How To Stop Talking To Someone Who Is Bad For You

By: William Drake

Updated December 23, 2020

Medically Reviewed By: April Brewer , DBH, LPC

Do you know how to stop talking to someone when they do not have a positive impact on you? Maybe you started hanging out with someone in the past and have since realized that they are a bad influence on your emotional state or behaviors. This type of person will likely bring out the worst in you, and your mood generally turns more negative when you are around this person. If someone is having a problematic impact on your life, makes you feel bad about yourself when you are around them, or seems to have dishonest or unkind intentions, please note this important statement: You do not need to keep them around.

It is hard to decide that someone shouldn't be in your life anymore, but you deserve healthy relationships. All friendships and relationships have disagreements, but disagreements or even fights are different from consistent toxic influences. You are allowed to set boundaries for your interactions with others, even with those who have been in your life for a long time. If you want to surround yourself with people who build you up and create positive changes in your life, then it may be time to release any person (or people) who is holding you back.

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Communicating The End Of A Relationship

Romantic, platonic, and family relationships can all end; unfortunately, ending a relationship is not always neat, easy, or pleasant. Healthy communication is essential to a functioning relationship, and communication is still important as you end a relationship. Identifying your own communication style will empower you to speak up and leave a relationship on your terms.

The three classic forms of communication are passive, aggressive, and assertive. Keep in mind that most people will use components of all three. Here are common traits of individuals who communicate in a passive manner:

  • Prioritize the needs of others before their own needs
  • Are soft-spoken or quiet
  • Feel unable or unwilling to express their own needs and wants
  • Allow others to take advantage of them and are easily manipulated
  • Lack confidence and may have low self-esteem
  • Maintain poor eye contact with others (looking away or down during conversations)

Next, these are common traits of individuals who communicate in an aggressive manner:

  • Use criticism, dominance, and humiliation to control conversations
  • Speak very loudly or in an overbearing mannerism
  • Become frustrated easily
  • Are disrespectful towards others
  • Will not listen to others or constantly interrupt others while they are talking
  • Are unwilling to compromise or negotiate with others

Finally, here are common traits of individuals who communicate in an assertive manner:

  • Advocate for themselves (express needs, wants, feelings, beliefs)
  • Listen to others without interruption while conversing
  • Stand up for their own or others’ beliefs or rights
  • Display a confident tone while speaking
  • Make and maintain good eye contact
  • Are willing to compromise and negotiate with others

Although your communication style may change in different situations or with different people, it is healthy to know how you communicate. According to research, experts, and general common sense, assertiveness is the healthiest out of these three styles. If you identified with traits of passive or aggressive communication, compare those trait descriptions to the similar ones listed under the list of assertive communication traits to consider how you might adjust your communication style. Assertiveness can take time to learn and develop, but anyone is capable of forming healthy communication styles.

Once you have identified the ways that you communicate, use the channels that make you most comfortable to end the toxic relationship. Unfortunately, it may be necessary to tell a person, either in person or by message, that you do not wish to continue a relationship with them. If the toxic person in your life is abusive or manipulative in any way, you should be prepared to stand your ground and take additional steps to put a stop to further contact.

Block Them On Social Media

People who are bad influences can often be manipulative. They are not happy, and they may have a hard time engaging with people who are happy. If seeing this person makes you tempted to engage with them, or they send you messages that impact your mood or wellbeing, you should consider unfollowing or blocking them on social media. If this person has accepted the end of the relationship and isn't very active online, you might be able to let them remain simply as an online connection.

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Delete Their Number

It could help to delete a toxic person's number so that you won't be tempted to reach out, become negatively influenced, and fall back into bad habits. If a person is affecting your life in a negative way, you need to be willing to eliminate your communication channels with that person. Then, you can let in room for better, more positive relationships, or you can use the time to reflect on healing or improving yourself.

Focus On yourself

In addition to handling any needed communication, it is important to focus on your own physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Ending a difficult relationship of any kind can be stressful, and you need to look after yourself. Here are a few suggestions on how to take care of yourself.

