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How To Distance Yourself From Toxic People

Please note: If you are in a domestic violence situation, please seek help from the police and/or an organisation such as Refuge, Women’s Aid or Victim Support. Do not follow these tips if your personal safety will be put at risk. Please seek professional advice.

Do you have a toxic person in your life?

If you’re not sure, check out my previous post on toxic relationships.

So, if you recognise that you have a toxic person in your life, there may come a time when you decide that you’ve had enough and wish to distance yourself from them. So the question is, how do you do that?

It really depends on whether you want to do a “hard-distance” or a “soft-distance”. It’s important to consider the potential consequences of how you go about purging them from your life; the main one being, are you going to be safe? I’m not saying you should be scared of getting rid of your toxic person, but it’s worth keeping in mind that your safety is the priority.

woman sitting on chair touching hair and looking her right side

Hard distance

  • Return any items of theirs that you have, so they have no excuse to contact you
  • Block their phone number
  • Delete their old text messages (unless you need them as evidence)
  • Unfriend/unfollow and block them on social media
  • If necessary, unfriend/unfollow and block any mutual contacts that you share

Soft distance

  • Make your replies to their messages shorter and shorter – don’t encourage conversation by asking questions or giving more information than is necessary
  • Decline requests to meet up – make excuses if you have to, but remember that “no” is a complete sentence
  • Mute them on social media

woman sitting by a tree smiling

Remember: You don’t owe them an explanation as to why you don’t want them in your life anymore. It’s fine if you want to sit down with them and explain if you think that will help to enforce the split, but it is not your obligation. If this person is affecting you in a negative way, you are absolutely entitled to cut them out of your life.

Do you have experience of disconnecting with a toxic person? What was your experience? Do you have any tips to share? Let me know in the comments.

How To Distance Yourself From A Toxic Person (

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4 replies »

  1. This is such a good post. I wrote something similar but about toxic friendships. But this is a lot better than the post I wrote. This is really good advice and very useful.


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