Posted by: Anne | May 16, 2015

choose toxic… or not

Smart Ways To Deal With Toxic People

1. Be Aware Of Your Emotions – Maintaining an emotional distance requires awareness. You can’t stop someone from pushing your buttons if you don’t recognize when it’s happening. When you learn to recognize your own emotions, you can better equip yourself with the tools to deal with toxic people. You might need to stop and regroup or you might be fine to proceed. But, either way, you will be in control.

2. Limit Your Exposure – Limiting your physical distance from this person can be the easiest and most effective way to keep yourself from being directly affected. If you’re not around the person, it’s harder for their toxic attitude to rub off on you. If the relationship is in the work environment, try to arrange your day so your schedules don’t match up unless absolutely necessary. If it’s at home, keep yourself busy or go to bed earlier to avoid unnecessary confrontation.

3. Respect Yourself – The more you value yourself, the less time you spend with people who don’t value you. If you make excuses to spend time with toxic people, you might have to evaluate some of your own issues. You might be dealing with a lack of self-esteem, which is attracting others of the same nature.

4. Establish Boundaries – This one may seem obvious, but it requires the most pro-activity. Just because you’re in a work or home environment, doesn’t mean you have to engage with that person. If it’s someone you’re very familiar with, like a spouse or co-worker, you probably have learned some of their behavior habits, which makes him or her more easily predictable. So, in the future, think rationally about when you need to engage and when you can walk away.

5. Realize It’s Not Personal – Most toxic people behave negatively to everyone they interact with, not just you. Even when the situation seems personal, it’s not. If we react, we start losing power of the situation. Instead, be merely an observer of their drama, realizing that what they say and do is based entirely on their own self-reflection.

6. Focus On The Solution, Not The Problem – Where you focus your attention determines your emotional state. When you fixate on the problems you’re facing, you cultivate a stressful environment for yourself. However, when you focus on the positive solution to your toxic problem, you can reduce stress within your own life. Focusing on the solution puts you in control, which can create a sense of personal efficacy and boost your self-esteem.

7. Realize You Have A Choice – Like everything else in life, you do have a choice. You can choose whether or not to be influenced by what’s going on around you. You can refuse to take in the toxic waste being thrown at you, or you can choose to absorb it and make yourself worse off as a result. Sometimes it’s as simple as that.

8. Develop A Support System – You shouldn’t have to go at it alone. Besides, gaining outside perspective is always a good idea. Sometimes even simply talking out the situation with someone can foster a solution to your lingering problem. Someone might be able to see a solution that you can’t because they are not as emotionally invested.

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  1. I’d say these are indeed smart solutions, and some we would be smart to apply to toxic situations as well.

    I particularly liked the point they made in Number 6, “Where you focus your attention determines your emotional state,” so focus on the solution, not the problem. Focusing on the problem results in wallowing and self-pity. “Focusing on the solution puts you in control,” again, be it a toxic person or a toxic situation.

    I need to post this somewhere I’ll see it every day as a reminder!

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