The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.

How to behave with toxic people if communication cannot be avoided


Source: RBC Style

A toxic person is not the one in whose presence it is uncomfortable or bad (there may be different reasons for this), but rather the one who, through his actions and words, destroys your faith in yourself and in the world around you with which you find understanding, writes RBC Style.

Фото: Depositphotos

Keep your secrets

One of the important signs of a toxic person - he does not give anyone a descent, either in words or in deed. Often these are virtuoso wits, scattering vivid characteristics and the first to know all the rumors. Even more often, such people have an opinion that how much and a certain hierarchy of values, with which they measure the actions of others on their own.

Toxic people often live in plain sight, and the search for vulnerabilities and ridicule of others is their constant practice: it is the use of information against those who cause negative feelings that is their operational power. Despite the saying “keep your friends close and your enemies even closer”, few people have the strength to play such a game with an insidious adversary - what is suitable for the code of mafia clans does not work well in everyday life. A suitable weapon against a toxic person is to give him little information, especially secrets about your weak points, strong feelings, pains and problems, a reminder of which can unbalance you. Keep in mind with whom from your close circle the person who is bothering you is also talking closely, and, most importantly, find out the reason for their communication: the need (for example, work and family) is one thing, voluntary constant contacts are another.

Do not participate in gossip

The golden rule, continuing the tip above, is not to do with others what you would not want to experience yourself. Toxic people know how to be in the center of attention, organize communication space and use communication in the right way. Gossip is one of the most powerful tools of influence: they are interesting to many, create an informational noise and the illusion of experienced events, and also complement the images of unfamiliar people with interesting details. By spreading rumors of which you are not sure, you, on the one hand, are in solidarity with this way of communicating, on the other, you find yourself in a web of other people's interests, in which it is easy to lose your own. If these are not innocent rumors, but gossip about the troubles and deep problems in the life of another person - with health, loved ones, the loss of something dear, you participate in gossip in drowning an already drowning person instead of supporting him or at least choose neutrality.

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Direct communication in a constructive way

Communication on the case goes to the individual? An informal exchange of news becomes an occasion to criticize you? Does a working meeting become a debriefing? The first thing that is really important in protecting interests with a toxic person is to be patient. Toxic people are masters of manipulation, juggling, reproaches and claims, which are very painful to experience. Not all of them act consciously, but their methods do not become more honest from this.

Keep in mind a rough conversation plan and scenario that is convenient for you — and carefully monitor border crossings. Sometimes this plan is worth writing down in order not to go astray - many in a situation of stress forget how the conversation started, and are led to outside provocations. If the meeting is about raising salaries, get ready to list your successes and justify the need for more rewards, rather than discuss your shortcomings. If you met at a family celebration, make sure that the holiday is not overshadowed by squabbles - you are somehow blamed for this anyway. If this is negotiation, remember the points of principle in which you do not want to concede, and do not let them push you through.

The unifying questions help a lot: “What decisions can we make right now?”, “What can be done to fix this?”, “What results do you want?”, “What is the best way out of this situation?” All variations of open questions, formal and informal, reduce the focus from claims to finding a common solution and the area of ​​responsibility of the person who accuses / intimidates / criticizes / devalues ​​you. In the case when you do not have any joint affairs with a toxic person, follow the old rule - politeness, distance and conditional conversations about the weather. This is not the type of people with whom you need to talk about serious things, or even more so try to remodel them.

Do not be afraid to become a hero of rumors

Keeping borders with toxic people, we annoy them with our independence and unwillingness to play along. And since discussing others is one of the favorite activities of toxic people, sooner or later you will most likely become a hero or heroine of half-fictional stories about you, if you were specifically targeted.

If a whole coalition has formed in the environment against you (for example, in a work collective or in a large family), leaving this place or distance yourself from it will be the most logical step. If there are few ill-wishers around, or he is only one - do not worry about what a person will think out for you: it does not depend on you in any way.

If parents are accustomed to depreciate your actions, they will come up with interpretations of the events of your life. It doesn’t matter what you tell about yourself - both a lifestyle and a zodiac sign can become an occasion. If the boss likes to see you as an employee who needs an eye and an eye, he will tell others that you are giving an unstable result. If a friend uses every opportunity to tell something offensive about you, even neutral photos from your vacation and appearance can become an object of gloating. In the presence of toxic people, they will certainly talk about you behind your back, and this will not be affected in any way. It’s important not only to calm down with the thought that it’s impossible for everyone to like it, but also to understand how this toxic person got into your surroundings and why the rest communicate with him.

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Communicate on your terms

If you cannot get rid of communication with a toxic person, then you need it for something. For example, a family is not chosen. Or a tragedy happened to an old friend, and it must be supported. Or the work project that you are burning on must be completed for the sake of your reputation, despite a conflict with your bosses or colleagues. Or during the breakup, you need to do a little blood without spending extra money and nerves.

Keep in mind the conditions under which toxic communication becomes at least a little more bearable for you. For example, communication in a neutral territory. Or a schedule convenient for you. Or specifically scheduled work steps that make it easier for you to track your performance. Or an interesting weekend scenario with the family, so that the impressions brighten up the difficulties of communication. Or emotionally neutral joint classes with former colleagues to get into a common rhythm and complete things. Think about what will make unbearable easier in your case, and try to put toxic people in such conditions that they do not even seem to them conditions, but are suitable for you.

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