I recently had a friend ask me what to do about a person that was bringing negativity to her life. She felt that she wanted to break off the relationship but was nervous about the implications that might have. The two people travel in the same circles and the person bringing the alleged toxicity had a certain amount clout within their peer group.
My friend simply didn't know if the backlash from breaking off their friendship was worth it. She didn't want to lose other friends or make things awkward at events moving forward.
My advice was to disengage with love.
To disengage with love, we take back our power. That person no longer, irks us. When we aren't engaging with them, we can step back and see them as human. We can recognize that they have a story, and their path got them to where they are, and they are no more or less human than us.
Disengaging with love isn't dramatic and takes no physical action. It's more of a mental shift on our part. We choose to no longer let them affect us.
We don't respond to them, we don't talk about them, they are insignificant to us, and free to live their best life, without us.
There may be initial backlash. "What happened with you and so and so? Are you guys OK?" but eventually the initial sting of disengaging goes away. You choose which events to go to, you choose how to act when you're there. When people ask you about the relationship, you TELL THE TRUTH. "I just didn't feel like we were aligned anymore, and I've got plenty of work to do on myself so I'm just focused on me right now." The toxicity will be gone and you will have freed someone else up from your negative energy about them. When a relationship has obviously reached it's expiration date, disengaging is a gift to both parties.