How To Identify And Deal With Toxic People

We all have times when people get on our nerves, and there are probably some people you can only take in small doses. Some people seem to always make us feel bad about ourselves, and you can be angry and upset after every encounter with them. Believe it or not, there is a such thing as a 'toxic person'. But how can you tell if someone is truly toxic, as opposed to just annoying? How do we deal with them?

Examples of toxic people are those who:
  • constantly complain
  • talk about others behind their backs
  • put others down
  • seem to enjoy taking things out on other people
  • find fault in everything you say and do
  • constantly stick their nose where it doesn't belong
  • Take advantage of you but never give anything in return and make you feel guilty for saying 'no' to them

One thing that is 'tricky' about toxic people is that they're often not entirely 'bad' people. A person could be toxic in some situations, but not others. I have a friend who is the first one to jump in if you ever need help, but she comes across as very negative. She does complain a lot and sounds like she's criticizing when she's not, but that's mostly because of the tone of voice she uses without even knowing she's using it. Part of dealing with toxic people is knowing what to take to heart and what to just ignore. Here are a few other ways to deal with them:

  • Limit your contact with them whenever possible. If you can't completely avoid them, try to avoid getting into situations with them that may bring about the toxic behavior.
  • Set firm boundaries. If they tend to take advantage of you, make it clear what you are and are not willing to do for them. If they are meddlers, make it clear what is and is not their business. If they are complainers or gossips, make it clear that you do not want to 'participate'. If they try to lay a 'guilt trip' on you, remember that you have every right to say 'no' to something you don't want to do.
  • If they direct their gossip or ire against you, don't bother to defend yourself or argue with them. Basically, don't play their game.
  • As I said above, identify what the toxic behavior is and tune it out. Change the subject, leave the room or find something else to focus on.
  • If there are positive things about this person, try to remember those things.
  • Above all, take care of yourself. If being around this person or behavior is taxing your mental health, don't feel guilty about walking away.
Hopefully I've given good advice that can help you deal with the toxic people in your life. Overall, you cannot change another person's behavior or thought patterns. You can, however, change your own so that you can better deal with them.

1 comment:

  1. Isn't it exhausting to be around these type of people!!

    You've given excellent advice though for dealing with these naysayers.