What If People Around You are Toxic?

Prashant was involved in a project which he really loved. It was one of the best projects in his organization. He was proud to be a part of that team. Things were going on really well when something changed overtime. One of his colleagues who was extremely pro-active earlier started going down a negative spiral due to some challenges she faced in her personal front. This became so much that it started affecting her work. She became a person who would constantly wallow in self-pity.

Prashant started getting affected negatively by it. It used to drain him emotionally. He was in a confusion now – should he move away from his colleague with whom he had worked for several years or should he keep on lending a sympathetic ear? Both seemed to be extreme options – the first one seemed practical but not humane while the second one seemed more humane but not practical.

Have you ever been in Prashant’s place? How do all the Prashants manage this emotionally tricky situation? Is it possible to find a way out?

Well! This is a situation which each of us do face in our day-to-day lives. Being surrounded by certain toxic people – it could be in the professional front, our personal circles or the social ladder. Wherever they are, toxic people certainly affect our peace of mind negatively.

How is it then that successful people manage well even when they are surrounded by such people? Below are a few tips to manage the same.

Do You Really Need To Be Affected By Their Negativity?

Aparna had to stay constantly in a negative environment where she experienced back-biting from some extremely selfish people. It was very difficult for her on a daily basis because she could never have a normal conversation with them. She felt as though she had to speak to a manipulating mask every time. However, the situation was such that she had to work with them and look at getting to her professional goals. It was at this point that she did make up her mind not to allow their negativity to consume her peace of mind.

Like Aparna, I am sure many of you can relate to some or the other situation where you do come across negative people. Yes, it does hurt when someone back-bites us and that too constantly. There will be tension regarding what might happen next. The key here is to be aware of the same but not get affected by it. Choose to ignore the negativity. It will do you a world of good. Use the same time which you would otherwise waste worrying about such people to do something useful to you or someone who really cares for you.)

You can work on yourself to become emotionally stronger than ever before. One of my blogs deal with this aspect.

Understand The Thought Process Of Toxic People

Sometimes, it may so happen that people may have developed a toxic mindset due to trying situations they are in. Like in the example of Prashant’s colleague, they may not be so intentionally. More or less, people might have got into a negativity loop of self-pity because they are not really aware that they need to snap out of it.

In such situations, understand what’s actually causing the toxic behaviour in them and find a solution for it. You may not be able to help them directly but you can surely convince them to take professional guidance thereby helping them get back on track!

This blog throws more light on negative people and how you can deal with them.

Upbringing Plays A Major Role

One of my client’s family members happened to be a person with an extremely negative mindset. It so happened that the lady, Shaila came from a family whose value system was not great. Lies were considered very normal and surprisingly, essential. Ego ruled their minds. Showing affection was conditional and was never done without expecting some selfish gains in return.

Several negative statements were passed about my client which did hurt her deeply. However, my client later learnt that the root cause of all the negativity in Shaila was her upbringing.

Upbringing does play a major role in a person’s thought process and life-long vision. More often than not, it cannot be changed just like that and it is futile to even try changing such people. The best way is to not change the way you are! Do not bother about the way others have been brought up. Focus on how you lead your life first. People like Shaila will change at some point in their own lives when something happens which does make them to start thinking in the right way. That, is the time when true realization will dawn on such people.

This brilliant article by Ann Smith throws more light on the effect upbringing has on our personality.

Having said all these, it may not be possible to distance yourself from toxic people physically but you can surely do so emotionally. Understand that it is fully in your control.

If possible, you are more than welcome to filter such people from your life. If not, atleast filter their negativity. Absorbing their negativity is the same as being toxic yourself. It is like even if you are a passive smoker, you end up spoiling your health as much as an active one. If you get absorbed by toxic behaviours in people, it will derail you from your own personality and inturn make you behave like a toxic person yourself.

What I really do suggest to any of my own clients who deal with such issues is that focus on yourself – your life, aim, vision. Understand that there is a lot to be done, so much that you really do not have time to spare for toxic people. Utilize your own 24 hours daily to the best of your ability. This will help you become stronger day by day. You will then realize that all the worrying about the toxic people in your life is an utter waste.

That is when you have truly won!

If you are someone who would want to lead a better life free from toxic behaviours around you, then you can schedule a No obligation call with me to discuss about your area of challenge.

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To your success always …

Best Regards,

Satish Rao

Co-Authored By Sushma Krishnan (Co-Founder, High Performance Alchemy)