How to Handle Toxic People
Toxic People Are All Around Us
Believe it or not, toxic people are all around you. You see them every day. You talk to them. You work with them. You're related to them. You may even live with them.
Toxic people are bad news. They can be annoying, obnoxious, irritating and depressing. They can dampen your spirits. They can ruin your reputation. They can get you fired from your job. They can destroy your relationships with spouses, lovers, relatives and friends. They can erode your self esteem.
They can create anxiety. They can drive you to bankruptcy. They can make your life miserable.
How do you recognize toxic people? Chances are if you've encountered a toxic person you immediately sensed their toxicity...even if you didn't call it that. Toxic people come in all ages, colors, shapes and sizes. Sometimes toxic people aren't immediately identifiable, but, over time, their true nature is inevitably revealed.
How to Recognize Toxic People
Following is a list of commonly encountered types of toxic people, with descriptions of their basic toxic characteristics.
The Psychopath: The Psychopath lacks empathy and sympathy, is completely devoid of a conscience, and derives pleasure from others' suffering.
The Sociopath: The Sociopath completely disregards the rights and feelings of others, and is incapable of experiencing remorse, shame or guilt.
The Pathological Liar: The Pathological Liar lacks the capacity to tell the truth-in fact, the pathological lacks the ability to even recognize the truth.
The Emotional Wreck: The Emotional Wreck is constantly on an emotional rollercoaster. This individual simply cannot keep it together.
The Putdown Artist: The Putdown Artist is constantly making others the butt of jokes in an attempt to deflect attention away from their own shortcomings.
The Hatemonger/Blamemonger: The Hatemonger/Blamemonger hates everyone who is nicer, smarter, richer, better connected or more successful than they are. The Hatemonger/Blamemonger blames every individual and every group of individuals that is different from them for all of their particular problems, as well as for everything the Hatemonger/Blamemonger believes is wrong with the world in general.
The Misogynist/Misandrist/Misanthrope: The Misogynist hates women. The Misandrist hates women. The Misanthrope hates ALL humans without regard to gender. The Misogynist/Misandrist/Misanthrope blames women, men or people in general for all of their problems and failures.
The World Class Jerk: The World Class Jerk is a classless, uncouth, foul-mouthed jackass who is universally offensive.
The Moocher: The Moocher constantly asks to borrow everything money to breath mints. The Moocher develops amnesia when it's time to pay back a loan, and is never able to reciprocate a favor.
The Downer: The Downer is always in a bad mood. In fact, The Downer takes great pains to maintain their bad mood and to broadcast it to anyone who will listen.
The Illwill Ambassador: The Illwill Ambassador seeks out bad news and rumors and works overtime to make sure no one misses out on their malevolent mudslinging.
The Instigator: The Instigator lives to create discord, hostility and strife. The Instigator actually nurtures confrontation.
The Bully: The Bully thrives on dominating and humiliating those they perceive as weaker than them.
The Master Manipulator: The Master Manipulator uses cunning, trickery and subterfuge to control victims.
The Blackmailer: The Blackmailer works hard to gain your trust so they can learn your secrets and weaknesses and exploit them when you cross them.
The Blabbermouth: The Blabbermouth tells everything they know--especially your personal business.
The Generally Malcontent: The Generally Malcontent finds dissatisfaction with everything and makes a point of never being happy...ever.
The Love Predator: The Love Predator pretends to be your friend, finds out all your business and uses it to try to get your spouse or lover into bed. The Love Predator doesn't actually want your spouse or lover; they want you to know they slept with (or could have slept with) your spouse or lover.
The Self-Destructor: The Self-Destructor eats too much, drinks too much, smokes too much and parties too much. The Self-Destructor is the embodiment of the word reckless.
How to Deal With Toxic People
To the extent that you can, avoid toxic people at all costs. If this is not possible, minimize your contact with them as much as possible.
When you do have to interact with toxic people, keep the conversation strictly business. Be polite and cordial, not overly friendly. Do not tell toxic people your personal business. Do not allow toxic people to tell you their personal business. When toxic people attempt to spread gossip, change the subject. If they persist, firmly tell them that you are not interested. If this does not work, simply walk away.
Never, ever express an opinion, reveal a weakness or discuss other people with toxic people. When toxic people ask you personal questions, politely decline to answer. Never introduce your spouse or lover to toxic people.
If you show no interest in their shenanigans and refuse to feed into their pathology, toxic people will soon lose interest in you and move on to more receptive potential victims.
How to Avoid Becoming A Toxic Person
Avoid engaging in the behaviors toxic people exhibit. If you find yourself unconsciously engaging in such behaviors and you are unable to stop doing so on your own, invest in some relevant self-help books and/or seek the assistance of a friend. If all else fails, seek professional help from a psychologist or social worker.