How to handle toxic people or a toxic environment?
Toxic people and environments can be tough.
1. The first thing I would reflect on is, thinking about how much you control and setting boundaries.
Limiting your time with them, only seeing them with other people around or making a change all together might be helpful.
So, for example, in a family toxic situation, can you limit your interactions with that family member(s) or only see them in the presence of other people where they may not act up as much?
If it’s a toxic significant other relationship, realize you may have to make the change of ending the relationship and blocking them from communicating with you.
If it’s a professional environment, can you change your job to a different team/different location within the company or maybe altogether look for a job at a different company?
2. The second thing I would do is, have a place to talk about the effects of what’s going on.
The toxic relationship will affect your psyche and it’s important to let those feelings out so they’re not continually with you.
I would recommend therapy, but if say you can’t do therapy, I would have a close friend you can trust that you can talk about all that’s going on.
3. The third thing, I would say is think about can you honestly communicate your thoughts to said person?
If it’s a professional environment, can you talk to the person themselves, your boss about the person, can you talk to someone in human resources?
If it’s a personal situation, again same thing — can you talk to the person themself or bring in a third person to mediate a discussion?
4. Fourth thing, is learn their patterns.
You want to limit the effect of them on you as much as possible.
In order to do that, try and learn their patterns and anticipate their behavior.
In a professional environment, this might be anticipating they won’t accept responsibility for a mistake and will instead blame you. Prepare yourself accordingly and have objective evidence points to defend yourself if you choose to do that.
5. In conjunction with #4, learn not to overly react or value that person’s opinion in terms of their insults.
After learning their patterns, remember to not overly react to that person and let them affect you.
If they do what they do, but you’re unaffected, you’re good. Everything you feel in life comes from you. People will try to affect that, but if you build yourself up strong enough, others’ hurtful words or actions can affect you less.
One way to do this: Say you’re in a toxic family dynamic where you’re seemingly always having to defend yourself and always getting into arguments, try and limit your ability to get involved in the argument. You know they’re not going to change their tone or view on you, so why waste the energy?
6. Have someone tell them to work on themselves
If you know there’s someone that they respect, you can ask that person maybe comment to them, listen I’ve been seeing the way you handle employees/family recently, and I don’t think you’re at your best.
I feel like you may want to work on your stress and emotional regulation.
Have you thought about therapy or coaching?
7. Never let them affect your self-worth or self-esteem.
You are an amazing human being.
If they are being negative or toxic, it’s because they have their own problems in life and want to just extoll that on you.
If they were truly good internally and had their things together, they wouldn’t be toxic. So don’t value them.