How to Use Toxic People to Your Advantage

Christians will often confuse scriptures like, ‘Overcome evil with good,’ ‘Bear one another’s burdens,’ and ‘Turn the other cheek’ with allowing narcissistic people to abuse you.

But the bible is clear on how to handle narcissists, particularly 2 Timothy 3:1-5:

“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”

(For the full teaching on what the Bible says, check out the video Does God Expect Christians to Stay with Narcissists?)

Scripture is clear. It says, to avoid such people. 

But what do you do when avoidance isn’t an option? Let’s say you are in a marital covenant with no biblical release. Or perhaps you are bound to take care of an aging parent who has abused you. Or you believe that regardless of your circumstances, God is telling you to stay. Whatever the reason may be, there are plenty of people who feel stuck in toxic relationships. 

I believe that God is our deliverer and just like He rescued the Israelites from their bondage, He can do the same for you.

But in the meantime, there are some things that you can do to live in peace and use this toxic person to YOUR advantage:

  1. Adjust your expectations. Just because you’ve decided to stay and endure with love, peace, and patience, it doesn’t mean you’re going to do the same in return. If you are staying out of obedience to the Lord, then expect your reward to come from him, not the toxic person. And keep in mind that reward may not even happen on this side of eternity. In other words, be careful where you hang your hope. If you keep hanging your hope on the fact that this person will eventually ‘get it’ and change, you will likely be sadly disappointed. Proverbs 13:12 reminds us that hope deferred makes the heart sick.
  2. Be prayerful. Prayer changes things. So continue to pray for repentance from this person. Believe me, my friend, God wants to see them repent more than you do. And I’ve seen narcissists change. I’ve seen them come to themselves and truly try to live a selfless life that honors God. It’s few and far between, but it is possible. Keep praying, but at the same time, keep your hope in the Lord, not in this person
  3. Use them. No, not in the ungodly way they use you; use your interactions with them to reveal what’s going on inside of YOU. Yes, it’s likely that their behavior is toxic but toxic usually triggers toxic. So if you are having outsized, inappropriate reactions that leave you feeling guilty or looking like part of the problem, it’s likely there’s something in you that God needs to heal. So let the toxic interaction reveal what’s going on inside of you so you can deal with it and allow God to heal it. Don’t be like the narcissist who pushes their dysfunctions aside and blames others. Yes, the narcissist could be triggering you, but you can’t have an explosion if there’s no explosive material. Romans 8:28 reminds us, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” God can use anything from anyone at any time.
  4. Live your purpose. Ephesians 2:10 reminds us that “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” That means that God has a special and specific plan for your life and it does not include complying with unbiblical, self-centered, toxic behavior. 

Set your mind to discover what God is calling you to do with your life and you’ll be less likely to be sucked into their drama. Remember, your life purpose ISN’T all about them. As much as they’d like it to be, that’s not biblical.

If you want to learn how to handle all types of toxic people, grab my FREE Toxic People Survival Guide.

If you want the tools needed to deal with toxic people, then check out my online course How to Deal with Toxic People.

If you’re wondering why you always seem to attract these people, check out this video on the 6 Signs You’re Susceptible to Narcissists. 

More You Might Enjoy from Kris

If you want the tools needed to deal with toxic people, then check out my online course How to Deal with Toxic People.