How To Deal With Toxic People at Work
Toxic bosses and colleagues are everywhere! Do not let them defeat your happiness and your motivation at work. Our friends over at www.findmyworkpace.com share some important tips on how to deal with them.
Toxic people are part of our everyday routine. Although some may be unaware of the impact they have on people, others seem to get satisfaction from pushing your buttons and causing misery in the lives of people.
It may be your boss or co-worker that drives you nuts and all you want to do is to stay away from them. They may get on your nerves because they are mean and rude. Or they may be constantly hanging out at your desk, gossiping or criticizing everything and everyone.
At the workplace, toxic people bring unnecessary complications and stress. They tend to undermine others and have hidden motives that negatively impact the people around them.
Accept that you cannot change them. Instead, you need to come up with coping mechanisms that will create a healthy working environment for yourself, in spite of the toxic people around you:
Do not encourage gossip
Most toxic people love to brag about themselves and compare themselves to other people. When they start talking about others, change the conversation into something positive or at least neutral (the weather is nice today, isn’t it?) and they should get the idea.
If they are telling you about other people, you bet they are also telling other people about you. Try very hard not to share with them any personal detail about yourself. Stick to safe and general topics that are work related- such as new products, projects or deadlines.
Do not let them get into your head
Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” You cannot control how people behave, but you can certainly control your response to them.
It may negatively affect your work when you begin obsessing over what the person has done or what they will do next. Ignore them because they can make your blood boil.
Tell yourself that what they do do not matter to you- and really mean it. This will prevent you from any anxiety brought about by the chaos they have created.
Know what they want
It may come as a surprise to know that toxic people are insecure about themselves and that is the reason why they seek constant attention.
Try to figure out what it is that they need exactly. It may be that they need someone to listen to them. Or they need to be praised about their fashion sense or level of intelligence.
They may also feel that they are not valued and appreciated by anyone. Focus on the positive and find something to compliment about them sincerely. Listen to them and treat them kindly- no one is immune to kindness.
Keep your distance
To avoid being absorbed into their toxic bubble, make sure that you maintain physical, emotional and mental distance. During meetings, you can choose to sit on the opposite side of the room.
It is also important for you to avoid closed-door meetings with toxic people as they may make you feel frustrated. Use headphones to tune them out, if necessary. Headphones is an non-offensive way of letting people know that you are not to be interrupted.
You can have your breaks away from toxic people. Reducing the chances of being seen with the toxic person helps other people in the office know that you are not part of the toxic bubble.
Create boundaries and make them clear to those around you. Define what behavior is acceptable and communicate it to those around you.
In case the toxic person crosses the boundaries and does something that is inappropriate, put your foot down and file a complaint. However, the complaint should be based on objective workplace rules and code of conduct.
You should be ready to receive negative reactions, but do not let it get to you. It may surprise you that other people will follow your example of setting boundaries and putting their foot down too.
Give them a chance
As much as you need to keep your distance from the toxic person, do not block them out completely. You need to cooperate with the person.
Give them a fair chance to express their ideas or ask questions and respect them.
Try not to contribute to any negativity from the toxic person. Maintain a positive disposition about your colleagues and your work environment.
Surround yourself with people who boost your morale and give you energy. Engage in fun, happy and constructive activities in the workplace to help counter the toxicity.
Avoid negative thoughts that will bring you down and affect your self-esteem. Remember that they are just projecting their insecurities. What they say is a reflection of who they are and not who you are.
These toxic people will often pull you down instead of pushing you up.
Even those with very good people skills are sometimes not able to deal with toxic people. They can suck your energy and turn your working days into a living hell.
Unfortunately, you will find toxic people everywhere and moving from one job to another is not a solution.
Finding ways to cope and move forward is the best way of dealing with toxic people. It’s not worth it to lose sleep over them
Gain the right perspective to effectively deal with the toxic people around you.
Gemma Reeves is a seasoned writer who enjoys creating helpful articles and interesting stories. She has worked with several clients across different industries such as advertising, online marketing, technology, healthcare, family matters, and more. She is also an aspiring entrepreneur who is engaged in assisting other aspiring entrepreneurs in finding the best office space for their business.
Check out her company here: FindMyWorkspace