When I hit Gold 4, 0 LP in Solo/Duo at the end of September, I decided to stop playing that Ranked queue. I'd rather not fall to Silver and miss out on end of season rewards.
So I jumped into Flex, and the game placed me in Bronze 4. Going from Gold to Bronze I felt like a smurf, I could win with Leona Jungle, anything goes. It was fun frankly. But what I also noticed is that Bronze has pretty nice people. People don't type much there in general, but anyone being toxic would have teammates warning them and asking them to improve. I simply did not encounter many toxic players at all, it was like I was playing a different game (sort of). Maybe I just had a weird experience, but I'm hopeful it was reflective of that community. I climbed to an Honor milestone I hadn't reached before as well.
As you can imagine, I soared through bronze easily and hit Silver 4 in no time. Interestingly enough, because I spent so little time stuck in one rank, I experienced the full spectrum of bronze and silver in a couple of week period and that helped me to fully appreciate the community contrast. As soon as I got to silver, it was back to the game I knew of leavers and trolls. I had 4 games in a row with leavers (one game of mine, 3 of my teammates left, one was a duo - Player A: Let's go this is a loss *leaves* Player B *leaves* and our top laner after a few minutes says "guess this is a loss" *leaves*). Player behavior spiraled downward with racist, hateful language being spewed in all chat on a regular basis. Games where a Jungler wouldn't trade with Support, so the Support picked Nunu and spent the game sabotaging his jungle.
My message is this: If you can't get through silver, consider falling to or staying in bronze. It's a starkly better game experience.