Do you have a toxic person in your life?
Or maybe several toxic people who have a way of driving you insane?
These difficult people can be manipulative, passive-aggressive, demanding, and even emotionally abusive.
They make you doubt yourself and undermine your self-esteem, especially if you don't create boundaries to protect your psyche from their crazy-making.
Sometimes they can even be friends (some friend, right?).
Even though you know these people aren't good for you and are causing you pain, it's hard to let them go.
Part of their toxicity is the wormy way they have of getting under your skin so you feel obligated to keep them around.
You might even wonder if the problem is you and not them — a subtle trick toxic people employ to knock you off your footing.
But you don't have to suffer and cope with these people without understanding and support.
We've put together a list of toxic relationship quotes that can lend some clarity to the confusion and frustration of having these poisonous people in your life.
Read them and remember: You are worthy of being treated with kindness and respect — no matter what.
Quick note: Are you feeling drained and worn down from living with a verbal abuser? Check out this resource that can help you discover all the signs of emotional abuse.
59 Toxic People Quotes
“You cannot change the people around you, but you can change the people you choose to be around.” — Unknown
“People inspire you, or they drain you. Pick them wisely.” — Hans F. Hasen
“If they do it often, it isn’t a mistake; it’s just their behavior.” — Dr. Steve Maraboli
“Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care about someone anymore. It’s just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.” — Deborah Reber
“Make a habit of shutting down conversations that aim to tear others down.” — Unknown
“It’s amazing how quickly things can turn around when you remove toxic people from your life.” — Robert Tew
“Life is short. Don’t waste it with negative people who don’t appreciate you. Keep them in your heart but keep them out of your life.” — Unknown
“As important as it is to learn how to deal with different kinds of people, truly toxic people will never be worth your time and energy – and they take a lot of each. Toxic people create unnecessary complexity, strife, and, worst of all, stress.” — Travis Bradberry
“Stop letting people who do so little for you control so much of your mind, feelings and emotions.” — Will Smith
“My encouragement: delete the energy vampires from your life, clean out all complexity, build a team around you that frees you to fly, remove anything toxic, and cherish simplicity. Because that's where genius lives.” — Robin S. Sharma
“If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you never will change the outcome.” — Michael Jordan
“While you can’t control someone’s negative behavior, you can control how long you participate in it.” — Unknown
“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.” — Nido Qubein
“Cutting people out of your life doesn’t mean you hate them, it simply means you respect yourself. Not everyone is meant to stay.” — Unknown
“An entire sea of water can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside the ship. Similarly, the negativity of the world can’t put you down unless you allow it to get inside you.” — Goi Nasu
“If a person finds negative people in his life, then he needs to mend his own nature than that of others, for his own basic grounding decides the level of acidic or toxicity surrounding him.” — Anuj Somany
“Every day you must unlearn the ways that hold you back. You must rid yourself of negativity, so you can learn to fly.” — Leon Brown
“When someone tells me ‘no,’ it doesn’t mean I can’t do it, it simply means I can’t do it with them.” — Karen E. Quinones Miller
“Remember…Whoever is trying to bring you down is already below you.” — Ziad K. Abdelnour
“Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.” — Dr. Steve Maraboli
“Surround yourself with positive people who believe in your dreams, encourage your ideas, support your ambitions, and bring out the best in you.” — Roy Bennett
“No one forces a person to be negative, and no one forces anyone to be positive. The choice is up to an individual and that person alone.” — Byron Pulsifer
“You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go, let go of them. I tie no weights to my ankles.” — C. JoyBell C.
