I call them poisonous people, but I saw a book title recently that referred to these people as Toxic People. And it doesn't matter if you have mad people skills, all of us have problems dealing with poisonous people. And what really stinks about poisonous people is that they pollute, many times intentionally, other great relationships you might have and often cause havoc for those friendships too.
The good thing is that there are effective ways to deal with poisonous people. Being a Pastor I have had many opportunities to interact with these kinds of people and have, through trial and error, learned what works and what doesn't work when dealing with poisonous people.
1) STAY AWAY FROM POISONOUS PEOPLE
The best thing you can do really is to simply stay away from poisonous people. Avoid them all together. I know that sometimes that can be difficult because they are co-workers, church members, or even family. But you have always have a choice who you hang around!
It's really challenging to get out of a relationship with a poisonous person. They usually make you, or attemp to, feel bad or guilty for staying away. But again, this is why it's good to just stay away. It's so much easier to just not start a relationship, then it is to break it off. Make it easy on yourself.
2) BREAK UP WITH THE POISONOUS PERSON
The fact is you most likely have some poisonous people in your life. I know this is difficult, because I have had to "break up" with poisonous people over the years. They don't just walk away either, they like to poison others on their way out (this helps them to feel better about not being your friend if they can poison others to not be your friend too ... it's pure evil) again this is what they do because they are poisonous people. But just like getting poisonous food out of your system can be a little messy and uncomfortable, but wow it feels good once it's out! It's worth the temporary discomfort and mess!
3) SET BOUNDARIES
This is typically what you would do with family, since you can't always break up with them or seperate yourself from them totally. When you set boundaries you are simply making the rules for the relationships and proteecting yourself from being poisoned to death. And if they abide by the rules, whatever they may be - i.e. refusing to bail them out of trouble, not listening to them gossip or slander other people (cause this is what poisonous people do), etc.) This protects you from their negative toxic behavior.
4) MOVE ON
Poisonous people are very skilled at making people feel bad or guilty when they don't get who or what they want. Often the very thing they use to manipulate you is your own guilt. Don't be guilty! You are doing the right thing for you!
5) DON'T EVEN GET INTO IT WITH THEM
There have been those times I have tried to break up and they want to try an manipulate their way back into my life through guilt, fear, pain, sadness, and their favorite is playing the victim. They are always the one who was wronged, or hurt or mis-treated. They didn't deserve it, and especially didn't do anything wrong. They are the perfect poisonous person! You can't reason with these people, they live in their own little poisonous world that revolves around them and they don't know another way to live.
Poisonous people are just that, poison! They are poisonous to organizations, friendships, marriages, and companies. And they are so easy to spot; they usually, no matter the situation, will have something negative to say about someone (that they no longer are friends with because that person broke up with them for the same reason you want to break up with them) - be it family, a friend, a co-worker, a spouse, a relative, a church member, or someone in leadership, etc. They are typically hateful, and bitter and often will try to mask that by being a do-gooder. They are the person who will often do good, but they do it to be seen! They want others to see their good deeds.
The good thing about life, and something you should always remember - the TRUTH always wins out, always! Sometimes it may take some time, but it does. Just walk in the LOVE of God and it all works out.