3 Ways to Deal with Toxic People

Stooping to the toxic person's level will only make you look as bad as the toxic person.
Stooping to the toxic person’s level will only make you look as bad as the toxic person.

Life does not offer the classes ‘Toxic People 101’ or ‘Introduction to Toxic People.’ That’s why we have to learn as we go on this front. Toxic people are so damaging because they can bring us down when everything is on the upswing. Wouldn’t it be great to have a way to cope with those who are toxic? The following three tips may be just the thing you need to keep your peace of mind.

Looking for a Solution

One of the many definitions for toxic is extremely harsh, malicious or harmful. Knowing this, toxic people can rob you of your destiny and stop you from fulfilling your purpose, if you let them. With so much for each and every one of us to accomplish, why would we knowingly let someone derail us from completing our mission? Here’s how to limit your exposure to that toxic person in your life:

1. Whether they are aware of this or not, toxic people are in search of an outlet. So, when their malice intentions are directed toward you, let their comments or actions roll off you like water off a duck’s back. You’ve heard of killing someone with kindness and now is the perfect time to put this notion into practice; you can turn the tables with a kind gesture, word or smile. What will this do? This can give you a better outlook on your situation, while it may do very little to help theirs.

Says John M. Rowley, director of fitness and wellness at the American Institute of Healthcare & Fitness in Raleigh, N.C., “By being kind, you will feel better, and you won’t be sucked down by the other person.”

2. Many fantasize about getting back at the person who has caused them some form of grief. After all, you are human, right? But, refrain from doing this, because stooping to the toxic person’s level will only make you look as bad as he or she. Put simply, while it may be hard to be the bigger person, perhaps you can take into consideration the fact that the individual may not even know they are toxic. You may feel ill at ease about the last statement and rightfully so, but pretty soon the toxic individual will be off spewing toxins somewhere else.

3. Have you ever had to terminate a conversation because it was going left? Or maybe you’ve had to leave from the vicinity where the toxic person was; if so, you’ve acted in your own best interest, because it’s best to remove yourself from a toxic situation as quickly as possible.

Amy J. Khan, MD, MPH notes, “If you have time to prepare for the encounter, you can develop a strategy to keep the conversation civil and avoid potential traps.” “Also, consider how you can end the conversation and exit the situation in case things take a turn for the worse.”

Being Prepared for the Next Encounter

If you have never come face-to-face with a toxic person, consider yourself lucky. Dealing with a toxic individual can be draining, to say the least. With so many positive and uplifting people to be around, sometimes you do have the option to steer clear of a toxic individual. Know that each situation should be determined on a case-by-case basis; a toxic person can be demonstrated through a range of behaviors. Proceed with caution!

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-Kimberly Williams

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