ONE - YOU TEACH PEOPLE NOT TO TAKE YOU FOR GRANTED
Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted - Aldous Huxley.
Let's be honest - if you meet a doormat, a people-pleaser, an ass-kisser, a yes-man/woman, a blind follower etc. in the wild - do you honestly respect them? Value them? Feel that they are extremely important and afraid of losing them?
Don't feel bad about what you truly feel - even the kindest person struggle to treat them with anything more than kindness and pity.
It takes a phenomenal kind of self-consciousness and everyday reminder to not take things for granted - we all already struggle with not taking our own personal things for granted. Most people simply do not have the mental energy to not take everybody else for granted if that person is readily available 24/7.
You gotta help them with that by being extremely exclusive and ephemeral.
When they know you are not someone to be treated carelessly lest you cut them off the next second - they will behave themselves and treat you with respect.
TWO - YOU TEACH YOURSELF SELF-RESPECT
When you get used to cutting people off the moment they poke at your boundaries - you let your own psyche know that this kind of treatment and those kind of people are a big ass NO. You introduce your intuition to what it should look out for next time.
So the next time you meet that kind of people again - your intuition is already on - it already got all the parameters needed to identify threat, so all is left is to fire the alarm.
And it becomes absolutely normal to just get up and walk away - who cares if anybody's feelings get hurt - it is their fault in the first place. You don't even feel anything because you already created a new common sense - aka you ain't taking no shit and ain't dealing with bullsh*t.
That's how you teach yourself self-respect - by promptly removing yourself from any people that disrespect you and see it as a common sense. Duh.
THREE - IT MAKES YOUR LIFE SO MUCH TIDIER (AND SAFER)
Just like possessions, you accumulate so much "junk" in your life in the form of toxic people who are still sticking around because they want to use and abuse you. You are the convenient "friend" they can call whenever they want and take whatever they need. And throw you under the bus if that will get them places.
Yes, you have been friends with her since childhood and she was there through thick and thin (which is normal because you both are kids/teenagers, no big responsibilities. But the past is the past - people change with time). But she treats you like sh*t NOW and put you in danger NOW because she oh so badly wants that man.
Sometimes you gotta choose the hard choice - you have to prioritize your safety and sanity.
That's how you declutter your life and just keep a few select, quality friends. Or start from zero and make better choices this time.
You cannot create a new, better life unless you let got of all the "junk" in your past. Not because you suddenly become snobbish and think of them as less than - but the nature of crabs in the bucket is that they are all extremely insecure, and once they see that you are levelling up - you are going to be in literal danger.
I read a reddit post where the friend fabricated an entire scheme - complete with "evidences", "messages", "emails", doctored photos etc. to "prove" to the husband that the wife is cheating on him. She has been the friend of the wife for years.
Never underestimate how far toxic people can go in order to "teach you a lesson". They take everything you do and achieve as a personal attack on their fragile ego, and will spend all their time trying to bring you down.
If you really want to help them - you have to approach them like a professional. From afar.
You don't cut people off for the fun of it. You do it to make sure you can level up safely and healthily.