Toxic people have always been a drag; you know the ones that just drain your energy and never have anything good to say. Research shows they can actually physically harm your brain. So here are a few of the best ways to deal with toxic people.

1. Distance yourself

Complainers and negative people wallow in their problems and fail to focus on solutions. They want people to join their pity party so that they can feel better about themselves. Think of it this way; if the complainer were smoking, would you sit there inhaling the secondhand smoke? No, you’d distance yourself, and you should do the same with complainers. A great way to set limits is to ask complainers how they intend to fix the problem. They will either quiet down or redirect the conversation in a productive direction.

2. Stay aware of your emotions

Maintaining an emotional distance requires awareness. You can’t stop someone from pushing your buttons if you don’t recognise when it’s happening.

3. Establish boundaries

Once you’ve found your way to rise above a person, you’ll begin to find their behavior more predictable and easier to understand. This will equip you to think rationally about when and where you have to put up with them and when you don’t.

4. Squash negative self-talk

Sometimes you absorb the negativity of other people. Just remember negative self-talk is unrealistic, unnecessary and self-defeating. It sends you into a downward emotional spiral that is difficult to pull yourself out of, and you should avoid it at all costs.

5. Don’t focus on problems, only the solution

Where you focus your attention determines your emotional state. When you fixate on the problems you’re facing, you create and prolong negative emotions and stress. When you focus on actions to better yourself and your circumstances, you create a sense of worth that produces positive emotions and reduces stress.

6. Don’t let anyone limit your joy

Always take people’s opinions with a grain of salt. No matter what toxic people are thinking or doing, know your self-worth comes from within. Regardless of what people think of you at any particular moment, one thing is certain; you’re never as good or bad as they say you are.