We all know that person who seems to carry a rain cloud over their head everywhere they go, or the chronic complainer always viewing the glass as half empty. While we can try to maintain a healthy distance from these Debbie Downers, sometimes it’s unavoidable. We may have toxic coworkers, neighbors, family members or even toxic friends who have a way of dragging us down and depleting our energy.
So what’s the best way to handle these toxic encounters? Here are some things that I’ve found helpful along my journey that can help with identifying toxic people and coping strategies for dealing with them.
Traits of toxic people:
- Constant whining and complaining
- Clinginess and dependency
- Blaming others
- Feeling like a victim
The list could go on and on, but chances are if you know someone who exhibits any one or more of these behaviors regularly, then you’re probably dealing with a toxic individual.
Once you’ve identified toxic people in your life, examine how you react to their negativity, and see if changing your own reaction helps.
Ideally, the best thing to do is to cut this person out of your life; however, that isn’t always an option. When we can’t avoid or disengage from toxic people, we can try our best to neutralize them. Remind yourself that you know who you are and recognize that this is their problem and do not give them the power to upset you. Be assertive and set clear boundaries.
Remember that like attracts like and misery loves company. If you find yourself being pulled in by the toxic undercurrent, try lifting them up instead of allowing them to drag you under. When they start complaining about a situation or another person, point out something positive to redirect their focus or simply stop responding to their negative statements.
The last thing you’ll want to do is to let them influence your mood to the point where you become a vibrational match to their energy. If the energy between the two of you do not resonate then they will eventually lose interest and search for someone with a similar vibration that supports the toxic behavior.
Keep in mind that you can’t change the other person’s behavior, but you can change your own. While dealing with negative people may be difficult at first, but ultimately you hold the power. Stay committed to yourself and to your own well being.