3 Messages to Give the Toxic Person in Your Life a Reality Check
We all know people who can be difficult to get along with, or who try our patience at times. However, there are also some people out there who can only be described as toxic – people who seem to thrive on upsetting others, causing arguments, manipulating friends and family into taking sides, and generally causing emotional mayhem and unhappiness wherever they go.
They like nothing better than a big family bust-up or not being on speaking terms with someone in their inner circle of friends, and manipulation and emotional blackmail is second nature to them. If someone like this comes into your life, the sensible option may be to sever all ties with them, and move on to a more peaceful life.
But if the toxic person just happens to be a family member, a colleague or someone who is embedded in your group of close friends, ditching them completely may not be an option. If that’s the case, you may need to find a way of explaining to them that their behavior is unacceptable, without causing even more upset to all concerned.
Here are some suggestions for how to send them a brief message to give them a little reality check on their behavior.
Illustrations courtesy of Shutterstock.
Message Template 1 | Show You Get It but There’s a Line
I understand how you feel, but let’s set some boundaries
People who thrive on emotional instability want people to challenge them, and to suggest that they are behaving badly. Doing what they want will inevitably lead to more conflict, feeding the toxic person’s needs even more. Suggesting that the toxic person is exaggerating or making things up will have the same negative effect, so it’s important to show empathy and respect, even if you don’t feel like it inside.
By saying that you understand how they feel, you are acknowledging the validity of their emotions, without endorsing their actions and behavior. Suggested boundaries might include not bringing personal issues into the workplace, discussing grievances in private rather than in front of all your friends or agreeing to avoid certain topics of conversation at all times.
If your toxic friend or relative behaves even more appallingly after a glass of wine or a beer, work out a plan that removes opportunities for drinking from your social calendar – replacing evenings in the pub for example, with a group baseball game or a swimming session.
In this course, learn why being positive at work is so beneficial, and explore practical strategies for increasing positivity and dealing with difficult situations. Brenda Bailey-Hughes shares techniques for stopping negative thought patterns and cultivating positive environments, relationships, and habits. Plus, she explains how to remain authentically positive when responding to negative people and situations.
Message Template 2 | Don’t Let Things Get Too Carried Away
Let’s stick to the facts from now on
Carefully pointing out that things would be better if the emotions were taken out of any important discussions could go a long way to reducing the pressure-cooker environment that the toxic person is so good at creating.
Ask the toxic person if they want to resolve the issue that is making them so unhappy – no-one can really reply ‘No, I want to continue being miserable and making everyone else miserable at the same time’, so they have no choice but to agree to work on resolving the crisis.
When you have that commitment, you can then move on to explain that the only way to do this is to stick to the facts, and then work through those facts in a calm manner, so that everyone can be heard and have a point of view.
With some careful arbitration, you should be able to get all sides calmed down and working more productively through their differences.
Illustrations courtesy of Shutterstock.
This article was originally published on https://www.nevertherightword.com. If this article appears on any other site other than https://www.nevertherightword.com without clear referencing it is a violation of the copyright owned by https://www.nevertherightword.com.
Message Template 3 | Divert Attention From the Problem to the Solution
You’ve told me how you feel. How would you fix things?
Again, this approach works by acknowledging that the toxic person feels hurt, angry or upset, but then turning things around to identify an acceptable solution. Rather than letting the toxic person continue on and on with their destructive behavior, you get down to business with the specifics of exactly how to fix things.
If they can’t identify what they want to happen in order to fix things, then perhaps they don’t really have a problem, after all. It’s likely that with a little coaxing, your toxic friend or relative will have no choice but to spell out exactly what is bothering them and what they want to happen.
Once they do that, you have to either ensure that their requests are met (if they’re reasonable), or explain to them why they cannot get what they want on this occasion.
In this course, Chris Croft shares methods for recognizing the characteristics of some of the most common types of difficult people, and gives you strategies for dealing with these individuals more effectively. Chris provides practical techniques for dealing with a variety of different behaviors, including negativity, aggression, childishness, and selfishness. Plus, he explains how to overcome your own negative thinking, and get the best from a difficult boss.
If you do have to deal with a toxic person on an ongoing basis, there are some other ‘golden rules’ to consider, to avoid making things worse. Never be tempted to rise to provocation and argue back with this kind of person, as that is exactly what they want you to do.
People like this thrive on dividing friends, sowing seeds of doubt and confusion in families, and generally wreaking emotional havoc wherever they go. As soon as you start fighting back, they have got exactly what they want, and they will find it easier and easier to provoke you in the future.
Another good rule is to tackle their behavior privately. A toxic person is skilled at working a crowd and individuals, of course, but if you choose to try to call out their bad behavior in front of friends and family, you run the risk of half the group siding with the toxic person, and you also give them an audience for their self-indulgent dramas. Make sure you get them on their own, where you won’t be interrupted before you try to discuss their behavior with them.
You may not be able to remove a toxic person from your life completely, especially if they are a close friend or relative, but you also don’t have to put up with the constant negativity and disruption that this kind of person brings with them.
Act with confidence, calmness, and consideration for their feelings set personal boundaries, and set a good example through your own behavior.
At Never the Right Word, our aim is to give you practical examples of how to handle life’s difficult conversations. If you have an awkward situation that you’d like example templates for, request a topic here.
Lastly, if you found this content helpful or want to share your own examples, let us know in the comments. We’d also be delighted if you shared this article and joined us on social media too!
