Your life is yours to live. Life is too short to waste it being someone you’re not, doing things that don’t make you happy, and spending time with people who are posionous to your self-worth. By stepping away from unhealthy relationships we make room in our lives for new, better connections. We renew our hope, restore our freedom and open ourselves to fresh possibilities.
Here are how you can deal with toxic people :
- Mentally prepare yourself for an upcoming encounter with a toxic or belligerent person. It can be a simple as taxing a few deep breaths and reminding yourself how awesome you are to rehearsing key lines you can say to remain calm while standing your ground.
- If an encounter with a toxic person is avoidable, avoid It! For example, if you see a co-worker headed your way who only wants a listening ear for his endless complaints, whip out your cell phone and pretend you’re taking a call. Have excuses planned for draining people who want to hang out with you.
Use Few Verbal Strategies
- Speak about the person’s behaviour, actions, ideas and not the person. This will make the person less defensive (hopefully) and your critique seem less like a personal attack.
- Ask questions rather than make statements. Belligerent people like to dominate by making the other person have to defend himself/herself making the person explain himself/herself will help the dialogue from escalating so long as you keep your cool.
- Use “I” statements, especially when you are bringing up a critique and you are afraid the other person is going to react badly.
- Have an arsenal of verbal defence lines for when somebody really tries to antagonise you.
- Ask yourself why the person bothers you so much and what emotional triggers he or she sets off.
- If dealing with jerks is unavoidable, at least gain more self awareness.
- Put yourself in the other person’s shows and practice some radical empathy. Belligerent/mean/toxic people are likely to be very unhappy people with a lot of unresolved issues.
A Final Note
- Empower yourself! If you can’t change the other person’s behaviour, you can always change your attitude and reaction towards the person. Rather than letting the other person ruin your day, consider it a challenge to build on your inner strength and stand up for your self.