You’re in a great mood. Your day is going swimmingly. That person appears out of nowhere. The one who always makes you feel nervous, inadequate, or even angry. These people, no matter how toxic they are, do not have to ruin your life. They will only if you allow them to.
Recognizing Toxic Individuals
1. Detect the hazardous waste before it gets too close. We all have bad days. The blues, on the other hand, are a constant rain cloud when it comes to toxic people. And they want everyone to be as drenched and miserable as they are. It is best to avoid that personality if you never see emotions other than anger, sadness, and jealousy. Keep an eye out for the toxic characteristics listed below:
Nervous energy, jitteriness
Constant moaning and groaning
Dependence and clinginess
Criticism is usually directed at everyone and everything.
A pessimistic or cynical worldview
In extreme cases, there may be abuse.
2. Make some space if someone upsets you or makes you feel uncomfortable. When you walk into the store to buy a new box of Cheerios, you can tell right away how the cashier is feeling. In your interaction, you can see, and even feel, it. This is something you can do with your friends and coworkers as well! Even if you don’t see the tell-tale signs, you know when something is wrong and you avoid certain people. Trust yourself — there are plenty of happy people out there if you don’t try out all the jerks.
3. Take note of your body language and tone of voice. Pay attention to the sounds made rather than what people say. When someone is just going through the motions, you can hear it. How do people perceive you? When they speak, what do they appear to be thinking?
Bad body language resembles a sullen, sulky adolescent: shoulders down, lack of eye contact, large, hostile gestures, and so on.
Good body language resembles George Washington from across the Delaware: straight back, chin up, shoulders back, and so on.
4. Keep an ear and an eye out for hotheads. Anger, yelling, and negative criticism are all indicators of a toxic personality. Angry people require a lot of assistance from time to time, but it is not your job to be their punching bag. It is not your responsibility to try to fix them! Staying around someone like this will make you angry as well. So relax and find someone else to talk to: you’ll have a lot more fun that way.
People who have emotional control do not usually feel the need to shout, so keep an eye out for the loud ones.
Keep an eye out for quiet, simmering rage as well. Some people will not say much, but will instead use poor body language and bottle it up. These people lash out at inconvenient times, when anger does not appear to be warranted. Fortunately, this is essentially a neon “Personal BioHazard” sign.
If you have to work with angry people, never stoop to their level of rage; you’ll only enrage them more. Maintain a professional, polite, and quick demeanour, and simply walk out if they lose their cool. They’ll hate you for it, but they’ll figure it out sooner or later.
5. Keep away from cynics. Do you know anyone who sees the dark side in everything? Misery, like your parents on Thanksgiving, enjoys company. These people are always complaining about something, never seeing the good in anything, and claiming to despise everything. It’s exhausting even to think about it, which is why they’ll try to drag you into their pity party.
People with a very negative worldview are frequently competitive about their misery, trying to outdo the sadness of others. This is the worst case scenario.
Keep an eye out for people who talk about their failures and sadness all the time, even gleefully. Anyone who criticises the failures of others or appears overly cynical may have a toxic personality that should be avoided.
6. Keep your distance from the people who are looking for attention. Insecure people are unable to generate their own sense of self-worth and must rely on others to do so. While they aren’t always toxic, these reality-TV hopefuls can get nasty when they don’t get the attention they seek. If you don’t give it to them, they’ll figure out how to make it on their own. And no one requires that level of drama in their lives.
Humble brags (“I can’t believe I only made fifteen sales today”) and obsessive posting may indicate a toxic personality.
These people frequently “one-up” everyone around them, or they always return the conversation to something about themselves.
7. Keep the rumour mill men and gossip girls at bay. Rather than helping others, gossipers feed on envy. Gossip can be exciting at times (duh), and it can make you feel close to your fellow gossipers. You’re not alone if you’ve ever become engrossed in gossip. But you should be aware that once you turn your back, constant gossipers will begin talking about you.
Gossipers are always comparing themselves to others, which is a sure way to set yourself up for disappointment and failure. Don’t be concerned about your neighbours; instead, be concerned about your own backyard.
Managing Toxic People
1. In all honesty, ask yourself if any of your friends are toxic. Do the people in your life bring out the best in you, or do they bring out the worst in you? Are there people who just make you feel bad when you leave, or people who make you feel great when you leave? It’s difficult to put friendship aside. However, don’t let the worst people in your life masquerade as your best friends.
