Tag Archives: negative people

5 Ways to Stop Attracting Toxic People

A while back I found myself in a conversation with someone about the topic of being around toxic people — or, as I prefer to call it, people who exhibit toxic behaviors.  This conversation led me into a place of reflection where I thought back to what my life had been like a few years ago when I had absolutely no concept of boundaries nor any idea what toxic relationships were.

Up until a few years ago, I was so much most susceptible to people’s toxic behaviors.  I would often deal with people who were envious or jealous of me in some way, who were influencing me to feel guilty for doing something for myself, who were making judgmental or critical remarks towards me, and who were, overall, just downright negative.

Despite this being such a struggle growing up, I realized that at this point in my life I don’t experience many toxic behaviors from others.  It is as if I simply announced to the universe “I am done with toxic people!  I am no longer going to have any toxic behavior in my life!” — and so it happened.

Though simply making that announcement would be oh-so-awesome and oh-so-easy, it definitely wasn’t that simple.  There were solid action steps that I had to make along the way.  So here are the methods I used that will hopefully help you to stop attracting toxic people in your life as well:

Consistently set boundaries with anyone and everyone who exhibits a toxic behavior.

Every time the someone says something critical or negative towards you, tries to manipulate you in some way, or seems to be envious or jealous of you rather than supportive, then set a verbal boundary to let them know that you will not tolerate their behavior.

So for instance, if you’re out singing karaoke one night and your friend comes up to you and makes comment like “You were totally off key” then immediately respond by saying something like “I don’t appreciate your comment” or “Please don’t talk to me that way”.  If they continue to make negative remarks towards you despite your comment then reinstate the boundary again and tell them the consequences, such as: “Please don’t talk to me in that way.  If you continue to talk to me like this when I will leave.”

This can be incredibly challenging at first (trust me, I know!), but it has to be done in order for any change to happen.

Try to avoid feeding them any of your energy.

If a person is exhibiting toxic behavior, the person may very well not want to respect your boundary initially.  They may try to push you to a point of starting an argument or manipulate in a way so that you feel guilty enough to give in and do what they want you to do.

It is incredibly important to not give the person any of your energy when and if this happens.  Meaning, try to avoid giving their actions or words any time or attention.  This is important because, if they are continuing to try to push your buttons, it’s because they want you to crack.  They want you to lose your composure and argue with them because then they can get their way.

So when setting boundaries or making any confrontations, try to appear as calm as possible.  If you have any emotions that you need to deal with later on after the confrontation (which is very likely), then deal with it later through a relaxation method on your own or with someone who can safely support you, like a trusted friend or a therapist.

Create distance from people who tend to be toxic.

One very effective way to get toxic people out of your life is to, simply stop spending so much time around them.  Perhaps this means to minimize conversation with the person or to stop spending as much time with one another.

By creating distance from the other person, we are sending the unspoken message that their behaviors are not something that we not to be around.  Depending on your relationship with the person, this can be extremely difficult.  Keep in mind that just because you are no longer talking with the person as much as you were, it doesn’t mean that the relationship is “over”.  It simply means that the relationship is moving on to a new phase.  The two of you may become close again someday and it will be even better because of this phase — and, on the flip side, it may remain a bit distant.  We can never really fully know.

Recognize your own toxic behaviors.

This is incredibly important.  If we wish to be respected by others, then we have to be willing to be completely honest with ourselves by recognizing our own toxic behaviors and to actively change those behaviors.

For some of us, these toxic behaviors may be obvious while, for others, it may be more challenging.  If it is relatively challenging, then ask yourself: “How do I try to control other people in my life?  Do I struggle to except the decisions that others make?  Do I try to fix other people’s problems for them?  Do I, in some way, try to force them to do something that they don’t really want to do?”

Struggling with a need to control others is what many (myself included) define as codependency.  All of us struggle with this need to control others in some way to some extent throughout our lives.  It isn’t really a “I’m codependent” or “I’m not codependent”.  Rather, it is a matter of looking at it on a continuum or scale.  So for instance, if we were to look at ourselves on a scale of 1 to 50, with 50 being very codependent and 1 being very little where would you rate yourself?

Trust that things will get better.

When we’re in the midst of stress in trying to set boundaries with the people with toxic behaviors in our lives, it can be very difficult to see the “light at the end of the tunnel”.  We may find ourselves wondering why we decided to even bothered to start setting boundaries in the first place because it is causing so much extra stress in our lives.

