Monday, June 6, 2011

How to Cut Toxic People Out of Your Life

So the other day I was walking through Prospect Park with my dog when I heard some arguing in the wooded area to my left. It was a young couple, probably younger than 20. The boy was saying "baby, baby, what are you talking about? what did I do?" The girl was sobbing and saying, "I am not your girlfriend anymore, I don't need my SUPPOSED boyfriend all over other girls and pretending to them that he doesn't care about me." This went back and forth and I paused about 20 feet away with my dog just to make sure that the girl was okay. They were in an area in which it wouldn't be very safe for either of them if one decided to take the argument from yelling, to physical.

Things started to escalate. The female was trying to walk away and said that she didn't want him to follow her and he kept getting in front of her, grabbing her by the waist or alternatively the shoulders and telling her that she couldn't leave. This was enough for me. I calmly approached the couple, asked the girl if she was okay or if she wanted to walk with me. She looked at me with tears in her eyes, and mouthed "please" and I put my arm around her. I said to the boy, we are going to take a break from this, and I walked the girl with me and told her a little bit about what I am going to share here.

This situation broke my heart in so many ways. The first reason it really got to me was the fact that I KNEW this girl would immediately go back with the boy probably within that night, if not within about twenty minutes...but with free will, what can I do about that? The other reason is because this girl has such a low sense of self worth that she has no idea how to get out of a situation that is this toxic, nor does she necessarily realize how bad off she really is.

I was a child of divorce, and like many children of divorce, you see relationships in strange ways. I think being someone who's family was broken up changes the amount of garbage you will put up with. I also think that having a family structure with stepparents changed the way I think about how relationships and commitment really works.

There is no part of me that blames my family for the decisions I have made, or for how long it took me to realize how to cut toxic people from my life, hell I am still working on shaking some of the last bits of crazy away from me....but I will say this:

{People with strong healthy relationships around them, are more likely to foster strong healthy relationships themselves.}

Why did this girl have such low self worth? She was beautiful, spoke well and was receptive and sweet. Who knows really. I can't make any snap judgements in such a short encounter but I do know this...I know the reasons why I used to have low self worth. Okay, so here is where I am going to share...deep breath...

-any sort of physical or sexual abuse can bring on low self worth. this is because if you are ever used or abused by someone, that person has devalued you or just used you like an object, no matter how strong you are, this abuse can lower your self esteem.

-consistent toxic relationships will make it seem as if that sort of relationship is normal. if you are only surrounded by constant arguments, friend's whose boyfriends put them down or are unfaithful, you will assume that this is the nature of all relationships.

-trying to gain a sense of control in an uncontrollable environment can lead to low self worth. this can also lead to eating disorders, drug abuse etc. if your environment is unhealthy or unpredictable it is very hard to maintain a sense of control, therefore we try to control other things and often end up in unhealthy situations.

-consistent criticism or being unfavorably compared to others can lead to low self esteem. if you constantly compare yourself to others, "why is she so pretty, happy, talented" it can really mess with you...if someone else constantly says to you "why can't you be more like Jane"=same effect.

-bullying can cause low self worth. if you are constantly told that you are trash, a slut, a dyke, an idiot, a loser, or whatever wonderfully terrible things kids are saying to one another now in can lead to low self worth.

Okay, so now we went over some of the reasons this girl, or any girl or guy or man or woman could be in this situation. Here comes the hard part:


First let me say that I am far from an expert, and I am just speaking from my experience and the experience of other women close to me.

Next, knowing that I am not an expert, let's take a look at some good books to read on the subject:

Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them

But He'll Change

Women Who Love Too Much

With the help of your friends, and these books and hopefully my advice, you will realize that you too deserve to be treated with love and respect!

Here are some tips:

Make a PROS and CONS it with the help of your friends. If I would have opened up the topic of' to my friends, I am SURE that they would have offered up a bunch-o-cons that I hadn't thought of. It helps to have someone else really sit down with you and talk about the relationship as they see it as well. When you are inside a crappy relationship, and you have low self worth, you deny the bad parts and elevate the good parts like whoa.

At the end of the night, write down how this person made you feel. Is your calendar filled with, "said he/she was working late, friend said he saw him/her out dancing.", "called me 15 times in a row." "always brings phone to bathroom when showering" "demanded to know who I was with." OR is it filled with things like: "had great conversation over pizza." "texted me "still the coolest babe in NY?" "didn't talk to her/him today, went out dancing with friends" (Because guess what oh little friends in abusive relationships: NOT SPEAKING EVERY SINGLE DAY is GOOD AND HEALTHY!) Just because someone is in constant contact with you, does not mean they like or love you fact, it may just mean they are sketchy as hell or super obsessive.

