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Petty Quotes on Toxic People, Drama, and More

No one likes dealing with petty people. The petty quotes below will help you deal with the negative people present within your life. 

When’s the last time you dealt with a petty person? 

Petty people take every opportunity, big or small, to lash out. They are often seen as childish, rude, unreasonable, or stubborn. You may deal with these people within your friend group, family, or work environment.

Defusing their behavior can be difficult, especially since petty people are often seeking attention. Today’s collection of quotes has the advice you need to deal with these toxic people accordingly. 

Learn from the thought-provoking quotes listed below!

Petty quotes about toxic people

1. “If they do it often, it isn’t a mistake; it’s just their behavior.” – Dr. Steve Maraboli

2. “Some people are in such utter darkness that they will burn you just to see a light. Try not to take it personally.” – Kamand Kojouri

3. “Fire false friends as early as possible. Do it before they dig out the dream seeds you’ve planted! The earlier, the better; the quicker, the safer!” – Israelmore Ayivor

4. “Toxic people will pollute everything around them. Don’t hesitate. Fumigate.” – Mandy Hale

5. “Weeding out the harmful influences should become the norm not the exception.” – Carlos Wallace

6. “Let go of negative people. They only show up to share complaints, problems, disastrous stories, fear, and judgment on others. If somebody is looking for a bin to throw all their trash into, make sure it’s not in your mind.” Dalai Lama

7. “As important as it is to learn how to deal with different kinds of people, truly toxic people will never be worth your time and energy – and they take a lot of each. Toxic people create unnecessary complexity, strife, and, worst of all, stress.” – Travis Bradberry

8. “Every day you must unlearn the ways that hold you back. You must rid yourself of negativity, so you can learn to fly.” – Leon Brown

9. “There are people who break you down by just being them. They need not do anything. Dissociate.” – Malebo Sephodi

10. “When people pressure you to engage in negative decisions and actions, look at them boldly in the eyes and dare them to do good.” ― Edmond Mbiaka

11. “Don’t let negative and toxic people rent space in your head. Raise the rent and kick them out.” — Robert Tew

12. “Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.” – Dr. Steve Maraboli

13. “You cannot expect to live a positive life if you hang with negative people.” – Joel Osteen

14. “Pay no attention to toxic words. What people say is often a reflection of themselves, not you.” – Christian Baloga

15. “Don’t let toxic people sabotage your happiness, ruin your positive attitude, contaminate your mind or destroy your self-confidence. Instead, surround yourself with generous, positive, and nurturing people who will lift you up.” – Farshad Asl

Petty quotes on rudeness

16.“Frankness is usually a euphemism for rudeness.” – Muriel Spark

17.“Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.” – Eric Hoffer

18. “A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.” – Dave Barry

19. “Most of the time, people don’t mean to be rude; it’s just their sadness showing through.” – Sarah Jio

20. “Do not be threatened by rude people, because rudeness is a sign of insecurity.” – Gift Gugu Mona

21. “Being nice to those who treat you badly isn’t being fake. Your spiritual maturity has risen above the desire for vengeance.” – Michael Binot

22. “If there is a situation, I try to take a step back, cool down, and solve the problem. Flipping out, freaking out, and being very rude about it is not going to help.” – Maneet Chauhan

23. “’Honesty’ in social life is often used as a cover for rudeness. But there is quite a difference between being candid in what you’re talking about, and people voicing their insulting opinions under the name of honesty.” – Judith Martin

24. “There is a big difference you see between privately letting someone know that you’re displeased, whether they’ve done something they may not be aware of, and just rudeness – and you do not have to tolerate rudeness, by any means.” – Ysabella Brave

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Petty quotes from celebrities

25. “I’ve found men are less likely to let petty things annoy them.” Marilyn Monroe

26. “Please hug your parents while you have them, tell your children how much you love them every second of the day, and don’t let the petty things in life separate you.” – Teresa Giudice

27. “People want to create something bigger for themselves, and making up drama that isn’t there gives people the impression that they have haters. It’s all for attention so it looks like they are important.” – Alessia Cara

28. “Stop letting people who do so little for you control so much of your mind, feelings, and emotions.” Will Smith

29. “It’s easy to just be rude or just be nasty. I think it’s actually harder for people to say something positive; it’s interesting.” – Karrueche Tran

30. “If anyone is ever rude to you, then there’s no need to hang out with them! Just find the people that make you feel good.” – Colbie Caillat

31. “I believe there should be no more drama, but it’s everywhere you go. It’s just about how you get out. You’ve gotta bob and weave because it’s everywhere. How do I keep the drama low? It’s about using your head.” – Mary J. Blige

Petty quotes about drama

32. “Conflict is drama, and how people deal with conflict shows you the kind of people they are.” – Stephen Moyer