I can assure you — it does get better!  So keep on doing it and, eventually, you will eventually find yourself in this comfortable place that is virtually free of toxic behaviors.

ToxicPeople

Take action now!

Reflect upon you current relationships and ask yourself: Is there anyone in my life right now who tends to exhibit toxic behavior?  What can I say to them next time they make a remark to me that I don’t appreciate?  What other actions can I take in my life to cleanse my relationships of toxicity?

4 Ways to Cope When You’re Around Unhappy People

I’ve always been the kind of person who easily gets tuned into other people’s “vibes”.  What I mean by this is that I tend to pick up and easily recognize on the energy that they are putting out.  I’ll easily sense if others are happy, sad, stressed, pissed off, worried, or excited.  I also get a different kind of vibe if someone is being genuine or if they are trying to hide something.

We all do this to some degree.  Some may be just more sensitive to it than others or we may be more “in-tuned” in some moments and not so much in others.

In the midst of easily picking up on all these different vibes that others are giving off, it can be easy to get caught up in other people’s not-so-pleasant emotions.  If someone else is giving out vibes of being kind of crabby or unhappy we may start asking ourselves things like:

“Is there something that I did that hurt them?”

“Did I offend them somehow?”

“Does this person not like me for some reason?”

Sometimes in these moments these stressful or unhappy energies they are putting off can be so much that we may even want to spit out an “I’m sorry” even though we really have absolutely no idea what we are sorry for.  Other times we may simply just find ourselves overwhelmed or bothered and unsure as to what we need to do in order to “clear the air” when around such unhappy people.

In order to “clear the air”, here some are ways on how to properly cope when you’re around unhappy people:

#1 – Don’t take it personally.

The truth of the matter is, you are not nor have ever been responsible for this person’s happiness or anyone else’s other than your own.  We are the only person solely responsible for our own happiness.  Period.

Now, in the chance that you did, in fact, do something to offend or hurt this person then you can’t really apologize or change something if the person never told you.  That is their responsibility.  So until they say something to you, don’t sweat it.

#2 – Don’t get all caught up in their unhappiness.

Sometimes what we tend to do when we are around someone who is cranky and all unhappy is that we dwell on it.  We focus on their crankiness and then start complaining about their own negativity and unhappiness.

Doing this, however, is one of the worst things that we can do because we just keep the unhappiness going!  This is an unconscious habit that many of us easily fall into on a regular basis, so we need to really nip this habit in the butt pronto!  And so, in order to avoid getting all caught up in other people’s unhappiness…

#3 – Give yourself time to get re-centered regularly.

I also like to call this “giving yourself some me-time”.  When we are constantly on the go-go-go and never give ourselves some time to breath, we are not only more susceptible to getting stressed out but also more susceptible to letting other people’s “stuff” get to us.

So take some time every day to simply be alone with yourself.  During this time allow yourself to meditation, journal, reflect, read, exercise, or simply just do whatever you feel like in order to “recharge”.  Sometimes I do this through going for a walk and other times it may be through gardening.  Just go along with whatever you feel your heart is being drawn to!

#4 – Kill it with kindness.

How many times have you been having a bad day but upon crossing paths with a very happy and pleasant person you felt like a weight was lifted off your shoulders?  I know I’ve had this happen!

The reality is that when we put out positive and pleasant vibes out to others by smiling, cheerfully asking someone how they are, or making some jokes we are actually helping others to raise their vibration to a more positive level as well.  The benefits are really two-fold: You brighten other people’s day and you brighten the day for yourself because you then experience gratification from helping others.

Now, of course, it isn’t all cranky-person proof.  Some people will just be stuck on being unhappy in that moment no matter what comes along.  However, it is still beneficial because it is helping you stay on the positive side of things rather than to get caught up in their negativity.

BrightenDay

Click to Tweet: If someone is unhappy & stressed know that YOU have the power to help brighten their day (AND yours)! via @jenilyn8705

Take action now!

Of the four tips listed above, which one do you most need to remember?  How are you going to start implementing this four tips starting today?  Share it in the comments below!

How to Deal with Critical People

We’ve all dealt with one at some point or another. That person that seems to always see the bad in everything. The person that is CONSTANTLY complaining. The person who attempts to emotionally manipulate you to get what they want. The person who you feel like “nothing is ever good enough” for them.

Depending on who it is and where you are in your own development, it can be very easy to get sucked in to their negativity. You may start to feel overwhelmed and feel as if they are dragging you down.