For the love of god STOP MAKING EXCUSES! It doesn't matter how drunk, stoned, tired, stressed, artistic your dude or lady is...there is absolutely no excuse for screaming that you are a slut or a bitch in front of your friends, while you are alone walking down the road, or inside the confines of your apartment where no one else but your poor little cat hears. PS: your cat hates your partner too and you are stressing out Whiskers by keeping that jerkola around. There is absolutely no excuse ever for someone to rip your bag off of you and throw it, to punch you in the face, to slap you, to grab your arm so hard that it leaves bruises, to grab you by the hair, to chase you down the road, to throw you down the stairs, to trap you in the bathroom, to call your phone 55 times in a row. None of this is remotely acceptable and if someone does this to you...two words: RESTRAINING ORDER.

BLOCK THEM. Block them on your phone, use privacy star, make your facebook friend's only, don't answer their emails, texts, phone calls. If you don't feel safe at your house, call the cops and let them know and stay with a friend. If you don't feel safe in the park: let a stranger, covered in tattoos with a dog and a smiling face put her arm around you and walk you away.
You are not alone.

She/He is NOT going to change. You cannot fix him or her no matter how kick ass you are.

You are absolutely, one hundred percent worth a kind, caring, trusting partner.
You are worth waiting for.
You are worth a partner who only has eyes, words, and love for you.
You are worth calm, centered and focused communication.
You are worth being able to have your own life, your own passions, your own friends.
You are worth it because you are a wonderful person who will give kind, caring, trusting words to your partner, only have eyes words and love for them. Because you will speak with calm, centered and focused communication. You are worth it because you are kick ass...and don't let anyone...anyone...ANYONE tell you otherwise.

If you feel you are in an abusive relationship, please feel free to email me:, call or text a friend, or reach out to the HOTLINE.
1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

For once you get out of this craptastic relationship and need help to start loving yourself and not that douchebag:
Positive Thinking for Single Women.

Single: The Art of Being Satisfied, Fulfilled and Independent.

I hope this helps.


  1. Oh my lord, you are the sweetest! I'm so glad you helped that poor girl, I can't imagine how many people would have just walked by trying to "mind their own business". Everything you said is absolutely true and I wish I had someone point out all these things when I was in one of my first relationships. I want to print this out and post it everywhere announcing "No he does not really love you anymore because he called you 55 times and left you 7 voicemails, he's creepy and obsessive."

  2. I wish I would've read this 3 years ago. I was in an abusive relationship and ended up having a baby with that guy. Scariest and depressing 3 years of my life. I felt worthless for the longest time and was too scared to tell me friends what was really going on. I'm out now, but I still get flashbacks to it...

  3. Thank you ladies for your responses! Amanda, I think that once you have been a person in need of a passerby to realize how terrible it feels when no one helps you! I was in Boston once with someone who was screaming at me and threw me in a snowbank and no one helped, many many people just kept on walking...totally scary! Years later I was in a similar situation, and someone came and helped and walked me home...what a difference that made! Someone very close to me was dragged down a flight of stairs by her hair at a party for speaking to another man...there should never be a time when something like that happens!

    Erin: I am so so sorry to hear that, I am incredibly happy that you are no longer in that relationship! Your post made me tear up because 1. I feel for you and feel awful that you had to go through that, and 2. it made me realize how often something like this happens. Stay strong! <3

  4. I'm trying so hard right now to cut someone out of my life who has been the most consistent of being inconsistent... You're post was reaffirming that I am trying to do the right thing.
    For the last 3 years I have held desperately onto this toxic relationship, and for what? I'm tired of contributing to my own unhappiness.
    Thank you for taking the time and sharing what you did.

  5. I adore his blog. thank you. You sound so sweet and sincere, and Im glad to hear there are peole that would put there arms around a worried young girl. I came accross this trying to brek free from a man who had been in my life for years, ofen putting me down and ruining my confidence. When he came back from the blue recentely I definiely needed to read something like this. thank you.

  6. I wish I had read this 12 years ago. It would have saved me a lot of heart ache and 9 wasted years in an abusive relationship. Great blog. I love how frank you are. Very inspiring.

  7. Extremly meaningful and useful post.
    May you write on and on with same...more enthu rather. We must realise the whole thing ourselves..and take good care of self esteem..
    Though..its very unfortunate that God or Nature..whatever it is had gifted us with dove soft soul..which speakes louder than our brain...You told so precisely and firmly that...really abosoutely right. Its very unfortunate..that we(including myself) r full of awareness and feelings simulteniously..:-(