IAS Officer’s Thread On Getting Rid of Toxic People From Our Lives Goes Viral

2013-batch IAS officer Divya Mittal, who is District Magistrate of Sant Kabir Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh, suggests ways to cut out toxic people from our lives. In a long Twitter thread, she points out typical traits of toxic people so that it’s easier to recognise them and explains why it’s necessary to stay away from them. Toxic people have a way of making us feel drained and diminished, so we cannot perform to the best of our abilities in any exam, at work, or any other activity.

There is no dearth of toxic people in this world. They are there all around us spreading pessimism and negativity. Whether it’s a pessimistic family member, a neighbour who always teases you, a friend who doesn’t respect your time, or a manipulative boss, it’s an unavoidable chain. Sometime, it may just seem just like an inconvenience, but the truth is, these types of persons or individuals could be dangerous to your health, your career, your overall well-being.

If you are an UPSC aspirant, you should be extra aware of this type of people, and stay away from them. Because, being the toughest exam of India, UPSC CSE not only needs more time, but it also needs more concentration. And these toxic people have a way of making you feel drained and diminished, so you cannot do as much as you want in UPSC preparation or in other exam or activity, for that matter. Not only do you have less physical and mental energy after spending time with them, they also have a profound effect on your sense of self.

So, 2013-batch IAS officer and District Magistrate of Sant Kabir Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh, Ms. Divya Mittal suggests ways to cut out such toxic people from our lives. She recently tweeted: “Who are toxic people? Why is it so difficult to cut them out? What to do about it? Having dealt with them myself, a thread on learnings.”

IAS Officer Divya Mittal


In the first tweet of the long thread, Ms. Mittal talks about how to recognize the toxic people around us.

“Kinds of toxic people:

1. Judge: You always feel judged in their presence. You can never live up to their standards no matter what you do. They make you feel non-valued.

2. Critic: They always poke holes in your actions and make you feel inadequate.

3. Victim: It is never their fault. They won’t take responsibility. They make you feel guilty for the situation they are in.

4. Manipulator: They want to control your thoughts, words and actions. They make you see the world from their eyes. You depend on them and feel helpless

5. Energy vampire: You don’t understand why, but you feel heavy/ tense around them. When you tell them your problem, they’ll say their problem is bigger. If you tell them a good news, they say you be happy while their life sucks.”


Then, she focuses upon why people cannot easily leave toxic people around them. She writes: “Why is it so difficult to leave them?

1.  You are a nice person, and feel guilty about abandoning them

2. They are mostly a close relation. A childhood association. Hence, the guilt is even higher.

3. They keep each action small. You are confused if they are really toxic, or you are overreacting.

4. They keep saying they love you or that they are doing it for your benefit.

5. When you try to leave, they use the same toxic behavior even more.”


In her next tweet, she proves her verbal theory with examples.

“Judge: I knew you would leave me when your purpose is done.

Critic: You are a bad person and hence leaving me.

Victim: You are leaving me at a time I need you the most.

Manipulator: Will manipulate you into staying.

Energy vampire: Just make you feel heavy.”


Then, Ms. Mittal talks about how we should all deal with them. She said, “First step is to recognize the toxicity. This is the most difficult!

1. Put yourself first. You have to save yourself before saving anyone. Don’t feel guilty of looking out for yourself.

2. Offer compassion but don’t try to cure them.

3. If you can, cut them out from your life and walk away.”

Credit: Social Media


If you are someone who cannot follow the above suggested ways to deal with such persons, Ms. Mittal has few other ideas for you. She said, “If you can’t walk away:

4. Talk to them: Examples. I won’t participate in negative discussions. I won’t be ok with criticism, etc.

5. Make yourself unavailable – “I can’t talk right now. I am busy.”

6. Set boundaries – Help them but not at the cost of your sanity.

Maintain calm – They feed on drama. Don’t get drawn in. You need to forgive them to start your own healing. BUT ALWAYS REMEMBER. Forgive, but NEVER forget. Don’t hope that they will change.”


She concludes her thread with few positive and very important words: “Your primary responsibility is towards yourself and other positive people in your life. Without being mentally healthy yourself, you can’t perform to the best of your ability. Hope this helps someone facing toxicity.”

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