“Never waste your time trying to explain yourself to people who are committed to misunderstanding you.” — Unknown
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“The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships.” — Anthony Robbins
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too can become great.” — Mark Twain
“You cannot expect to live a positive life if you hang with negative people.” — Joel Osteen
“Save your skin from the corrosive acids from the mouths of toxic people. Someone who just helped you to speak evil about another person can later help another person to speak evil about you.” ― Israelmore Ayivor
“Someone who smiles too much with you can sometime frown too much with you at your back.” ― Michael Bassey Johnson
“Toxic people attach themselves like cinder blocks tied to your ankles, and then invite you for a swim in their poisoned waters.” ― John Mark Green
“To protect your spirit from contamination you must limit the amount of time you spend around negative people.”― Clyde Lee Dennis
“Beware of those around you who subtly sow the seeds of doubt.” ― Wayne Gerard Trotman
“If you attach to the negative behavior of others it brings you down to their level.” – Guru Singh
“People who try to bring you down everyday aren’t important in your life, so you better treat their opinions as such.” – Terry Mark
“If a negative viewer looks at you with an ugly fiendish eye, find a way and pluck off his eyes, or better still, protect your good image.” ― Michael Bassey Johnson
“When you notice someone does something toxic the first time, don’t wait for the second time before you address it.” — Shahida Arabi
“Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can defend yourself against this. You can’t. Just walk away. Don’t try to make your case.” ― Christiane Northrup
“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” — Anne Lamott
“I still love the people I’ve loved, even if I cross the street to avoid them.” – Uma Thurman
“Toxic people spread their toxin to you and then you, in turn, become a wasteland like they are.” —Body Focus
“Dear Self: Stop re-opening your doors for toxic people, then calling it ‘seeking closure.’ Certain things don't work out in life . . . and that's ok.” —Reyna Biddy
“The best defense is to keep off the radar of negative people.”― Steven Redhead
“Handling toxic people is not an art, they will be the victim of their own toxicity” ― P.S. Jagadeesh Kumar
“Until you let go of all the toxic people in your life you will never be able to grow into your fullest potential. Let them go so you can grow.” – DLQ
“I have found the best way to deal with a toxic person is to not respond in any other way than monotone voice and a businesslike manner.” ― Jen Grice
“Avoid negative people, for they are the greatest destroyers of self-confidence and self-esteem. Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you!” – Auliq Ice
“May you reach that level within, where you no longer allow your past or people with toxic intentions to negatively affect or condition you.” ― Lalah Delia
“Sometimes it’s better to end something & try to start something new than imprison yourself in hoping for the impossible.” – Karen Salmansohn
“People appear like angels until you hear them speak. You must not rush to judge people by the color of their cloaks, but by the content of their words!” ― Israelmore Ayivor
“We do not have to be mental health professionals to identify the traits of the possible sociopaths among us.” ― P.A. Speers
“These are the attributes of Bullshit people; they will…blur your imagination, take your endowments for a piece of debris, make you ridiculous, and most importantly, you got to send them to the recycle bin.” ― Michael Bassey Johnson
“Don’t let people get the best of you they can say what they want but don’t let that distract you from achieving your goals.” ― Alcurtis Turner
“The friends who would forsake you for choosing to live a positive life, would also leave you if you find yourself going through some painful consequences due to some negative decisions and actions.” ― Edmond Mbiaka
“To be of good quality, you have to excuse yourself from the presence of shallow and callow minded individuals.”― Michael Bassey Johnson
“Negativity will distract you from your goals, so don’t entertain it.” ― Carlos Wallace
Did any of these quotes about toxic people help you?
I hope reading through these quotes reminds you that you deserve positive, supportive, emotionally mature people in your corner.
You may not be able to drop all of the toxic people from your life (your boss, Aunt Sue, your sister's husband), but you can minimize your exposure to them.
And you can speak up for yourself and call out hurtful, manipulative, or selfish behaviors when you see or hear them.
Most of the time, toxic people are childish bullies who are dealing with their own pain and insecurities. Perhaps you can find them more tolerable by recognizing they may be unhappy and suffering too.
Let your kindness and confidence serve as an example for these toxic people to emulate. At the very least, they will recognize that they can no longer hurt or manipulate you.