How to Handle Toxic, Negative People


Discovering and removing the negative influences in our life will help us more than we realize.  Studies show that our own thoughts, attitudes and behaviors are a reflection of the people we spend the most time with.

All too often, we are faced with negative people and influences that surround us and affect us as a person, in all areas of our life.  “Toxic” people are like vampires . They suck the life and energy right out of you.  Toxic people are ultimately the people who cause you the most negative stress in your life. They are the people that make you feel unhappy, or spoil your mood purposely every chance they get.

Toxic people can be a challenge to be around. They will bring you down and drain your energy, and all too often, they will squash any type of lifestyle change YOU are trying to make.  Toxic people are just pieces of the obstacle course you will run through in your efforts obtain your nutrition and fitness goals, and they have a detrimental effect on your mental thoughts and mental toughness.

Who wants or needs that?

Toxic people truly believe that they are constantly taken advantage of by others and that bad things are always happening to them. They are often the people who make mountains out of molehills. Toxic people are those who think they are doing something right, by complaining and blowing up almost any situation, whether it is a small issue or a large one.

Amazingly, toxic people believe their negative comments are helping to solve the situation in some way. In addition, they often rely on others to entertain them or make them happy. Even if it’s not other people, they often rely on some kind of outside source to keep them happy.  All too often, toxic people find this happiness in social settings with food and drinks, which ends up being a “perfect” setting to express their negativity.

Unfortunately, toxic people are everywhere; just take a moment to look around.  Don’t let them take your happiness away or affect your mood.   Toxic people only have as much power, control, and impact on our lives that we allow them to have.

Each day, we are faced with a decision and need to say to ourselves, “I can either allow these negative and “toxic” people to ruin my day and my actions for that day, or I can choose to rise above them, completely remove them from my life, or speak motivating words to them and move on!”  At that point, it is up to them as to whether they choose to use the motivating words to their advantage or not.

Toxic people need boundaries, and giving them a time limit lets them know you will only tolerate a small amount of negativity. Check your watch, allow them to vent for two minutes, give them some positive words of encouragement and then move away and fill your head with positive affirmations and thoughts as soon as you can!

Transform your energy into positive energy and remove these negative “toxic” people from your life.  I realize that these toxic people might include close friends or even family members.  Remember, in order for you to reach your goal you must stay focused on the end result , remind yourself what is most important to you, and if your friend or family member can’t support you with your goals, why are they in your life… and do they truly care for you and your well-being?

So, my question to you is:  who do you spend the most time with, and do they help you toward your goals or pull you away from them?

~ Alissa Nelms

About Fit For Jesus!

Jeremy Nelms is a wee bit passionate about reaching 1 MILLION Christians with the message of "Fitness Focused on Eternity" and helping 1000 people change their lives by visiting Mount Everest (not climbing it! HA!)

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  1. Hello all,

    Well written post. Of course this is about what an individual person can handle. It’s also about knowing what’s true toxic. Some have a deep thought that the ones who push the hardest become the most toxic, when in reality, the individual maybe uneasy about the truth. Then they do socialize with the crowed who express advice that the individual wants to hear. There surroundings are now to there likings, maybe a sweeter version of toxic. I feel people lose focus on what toxic is because they are deep within there feelings or the toxic person has lost patients and has becomes pushy, thus making the situation untoloratable. Bottom line is toxic comes in many ways, that’s the devil. Prayer is key. Toxic is good, bad, and ugly. You do not need to cut out the toxic, but I agree, you do need to know how to place it undercontrol, but it’s about what an individual can handle. With god all is possible.

  2. Oh how I needed to hear this. I have had a evil mother inlaw for 8 yrs. Always being extremely mean to me and my sons behind my husbands back. When I would tell him what she said or has done he would always say she didn’t mean it like that. I would cry constantly. But I never would say anything to her I was always gracious to her and always friendly. Even my brother inlaw and his wife would get in on the act. It was starting to make me have health problems. Than the week we came home with our 3 month old from the hospital from almost lossing him from RSV. She dropped in and started in as I listened to her for the next hour and ahalf go on and on how she comes first and that we should be giving her attention rather than our baby who almost died. And that every one says that her son could do better and that I’m not a good girl. She continued to make me cry saying all of this in front of our other son who was 6 at the time. Who was so scared of her being mean to me that he put pillows on me to shield me from her. Also he was standing beside me with tissues and wiping away my tears. Then my husband walks in on all this and wonders what is going on. He comes to my side and I told him what his mom just said and she looks like she just got caught. He turns to her and tells her that is diffently not true. She than turns to our 6 yr. old and than calls him a ockie white boy. He starts crying. And after that day he didn’t speak to anyone for 2 days he was so upset. My husband told her to stop calling him that and she kept saying it. She finally left and I had a break down. I was so upset that my face went numb and I could not breath right. My mom came over and pray ed on me. I had this feeling of somthing awful leaving me and than ran to the bathroom and threw up. Than I felt peace like God was holding me. My husband ran into her a couple days later and she just laugh about how she hurt me and how I almost had to go to the hospital because she upset me so much. He finally seen her true colors the past days. He told her she is not welcome over our house and it’s been about a year now and we live in a small town. I always thought that God would be mad with me if I ever cut her out of my life. But I don’t feel that way anymore from what I read. I just pray that she asks Jesus into heart and that he forgive her sins that she has made against me.

