Are you in the company of people who are constantly putting their drama on you, ever moaning, ever negative about life with a tendency of taking jabs at you and undermining your emotional balance? You have got yourself a toxic person in every sense of the word. Toxic people come in different shape and colours from narcissists, sociopaths, manipulators, gossipers, and those wallowing in self-pity. No matter how nice you are, compassionate you are, toxic people will leave you feeling exasperated, exploited, demeaned and hurt. Toxic people are great at pushing your ego to the ground and stomp on it. They take any joy out of you and are compassion sponges, soaking it up and never give anything back. They are in the habit of using various ways and means to get to you. They feel bad when a day goes by without their usual constant drama, without making someone sad or putting them down. They thrive on it. Whatever you do, they will always nit-pick, pull you down and find ways of pushing their negativity on you.
Growing up, I didn’t realise how a problem this was or whether it was actually a problem. I had a few girlfriends who were ever wallowing about their problems and hardly focusing on solutions. Their lives were just but a long soap opera furnished with heartbreaks, sadness, letdowns and all sorts of regrets. They had me as being part of their pit party for the long haul. Of course having known them from young age I felt pressured to listen to them moaning about everything so I wouldn’t appear rude. Little did I know that I was getting sucked into their negative emotional spiral. Being around them became a chore, tedious and draining until I realised that you can’t pour from an empty cup. Their negativity was beginning to stick on me as well. The short and long of it is their constant drama and negativity was never worth putting up with. I say this with a heavy heart, whatever negativity or cruelty you are likely to encounter from a toxic person, it is likely to drive your brains into a state of unnecessary stress—You love yourself too much to get involved so avoid this at any costs. If you haven’t mastered the ability to deal toxic people, try these smart ways.
Eliminate and create physical boundaries
You know your own friends, workmates, relatives better than anyone-you know the spoilers. There is always one or two who are more destructive and have a tendency of stirring up emotions, the very ones that take pride in promoting a climate of sadness.
The only thing you are yet to do is the right thing—steer clear as further as you can. Depending on the nature of your relationship and the extend to which someone is toxic, you are more effective by being physically away from them.
Obviously, there are situations where being physically distant is difficult or less feasible. If the toxic person is a workmate, how do you steer clear, and or if they are a relative how do you cut ties? It is hard to think about and yet more distancing yourself from family or relatives better than you would with a friend. How then can you deal with a situation where a close relative is spoiling your life with their toxicity? Bear in mind that even with relatives some build us whilst others are ready to destroy and put you down. When it comes to those close to you, it is reasonable to put an effort to keep things intact but never be afraid to let go when you get into an unbearable situation. No mater how you try, toxic relatives know how to play their cards. They can manipulate their existing relations because they enjoy feeding on your spirit whilst taking advantage of their ‘closeness’ to you. Unfortunately, they are much more ripple effects when dealing with toxic relatives so tread carefully using either emotional or physical distance bearing in mind that you might require special allowances. There is no universal way but where you can’t see a way it is okay to say enough is enough and do the right thing by you.
With workmates you can keep your work conversations as short as possibly can be—don’t get involved in small talk—don’t talk about their problems, who they find interesting to work with—disengage and disengage immediately. If you must have formal discussions with toxic people at work, let a neutral person know of their behavior and ask them to join just in case they turn on you.
Unfriending and distancing yourself from toxic people even on your social media can create a better breathing space for you. If you must keep a truly toxic person in your life for whatever reason, then consider the other techniques below.
Call out their toxic behaviour.
The word is manipulation. You can think you know them well for whom they are, toxic, well they too are sometimes aware of who they are and how their company is deemed negative. They know you want to be free of them and their negativity, they know you want to curtail any conversations with them. All that is left for them to use is manipulation. They will do whatever it takes to ensure that you display some form of compassion and care towards them despite jabbing you with back handed remarks. They will use their moody behaviour to suck you into listening to their same issues. They will make you fall for this trap making you feel like you are being bad for not giving them your time or energy. They can only consume you and if you are not careful you find yourself seeking for unnecessary forgiveness, while they are free to live with their mistakes. They leave you in a bad head space.
The only way you can get yourself from such emotional blackmail is to declare that you can’t let their behaviour or attention seeking to hoodwink you anymore. There is no way you can strike a balance, or keep up with their lopsided rules. Don’t leave that decision for tomorrow, decide now and stop giving them any further benefit of the doubt.
