7 Things you can do to DISARM a Toxic Person

These people are Master Manipulators, they are the consummate actors, putting on a mask, hiding who they really are; some of the Red Flags would have been the mask dropping and you catching a glimpse of their true character. 

Either being in a relationship or having walked away from one hurts so much and there are so many questions. You need to make yourself the priority and heal. 

They may be unaware of their negative impact has on others. And some get pleasure from the chaos they cause and they make you believe it is all your fault. 

These people are in families and the workplace or you might find them in your friendship circle or that you are in a romantic relationship. We have 3 main fears and they are Shame, Guilt and Abandonment. And these people seem to have the ability to push these buttons. They use techniques to bring up fear or they project their fear on to you; because the reality of this is they are very insecure people who don’t like themselves who are carrying around a lot of shame, who have a huge wound of Guilt and who are almost paralysed by the fear of Abandonment. 

Start listening to your body – it doesn’t lie. 

Empaths see patterns.

  1. Breathe • When you start to recognise the signs from a specific person as they each have their own unique style you can start to listen to your body and it will help you. It is will your warning sign you need to break away, to move away from this person. Make an excuse and leave the room, office or where ever you are. On a train bus or plane maybe a little bit more difficult but there is always the excuse of needing the toilet. Or perhaps you have cramp in your leg and you need to stretch it… Move away and then breathe. Long slow deep breaths. If you can use the Superman pose – Amy Cuddy explains this so well in her video and the link is here – https://youtu.be/Ks-_Mh1QhMc • When you are in a relationship and that includes in the work environment you are under attack, like a soldier going to war, only you didn’t sign up for this. You are under constant attack. Trauma can take a huge toll on the body. Standing with your legs hip-width apart and your hands on your hips can help you change the chemicals in your body. When a parent starts to criticise you make an excuse and leave the room or leave. When a co-worker starts to trigger feelings of not being worthy, go to the toilet or if you can go outside. Take yourself out of the situation and breath long slow breaths, calming it down so you can respond calmly and assertively. 
  2. Say no • This word is hard for people. Toxic people have no tolerance of boundaries and they love people who do because they love putting a boundary until it collapses. It could be at work and you are asked to do something in addition to your work, it could be at home when you have someone demanding your time, or that you do something or go somewhere with them. It might be a relation or friend who calls you up or wants to see you and they ask how are you and launch into their problems and what has been going on in their life leaving you drained. Set new boundaries. Practise saying no and see how it feels. If you notice you feel overwhelmed when you are with a person, start to look at what they are constantly wanting from you. If you struggle with no then say you need to check ABC and give yourself time to strengthen yourself and say it doesn’t work time-wise or you have something that clashes; if they call you, set a time boundary mentally or verbally. If you are asked to take on extra projects at work say you need to check the deadlines for what you have on at the moment. At home take yourself off and have a bath or read a book. If people call you to come to them then explain you are busy and that they can come to you. 
  3. Listen and observe • When you start to understand what a toxic relationship looks like and feels like you can start to listen to your body. Your body will tell you how you feel about a certain situation or environment. You may notice a calmness at home or work when certain people aren’t around. Don’t get caught in their drama or their manipulation tactics. Before interacting try and listen to what is and isn’t being said, are you being drawn into a situation where you are being used in some way? Are you being covertly picked on at work? Listen and observe what is going on before you react. Your sweet soul needs to understand that people can pretend to like you for their own gain. This could be a lover proclaiming their love to you because of the attention you bathe them in or a Parent demanding attention ‘because of all the things they have done for you’. It could be a colleague with fake praise manipulating other colleagues who fear being treated the same way.  
  4. Focus on what is good for you • This is about power and control and they want you to focus all your attention on them. In a romantic relationship it might be that they make you question who you are and doubt your dreams, they help you create a fake future together, one is around what they want. In the workplace it might be challenging your ability to do something, creating a fear in you or in the family environment they tell you you can’t do something or that you have never been good at something. These are covert manipulation tactics to keep you where they need you, which is close by to provide attention to them. Again listen to your body and those little bubble thoughts – have you heard this from someone else before? Do any of the statements remind you of anyone? Start to claim your focus back, we get what we put out – basic law of attraction. Start thinking and focusing on what you want. Start to challenge some of the statements – are you bad with money? Are you easily influenced by other people? What were your dreams for the future? Are they still intact? Who is this person judging your ability at work? Are they qualified to do that? Focus on what you want. 
  5. Distance yourself and Detach • Once you start to recognise the signs (and believe me I know how hard it is, it might be moments hours or days later you recognise the covert manipulation) and realise who these people are and their game you can start to create a strategy to protect yourself because this is all about you. You must never play a toxic person at their own game, it will backfire and you will get hurt. You need to distance yourself and emotionally detach yourself. Again listen to your body, what emotions are coming up? It could be anger, fear, shame, guilt or any on the spectrum. What age to do you feel? If your response is around abandonment or fitting in again remove yourself from the situation. The object of this game is to get a response from you, and toxic people don’t care if you explode at them in a surge of anger or bust out crying; they will thrive if you gush with enthusiasm all they want to know if they have some form of power over you, that is all they care about, who they can control and who they can’t. By distancing and detaching yourself from a situation you are stating you are not playing this game. For you, this is about finding your poker face and not revealing anything. Remove yourself, take long very deep breaths and strike a pose… 
  6. Create Space • This can be physical space where you find somewhere to go to meditate or it can be the toilet cubicle. Being surrounded by toxic people affects your energy it is vital you find safe spaces. Just by being out of their aura for a few minutes can be enough to refocus. But you will need to create a space in your home or garden or perhaps you can find a nice walk in nature or at a park. There is nothing more joyful than hearing the sound of children laughing to change your energy. 
  7. Strike a pose • I am not a Madonna fan… However, we are all a bunch of chemicals being held in place by our largest organ our skin. Think of the statues in the museums carved out of white marble don’t react become a statue, become ‘Venus de Milo’ who can be found in the Louvre in Paris. She has no arms and some speculation she is a depiction of Venus. We like Goddesses. Be the Goddess of love for yourself, allow the white marble to bounce the attacks you are hearing and send them back from where they came from. We are all a bunch of chemicals and we react much like a lab experiment, add an ingredient and you may get an explosion, add something different and you can have the opposite reaction. Don’t engage, walk away find a space and strike a pose. Have you tried having a conversation with a marble statue? Marble a bit like grey rock struggles to communicate and you don’t get a reaction either. 


