59 Quotes About Toxic People That Are So Spot On

Do you have a toxic person in your life?

Or maybe several toxic people who have a way of driving you insane?

Often the toxic people in our lives are family members or a spouse or romantic partner.

Sometimes they can even be friends (some friend, right?).

We've put together a list of toxic people quotes that can lend some clarity to the confusion and frustration of having these poisonous people in your life.

What Is a Toxic Personality Like?

These difficult people can be:

  • Manipulative
  • Passive-aggressive
  • Controlling
  • Demanding
  • Critical
  • Irresponsible
  • Unreliable
  • 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.

What Is a Toxic Relationship? 

Toxic relationships chip away at mental health, maim self-esteem, and skew perceptions. 

Unfortunately, they’re all too common. 

People end up in toxic relationships with family members, friends, colleagues, and lovers all the time. Definitionally, they can be any connection that leaves you feeling disrespected and demeaned.

A study out of the University of California Los Angeles showed that otherwise healthy adults entangled in toxic relationships experienced increased levels of inflammation, leading to high blood pressure, depression, and atherosclerosis. 

That doesn’t mean every person who criticizes you is toxic. Sometimes, we act poorly, and people are allowed to react to our missteps. To put it another way, there’s nothing wrong with people standing up for themselves, setting boundaries, and asking to be respected. 

But continuous passive-aggressive manipulation, abuse, and demoralization are not OK. 

You can differentiate a toxic relationship from mere incompatibility when:

  • You consistently give more than you get in the relationship.
  • Your self-esteem is taking a hit because of the relationship.
  • Your needs aren’t being met.
  • You bring out the worst in each other.
  • You spend a lot of time cheering them up and avoiding their eggshells.

Sometimes, the perfect quote hits the spot. So feast on these about escaping a toxic relationship.

What Do You Say to Toxic People?

Even though you know these people aren't good for you and are causing you pain, it's hard to let them go.

And sometimes you have to keep a toxic individual around (a co-worker for example).

Knowing how to manage them to keep their negativity from infecting you is essential. Here are a few statements that can make you feel more empowered:

  • I don't like how you're speaking to me. Change your tone please.
  • I'll talk to you later when you can speak more kindly to me.
  • I don't appreciate being manipulated. I said no.
  • Please don't talk down to me.
  • Your negativity is bringing me down. I need to go now.
  • That's unacceptable to me. Don't do that again.

The quotes below also can reinforce that you are worthy of being treated with kindness and respect — no matter what.

59 Toxic People Quotes

1. “You cannot change the people around you, but you can change the people you choose to be around.” — Unknown

2. “People inspire you, or they drain you. Pick them wisely.” — Hans F. Hasen

3. “If they do it often, it isn’t a mistake; it’s just their behavior.” — Dr. Steve Maraboli

4. “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

5. “The wrong person will give you less than what you’re worth but that doesn’t mean that you have to accept it.” — Sonya Parker

6. “It’s amazing how quickly things can turn around when you remove toxic people from your life.” — Robert Tew

7. “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

8. “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

9. “Stop letting people who do so little for you control so much of your mind, feelings and emotions.” — Will Smith

10. “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

11. “If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you never will change the outcome.” — Michael Jordan

12. “While you can’t control someone’s negative behavior, you can control how long you participate in it.” — Unknown

13. “Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.” — Nido Qubein

14. “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

16. “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

17. “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

18. “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

19. “Remember…Whoever is trying to bring you down is already below you.” — Ziad K. Abdelnour

20.“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

21. “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

22. “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

23. “No matter how much you love the person, you cannot change them. You may influence them; but at the end of the day, they must decide for themselves.” — Robert E. Baines Jr.

24. “Never waste your time trying to explain yourself to people who are committed to misunderstanding you.” — Unknown

25. “The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships.” — Anthony Robbins

26. “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

27. “You cannot expect to live a positive life if you hang with negative people.” — Joel Osteen

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28. “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

29. “Someone who smiles too much with you can sometime frown too much with you at your back.” ― Michael Bassey Johnson

30. “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

31. “To protect your spirit from contamination you must limit the amount of time you spend around negative people.”― Clyde Lee Dennis

32. “Beware of those around you who subtly sow the seeds of doubt.” ― Wayne Gerard Trotman

33. “If you attach to the negative behavior of others it brings you down to their level.” – Guru Singh

34. “People who try to bring you down everyday aren’t important in your life, so you better treat their opinions as such.” – Terry Mark

35. “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

36. “When you notice someone​​ does something toxic the first time, don’t wait for the second time before you address it.” —​ Shahida Arabi

37. “Poisonous relationships can alter our perception. You can spend many years thinking you’re worthless. But you’re not worthless. You’re underappreciated.” — Dr. Steve Maraboli

38. “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

39. “I still love the people I’ve loved, even if I cross the street to avoid them.” – Uma Thurman

40. “Toxic people spread their toxin to you and then you, in turn, become a wasteland like they are.” —Body Focus

41. “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

42. “The best defense is to keep off the radar of negative people.”― Steven Redhead

43. “Handling toxic people is not an art, they will be the victim of their own toxicity” ― P.S. Jagadeesh Kumar

44. “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

45. “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

46. “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

47. “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

48. “Sometimes it’s better to end something & try to start something new than imprison yourself in hoping for the impossible.” – Karen Salmansohn

49. “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

50. “We do not have to be mental health professionals to identify the traits of the possible sociopaths among us.” ― P.A. Speers

51. “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

52. “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

53. “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

54. “To be of good quality, you have to excuse yourself from the presence of shallow and callow minded individuals.”― Michael Bassey Johnson

55. “Negativity will distract you from your goals, so don’t entertain it.” ― Carlos Wallace

56. “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.

57. “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

58. “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

59. “Make a habit of shutting down conversations that aim to tear others down.” — Unknown

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.