33. “Never let somebody’s drama determine the outcome of your day.” – Terry Mark

34. “The people who trigger us to feel negative emotions are messengers. They are messengers for the unhealed parts of ourselves.” – Teal Swan

35. “Practice the pause. Pause before judging. Pause before assuming. Pause before accusing. Pause whenever you’re about to react harshly and you’ll avoid doing and saying things you’ll later regret.” – Lori Deschene

36. “You don’t need anyone’s affection or approval in order to be good enough. When someone rejects or abandons or judges you, it isn’t actually about you. It’s about them and their own insecurities, limitations, and needs, and you don’t have to internalize that.” – Daniell Koepke

37. “Never waste your time trying to explain who you are to people who are committed to misunderstanding you.” – Dream Hampton

Petty quotes about speaking your mind

38. “If you are fearful of confronting others, try approaching instead. What’s the difference? When you confront, there is usually some expectation that conflict will follow. Approaching is not like this. Approaching is loving and calm, spares others from feeling judged, shares information in a gentle way, and invites conversation.” – Jason B. Fischer 

39. “Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes.” – Maggie Kuhn

40. “You can’t change what you refuse to confront.” – Unknown

41. “Have the courage to speak your mind and tell the truth from a position of love rather than anger or fear, being open to accept the views of others without feeling threatened or defeated, relinquishing the ego’s need to be in control by demonstrating the willingness to do whatever it takes to establish peace.” – Iyanla Vanzant

42. “Failure to confront, when confrontation is needed, permits the continuation of self-defeating or unreasonable behavior and inadvertently implies support for such behavior.” – A.W. Tamminen & M.H. Smaby

43. “When you give yourself permission to communicate what matters to you in every situation you will have peace despite rejection or disapproval. Putting a voice to your soul helps you to let go of the negative energy of fear and regret.” – Shannon L. Alder

44. “Speaking up is important. Yet to speak up without listening is like banging pots and pans together: Even if it gets you attention, it’s not going to get you respect.” – Gina Barreca

45. “Give yourself permission to say no without feeling guilty, mean, or selfish. Anybody who gets upset and/or expects you to say yes all of the time clearly doesn’t have your best interest at heart. Always remember: You have a right to say no without having to explain yourself. Be at peace with your decisions.” – Stephanie Lahart

46. “To say nothing is saying something. You must denounce things you are against or one might believe that you support things you really do not.” – Germany Kent

More petty quotes and sayings

47. “Change comes from confrontation. You have to be confronted or confront yourself.” – Bryant Mcgill

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48. “If there’s something wrong, speak up!” – Pete Seeger

49. “When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.” – Audre Lorde

50. “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.” – Albert Einstein

51. “Don’t sweat the petty things and don’t pet the sweaty things.” – George Carlin

52. “My life is full of drama, and I don’t have time to worry about something as petty as what I look like.” – Adele

53. “Don’t be afraid of failure; be afraid of petty success.” – Maude Adams

54. “Great wisdom is generous; petty wisdom is contentious. Great speech is impassioned, small speech cantankerous.” – Zhuangzi

55. “We should not have petty regard for God’s gifts, though we may and should despise our own imperfections.” – Saint Ignatius

Petty quotes about when things are petty and how to deal with them

56. “We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.” — Aesop

57. “Hunger, revenge, to sleep are petty foes, But only death the jealous eyes can close.” — William Wycherley

58. “The man of petty ambition if invited to dinner will be eager to be set next his host.” — Theophrastus

59. “A winner rebukes and forgives; a loser is too timid to rebuke and too petty to forgive.” — Sydney J. Harris

60. “The world perishes not from bandits and fires, but from hatred, hostility, and all these petty squabbles.” — Anton Chekhov

61. “Class is considerate of others. It knows that good manners is nothing more than a series of petty sacrifices.” — Ann Landers

62. “It is better to lose everything you have to keep the balance of justice level, than to live a life of petty privilege devoid of true freedom.” — Bryant H. McGill

63. “Never give in – never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.” Winston Churchill

64. “It is not true that suffering ennobles the character; happiness does that sometimes, but suffering for the most part, makes men petty and vindictive.” — W. Somerset Maugham

65. “Remember, always give your best. Never get discouraged. Never be petty. Always remember, others may hate you. But those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself.” — Richard M. Nixon

More petty quotes to learn from

66. “Being bigheaded can be as irritating and as dangerous as being small-minded.”
― Mokokoma Mokhonoana

67. “Listen, there are different ways of getting closure and one of those ways might be to make someone miserable for the sake of satisfying your petty soul.”― Mia Sosa

68. “Let your words be petty and actions plenty!” ― Israelmore Ayivor

69. “A petty person often misses out on what is pretty in life.” ― Gift Gugu Mona

