A Simple Strategy for Dealing with Toxic People

toxic people

We all have experienced toxic people in our life. While toxic people may play to their advantage with us, we have a choice to play the victim or not. Be aware that this is a choice. By simply being aware of this, you are able to determine how far someone can go before he or she pushes your buttons. Maintaining an emotional distance requires awareness and is a key approach to reducing your stress.

Toxic people may attempt to consume you by having you swim in their problems. They really don’t want to see solutions. They are often comfortable in their unhappiness. They can waste your time by pressuring you to join their pity party. Don’t allow others to determine your joy. By refusing to assume the mindset of victimhood, you own your happiness. This prompts you to smile, nod, and move on.

A fine line exists between offering to listen to problems and getting too deeply involved in the negative emotional twists of such complainers. Be prepared to set limits and distance yourself when necessary.

Keep Your Cool with Toxic People

When you come face to face with a toxic person, maintain your composure. The less reactive you are, the more you can use your better judgment to handle the situation. You communicate your emotions in your face, voice, and gestures. When you are talking and facing someone, you cannot help but communicate an outward impression. Coming across as positive and professional prevents stooping to lower levels.

As challenging as it is, dealing with a difficult person can be a learning experience. Think of the challenge as a “relationships mirror.” Allow the experience to open your eyes. The qualities you notice in others that upset you may be qualities that you also possess. As Jerry Seinfeld said, “I wouldn’t want to marry her; she’s too much like me!”

No matter what we try, some people can still really get under our skin. It’s important that you learn how to handle your frustration when dealing with someone who annoys you. Instead of thinking about how irritating that person is, focus on how you are reacting. Remember, others don’t create your button; they only push it.

The less you let toxic people control you and your emotions, the less stress you’ll feel and the happier you’ll be.


My new book, Live Without Stress: How to Enjoy the Journey, is now available as a Kindle book. This book will show how to use some simple strategies to significantly reduce your stress, promote responsibility, increase your effectiveness, improve your relationships, and truly enjoy life’s experiences.