them that you aren’t comfortable with that. If they still don’t understand and they spam you with messages and calls, it might be a good idea to block them.

Surround Yourself with Other People

I already know that there are so many other people in your life that you can go to. Spend time with the people that lift you up, energize and motivate you — have a girl’s night out, go out to eat some delicious food, try new activities, do something active, the options are endless. There’s no better feeling than knowing that there are so many people to support you and always have your back.

Keep Busy!

This is a great time to keep yourself distracted with other things. When I’m going through a difficult time, it usually drives me to go harder into other aspects of my life. Set little goals and push yourself towards them. Dive into your school work and achieve the grade that you want. Apply to as many internships as you can and kill those interviews. Go to the gym to release all of the unnecessary stress and get into shape. Contribute to community service activities. These are just examples, but anything that will drive you to become your best self, do it. I know it is easier said than done, but once you start checking stuff off your list and seeing those little achievements, you are going to feel amazing.

Allow Yourself to Feel Every Emotion

Of course, not everything is always going to be sunshine and rainbows. Some days are easier than others. There are going to be those days where you are going to feel on top of the world, but there are also those days where you might shut down. This is completely normal and nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed of. When you experience these emotions, feel them. If you have the need to cry it out, do so. We’re human and this is how we process things. Like I said, this person might have had a huge impact in your life. Even though they technically lost you, you’re experiencing a loss as well. Also, never hesitate to call someone you trust to talk it out with. I find it so much better to talk about your feelings instead of bottling it in.

Know That it Will Take Time

Healing is not an overnight process and it isn’t a straight line. To be honest, it is going to be messy. There will be days where you will miss this person and might want to reach out to them. Days where you might blame yourself for why things went down the way they did and question if you had made the right decision or not. The wound is going to reopen a lot. Nevertheless, know that there are better days coming your way. That wound will eventually become a scar. Everyone has their own time. It could take weeks, months, or even a year or two. There is absolutely no rush.

It will not be easy, but see this as a way of blooming. Learn from what happened and use it as an opportunity to grow. If this person did not value or respect the great person that you are, they lost you, not the other way around. Not only do you have support from your family, friends, but this community too. You got this! It’s absolutely nothing you can’t handle.

A Culinary Institute of America Alumni '17 and a current student at Rutgers University studying Journalism and Media Studies with a minor in Entrepreneurship. Outside of school and work, I like going on different food adventures, spending time with friends and family, writing, cooking, baking, taking pictures, and volunteering at the local animal shelter. I also like to spend my time empowering other women through my sorority, Sigma Psi Zeta by contributing and planning events that go hand in hand with our philanthropy, "To Combat the Violence Against Women." My dream is to travel around the world and become a food journalist!
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