It can be challenging to recognize when someone we care for, whether a family member, a friend or even someone we love, has become toxic and should be cut out of our lives for good. There are plenty of guilt-free reasons it's okay to cut someone out of your life. Not everyone deserves access to our energy and headspace. Read on for four reasons it's okay if it's time to pull the plug.

They Drain your Energy

It's totally okay to cut someone out of your life if they make you feel drained. After spending time with someone, it can often be a strong sign that they are toxic if you are mentally and physically drained. After you've spent time with someone you suspect might not be good for you, it might be helpful to write down how you're feeling. If you're feeling diminished, uncomfortable, low, and lacking self-worth, listen to your gut feelings and let them go.

They've become Controlling

It's okay to cut someone out of your life who you feel has become controlling. It's never okay to be manipulated or controlled by another person. Manipulation and controlling behaviors can be hard to recognize, so look out for these warning signs:

  • They keep you isolated
  • You're always being blamed
  • Constant criticism
  • They ignore your boundaries
  • You feel you're acting out of character.

They're All Take

It's okay to cut someone out of your life who is all take and no give. Relationships should always be a two-way street. If it seems someone views your relationship as a means to an end or a way to validate their success, brilliance, power, or beauty, it might be time to walk away. When someone like this is on your radar, it's a good idea to watch out for narcissistic personality disorder symptoms. People with NPD often control, manipulate and coerce others to get what they want. If someone you love shows a range of these symptoms before you walk away, you could encourage them to see a healthcare provider. If diagnosed with NPD, they could access the help they need and may be able to save the relationship.

You've Outgrown Each Other

It's okay to cut someone out of your life who you've simply outgrown. Often as we grow older, change and evolve, certain relationships will degenerate. This can be challenging to address as neither of you will have necessarily "done anything wrong". But if you find you don't look forward to spending time with them anymore, you quickly run out of things to talk about and sit watching the clock when you're together. It could be time to say goodbye.

If you think someone needs help, that doesn't mean you must stick around to help them. If you've identified any of these behaviors and feel it's time you cut someone out of your life for your own mental health and safety, it won't be easy, but sometimes it is necessary.