Hi, Doug Noll here, and in this video, I’m sharing five key practices that will show you how to deal with a toxic person in your life and at work.
What Is A Toxic Person
So a toxic person is anyone whose behavior adds negativity and upset to your life.
These people create and are surrounded by interpersonal issues of their own. They try to manipulate and control you. They’re needy and they make strong demands on your attention. They are extremely critical of themselves and other people, and of course of you.
They are unwilling to seek help or try to change. They are extremely disrespectful and always seem to get their way. They are angry. They are sarcastic and cynical.
Deal With A Toxic Person At Work By Becoming Self-Aware
So here’s the first practice for dealing with these kinds of toxic people.
Become self-aware. I want you to do a really simple little exercise right now, and if you have to pause the video, go ahead and do that. Am I feeling drained right now? Does it seem like the person is draining my emotions? Write down the answer, yes or no.
Am I walking on eggshells? Am I afraid to say the wrong thing because of a negative reaction? Am I ignoring my own voice? Is this person making it hard for me to listen to myself and follow my own values? Do I feel smaller and less important around this person? So how do you answer all of those questions? If you answered yes, then you know you’re dealing with a toxic person, so now you can engage in practice number two.
Write Out Your Emotions When Facing a Toxic Person At Work
Write out all of the emotions you experience with this toxic person. So just think of the last encounter you had, then take out a piece of paper and write down emotions. I’m gonna give you a list of ones to think about.
Now, you can write these down or check them off, or if they stimulate other emotions write them down as well. So maybe you felt anger, or resentment, or frustration, or rejection, or not feeling appreciated, or feeling like you’re not being heard or listened to, or you feel disrespected.
Maybe you feel sad, or shamed, or embarrassed, or humiliated. Maybe you feel like you’ve been completely abandoned by this person. Maybe you feel loneliness or you feel lonely. And maybe you even feel unloved.
Now, it’s interesting. This last one is very deep, and you could feel unloved in a non-romantic relationship because you do not feel like you’re being treated as a normal human being. And that would be a feeling of feeling unloved. How To Have A Relationship Without Arguments or Fights-3 Amazing Steps To Take Now
So make note of that, because it may be the way that you are feeling when you are in the presence of this toxic person. These emotions may be below your self-awareness, and there may be other emotions other than the ones that I just listed, so list as many as you possibly can.
They trigger automatic pre-programmed behaviors instilled during your childhood. And if you’re not aware of them, then you become a slave to them. So the first key to dealing with toxic people is to understand your own emotional response to them with as much granularity as you possibly can.
Self-awareness of your emotions allows for self-regulation and choice, which equals power. So becoming emotionally self-aware is a really powerful antidote for dealing with that toxic person.
Ignore the Toxic Person’s Words
Here’s practice number three: ignore the toxic person’s words.
This person’s just gonna rail on you and rant on you and try to gather up all of your attention and drain you of your energy. They’re like energy leeches. You want to ignore their words. Toxic people cause a massive brain stress response, and they are emotionally out of control.
Here’s a really important point: you cannot use logic or reasoning to deal with a toxic person. The secret is to listen to their emotions, and when appropriate reflect back those emotions with a you statement, and you will be amazed at the response that you get.
So you might say something like, “Oh, you’re really angry and frustrated,” or, “You don’t feel appreciated,” or, “You feel ignored,” or, “You don’t feel valued.” “You’re sad.” “You don’t feel loved.” “You feel alone and lonely.
” “You don’t feel safe.” Don’t try to fix, problem-solve, dismiss, or rationalize the toxic person’s feelings. Simply validate their emotional experience, even if you don’t think that there’s any justification for having those feelings.
And all kinds of amazing things happen in the brain that I don’t have time to go into in this video. You can check out some of my other videos to find out how this process works in the brain. But you will see a transformation almost immediately.
Manage Your Emotions To Deal With Toxic People At Work
Practice number four: manage your own emotions. The best way to learn how to manage your own emotions is by taking my Basic Emotional Competency course. Here is the URL, https://dougnoll.co/emotional-competency.
And that course will teach you everything you need to know to learn how to become emotionally self-aware, to regulate your emotions, and how to use cognitive and affective empathy in relating to other people.
So check it out. 90% of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress. Using the list you created in practice number two, label every emotion when it comes up with a toxic person.
When you are in the presence of a toxic person, you would say something to yourself silently like, “Oh, look, I’m experiencing…” “I’m angry.” “Resentment, I feel resentful.” “I’m frustrated.” “I feel rejected.
” “I don’t feel appreciated by this person.” And observe how, as you label your own emotions silently to yourself while you’re in the presence of this toxic person, your own emotions calm down. And here’s the last practice, practice number five: set some personal ground rules.
Practice Personal Ground Rules
Control what you can, eliminate what you can’t. This means setting boundaries. You don’t have to be nice to toxic people. You don’t have to be mean, either. But you don’t have to go back to that training that you got as a two-year-old where mommy taught you to be nice to everybody, no matter how bad they were.
No, those rules don’t apply anymore. You can ignore toxic people if you have to, and you can be rude to them, if by ignoring them that means being rude. But you don’t have to be cruel to them, either.
Have the courage to say no. If somebody wants to take up your time who’s toxic, say, “No, I don’t have time to talk to you right now,” or, “No, I’m not going to do that.” And in fact, I give you permission to say no. 7 Essential People Management Skills For The Rising Business Leader
So who am I? Well, my name is Doug Noll. I’m a lawyer turned peacemaker. I’m an author, speaker, trainer, and visionary. I’m the co-founder of Prison of Peace, where we train lifers and long-termers in maximum security prisons how to be powerful peacemakers and mediators to stop prison violence.
And I’m dedicated to helping people just like you live fulfilled lives, especially when dealing with toxic people. I offer individualized training and coaching to a select group of clients. And if you’d like to set up a call to explore the possibilities, email me at doug@dougnoll.
com. And again, sign up for the Basic Emotional Competency course. It will change your life. It’s only $189, and you will not believe what you will learn. https://dougnoll.co/emotional-competency. And if you liked this video, give me a like, subscribe to the channel, and hit the bell so you’ll make sure that you get each of my videos as I publish them each week.
We’ll see you next time.