Well, the good news is that there ARE very effective way to deal with these types of people that will take you from feeling like a doormat to a strong and empowered individual!

First things first, the most important thing to do is to realize and understand where this person is coming from. Meaning, why are they acting the way they are? I always like to think of it as when a person is being very negative its their unfulfilled inner child coming out and screaming for attention. This shift in perception is not only very real (after all, in psychology nearly EVERYTHING ties back to what we didn’t receive as children) but it also helps those of us trying to deal with them.

So when you are trying to come up with ways to deal with this person, as yourself “If this person were a little kid, how would I act? What would I want them to learn and know?” put yourself in the shoes of a parent, guardian, or, simply, just an adult. (Please note: I’m not saying this to sound or influence you to look at them in a condescending way but rather to recognize the reality that their inner child is wounded… just as we all are).

One of the main things that you need to do is learn and know how to set boundaries. We teach people how to treat us. If you are a parent, guardian, or teacher then you should know that this is crucial to creating proper discipline and having a healthy parent-child, guardian-child, or teacher-student relationship.

So how can you set a boundary in these situations? You can do this by simply making the person aware what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. You can do this either through your words, your actions or a mixture of both.

For instance, if someone is being rather negative and directing it at you in some way with a non-constructive critical comment or simply just some pessimistic attitude you can say something like “I don’t appreciate your comment”, “Can you please not talk to me like that, it makes me feel _____?”, or “I don’t feel like your comment is helpful to me right now, can you please stop?”

You can word it in whatever way you feel is appropriate at the time, but the main point is to make it known that you don’t really accept someone talking to you in this way. You may need or want to pair this with an action. Like distancing yourself from the person or not acknowledging them when they do talk. As you normally would with a child, you may want to say “Please don’t talk to me like that, if you continue then…” and state what you will do and follow through with it if they break that boundary that you set.

If you naturally feel guilty for doing this, then know that THIS IS ONLY NATURAL if you grew up in an environment where there was a lot of shame and guilt-tripping from a negative person in your family. Be easy on yourself and remind yourself that you are setting these boundaries in order to take care of YOU. Remind yourself that you do not deserve to be treated this way and set the standards for how you know you deserve to be treated. Make the person aware of that.

Yes, it can feel selfish and feel like you’re really giving some “tough love” but it is necessary to break the trend and make them clearly aware as to how little control they have over you. If you give, then you teach the person that it works and they should keep acting that way because then they know they can feel a sense of power over you.

Learning to do this with very difficult people who don’t have any sense of boundaries can feel very draining. Especially if they are very used to getting their way with you (the longer your relationship has been with this person, the tougher it is… unfortunately).  You may also feel like they just don’t “get it” and will never “get it”. This is NORMAL and perfectly okay. Know that it is NOT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to teach them. They have to learn this for themselves.  All you can do is set the example and hope they will eventually catch on.

Over time, they WILL gradually recognize that they do not have any power over you and they will attempt to manipulate you and be critical of you less and less. It is likely that it may never be gone 100%, – they will probably still be very negative about life in general but to know that you’ve stopped them from attempting to manipulate you is a fantastic accomplishment!

If this is a person who is extremely negative to the point that it is easily overwhelming, then I encourage you to create a distance as much as you can. Doing this will probably be difficult, because you may feel guilty for not associating with this person very much. However, remember that you need to do what is BEST FOR YOU! You cannot create the life of your dreams if you don’t focus on doing things for yourself first! By creating distance from the negative people in your life and surrounding yourself with more positive and like-minded people then you allow yourself to grow and receive the love and support that you truly need. If you continue to hold on to this negative and non-serving relationships then you will continue to hold yourself back.

DoWhatIsBestForYOU

To do this, it may involve taking some serious risks – like taking a new job, moving away, even when you have no money or reaching out to new people you don’t know. It is risky and can feel very scary but I can assure you that if you feel and know deep down in your heart that it is what you need then you will never regret it.

Above all, focus on doing things for YOU and your needs. It is the only first step that we can take to truly feel reconnected to ourselves and create the life of our dreams.

Take control of your life when dealing with critical people today!

How as someone been very critical or negative towards you?  What did they say?  How and why was it difficult for  you to handle?

Now, imagine yourself reliving this situation.  What could you have said differently?  What could you have said or done to set a boundary with this person?  How could you have better taken care of yourself?

Share your stories or ideas below!