"Toxic people will pollute everything around them. Don't hesitate. Fumigate."
~ Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass
Toxic people are like a bad haircut, you're going to have at least one in your life and you may just have to put up with it for awhile. I'd like to say that the choice is yours on what that time limit is but in reality it doesn't always work that way.
The toxin may come from a coworker or boss that you have no ability to get away from. It may be a teacher you have to deal with for a year or four, a relative you need to see at occasions or an ex-spouse that, if you have children, you are stuck dealing with until your children are grown. Unfortunately a hazmat mask or fumigation doesn't always work and you need to, well, choke down some poison.
The trick is not letting it control you. Typically a toxic person is all about themselves and every drama, conversation or achievement is completely in their limelight. Often energy vampires, if you find yourself dreading being around someone you have to ask yourself why you need to be? They tend to have little sense of humor about life in general, taking everything way too seriously and not only sweating the small stuff but obsessing about the tiniest of trauma to the most mundane turmoils.
If it's a contact that you can minimize find your best approach to minimize it. Why not? What do you gain having any relationship above the minimally mandated one with a person or people that only cause you stress or dread? Unless they saved your life and you are in their debt maybe move on, or at least buy a hat to cover the bad haircut.
Sometimes, on occasion, a toxic person gets better. This is, maybe, the case of my ex-husband, according to my kids. He actually seems to be TRYING HARDER. They aren't finding excuses not to see him and reasons to avoid interaction. He is attempting to be less toxic. I'm not about to run out and join him for coffee, but I'm thrilled if a relationship with the kids improves. I may actually get a day or two more of free time.
Whether it's a new friend, a dating prospect or an old relationship you've never been quite sure about, beware how the toxins can control and depress you. We get one chance at life and to waste time with people who can't see beyond their own importance is a waste of whatever happiness is pure, unfiltered and genuine.
If you feel like a toxin can be filtered maybe check in now and then to see, surprises happen. But if every indicator points to a naturally poisonous demeanor then by all means, stop, breathe, and let go. Walk away and let the stale air fall behind you. There is too much fresh air to breathe anything else.
"Love is in the air but the air is highly polluted."