  • Elizabeth Goddard

    Author of the A-Z of Emotional Abuse and Finding Lily I help people break the invisible bonds that keep them trapped after a relationship

    Through my own healing journey, I know the damage emotional abuse leaves both in your internal life and your external, physical, and financial life because I’ve been there.

    This was a game and I didn’t have the rules. After an unhealthy relationship, I was left a shell of my former self and I’d lost everything; I was broke and I was broken… 

    I was stuck in a debilitating cycle of questioning and doubting myself- 

    “If only I had said… If only I hadn’t said… Maybe if I had done… Maybe if I hadn’t done… “ I thought it was all my fault.

    The very first part of healing was dealing with the invisible bonds the Trauma Bonding, which kept me trapped unable to move on.  I eventually realised it really wouldn’t have made any difference if I had said or done anything differently I would still be here, I might have been granted more time but I also might have been even more traumatised. 

    I believe the emotions we feel are trapped trauma and we experience over and over again until we remove it completely from our system. 

    And that we need to get to the root cause, and much like a verruca, if a tiny part of the root is left it will lay dormant until it is triggered again. 

    The problem with a lot of methods is they only scratch the surface of the problem and act more like a bandaid rather than a full solution…

    Every step I have taken over the last 20 years has brought me to this point to be able to spot the hallmarks of abuse and transform the grit into gold

    Each new level of understanding has expanded my toolbox.

    I am so passionate about the work I do with clients, seeing them gain the clarity and the inner healing is magical and to see their faces change physically after just one session inspires me. 

    And I love having a business that allows me to travel, for travel was something that saved me when I was going through my own healing journey. 

    When I’m not working on Revive Your Soul, you will probably find me in my garden tending to my vegetables, might find me walking along the canals, writing, or meeting friends for coffee. Or you might spot me at the airport…

    Elizabeth Goddard

     Author - Finding Lily & A-Z of Emotional Abuse and Emotional Abuse Specialist