2. You’ll only get dirty if you try to control or clean up the toxic mess. Toxic personalities are only toxic if they have a negative impact on you. You can make friends with people who are angry. You can make friends with people who are negative. Accept people as they are and don’t let them affect you.
Not everyone will be friends! It’s just the way the world works. Some people are simply unpleasant to be around.
Negative emotions have a shelf life. However, if someone is clinging to anger and negativity, simply toss out the clock and move on.
3. Understand, but don’t try to change people. Consider whether there is a reason why someone is such a jerk. Is there something they’re going through? Do they have a difficult job or a difficult home life? Remember that you can only change yourself, so don’t beat yourself up with excuses. Just try to understand where they’re coming from; it’ll make dealing with their nonsense a lot easier in the long run.
4. Turn off the haters. If you don’t agree with what someone is saying, don’t listen to it. When this person enters negative territory, pay attention to the positive and constructive parts of the conversation and begin daydreaming. Consider them in your pyjamas. Consider yourself a knight, and them a dragon. Don’t interact with them in any way.
They won’t know what hit them if you fight negativity with positivity. When they complain that “school stinks and this place is terrible,” remind them that “at least there’s lunch and recess!” They’ll move on to someone more toxic.
Change the subject of the conversation. Pull something else to talk about every time the person tries to steer the conversation in a negative direction. Change it up if your friend wants to say, “Work stinks and my boss is a jerk.” “At least football is good,” you say. “What games did you watch on Sunday?”
Stick to the facts when dealing with hot-tempered people. Indicate what needs to be done to resolve a problem. Avoid expressing your thoughts or making educated guesses, and they’ll have nothing to try to force down your throat.
5. Toxic people should be avoided like toxic sludge. If you’re having trouble dealing with the negativity that other people bring into your life, it might be time to limit your interactions. You can’t change how people act, but you can take yourself out of the equation.
Stop initiating interactions with this person on a regular basis. You’re in luck if this person stops communicating with you!
If someone asks you if something is wrong, tell them the truth. “I’m having a hard time dealing with your negativity. When you __________, you ruin my mood. I like you, but I think we should spend less time together.”
6. Terminate all toxic relationships. End the relationship if someone’s negativity is seriously affecting your mental health and well-being. It will hurt, no doubt, but it will hurt a lot less than a lifetime with someone who makes you feel terrible.
“We can hang out, but only if you’re not negative,” is akin to telling someone you could only hang out if they were a different person. Accept the fact that it is not possible. Allow them to go.
Method 3: Protecting Yourself from Toxic Substances
1. Prioritize your needs and desires. What is the most important thing to you? What do you want to get out of life? Listen to what others have to say, but keep in mind that, like George W. Bush, you are The Decider. You have control over your life, not the toxic sludge that surrounds you. They can get out of the way if they can’t accept it.
Make a list of your short and long-term goals. Put it up on a wall where you can see it all the time to remind yourself to stay focused. This will also help you when times are tough and you have a strong desire to revert to old bad habits.
2. Make your own choices. Many people go through their lives saying things like, “My parents wanted me to do X, so I did X,” or “My spouse wanted to go to city X, so we went to city X.” Do you want someone else to make decisions about your life? Make a decision, for better or worse, and live with the results.
Don’t let other people’s preferences or opinions serve as an excuse for you. “I’d be happy if X were different,” is another way of saying, “I’m not in control of my own life.” It’s true that sometimes you have to make concessions with those who are close to you. But don’t let compromise be your default setting.
3. Create a “support group” of people who are happy and healthy. Why would you spend time with people you don’t like? Look for guys and girls who are upbeat, optimistic, and happy. Your smiles will act as a natural deterrent to the haters.
If you’re surrounded by negative people at your current job, consider moving to a new town or changing jobs. End that relationship and begin a new one with someone who lifts you up rather than bringing you down.
4. Be the positivity you want to see in the world. Use the inspiring example of positive people in your life to steer clear of toxic people. Smile, give compliments, say thank you, make eye contact, and do the things that normal, nice people do. Being nice isn’t difficult, but some people require you to be the Big Bird to their Oscar the Grouch.
5. Man, take a seat and relax. If you are constantly dealing with the negativity of others, you must make a serious commitment to de-stressing. Find something that relaxes and centres you, and to which you can return when you need to re-energize. Let go and enjoy the world, no matter where you are: meditation
Yoga is a form of exercise.
Hiking or walking in the woods
The martial arts
Read a book, listen to music, or watch a movie.
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