  3. Thanks Alissa,

    My life has been completely ripped apart by negativity, I used to be extremely outgoing but my mates have been horrible to me since I got a job in the city and stopped smoking weed. I’m the bad guy. It doesn’t help that my folks have stood in my way on everything I’ve ever done. I’m a total mess, and I’ve always thought about killing myself. It hurts because I’ve got so many idea’s that are really about making the world a better place, but I’m so beaten up I don’t know where to start or how to help myself.

    Thanks again for your words

  4. Great post. except for no bibilcal reference, just your own thoughts, seemingly…. So my thoughts, tee hee… are as Christians we are to set boundaries, but ultimatley we are here to Glorify God and if he has us in a situation where things are negative, it is for our refinement, as well as the negative person’s…

    So, what does that look like? A touhg balance, especially when dealing with loved one’s, both friends and famliy…

    Or maybe I am just rationalizing…. Or maybe the Love that exists in our heart (Jesus) and the love we exude (The Holy Spirit), and the Grace that has been extended to us (God via Christ, aloows us the power we need to overcaome any obsatcle, as we glorify him for our pursuits, if we belive that God has us in the situation to Glify him…

    Just a thought and pursuit,

    Oh, Ephesians 5, offers some advise on loving all people and being salt and light, exuding the fruits of the spirit… I do know where to draw that line, myself with reagrds to people that suck that very light out of you….

    God bless

  5. I am in a interesting situation, the negative flow went from unnamed person to my wife then to me, could not believe the stress this started for me ! Can I have people pray for my situation ?, trying to finnish up my college degree, need all the prayer I can get, Pastor is very suppourtive.

    • Fit For Jesus! says:

      Mark, we’ll be glad to pray for you. Thank you for the request, and we pray God will handle your situation in a manner that brings glory and honor to Him and relieves you of the stressful situation!

  6. Thx, you two are an inspiration. God bless 2 all……………….

  7. How important this truth is – toxic people can do so much damage. A good friend laid out this truth to me many years ago – and I have tried to lived by it in my life. But it is more of a challenge when those people are family – then it becomes about setting the right boundaries. Thanks for posting – I keep it up!


  8. Just recently found this site and I love it. I’ve added it to my sidebar. I run a weekly feature called Fitness Friday, and I plan to direct my readers here in the weeks to come. So THANKS!

    I love that you’ve included a post about toxic people in your fitness blog. So many people fail to see a connection between their environment and their fitness level. It’s like they compartmentalize everything: Fitness, spirituality, family, friends, etc. But in reality it is all intertwined and connected in ways we can’t even see.

    I love what you’ve said!!

    Blessings to you!

  9. Hi Alissa,

    Thanks for the great post. Seems like so many people are interested in “Detoxing”, yet they tend to limit it to a Physical detoxification. That’s great, but developing strategies to handle Spiritually and Emotionally toxic people is of even greater benefit. Thanks for sharing.

    Dr. George Burroughs

    • Hello George,

      I agree with what you shared, however, many times when those strategies don’t work…then it’s the time to eliminate those negative people. I think when it comes to a marriage…what can one do but to endure the difficult times unless the spouse is of course unfaithful in the marriage. I’m a Christian, but I feel if a spouse is violent or abusing illegal drugs then there should be cause for separation without a divorce (again, unless the spouse is unfaithful in the marriage). I would tell any woman to flee the abusive relationship if that’s the feeling the Lord is giving them- of course, all things should be confirmed with the Head. And as Christians, Christ is our Head. Now as far as dealing with family members such as siblings, cousins, uncles/aunts, parents, etc… and friends, I feel that eliminating the negative and toxic relationships with those people should be fine if by in the spiritual and emotional level all has been done to salvage the friendship and yet still no fruit blossoms from it. Removing negative people from ones life is biblical as we can see examples of that in many books in the bible. This is indeed a touchy subject, I’ve seen relationships preserved for the better, and sometimes it was for the negative…and likewise, I’ve seen relationships destroyed and sometimes for the good, and sometimes for the worse of the person… Ultimately, I think one must really draw near to the Lord Jesus and to His word, and thoroughly take time to rationalize the entire situation before eliminating/ending a relationship/friendship, and if one feels peace of God to go forth with eliminating and ending the friendship/relationship then they have the blessing to do that. And they will be blessed for that.

  10. Hey Alissa – I know this came from your heart. Thanks for a sharing a good message. I like your thought of giving them a two minute time limit! 🙂

    We need to gravitate toward and spend our time with those peoople who also love the Lord and have desire for His very best for OUR lives and for THEIR OWN lives as well. Don’t let the “toxic” people ruin your days and your life.

    Blessings for all the hope and inspiration you and Jeremy have given me and so many other people as well.

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