Break the silence and be heard
In some situations, silence speaks louder than your voice. That works when you are interacting with ‘normal’ people. In such cases, ignoring someone with a common sense will trigger them to have a re-think and come back to their senses. It’s also a known and proven way to avoid some form of crossfire especially if it’s not warranted. Remaining silent when dealing with a toxic person can only erode, drain and destroy you. Toxic people are often ignorant or choose to be ignorant of the impact they have on you. Using the silence technique fuels them to try other ways of getting to you. There are relentless. You need to be clear and speak to them about their behaviour in a frank but effective way, clearly meaning your words. If they are causing you stress just as well say it, “Yes I know you have issues, but your issues are beginning to stress me more, you are ever negative about everything its draining”. However, use this technique only if you don’t get subsumed into their usual defensive conversations. Be in control of how the conversation goes, and if necessary find a neutral third party who can help steer the conversation and keep it sane. They need to know.
Take charge of your relations
Toxic people will consciously or unconsciously drag you down with their bad attitude and negativity. They will transfer their baggage onto you and lash out at you every opportunity they get. There is always a difference between someone who is upset and clearly express their point or someone who is stressed and needing help and empathy with someone who is always passing rude comments and incessant need to validate their anger, disappointment, or annoyance.
Toxic people are just takers, they never think twice when it comes to getting what they want, they can take property, money, destroy relationships, without even flinching. Without anything or anyone stopping they can bleed you to dry. What more with their strategic use of anger to further influence and weaken you. They want you to feel weak and defenseless to advance their needs. Understand one thing, no-one can ever have so much power to make you feel small unless if you concede.
You need to disarm them and show them you are willing to defend what is yours, to take guard and protect your being. I understand you want to share with people your nicer and easy going side, but some situations demand growing a thicker skin. Having a thick skin makes you balanced and remain calm even when dealing with adverse situations. You can call a spade a spade and deal with a toxic situation without getting worked up. You can take stand and stop being manipulated.
Avoid any unnecessary conversations
In most situations, you find toxic people are just but too rude, insulting and very condescending. They are very good at making little jabs and taking digs even in the presence of others-only small minded people find this appealing. It only shows they have got no other way of making themselves feel better. Its all because they fancy a reaction.
If there are people who can push your wrong buttons –them toxic people. But how can you stop them if you aren’t aware of what they are doing? They will create every situation that can possibly annoy you—every conversation with them is set as a trap to just end up throwing their acerbic at you. It doesn’t matter how good you are at dealing with people or handling situations-with this lot, you won’t win. If you add more fuel to fire, it burns more aggressively. When the situation gets negative, hold on to your ammunition. Do not and never fuel the conversation as this can only make things worse off, choose your words carefully and if you can never carry any emotion otherwise any gesturing and perceived wording can burn you. Gladly walk away and be the bigger person.
Stop entertaining their gossiping
Every now and again, a bit of juicy gossip gets us going. Just like everything else, there is a limit. When you hang out with people who consume themselves in digging dirt, spreading things about people and making it a point that each and every conversation is filled with gossip you got to be very wary. Whatever stuff they dig and spread to you and others, they can do to you. Often when their gossip fails to stick, they will find ways of getting information that gives them power or control over you. You know who they are, don’t get involved or add much to their behaviour. Think about it, is they can gossip to you about others what can stop them from doing the same to you behind your back. Remember its about them, they want to be at the center, so don’t mess with such characters. You can only curtail their gossiping by disconnecting, change the subject under discussion or being forthright and make it a point that you don’t feel comfortable discussing people.
Know what you want and what you can’t allow
Sadly, no matter how you try, no matter how you wish they could change, some toxic people never find growth appealing. You cant burden yourself any further and expect them to stop moaning about problems and start finding solutions or stop their jabbing and emotional abuse.
Never find yourself thinking that you ought to protect anyone’s feelings because you are just digging yourself under. You will get yourself in countless difficult conversations. The only way to end toxic people and their charades is to set boundaries. Mind you, feeding on negativity will in the end also impact on your focus, determination and willingness to achieve your dreams. Once you have drawn the boundaries, make it known to anyone that crossing the line will have consequences. Only you know what you want and how you can protect your interest. You have to demonstrate that you are not ready to compromise on your growth and can’t tip-toe around their negativity. Setting boundaries will give you the much needed control to decide when you can engage, when you can entertain or how you can best respond to a toxic person when the need arise. Stick to your guns, guard and shield yourself away from toxic and negative people
© 2017, sheconquers. All rights reserved.