• Chelsea Rice

Journal Prompts for Dealing with Toxic People

When you genuinely like people, you don’t just wake up one day and become someone who has a low tolerance for most other people. If I had to guess, you are someone that has experienced something so real and so rigid that it altered your spirit. Not saying it is always a bad experience, but it is always something that made you grow as a person. It shaped you. 

There is something to say about people who can armor themselves through toxic relationships or situations, without blinking an eye. I am not one of these people so I am not able to understand them. In contrast, there are people who are probably like me: people who struggle making excuses for others and hold high expectations for people involved in our lives. When people let you down, you will get upset and it’s a struggle for you. There is something to say about situations where you have to choose. It’s a choice about your mental health or a relationship that is toxic for you. It is not so black and white and definitely sounds easier than it is.

Within the past few years, I have battled when choosing my mental health, or making positive actions towards my mental health, in relation to toxic relationships I am in. It’s different for everyone - it might be a partner, family member, friend, or coworker (may the list go on). Depending on the specific relationship, it changes the intensity of whatever you might be feeling and the way(s) you can go about healing. 

There is no correct way to handle these people or situations. Let’s be real, whenever you tell someone how you feel and it shines them in a bad light, they will be defensive. It’s an open door to a failed conclusion to move forward. Let’s also be real, when you care enough to open a conversation, even if it fuels an argument, it is happening because, in some combination, the people involved care, want answers, or want a solution. 

You should always be considering your own mental health. It is not always about making sure you are the healer and that you are always the person making everything right. You don’t have to sit back and watch things unfold in a bad way, there are choices you can make in addressing the issues you might be experiencing that support YOU. With that being said, here are a few things (that I highly consider you journal about) to consider when you are trying to decide on what your next steps are in dealing with your toxic person:

  1. If you don’t talk about it, it could become explosive. Don’t let it grow, put the fire out as soon as possible. Are things continuously happening which are fueling the fire?

  2. Determine what the impact would be if this person is not included in your life. Would anything drastically change?

  3. Pay attention to how they make you feel and how often it happens. Would documenting it over time encourage a productive conversation down the road?

  4. Is the person self-absorbed or self-centered? Would they be capable of the criticism you might approach them with? Why or why not?

  5. Does forcing space in your relationship encourage a healthier situation down the road?