Tame the Toxic: How to deal with a difficult person Conflict Management & Resolution People Management

Do you have a toxic person in your workplace or school that seems to enjoy getting under your skin? Today, we at Launch Leadership Development want to give you some strategies to deal with this toxicity, and help you recover your peace of mind at work/school.  Life is too short to be dealing with stressful people, my friend!

To minimize the effects of toxic people, try these tips:

  • Don’t take the bait. The pattern is easy to recognize even though they may use different tactics.
    • The key is to not react. This will defeat their purpose of getting you upset and falling into their drama trap.
    •  If they are saying things in front of others, keep in mind they are likely to damage their reputation more than hurt you. Be the mature and classy one!
  • Remember this is a “them” problem, not a “you” problem.
    • Their rude behavior comes from a dysfunction in their personality or low self-worth, and it helps to know that they would be the same person in a different environment.
    •  As much as you can, do not take their behavior personally and don’t let it affect your self-esteem and self-worth. They are not happy people, and you don’t have to absorb their unhappiness.
  • Keep strict boundaries.
  • Don’t overshare personal information they can use for drama
  • Don’t gossip or talk negative about others that they can quote
  • Minimize physical proximity whenever possible
  • Keep Communication Concise
  • If you have to work on a project together stick strictly to the topic
  • Ask close-ended questions that require simple short answers
  • Control the time spent together by saying “I just have one quick question” or “I have 5 minutes to give to complete this section”
  • On important issues, keep a digital trail by using email
  •  Balance the negativity with positive interactions/activities
  • Surround yourself with positive people as much as you can
  • Listen to positive podcasts, YouTube videos, audiobooks
  • Plan something fun and enjoyable everyday no matter how trivial
  • Remind yourself of your successes and strengths
  • If the toxic person crosses a line, report or confront them
  • Determine the red line where toxic actions become harassment or are something that a superior needs to step in and resolve
  • When confronting the person, do it privately and calmly

Rude people are everywhere, but the issue hits home when you work with a rude person on a regular basis. It is important to develop strategies that will help you deal with the toxicity without letting it affect your mental state.  Remember, do not let their behavior change who you are!

-Jan Jones

Check out this video for more on dealing with a toxic person-