Toxic People

Set Boundaries

Just because you live or work with someone, doesn’t mean that chaos is out of your control. Be a bit more observant and try to notice the toxic person’s predictable behaviours. Eventually, you will train your mind to think rationally about whether you should deal with them or not. Boundaries are set proactively and consciously – they help you to decide if you will engage a difficult person. Remain alert when handling toxic people and always be ready to stick up for yourself. Remember: It is okay to say “no”.

You Control Your Emotions

Understand that you are in complete control of your emotions. Nobody makes you feel a certain way – that is simply the result of you choosing to react in that way. When a toxic person is attacking you, see if you can be conscious of the stress and anger that you feel and be the bigger person. It’s very likely that you do not enjoy experiencing negative emotions, so don’t let them get the better of you!

Limit Controllable Stress (Caffeine & Sleep)

Did you know that caffeine triggers adrenaline release in our bodies? Adrenaline stimulates your “fight-or-flight” response, which is a survival mechanism designed either to make you fight or run away (good for when wildlife is chasing after you – not so good when it is a classmate or coworker in the hallway). Instead of rational thinking, “fight-or-flight” favours quicker responses, which is why you may get defensive and sometimes regret the things that were said in arguments.

Sleep is also a huge factor in managing stress. It allows you to reset and wake up with a clearer mind. When your sleep is lacking, attention, self-control, and memory are negatively affected. When you are well-rested, it is easier to be creative, positive, and proactive when confronting a toxic person.

Focus on Solutions (Not Problems)

Did you know that where you focus your attention ultimately determines what emotional state you will be in? If you find yourself paying attention to the problems in your life, you create stress and negative emotions for yourself. However, when you fixate more on the positives, you end up creating perpetual positive emotions as well as decreased stress levels! In terms of toxic people, try to avoid focusing on how difficult they can be – this only leads to them having power over you. Instead, see if you can regain your control by coming up with a mature method of handling them.

Confide in Your Support System

You probably enjoy the feeling of solving our own problems and being independent, but sometimes it just helps to recognize your personal weaknesses. In doing so, you will likely turn to your support system of family, friends, and colleagues to gain a new perspective. There will always be someone who wants the best for you and is willing to provide you with resources to get out of a difficult situation. Do not be ashamed to ask for help when you need it as you never know when someone else’s insight can lead to the resolution of a problem.