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Not all toxic people realise the negative impact they have on those around them, but some do it for satisfaction. Either one creates a bad vibe in any environment whether that’s at home, in the workplace, or even in your social circle.

There are of course a number of effective strategies that successful leaders implement when dealing with toxic people in their workplace, but I have listed what I believe to be the most effective solutions below.

To deal with toxic people effectively, you need an approach that enables you, across the board, to control what you can and eliminate what you can’t. The important thing to remember is that you are in control of far more than you realise.

Distance yourself

One thing is for sure – negative people suck you into their circle as they don’t want to feel alone. They also hate it when others are having fun, enjoying themselves or getting along.

People also don’t like to come across as rude, so when toxic people complain, other people feel they need to listen – be careful with this, as it is very easy to fall into a negative pattern.

You have to distance yourself and set limits where necessary.

The toxic person will then either quiet down or redirect the conversation in a productive direction.

Pick your battles wisely

Successful people do not give in; however, they know when and how to pick their battles.

You must know how to manage your emotions in general, however even more so when you are around toxic individuals. Don’t ever dig your heels in and fight the kind of battle that can leave you, your team or your business severely damaged.

They rise above it all

Toxic people will drive you up the wall – make no mistake!!

The behaviour can truly go against reason, so make sure you allow yourself the time to avoid an emotional response and getting sucked into the mix.

Don’t play their game and rise above it – don’t react to emotional attention, and only take notice of the facts.

Know your emotions

You have to know your emotions to be able to control them. Allowing somebody to create a reaction by pushing your buttons is not going to end well. Understand your emotions, your strengths and your weaknesses to be able to avoid any sudden and unnecessary reactions.

Successful people will also control their emotions in such a way that nobody will be able to rain on their parade. Literally, nobody can take the job, motivation and passion away from them – this is a great strength and quality to have mastered.

Set yourself boundaries

Toxic people eventually become predictable, you learn how they go about things and you spot trends. This will allow you to think rationally about when and where you have to put up with them, and when you simply don’t.

You can establish boundaries, but you’ll have to do so consciously and proactively.

Set boundaries to avoid difficult conversations, control the chaos and monitor the trends. The only trick is to stick to your guns and keep boundaries in place when the person tries to encroach upon them, which they will.

Problems or solutions?

Successful people bring your solutions, toxic people bring you the problems… it’s a simple one!

Successful people focus on the right things such as positive outcomes, overcoming obstacles, etc and toxic people bury their heads in the sand and moan about the situation they have gotten themselves in… Stay positive, find a solution and make sure the people around you are in the right state of mind to be on the journey with you.

Remember to remember…

Emotionally intelligent people are quick to forgive, but that doesn’t mean that they forget. Forgiveness requires letting go of what’s happened so that you can move on. It doesn’t mean you’ll give a wrongdoer another chance. Successful people are unwilling to be bogged down unnecessarily by others’ mistakes, so they let them go quickly and are assertive in protecting themselves from future harm.

Say goodbye to negative self-talk!

Sometimes you absorb the negativity of other people. There’s nothing wrong with feeling bad about how someone is treating you, but your self-talk (the thoughts you have about your feelings) can either intensify the negativity or help you move past it. Negative self-talk is unrealistic, unnecessary, and self-defeating. It sends you into a downward emotional spiral that is difficult to pull out of. You should avoid negative self-talk at all costs.

Limit caffeine and get some sleep!

Successful people limit their intake of caffeine and ensure they have a good nights’ sleep. Many people crave coffee when they are tired – this actually has a negative impact on your productivity, as drinking caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline. Adrenaline is the source of the “fight-or-flight” response, a survival mechanism that forces you to stand up and fight or run for the hills when faced with a threat.

Over the years, I have been one to skip a few hours of sleep, however, I now know the impact this can cause both on managing stress levels and on your emotional intelligence. You have to allow enough time for your body to physically rest, your brain to recharge and your head to be clear.

A good night’s sleep makes you more positive, creative, and proactive in your approach to toxic people, giving you the perspective you need to deal effectively with them.

Bringing this all together will assist you in being a better colleague, leader & person – it isn’t easy, and at times you will want to go into a room and scream – but hold on in there, it will pass, and you will feel so much better for it.

About Mike Coady

Mike Coady is an expat expert based in Dubai and is on hand to help with all of the above and more.

Mike is an award-winning money coach and industry leader in the financial sector.

Qualified to UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) standards, a member of the Chartered Insurance Institute, a Founding Fellow of the Institute of Sales Professionals (FF.ISP), and a Fellow of the Institute of Directors (FIoD) and featured as a highly qualified Financial Adviser in Which Financial Adviser.

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Blog published by Mike Coady.