It’s time to ditch the hangers-on, the mentally draining and the show offs. It’s time to let yourself shine by eliminating the toxins from your life.

When it comes to giving advice, Oprah Winfrey is as close as we get to a modern day Aristotle, and when she said, “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher,” she couldn’t have been more spot on.

The simple fact is: if you want to live life to the fullest, you need to eliminate toxic company who, unfortunately, dominate more areas of your life than you realise, and surround yourself with the best people possible.

Mentally strong people aren’t flawless, they just hang around with the right people to help them look, feel and act better. The trick is to identify the ‘toxins’, and learn to avoid them.

THE TOXIN: Leeches

This is the person who is always all too happy to ask for a handout, the person who always walks away when it’s their turn to get the round in. They are comfortable with their substandard financial direction and living on cash you lend and favours you give.

Treatment: Start saying ‘no’ and don’t feel guilty in doing so. They will always be a leech and will just find someone else to bleed dry. However, these leeches are not to be confused with a friend genuinely in need. The difference is a leech feels comfortable in their position and will always ask for money or favours.

THE TOXIN: Gossips

Like a sugar high their salacious stories will only make you feel bad afterwards. Spilling the beans on other people’s misfortunes has a profound negative effect on the life of the gossiper and the people who indulge them.

Treatment: Disassociate yourself from the gossiper or risk people never trusting you with important information. Only speak well of others and remove yourself from their sphere.

THE TOXIN: Bone idle

Mix with lazy people and you risk one of two things: doing everything because you can’t bear the thought of waiting for them to do it or becoming lazy yourself – if can’t beat them, join them. Don’t let them slow you down.

Treatment: Limit the time you spend with this toxin and do the exact opposite of their negative motions. When they’re being immobile force yourself to be proactive. Don’t fall into their trap.

THE TOXIN: Doom and gloomers

Like the bone idle these types of people have an infamous skill that sees their sensibilities seep into those around them, reflecting their feelings. They have an ability to deflate your energy.

Treatment: If your life sucks, do something about it. You will achieve nothing wallowing in self-doubt. There will always be periods of bad luck, but it is never life-long, regardless of how you feel. Try and help those who are depressed find the positive side.

THE TOXIN:  Unintelligent

Not everyone is blessed with an IQ of Einstein and it is not those people who are the problem here. The problem is with those who are actually mildly intelligent but are also so self-righteousness, ignorant and have a major ego that they often jump to their own conclusion, misinterpreting the reality and sticking their oar in where it is not needed.

Treatment: These people inevitable put their foots in it so hold tight, be patient in the knowledge that you know what is correct and allow them to fall on their own sword.

THE TOXIN: Braggers

“I’m great at my job,” “I don’t know anyone who I don’t get on with,” “I’m really great at being disciplined.” The show-off will always spend time boasting about their ‘so-called’ achievements in an attempt to prove their worth to themselves.

Treatment: The sad thing is, this type of person often has little self-worth and their attempts to make people envious are laughable – most people will see through it. By associating yourself with this person you could be tarred with the same brush.

THE TOXIN: Exaggerators 

The been-there-and-done-that-better-than-you person tends to spend more time telling a story of what they have done or are going to do than actually getting anything done. These are the people who are doing far less than they say.

Treatment: Never believe a big talker unless they can provide proof and details that backs up their claims, otherwise you’re just wasting your time.

THE TOXIN: Sceptics

Very similar to the constantly depressed in that they have a very negative approach. While they might not feel as down in the dumps as the doom and gloomers, they will have a negative attitude when it comes to achieving their dreams – they will think they are unattainable and therefore simply stick with the basics and what they know.

Treatment: Sometimes in life, in order to move forward, we need to take risks. Dreams only become a reality when you put in the hard work. The sceptic will just stop that from happening. You will never progress with a sceptic.

THE TOXIN: No hopers

These people have a combination of the traits seen in sceptics and the bone idle. They don’t aspire to be anything better than what they are. They don’t dream for a better life or career. They are happy just to settle. If it’s not broke don’t fix it is their motto even if it should be smashed to smithereens.

Treatment: Stay with a no hoper long enough and you see yourself as viewing dreams as just that, dreams.

THE TOXIN: Unadventurous

Also known as the boring, sticking to what they know best in spite of reliable information that something great awaits if they try something slighting different. This is the type of person who will go to the same holiday destination year in and year out, staying at the same hotel, eating at the same restaurants, eating the same food and visiting the same sites. They refuse to acknowledge the rest of the glorious world that is waiting for them with open arms.

Treatment: Stick with the unadventurous and you can kiss goodbye to excitement and knowledge – what are you ever going to learn if you don’t take a different path? Life is so much more fulfilling when you are willing to leave your comfort zone, at least every once in a while.

THE TOXIN: Immature

To be honest these people are already driving you crazy with their abbreviations and YOLO (you only live once) attitudes and their “I’m down with the kids” proclamations, so ditching them will probably be easy.

Treatment: While it’s important to be aware of modern trends, pretending to be hip and young is not going to help you. You will just look like someone who is struggling to deal with getting older. Maturity shows confidence and knowledge. Immaturity suggests stupidity and desperation.


It’s not going to be easy, but you deserve better. Follow these steps for a successful life detox.

Recognise the toxic people in your life.

 Stop pretending that their actions are OK.

 Express your issues with their behaviour.

 If they don’t change, politely dump them.

 If dumping them is too harsh, set solid boundaries, limit your time with them and let them know their toxic behaviour will not be tolerated.

 Stick to your beliefs and be confident in yourself.

 Find like-minded people and allow yourself to grow, positively.


Image: Getty