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9 Tips for Dealing with Toxic People at Work and at Home

Everyone has them in their life… the friends, coworkers, and family members whose negativity emotionally drains everyone around them.

This can be especially wearing on people when the toxicity occurs in the workplace, and with time, it can spread like wildfire across the office.

While there’s no denying they could use an attitude change, some people will never take the hint. Others could potentially start to climb out of their rut if given the proper tools and support from colleagues to do so.

How do you determine whether to help or unburden yourself from their negative presence?

Below are ways of dealing with toxic people you may have to be around daily.

9 Ways of Dealing with Toxic People

While you may be forced to be around them a lot, that doesn’t mean you should let them affect your positive mindset. Here are ways of disconnecting yourself from the pessimism.

Set Your Boundaries

One of the best things you can do when constantly around a pessimist is to set the expectations, or boundaries, between them and you. 

Whether it’s physical space boundaries, conversational boundaries, or something in between, drawing a line in the sand can help both of you understand each other and come to peace with the limits in your relationship.

If you know there’s a subject that will set them off, let them know that the subject is off-limits to discuss together.

Let Them Know How It Is

Even if a person is well-documented for being glowingly negative, they may have never had anyone confront them about it.

If you’re not the “keep your distance” type of person, it might be worth an attempt to approach your negative colleague about their reputation and attitude around the workplace.

Should you choose this route, remember to keep the conversation professional and be ready for whatever results come of it. They could have a positive reaction, negative reaction, or somewhere in the middle… be prepared for either.

While this one conversation surely won’t solve everything, it could be an essential step in the right direction!

Weaponize Your Positivity

Sure, negativity can be contagious…. but so can positivity!

Don’t let one- or two people’s bad attitudes affect the attitudes of you and your other coworkers daily. In fact, counter it with your positive outlook on the situation.

Why should the negative person be the only one that lets their view be heard by the masses? Voice yours as well and assert yourself as a positive force to be reckoned with.

Try to Be Understanding

Nobody’s perfect… sometimes life hits people harder when they’re already down, which can, unfortunately, carry over into other aspects of life, such as their careers.

Life may have their head spinning with marital questions, child support questions, or other personal questions that they can’t seem to leave at the door in a public setting.

As weird as it seems, trying to be understanding of their situation can help you come to peace with that person’s (hopefully) temporary gloom. This doesn’t mean you have to act, just simply be aware of their struggles.

Take a Self-Assessment

It’s easy to see the body language and negative attitude coming off another person, but when’s the last time you did a “self-check” to make sure you’re not part of the problem?

People hardly ever stop to see themselves in daily action, but the words or interactions you have can add flame to the fire of negativity that’s festering in the office building.

Even if you’re not participating in the negative atmosphere, are you providing a light in the dark or just shying away from the negativity?

You can’t control other people and the actions they take, but you can control yours and should choose to do so in a professional and mature manner.

Proceed Without Them

While this may seem harsh, if the toxic colleagues aren’t taking your help you have no choice but to move on without them.

The last thing you want to do is let them slow you down, which is why you’re probably reading this article in the first place.

Some people don’t catch a whiff of their negativity until the day that they look around the room to see that everyone has moved on without them. You choosing to do so may be the wake-up call that they need.

Don’t Blame Yourself

One of the easiest ways to let negativity spread in the office is to allow yourself to think that another person’s pessimism is your fault.

Even if you did do something to upset them, all you can do is apologize and move on. If they choose to hang onto it after you’ve moved on, that’s 100% on them.

It’s more than likely that their slump is caused by something outside of your control. Don’t let their vibe hold you down from going about your day the right way.

Give Yourself Time to Breathe

Dealing with a toxic attitude can be one of the most exhausting things about your entire day. 

Make sure you give yourself time to detach from the situation and relax for a few minutes, especially if you’ve chosen to confront or help them with their negativity.

Giving yourself a few moments to reload your mind with positive thoughts can give you the boost you need for the rest of the day!

Turn the Other Cheek

Depending on the severity of a person’s bad attitude, it may be best not to get involved whatsoever. 

If they start to direct their frustration towards you, just turn the other cheek and walk away from the situation. Ignoring them may seem like the wrong approach, but it’s not your responsibility to seize the situation.

The last thing you want is to stoop down to their level; so, take a 180° turn, shrug it off, and remove yourself from the hostility.

Battle Through Adversity and Come out on Top!

While dealing with toxic people is frustrating, it’s a part of life that everyone goes through.

You may have that same problem later in life at another workplace, so learning how to deal with it now could be beneficial for your career down the line.

If you’re looking for pointers that you can give those toxic coworkers, be sure to browse the rest of our blog and bookmark our site to never miss our latest posts!