Dealing with Toxic People: Have you ever met with a group of people – friends, family,
coworkers, where you felt utterly drained by their negativity? I swear, I’ve
entered these situations looking like a grape and leaving a raisin. These
people literally sucked the life out of me.
Dealing with toxic people presents a great challenge. We are
When dealing with toxic people, it’s important to understand
They subscribe to the mindset of “misery loves company” and
love being on center stage bellowing their rage of the day.
Toxic people have a tendency of being self-centered,
self-absorbed, manipulative and deceitful. They take pride in creating drama
and conflict. Another trait is not showing compassion to others. They also tend
to speak in terms of monologues rather than two-way conversations.
They should come with an off switch or a mute button.
Here are some suggestions for keeping yourself sane and
taking the wind out of toxic peoples’ sails:
- Call them out on their behavior. Be prepared for
pushback. Tell them how their behavior makes you feel. Let them know that they
are having a negative or painful effect on you.
- For a lighter version of the previous
suggestion, respectfully disagree with them and be sure to highlight “your
take” of the situation with positive examples.
- Resist the temptation to join their party. We
all have our complaints, but don’t feed into theirs.
- Set boundaries and make it clear that you won’t
subject yourself to their negativity or manipulation.
- Stop giving to them if all they do is take.
- Ignore them.
- Limit your time with them. If necessary, make
yourself unavailable to them.
- Change your routine. If they always find you in
the break room, consider having lunch elsewhere. Anywhere except the restroom!!
- Simply respond with “I’m sorry you had that
- Attempt to change the subject by complimenting
them on a job well done, acknowledging the beauty of their home and landscape,
or highlighting their positive attributes.
- Ask them to change the subject. Be calm, but be
- Discuss some of your challenges and how you
overcame them by being positive, courageous, and determined.
- Try the one or two word response, something
short that will make them realize you aren’t taking their bait.
- Master the “quick getaway.” Have a few good
lines in your arsenal for when you must simply eject yourself from the
situation. Consider saying: “I’m sorry, but I have an important appointment
(phone call, etc.) and need to be on my way.” Something along these lines will
There will never be a shortage of toxic people. Following
these suggestions should help you manage these people more effectively. As
always, feel free to add to this list. Use what works for you.
Wishing you peace and happiness as you continue to color
your life’s portrait …
Just be sure to use non-toxic crayons. ~Ted
As You Continue Dealing with Toxic People…