Dealing w/ Toxic People: Pleasures That Calm You | #PeopleSkills
by Kate Nasser | 10 Comments »
Toxic People: How to Stay Calm When Interacting w/ Them
I remember a colleague from years ago who remained incredibly calm in the face of toxic people. Despite the storm of frustration, she moved forward unscathed, with a positive attitude.
Finally one day, I asked her, “What’s your secret when dealing with toxic people?” She replied, “Find pleasure in frustration.”
She told me she found people infinitely intriguing and took great pleasure in seeing through, behind, and beyond the frustrating behavior. There is a great deal of power in this idea. Think of all the times you can’t get away from toxic people at work or in your personal life and how this approach can help you!
7 Pleasures That Calm When Dealing With Toxic People
Find a pleasant detour to your frustration by seeing your goal beyond the moment.
A detour gets you to your destination if you don’t get lost in their toxic behavior. Find your own detour; don’t take theirs.
Find pleasure in learning about yourself.
As their toxic behavior peeks out, ask “what can I possibly discover from this?” Perhaps your insecurities and fears, your ethos and values, your strength to speak up, your control to hold back, your intuition, your career destiny, or your personal leadership skills.
Find sanctuary in owning your energy.
Success takes energy; channel it into your happy journey not into a toxic dump.
Find pleasure as a spectator.
See the dysfunction as a comedy or reality TV show. Enjoy the humor in the absurd behavior from the safe distance of your objectivity.
Give yourself permission to escape to a more pleasant place.
Whether you mentally escape to happier thoughts or physically move to a better place, your happiness is a choice. Whether it’s a toxic boss, a frustrating coworker, a pesky neighbor, or grating acquaintance at a hobby you enjoy, your communication choices with each can be your escape shoot to happiness.
“If your world doesn’t allow you to dream, move to one where you can.” ~ Billy Idol
Separate the behavior from the person.
Most of us know that we can’t change others. However we can influence others’ behavior with our behavior. Instead of seeing them as toxic people, see the toxic behaviors. It calms and empowers you.
State the obvious differences between you to avoid being drawn in to the toxic sludge.
If you must be around someone who irks you, simply highlight the difference between the two of you: “We see things differently.” It states your calm acceptance of the difference and doesn’t trap you in the toxic behavior.
From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™
Reduce Conflict: Hear the Urgency Before the Yell!
Positive Attitudes for Dealing w/ a Toxic Boss
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Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.
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Although easier said than done but great advices Kate 🙂
Interestingly enough, they are tough to do until you’ve done it and seen how effective these tips are. Seems like the reward makes them easier to do next time.
Let me know when they work for you 🙂
Once again you have saved the day for me. Timing couldn’t be better with this blog post. Excellent advice and something I will use today to get through a current situation. Thanks Kate! You are the best!
It’s always a special moment for me as a consultant when I hear “you saved the day”. I am so grateful to know that my words helped you and made a difference.
Great point on #4, Kate, about being an observer. It takes discipline (or maybe a realization that things aren’t going to end up like you wanted), but it can be so freeing to be able to simply be hopeful & intrigued about what bizarre thing might happen next! : )
I learned how to do #4 and it has been a tremendous help to me — you have no idea 🙂
So glad you find these tips valuable.
Have a great day Mike,
I practiced #4 and #5 just yesterday, and I must say, you are spot on! And it is such a satisfying experience when toxic people just can’t get to you, very empowering. Excellent post!
Thank you Marissa. SO glad this helps and very grateful you shared your story here. FYI: I just practiced one of them this morning too!
I intend to bookmark this post. Thanks for sharing these steps.
Kate, this is an excellent post and such a great companion to the post about process, thank you for sending me here. There can be an addiction to the suffering we experience when confronted with insufferable people and this post gives 7 easy tips to break it. I am all for inviting pleasure — anywhere you can find it!