How smart people handle toxic people says a lot about their psychological abilities. They do not allow themselves to be subjugated, they know how to define boundaries and are aware of the impact that wearing dynamics can have on their health. If this is our case, one of the best gifts we can give ourselves is to learn how to neutralize and implement strategies for dealing with toxic people .
Some sociologists or social psychologists claim that we live in an age full of toxicity. We are used to hearing this term often and sometimes we do not know exactly where the borderline is between what is toxic and what is not. It is therefore clear that we live in an era marked by instability and uncertainty and that all of this is reflected in many contexts of daily life.
As various studies reveal to us, the work environment is the context par excellence in which toxic attitudes are adopted . Especially in those work contexts where “productivity” is the key word. It is precisely there that mistrust, rivalry, envy, frustration and those damages that attack the systemic well-being of the organization appear.
Toxic people are not lacking in the family either. People who by character or personal experiences assume harmful attitudes even towards their children or their partner. In the latter cases, the impact and damage can be stronger because an emotional component is added, a blood bond.
How to deal with toxic people?
How we can intelligently manage toxic people depends on a number of factors. The first is the simple and obvious consideration that all toxic behaviors are illogical. Taking note of this will really help us, because we will stop giving so much importance to a series of meaningless actions and words, precisely where we try almost exclusively to project malaise, frustration and negative emotions onto the other.
Secondly, there is one aspect that we cannot underestimate. According to the study conducted by the Department of Clinical Psychology and Biology of the German University Friederich Schiller, prolonged exposure to these dynamics damages our brain health.
Continuously subjected to these dynamics, we feel more stressed, anxious and tired and we are unable to concentrate or think clearly. Having this detail clear is a principle that will push us to set the right boundaries. Now let’s see how to manage toxic people using some intellectual tricks.
Focus on solutions, not problems
When our surrounding environment is also made up of toxic people, we live in a state of constant alert, as if we were living under threat. Practically like seeing every day the fin of a shark that wanders in our “territory”. We are concerned, in some way, more with the presence of this person, with what he says or does not say, what he does or does not do, than with implementing defense strategies against his “attacks”.
Remember that smart people are more likely to seek solutions to the problem than to focus on toxic behavior. When something troubles them or bothers them, they react promptly.
Define boundary lines as soon as possible
We know that one must naturally be gifted with the ability to respond in kind. However, we must ask ourselves: “How should we act to curb toxic behavior?”. What we should keep in mind is that in these cases it is not always worth running away or that it is not possible to interpose a certain distance between us and the toxic person.
We need to outline boundaries, protective barriers. To do this, we must make it clear to the person in question that their attitudes have consequences, that not everything is allowed and that certain behaviors hurt and create tension.
We must clarify from the beginning, on what the limit is for us, that border line that we will not allow it to cross.
Proper management of emotions
You have to be fully aware of your emotions. If we feel psychologically exhausted or tired, we need to manage this situation. The first thing to do is to understand that no one has the right to take away our smile or inner calm. The second thing is that we must not give an important role to those who simply have not done anything to earn a place in our life.
Considering that it is not possible to physically distance ourselves from these people, the best thing is to distance ourselves from them emotionally, open our umbrella to protect ourselves.
Cognitive empathy in the face of a toxic person
In these cases, acting guided by cognitive empathy is always better than being guided by emotional empathy. What do we mean by this? That it is highly advisable to be able to understand what mechanisms can work in the mind of toxic people. It may be that that face and those stressful dynamics hide the profile of a person with undiagnosed depression.
Cognitive empathy allows us to understand unknown realities without getting caught up in emotions. And this last point is really important. A strategy that defines how smart people handle toxic people.