As a speaker and coach in self development from time to time i get approached by companies and businesses. The number one reason they reach out to people like me for help, is the complains they receive from unhappy employees who are working in what they claim an “unhealthy work environment”.

The saddest of all is that i get people coming to see me privately and instead of working on their personal development, we end up talking about how their colleagues are toxic, how the managers treat them in an unfair way and how traumatised they are from things that happen everyday at work.

What is a toxic person?

A toxic person is the one who is constantly on the negative, a bit tricky as a personality, and also a person who sees catastrophy and drama as the normality.
They are everywhere, you can see them at your workplace, your family or in your inner circle

What happens to us when we engage with a toxic person?

We get tired and moody, we might start feeling negative about our own lives, we feel drained and unresponsive. Most of us have someone toxic in our lifes right now for one of the following reasons:

Sence of duty

Now here is a quick test for you

I want from you to think of the most difficult to deal with person in your life today and ask yourself?
-Do you sometimes find yourself lost in their drama?
-Are you denying that this person has never supported you?
-Do you think that if you tell them what the right thing is they will react in a bad way?

If the answer in the questions above is YES then you are spending far too much time on a toxic person. And you need to do something about it before it starts to affect your life OR if it is already affecting you to improve this area of your life.

Yes they might need your attention, time or care but You cannot possibly allow them to drain you in the extend that they sometimes do.

Today i am going to focus on the toxic people we face at work or through our work. And i will give you 5 ways to Disarm them.This applies both to employed or self employed people.

1. Don’t become their audience

Toxic people tend to complain a lot, they talk a lot, they are passionate about their complains and they are usually very loud. Try not to engage with their worry and complaints because what they will do is come back to you. They always look for an audience so don’t become their audience. Drama needs an audience.
Instead lead by example, direct the conversation to a more neutral subject if you can find one like the upcoming holidays or their new haircut. It’s easy to get lost in a negative conversation but as soon as you direct their attention to something neutral they will either have to follow that course of thought or they will need to find someone else to talk to.

2. Don’t be part of their click.

Toxic people tend to gossip a lot and as we all know, gossiping needs company. So as they keep each other company don’t feel that you need to be in their group. Be friendly but neutral. Even if they try to pull you in their click, set boundaries and again direct the conversation to something the team can do or work towards together. Have lunch in the sun, organise a night out including everyone and be sure that they will have to respect that because they don’t have an option. Don’t play their game!

3. You are NOT responsible to change their mood

They are also grumpy, and energy vampires. Sometimes we feel the urge to fix someone’s mood and drag them out of their own misery. Understand that it’s not your responsibility to do that, you are only responsible for your own mood and attitude. Don’t take their behaviour personally even if what they do is mean to you too, focus on yourself and what you can offer to the team. Your still and calm attitude makes it very hard for them to not respect that.

4. Sharing isn’t always caring (yourself)

Toxic people at work can appear in the form the star of the team, or the most responsible employee and you one day find out that she or he are reporting to the boss things that they don’t necessarily need to know. Those are called the Opportunists. The people that can throw you easily under the bus in order to accomplish their miserable mission.

Don’t tell them anything that can compromise your job. Also don’t try to compete with them. Set your boundaries, you can make them aware in a polite way that you know what they are up to and keep a safe distance without irritating them.

5. You can’t have control over them! The only person you can really control is yourself.

No matter how many toxic people your working environment has, make sure that you set clear boundaries and make sure that you are not being one of them. We can also become toxic for our team members sometimes. So if you are catching yourself acting like one, take a step back, seek for advise and invest in yourself in any possible way. You might find that minor changes in your everyday work routine can help you become a better and happier person.
There are ways to manage your own behaviour and emotions first, and this will protect you from being affected by toxic people and even becoming one.

Follow these 5 strategies and you will see a massive change in your working environment and remember that everything starts form within us.

1. Don’t become their audience
2. Don’t be part of their click.
3. Do not attempt to change their mood
4. Do not share important things with them
5. Do not try to gain control over them but over yourself

Until the next time remember that your thoughts create your reality not the other way round, think positive, and you can have it all.


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