Cutting all ties with a toxic partner, family member or friend is easier said than done. But Dr. Phil McGraw, author of the new book "Life Code," says that it's extremely important to know not just when but how to cut your losses and remove that toxic person -- a "BAITER," as he puts it -- from your life. (BAITER, as can be seen in the clip, is an acronym for Backstabbers, Abusers, Imposters, Takers, Exploiters and Reckless.)
In this clip from "Oprah's Lifeclass," Dr. Phil shares his foolproof method for cutting toxic people out of your life for good -- even when the toxic person is an old boyfriend or ex-husband and temptation is trying to persuade you to do otherwise. It all comes down to one important ability: trusting your gut.
"The first thing you've got to do is, you truly have to believe yourself," Dr. Phil says. "Call it gut feeling, intuition, instinct, whatever -- when you get that feeling, that should send off bells. Listen, listen, listen, listen."
Even those who are able to listen to their instincts and initially cut ties with users and abusers can still find themselves sucked back into the that familiar, toxic world. "I always see people write me and say, 'I've been divorced for, like, nine months. We went out to dinner and I really miss him,'" Dr. Phil says. "No, you don't. You miss who you wish he had been. You miss the man you wish you were married to, not the man you were married to."
Making this important distinction is key in helping you stand your ground in a breakup, though Dr. Phil acknowledges that it can be difficult to unlearn the habits that kept you around the toxic person in the first place. "We romanticize and we fill in all the gaps," he explains. "It's like [looking] up at the Big Dipper -- there's no Big Dipper up there; we have to fill in the gaps to make it a Big Dipper. So, you find a guy… and you're filling in the gaps to make him Mr. Wonderful. The bigger gap you're having to fill, the bigger problem you've got."
A special two-hour episode of "Oprah's Lifeclass" on fatherless sons airs Sunday, May 5, at 9 p.m. ET on OWN.
Earlier on HuffPost:
<span style="font-size:150%">Who said, "You have to consciously create new messages to think when you start those old ones. And the new ones would be like, '... I'm allowed to feel this. This is good for my body. This is good for my soul. This is good for my relationship.' You really have to train yourself to replace those old messages with new ones, and it's actually easier than you would think"?</span>
Answer: Sex Therapist Dr. Laura Berman
Back in 2009, Dr. Berman shared this advice with Luanne, a woman who said she'd never had an orgasm during her 20 years of marriage.
<span style="font-size:150%">Whose mustache did Oprah shave off during a live show in Times Square?</span>
Answer: Dr. Phil McGraw
In the 10th anniversary issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, Dr. Phil advised readers to throw life a game changer every now and then. Later, in a 2010 appearance on "The Oprah Show," <a href="http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Expert-Advice-with-Dr-Phil-Dr-Oz-Nate-Berkus-and-Suze-Orman" target="_hplink">he let Oprah shave off his mustache</a> -- which he'd worn for 40 years!
<span style="font-size:150%">Which expert said, "So how bad is it? On a scale of 1 to 10? Maybe 1,000. And I don't say that lightly"?</span>
Answer: Money Expert Suze Orman
Suze didn't sugarcoat her message to Felice, a mother of six who'd shopped her family more than $100,000 dollars into debt. Watch Oprah discuss the lesson she took from <a href="http://www.oprah.com/oprahs-lifeclass/Suze-Ormans-Advice-for-the-Mom-Who-Shopped-Her-Family-Broke-Video" target="_hplink">Felice's reality check from Suze</a>.
<span style="font-size:150%">Which expert gave the following advice: "If something brings up a bad memory or has negative energy around it, purge it, get rid of it"?</span>
Answer: O Creative Director Adam Glassman
Adam shared this rule for getting rid of clothing with Oprah and viewers during an "Oprah Fridays Live!" show in 2010.
<span style="font-size:150%">Which expert said: "Time heals nothing. You can do the wrong thing for 10 years, and it doesn't equal the right thing for one day"?</span>
Answer: Dr. Phil McGraw
Dr. Phil gave his take on the old adage that time heals everything during a show in 2000 on mother-daughter betrayals. Watch <a href="http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Dr-Phil-McGraws-Best-Moments-on-The-Oprah-Show-Video" target="_hplink">Oprah's reaction to this and other "Phil-isms</a>."
<span style="font-size:150%">During which expert's first appearance on the show did Oprah say, "That's the best damn job I ever saw," in response to his skill in helping a guest?</span>
Answer: Design Expert Nate Berkus
Oprah was so impressed with <a href="http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Nate-Berkus-Former-Client-Thanks-Nate-for-His-Work-Video" target="_hplink">Nate's makeover of a 319-square-foot studio apartment</a> that she told her audience to remember his name back in September 2002.
<span style="font-size:150%">Which expert accompanied a viewer to her high school reunion, where they sang a karaoke duet of "Summer Nights" from the musical "Grease"?</span>
Answer: Design Expert Nate Berkus
It was his first "Oprah Show" fashion renovation. In 2009, <a href="http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Nate-Berkus-Goes-to-a-High-School-Reunion/1" target="_hplink">Nate surprised a fifth-grade teacher</a> with a New York City makeover and then escorted her to her high school reunion.
<span style="font-size:150%">Which expert said: "We think that if we just buy the right thing, whether it's for our kids or ourselves or our home, we will acquire the life that we want -- that more is better. And it's actually simplicity. Like, happiness and abundance can be found in simplicity and actually in less"?</span>
Answer: Organizational Expert Peter Walsh
Peter noticed that children always run and dance around in the empty rooms during his home decluttering projects. He shared with Oprah's audience that kids already understand that less is more. We adults have to learn it.
<span style="font-size:150%">Which expert was shirtless onstage with Oprah in 2007?</span>
Answer: Dr. Oz
<a href="http://www.oprah.com/health/Your-Questions-Answered" target="_hplink">Dr. Oz stripped down to demonstrate Rolfing</a>, the technique developed by Dr. Ida Pauline Rolf to separate bound-up connective tissues that link the muscles.