Never the Right Word
Hi there! I’m Amy, and I’m the person behind Never the Right Word. I’m a designer-by-day who’s fascinated by human psychology; you’ll find me learning about what makes others tick through all types of media and good old-fashioned conversation.
In 2019 Never the Right Word was born to fill the gap of ‘how-to’ websites with copy and paste examples showing you EXACTLY what you need to say to steer difficult conversations into positive outcomes.
Relevant Books We Recommend...
Dealing with Highly Anxious People: Smart Tactics to Cope with These People in Your Life by author Nina W. Brown focuses on the bystander and what they can do to not get drawn into the anxiety whilst protecting their own mental wellbeing. We recommend this book for anyone that's looking for easily implemented interventions and coping strategies for dealing with the anxious people in their lives, as well as learn model behavior that may help these people to feel less anxious. We personally rate this book due to the suggested coping skills it offers for both short and long-term interactions with highly stressed individuals. You can get your copy of Dealing with Highly Anxious People via Book Depository by CLICKING HERE.
Packed with over 325 ready-to-use phrases to use when working with challenging personalities, Powerful Phrases for Dealing with Difficult People by Renée Evenson is an all-in-one guide for resolving conflict. Organized for easy reference, this book offers powerful tools for defusing potentially explosive situations, such as; 20 challenging coworker behaviors, with specific phrases and actions for dealing with each, 10 difficult boss personality types, with guidelines for working through problems with each, blunder recovering tips, and a five-step process for turning bad situations into positive ones. We highly recommend this book. You can get your copy of Powerful Phrases by CLICKING HERE.
Vital Conversations: A practical approach to handling difficult conversations, author Alec Grimsley coaches the reader how to identify, prepare and engage in various types of challenging conversations that could make all the difference to important personal and professional relationships. This book is designed to act as a coach to guide you through tricky situations like ending a relationship, entering the unavoidable conflict, and delivering negative feedback. If you've been putting off a difficult conversation that you know you need to have- this may just be the book for you. You can get your copy of Vital Conversations: A practical approach to handling difficult conversations, managing conflict, giving feedback, and influencing difficult people from Book Depository by CLICKING HERE.
Whole Again: Healing Your Heart and Rediscovering Your True Self After Toxic Relationships and Emotional Abuse by author Jackson MacKenzie offers hope and multiple strategies to anyone who has been through a toxic relationship, as well as anyone suffering the effects of a breakup involving deception, infidelity and other forms of abuse. The book works to help the reader heal unresolved pain and safely allow love back into their lives. This is another great book from MacKenzie who has helped millions in their struggle to recover from and understand their experiences of toxic relationships. Topics such as complex PTSD, Narcissistic abuse, Avoidant Personality Disorder, Codependency, Core wounding, toxic shame, and Borderline Personality Disorder are covered in this book. Get your copy of Whole Again by CLICKING HERE.
Check Out Our Recommended Resources.
Looking to become a digital publisher like us? We highly recommend these tried-and-tested tools:
We Recommend Elegant Themes
The Elegant Themes membership gives you complete access to 87 amazing themes and 3 awesome plugins, including Divi, the ultimate WordPress Theme and Visual Page builder. Elegant Themes have been building the world's most popular WordPress themes for the past 10 years, and rest assured their products will always be improved and maintained.
Build Anything With Divi Theme
One of the most popular WordPress themes in the world. Building layouts is easy and fast, making it ideal to create mockups and wireframes, prototyping a design, and creating the website itself. Build from the frontend or backend. The builder is intuitive. It's easy to learn and can be used by non-developers to create amazing websites.
Customize With Divi Cake Plugins
Divi Cake’s main goal is to help the members of the Divi community find the perfect premium Divi themes, layouts, and plugins created by leading Divi developers and designers. Shop hundreds of premium Divi products like Divi child themes, Divi layouts, and Divi plugins on Divi Cake, the community-driven Divi Marketplace. Find out more about Divi Cake here.
We ❤️Shutterstock Media
We get our images from the OG in stock assets. Boost your business with the right images. They're royalty-free and ready to use. Footage & Music Libraries. 4k Images Added per Hour. No Daily Download Limit. Speedy Search & Discovery. With flexible plans and countless amounts of premium content uploaded weekly, we had to mention Shutterstock.
Skill-Up With LinkedIn Learning
When you want to enhance your professional skills with expert-led, online video tutorials, the only place to go is LinkedIn Learning (Lynda). With a subscription you get 24/7, unlimited access to over 13,000 business, design & tech online courses and with a free month. We like them because we get expert-led courses that we can access anytime, anywhere. What's not to love?
Reliable Hosting With SiteGround
SiteGround boasts a whole list of fantastic features at amazingly affordable prices. Along with multiple growth options, free site transfers and domains, built-in Content Delivery Network integrations, WordPress support, AND human support we wouldn't go to anyone else. They're basically faster, safer, and more supportive- you can check them out here.
We Trust Grammarly Premium
Even seasoned writers need a helping hand at times, that’s why we trust Grammarly Premium. As the World's Most Accurate Online Grammar Checker, Grammarly Premium goes beyond grammar to help you ensure that everything you write is clear, engaging, and professional. Try Grammarly Premium’s AI-powered assistant here.
Find Graphics With Creative Market
Creative Market is the world’s marketplace for design. Bring your creative projects to life with ready-to-use design assets from independent creators around the world. We love the unique finds, social media templates, vectors you name it they have it. I also doesn't hurt that our founder has a little store on there...
Donating to Never the Right Word will
help us produce more free content. Thank you!