We all have difficult people in our lives who drain our energy and time. The point is to learn how to distance yourself from them.

Being around positive and encouraging people naturally makes you more positive and enables you to be the best that you can be. Likewise, if you are surrounded by difficult people, you might start to pick up on their bad habits, or find yourself dealing with their dramas before putting yourself first.

But how do you distance yourself if the difficult person is a family member or a close friend? It’s easy to be objective when we are not in the situation, but it takes real courage to remove yourself from people that are not good for your mental health.

Here are a few negative personality types and suggestions on how to distance yourself from them.


Narcissists always put themselves first, above all others. They allow people into their lives to stroke their own egos and can be extremely manipulative in getting what they want.

What this means for you is that you’ll frequently be coerced into doing something you don’t want to do. You’ll be used and taken advantage of before you even recognise what has actually happened.

To get back control from a narcissist, you have to set clear boundaries and ground rules, not just for them but for yourself also. You have to realise that you can never make a narcissist happy, and should, therefore, stop trying, it is simply too draining.

A narcissist needs constant praise and validation from others, and if you stop providing that it is very likely they’ll move on to someone who does.

Chaos Lovers

Mischievous people are one thing, however, people that love to create chaos wherever they go are something completely different. These types of people thrive on causing drama with their crazy behaviour.

They are the ones that throw the pebble into the pond and then stand back and watch the ripples affect everyone but them. Being friends with a person who loves chaos is extremely tiring, as you are always on edge, wondering what trick they have up their sleeves next.

The best way to deal with a chaos lover is to be totally objective and remove yourself from the situation. This way you can see through someone else’s eyes just how destructive and pointless he or she is behaving.

Try not to get caught up in the initial emotions of their dramas, and see them for what they are, sad, bored trouble-makers.

Negative People

Ever had a friend that just drains the very life out of you with their constant negativity? People that complain, moan or bitch about life all the time can mentally bring you down.

Just as someone who is laughing to themselves will often have people joining in with their laughter, so will a negative person spread their doom and gloom around. This can have a detrimental effect on your mental psyche.

If you are surrounded by negativity, then the best course of action is not to fuel the fire. Decide to opt-out of the moaning session, or the bitching in the office, and remove yourself from the negative atmosphere.

You don’t have to completely shut yourself away from a negative person, but try to only be in their company when they are positive and try to encourage that side of them instead. A great way to help change someone’s behaviour is to present a positive image yourself, so it is good to be mindful of your own negative feelings also.

Dependent People

Got that needy friend who won’t do anything unless you go with her? Are you starting to feel guilty because you want to spend more time with others or alone and you know they are going to react badly?

Dependent people can be exhausting, even though they might not be aware of their effect on you. You don’t want to upset them but you do need to try and encourage them to be more independent.

If you have a dependent friend or family member, always attempt to make sure they have their own plans and are not solely reliant on you. This might be suggesting they hook up with old friends, or that they follow an interest of theirs without you.

You can also mix things up a little if you find you are getting set in a routine. So don’t be available every Friday if that’s when you usually see your friend. Encourage them to branch out with other people as you are obviously not always going to be free. 

Do you have the above-described types of difficult people in your life? If yes, then how do you deal with them? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


  1. USnews.com
  2. Wikihow.com

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