Identifying and Dealing with Negative People

Negative people drain your energy, confidence and self-esteem. These individuals lurk on the darker side of human nature. Before they get a hold of you and suck you dry it’s important to identify them early, and there are several key characteristics about negative people that are hard to miss.

They come in all colours, shapes and sizes. They could be the people you work with. Perhaps one of them is a member of your family. Anyone who constantly criticizes, condescends or demeans another with no regard for the other person’s emotions fits the profile of a toxic person. People who blame everyone except themselves and are living in a perpetual state of doom and gloom can also be labeled as toxic. For whatever reason, these people have not found self-fulfillment and need to go out and steal the energy of others. They will go to great lengths to find it and in their world everyone is a potential victim.

Toxic people can be pathological liars. They can’t tell the truth even if their lives depended on it. Excessive friendliness is a trap that many toxic people use to lure unsuspecting victims into relationships and jobs. People who are in constant need of help, but ignore you when you require some assistance have toxic written all over them. There are also compulsive cheaters, stealers (as in shoplifting), interlopers, know-it-alls, the physical/verbal abusers and annoying caretakers who won’t let you breathe.

Identifying them is easy, so now comes the hard part. Dealing with toxic people is tough, particularly if they are in your family. However, you can change how you react to their behavior. Calmly let them know how you feel and say you would never accept being treated this way by just anybody. Get your point across clearly. It might be a good idea to rehearse your half of the conversation first before confronting the toxic person.

It will take some unwavering assertiveness to make toxic people hear you. Threaten them a little. Assume a defiant body stance and say you will no longer put up with this kind of nonsense. Say you will cut off the supply of money, food, or whatever the toxic man/woman is siphoning from you. Rattle their cage and say you won’t be a friend anymore. That might get their attention and force them to see their actions in a new light.

If that plan fails then it will be time to take a drastic step. You will have to cut them out of your life entirely, and not just for a little while to let them get their act together. They need to be cut out forever, because they rarely change. Having these people around you is dangerous to say the least. Do not return their messages and refuse to go out with them. With all of the unnecessary dramas and headaches they just aren’t worth it. Who needs toxicity?

Try not to take it personally, because these people are probably mentally ill. They spit poison at everyone and everything. Pick your battles wisely and do not get involved in a long, drawn out fight that you won’t win. The toxic person will string you along for an eternity and will never let up. You must take care of yourself and if you’re suffering burnout or physical problems as a result of a toxic manager or co-worker, it is you, not him/her, who will have to deal with the consequences. You should not try to manage anyone else’s attitude. Take care of yours first.