70. “The petty man is eager to make boasts, yet desires that others should believe in him. He enthusiastically engages in deception, yet wants others to have affection for him. He conducts himself like an animal, yet wants others to think well of him.” ― Xun Kuang

71. “I’m real petty. I remember everything like an elephant.” ― Israel Adesanya

72. “Who among us has the strength to oppose petty egoism, those petty good feelings, pity and remorse?” ― Ivan Turgenev

73. “People throughout time have grieved, have fallen in love, have fallen out of love. We are sometimes petty and sometimes heroic, and we have been that way forever.” ― Monica Hesse

74. “Your energy, your spirit are important considerations. Feeling petty and frustrated can have reverberating consequences for your ability to think strategically and reach your goals.” ― Robert Greene

75. “Petty laws breed great crimes.” ― Ouida

Petty quotes from different walks of life

76. “We must become bigger than we have been: more courageous, greater in spirit, larger in outlook. We must become members of a new race, overcoming petty prejudice, owing our ultimate allegiance not to nations but to our fellow men within the human community.” –Haile Selassie

77. “The bourgeoisie and the petty bourgeoisie have armed themselves against the rising proletariat with, among other things, ‘culture.’” –George Grosz

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78. “I get so tired listening to one million dollars here, one million dollars there, it’s so petty.” –Imelda Marcos

79. “When politicians don black robes and seize powers they do not have, they should be called out for what they are – usurpers and petty tyrants.” –Pat Buchanan

80. “There’s no room for petty grievances in politics.” –Sergei Lavrov

81. “Men are separated by so many petty things.” –Aaron Huey

82. “People feel very ashamed to admit that they have in-law problems. They think it’s something petty. But it’s not petty at all. It hits deep emotions.” –Christine Leunens

83. “To be able to always have a super sense of who I was and my own real identity and be petty and seem informed and always thinking in thoughts would be great.” –Jeff Goldblum

84. “Everything is possible; we just need to be hopeful and think of the world from a human perspective. The world is so small compared to the universe, so we shouldn’t fight for petty things.” –Manal al-Sharif

85. “Whether the gentleman is capable or not, he is loved all the same; conversely the petty man is loathed all the same.” –Xun Kuang

Petty quotes to shrug off negativity

86. “Beware of those who attribute petty instructions to God.” – Abdul Sattar Edhi

87. “Never fear being a petty fool it means you ain’t dying.” – Timothy Spall

88. “Gradually the feeling wears off, and I feel swamped again by the inexplicable pettiness of being alive.” – Sebastian Faulks

89. “I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

90. “Party loyalty lowers the greatest men to the petty level of the masses.” – Jean De La Bruyere

91. “The art of giving orders is not to try to rectify the minor blunders and not to be swayed by petty doubts.” – Sun Tzu

92. “Reproof should not exhaust its power upon petty failings.” – Samuel Johnson

93. “The petty man wants to use God for himself; the ambitious man wants God to use him for God.” – Criss Jami

94. “The constant petty behests of life permit few opportunities for major satisfactions, and when one is offered it should be seized.” – Rex Stout

95. “Our thoughts are broadcasts of the soul, not secrets of the brain. Kind ones bring us happiness; petty ones, untold pain.” – Ritu Ghatourey

Thought-Provoking Petty Quotes

96. “It isn’t a mistake if they do it often; it is just their behavior.” — Steve Maraboli, M.D

97. “Toxic individuals contaminate everything they come into contact with. Don’t be hesitant. “Insecticide.” — Mandy Hale

98. “Giving an insignificant thing your attention is a form of self-disrespect.” ― Mokokoma Mokhonoana

99. “Cat got your tongue and several other useful organs?” ― Destiny Henderson

100. “Don’t worry about petty things.” ― Richie Norton

101. “To come up against someone who appeared not to give a damn about exerting petty power almost restored his faith in the public.” ― Val McDermid

102. “Bit by bit, whatever you see to be petty becomes plenty.” ― Israelmore Ayivor

103. “No, thanks,” I reply. “I don’t like fried dough.” ― Marie Lu

104. “Don’t be unwilling to take those little steps; in them are residing great journeys. Move on.” ― Israelmore Ayivor

105. “I pity the man who praises God only when things go his way.” ― Criss Jami

When’s the last time you confronted someone? 

One of the pettiest people I’ve ever met was a friend from high school. They took every opportunity to stir up drama. Amidst yet another situation she orchestrated, I confronted her privately about her behavior. This forced her to take a hard look at her past and ask herself if she wanted to bring her habits into the future.

Confronting petty people can help them look at their behavior from a new perspective. If they don’t want to change, don’t be afraid to end your relationship with them. That negativity can eat away at your life in many ways, just through the association.

Did you enjoy this collection of quotes? Which of these petty quotes and sayings was your favorite? Let us know below!

Nia Simone McLeod
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