You probably have interacted with toxic people in your life. Individuals who can cause you emotional distress. People who are judgmental, self-centered, manipulative, or downright antagonistic. Yet, it isn’t easy to stay away from them. It can be your family member, a colleague at your workplace, a classmate, or a friend. This makes it more challenging to stay away from them since you share a strong bond. Sometimes, these people are fun, charismatic, and socially popular, except when they turn out to be something else.
Psychologists categorize and evaluate toxic traits as; psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and narcissism. Psychopathy relates to impulsivity, apathy, and thrill-seeking behaviors, whereas Machiavellianism is a strategic manipulation. Narcissism refers to an egocentric mindset, grandiosity, and an exaggerated sense of personal entitlement.
Therefore, it’s essential to find effective ways to deal with such people before the damage is too much. This article will provide you with excellent tips to help you avoid toxic people.
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Establish Firm Communication Boundaries
One big problem with toxic people is that they probably know how manipulative and apathetic their words or actions are towards others or lack self-awareness. That makes them not to be in a hurry to change or amend their ways, especially if no one presses them. You can apply two rules in dealing with toxic people: the golden and platinum. The golden rule implies treating others as you want, whereas the platinum rule suggests treating people how they want to be treated.
When dealing with toxic people, the platinum rule can be ideal, especially when these toxic people are your family members. This is because there is room for discussion instead of leaving room for one to make assumptions about how they want to be treated.
Setting communication boundaries enables you to identify actions or words that offend you. Always sit them down and let them know how their actions or words are hurtful. However, some people may refuse to accept the discussion and dismiss you.
We all came across social distancing during the 2020 pandemic. It was an effective way to reduce the spread of Covid-19. Self-distancing is another excellent tip that will help you avoid toxic people. Self-distancing refers to psychological withdrawal from activities and events and instead engaging in adaptive self-reflection to manage or assess your feelings and thoughts about another person or situation. Self-distancing is almost similar to the mindfulness method that allows you to be more aware of yourself and develop the emotional strength required to manage interpersonal differences.
Therefore, self-distancing allows you to take a step back and assess the situation instead of engaging in an unnecessary argument with toxic people. You can engage in expressive writing as an excellent way to self-distance.
Limit Social Media Interactions
Social media is full of toxic people. People who strive to upset you and make you feel envious or try to disparage you. Such people can have a devastating impact on your emotions and mental health. The best way to deal with such people is to limit your interaction with them on social media platforms. Avoid chatting or following what they post. You can also minimize the time you spend on those social media platforms. Social platforms have settings where you can block and mute and increase your privacy by reducing those who can see what you post.
Put Yourself First
Besides being toxic, some behavior can be damaging. They can leave you devastated. You need to note that you also matter. Your mental and emotional health matters. For example, some people may have a habit of always taking from you. Always in need of your help but never help you. Such actions are destructive to the inner you. Always remember yourself first before offering any support.
It’s challenging to stay away from toxic people, especially those with whom we have strong bonds, such as Family members and friends. In such relationships, you should be extra careful and wise to enable you to recognize and deal with toxic traits.