Try Not To Be So Hard On Yourself

Show yourself the respect and gentleness that you would offer to a good friend going through a difficult time. Remind yourself that you deserve rewarding, genuine, supportive relationships, and anyone who makes you feel otherwise does not deserve to remain in your company. If you make a mistake or catch yourself backsliding, keep in mind that you are human, and mistakes are a natural part of life.

Have Some Fun And Enjoy Yourself

Life often requires seriousness and structure, but as you look for ways to recover from ending a toxic relationship, give yourself permission to take time for self-care and fun, either on your own or with trusted loved ones. Just as you schedule time for daily tasks and obligations, try to schedule in time to unwind and enjoy yourself. It can lift your mood and boost your confidence—a little time spent in those pursuits is absolutely time well spent.

Want To Learn How To Stop Talking To Someone Who Is Bad For You?
Get Help Now. Schedule An Appointment With A Licensed Mental Health Professional Online.

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Participate In A Hobby Or Learn A New Skill

What are some of your favorite hobbies? If you can't remember, maybe it is time for you to revisit this and get involved in a past hobby or find a new one. Beginning a new sport, learning a language, or taking up a new craft or skill are all stimulating endeavors. Learning something new can help you improve your self-confidence and mood, engage with people, meet new people, enhance your occupational skill set, or even prepare you for a new job.

Try To Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise offers various mental health benefits: you will feel more energized, your mood may improve, your energy levels can increase while your stress and anxiety levels may drop, your sleeping patterns may become more regular and restful, and your overall physical health will improve.

Try To Eat Healthier And Nutritious Meals

Eat well-balanced, proportioned, and regular meals. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Try to decrease fast food outings or meals high in grease, sugar, or salt.

Make Quality Sleep A Priority

Try going to bed and waking up at the same time on a regular basis. Reduce your sugar and caffeine intake prior to bedtime.

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Avoid Using Drugs Or Alcohol To Cope With Life

Alcohol and drugs will not fix the problem. Even a temporary numbing of pain will likely make things harder in the long run.

Seek Help And Support

If you are looking for a way to stop talking to someone who is bad for you, then you are not alone. Ending toxic relationships is a common stressor for many individuals, and if you are seeking advice on how to do so, then you are already on a path toward strength and independence. Trust your instincts in recognizing a bad relationship and know that you are worthy of kindness and support. Even with trusted loved ones to help you through this painful kind of breakup, you may find that additional support is needed to keep your spirits up and your focus clear. BetterHelp is a great option for flexible, affordable, effective online therapy that can get you through ending a toxic relationship.

Online therapy is confidential and flexible, so you can schedule sessions when you have privacy and quiet. BetterHelp is also more affordable than in-person therapy, and you can choose how to connect with a compassionate mental health professional: via video chat, phone call, or text messaging. You deserve to feel valued and heard. Speaking with someone through online therapy can help. These reviews of BetterHelp counselors can tell you more about experiences in online therapy.

Counselor Reviews

"Mary Smith is very thoughtful and a great listener. I can tell she has a lot of experience dealing with many situations and people, which gives me comfort. She always stays on track with my concerns and goals, and always offers relevant suggestions and tools to help me to conquer issues. I definitely recommend Mary Smith to anyone who feels stuck in their toxic ways formed by difficult past experiences, but you want to overcome. I believe Mary has the skills to help someone who really wants to change for the better."

"Stacey is absolutely the best! She is very understanding, and I feel like she not only listens to me, I feel like she understands me and always helps me to find clarity and work through my problems. I hate that it's taken me so long to write this review because I've been working with Stacey off and on for almost 2 years now, but I can guarantee you that she's definitely gotten me through some extremely hard times and is also always there to encourage me even when things are going seemingly well and helps me to appreciate the small wins! From test anxiety, to fear of failure, to past bouts of depression, to help with toxic relationships, etc., she has helped me through it all! I will forever be grateful to her for helping me regain confidence and peace in my life."

Conclusion

If you have reached the unfortunate realization that you need to stop talking to someone who is bad for you, then you might need additional support to end the relationship. While assertive communication is key, an online counselor may also help you to handle a painful situation. Take the first step today.


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