Ask the Register

Question: How do I stop wasting my emotions and time on a problematic person I’ve already tried to cut out of my life? I’ve blocked them on all socials, don’t talk to them at school, but they still treat my friends immaturely.  


Dear Distressed Overthinker, 


Putting some distance between you and someone problematic is always effective, but in this situation with someone you go to school with, this solution will not always work. Because you inevitably must be around them, you must learn how to turn their toxicity into something positive or you will let them ruin every moment you are around them.  

Instead of focusing on them and what they are doing, focus on yourself. Think of something that makes you happy. If you are with a friend talk to them as a distraction. Focus on having fun where you are and ignoring that problematic person. 


Moving on to your friends. You cannot control other people’s actions. Meaning you cannot control the toxic person or your friends. So, if your friends repeatedly choose to put themselves in this situation, unfortunately there is not much you can do. 

It is always good to comfort your friends and be there for them, but if your friends are placing themselves with the problematic person on purpose, you might want to think about putting up a boundary by telling your friends you care about them and how this problematic person affects how you feel, and that you don’t want to hear about them is a way to distance yourself even further from that person. 


It is you putting yourself in a situation with the toxic person. Even if you are not interacting with them, being around them may affect you. If you are near them, see if there is anywhere else you can go. If you are going to be somewhere with them where you cannot put enough distance between you and the problematic person, distract yourself and do not let them affect you. 

I recommend being kind to this person when you must. Returning their toxicity will not do you any favors. But you also need to remember to put up boundaries and be upfront if they are doing something you consider too far. 

This person is not worthy of your or your friends’  emotions or time, so do not let them control it. Have self-respect by putting a distance, implementing boundaries, and ignoring their actions. 


Don’t take it personally and just ignore, ignore, ignore.  

Good luck Distressed Overthinker and thanks for writing.