Toxic people can be found in any area of your life including family, school and business. Unfortunately you can’t always get away from them and in that case you have to find a way to co-exist (unless there is a physical threat.)
But just because you have a toxic family member or work with difficult people doesn’t mean that you have to accept their difficult behavior and stuff your feelings. It’s very possible for you to learn how to handle the toxic people around you so that you can limit the effects they have on your daily life and business.
Learn to set firm boundaries
Boundaries allow you to function at your best in all aspects of your life. If you’re an empath, it can be hard to set them and even harder to stick with them, but boundaries are a necessity when you’re dealing with toxic relationships.
Maybe you have a difficult relative who wants to micromanage your life and calls at all hours. Or another family member is verbally or emotionally abusive. Or there’s that client that wants to stay in constant communication with you—even during the wee hours of the morning and berates you when something goes wrong. This is where setting boundaries is really important. If you allow people to run all over you, the stress will eat you up over time, and that’s no way to live.
Learn how to control the conversation
You can’t always get away from toxic people. Sometimes, they’re a part of your life whether you want them to be or not. If you must interact with a toxic person, you should try to stay in control of the conversation.
When the conversation starts to take a bad turn, redirect it. For example, if a friend starts complaining or gossiping every time you have lunch together, then you don’t want to offer advice or a solution to the problem. Instead, validate her complaints by saying something supportive then redirect the conversation to another topic. Don’t keep feeding it.
Don’t let them provoke you
In some situations, a toxic person may say or do certain things to provoke a reaction from you. Toxic people rely on pushing your buttons to get the results they want. If you don’t react, they’ll stop the behavior and move on. But once you start doing this, you must do it every single time. If it takes a toxic person saying or doing something obnoxious ten times to get a reaction from you, then next time they want that reaction they’ll keep pushing that button until they get the reaction that they are seeking.
Learn how to descalate a confrontation
Toxic family members, friends or clients will try to create drama out of common everyday situations. They’ll escalate the incident until it’s a Cecil B. DeMille caliber production. This behavior makes the toxic person feel validated and they may continue to use this as their typical response to problems in your relationship.
You can learn to prevent dramas like this by simply refusing to engage with them. If the toxic person in your life says or does something obnoxious, try a neutral response like, “Sounds interesting” or “I hear you.” Responses like this make it harder for the toxic person to cause a big scene.
Learning how to handle toxic people in your life and your business is tough. That’s why it can be helpful to roleplay a conversation or scene with a trusted friend. Let your friend act like the toxic person while you practice keeping your cool and de-escalating the situation.