How Do You Deal with Toxic or Difficult People?
First, you must recognize how to spot toxic or difficult people in your environment, then do the following to help resolve the problem.
Get (and Keep) Them Out Of Your Life
Sometimes the best way to deal with toxic people around you is to ignore them and move on without them. Ask yourself if you need that person in your life or you can let go of them and free yourself from constant destruction. Know when you have had enough and start caring for yourself.
As much as you may want to have certain people in your life, there are times that their toxicity can be too much to handle. In both work and personal relationships, if you feel that you cannot do without a person, yet know that their toxic behavior is adversely affecting you, you need to critically evaluate the situation. This is indicative of an unhealthy co-dependence that is not in your best interests.
Ditch The Sunk Cost Fallacy
Do you feel like you can’t really get that person out of your life because you have invested so much time, money, and emotions in him or her? Sometimes the reason you are putting up with the people in your life despite them being toxic or difficult is that you are afraid of losing what you have “invested.”
You may fear to be alone. These are signs of sunk cost fallacy, and you should work to overcome it. Stop thinking about what you might lose and start thinking about the good things that will actually happen to you when you learn to let go. Get out of toxic relationships.
Don’t Tolerate Their Behavior – Stand Up For Yourself
Some people tend to keep being difficult simply because you allow them to. When you surrender to their bidding, let them control you, and allow them to do or say what they want, you tolerate their behavior. When they get what they want, they feel rewarded, and they will certainly continue their toxic ways. Recognize when this is happening and stop pretending that their behavior is okay.
Stop putting up with their drama and negativity. There are toxic people who don’t realize how difficult they are until you tell them or call them out. Don’t let yourself get trampled on all the time. Stand up for yourself. When you don’t like how you are being treated, speak up.
Some people know what they are doing is wrong, but they will still do it because they can get away with it. Bullies will always go for the softest target. So dare to speak up and disarm them.
Unfortunately, there are toxic people who you can’t really avoid, at least in the short term, so one of the best ways to deal with their toxicity is to set boundaries. Be proactive and make a conscious decision to set when and when not to engage with them. You don’t have to be rude and abrasive (and you really shouldn’t); but you have to be firm.
Take Control Of Your Emotions
Some toxic people continue their behavior when they see how they can get under your skin. It reinforces them. So, you have to keep a tab of your emotions and how you react. Manage your emotions and think about how you will respond to insulting remarks or negativity.
With practice, you will be able to frame mindful and appropriate responses, instead of saying something you regret later. Or, saying nothing when under pressure and regretting that too!
Don’t Take It Personally
When something wrong happens, you may tend to start figuring out what you did wrong. Some self-reflection is healthy. However, with toxic people, remember that it is more about them than you. Don’t take it personally. Even when you feel personally insulted and directly attacked, it may not really have something to do with you alone.
Toxic people behave the way they do with everyone around them. What they say or do is more of what they are going through, and you can only guess at why they choose to do the things they do.
You don’t really know what the other person is going through deep inside, so practicing compassion can go a long way. It’s good to sympathize, especially when you aware that they have problems, and you can’t do anything about it.
However, remember to set boundaries when you show kindness. Some toxic people may abuse it. Genuine kindness means just giving the right amount of compassion and understanding, and knowing when enough is enough.
You may also want to read Why Are Some People Nasty to People Who Are Kind?