Strategies for Dealing With Toxic People


We’ve all dealt with people who radiate negativity. Whether it’s a stranger in an elevator staring you down as you race towards the closing doors, or a family member who is often agitated or judgmental, or a friend who complains about everything. Confidence Coach Laure Redmond joined us to share strategies to protect yourself from The Blamer, The Shamer, The Gossip, The Drainer, and The Discounter:

  1. Everyone is fighting a battle you cannot see. With the stranger in the elevator, or the driver who cuts you off; recognize their behavior as a barometer of how their life is going. Silently wish them better days and realize they are not in a happy place.
  2. Recognize ’triggered’ feelings as guides. Toxic people will say things and do things that ACTIVATE painful feelings. When you feel uncomfortable around someone else’s behavior - there is valuable information for you - even if it’s an example of how you don’t want to act, or an insight that this particular relationship has run its course, or an area of your life that needs deeper healing; pay attention to what your feelings teach you.
  3. Take stock of the people you spend your time with. Ask yourself the following questions: Do they lift you up? Do they radiate positivity? Do they energize, challenge, motivate, and inspire you? Are they happy for your happy? Do you feel supported and loved?
  4. You are the ONLY one who controls you. You cannot always control what happens to you, but you can always control how you respond.
  5. Pay attention to how people treat strangers. Beware when someone speaks disrespectfully to a person who is serving them food, or coffee, or anything for that matter, chances are that the topics they bring up or the people they mention will also include talking poorly about most, if not all situations, and the people involved; this can include people you thought were their friends.
  6. Family is tricky. You might have family members who are overly critical, or negative. If so, you need to limit the time you spend with them. Sometimes you can’t remove certain family members from your life because they are connected to people you love; but you can minimize the impact they have on your life with spoken, or written boundaries. If you feel the relationship has potential to heal, follow these steps: "In an effort to honor our relationship, I need to tell you the truth of what I’m experiencing.”; “When you _____ it makes me feel _____.”; “Are you willing to stop doing that?"
  7. Set limits at work. You can't eliminate workplace responsibilities with people who are negative, but you can set limitations. When forced to interact with toxic people at work, bring in positivity, which can mitigate the effects of the negative parts you cannot control. Staying positive is a choice—not always an easy one in some circumstances or relationships, but still a choice.

You can also listen to Laure on "Feel Good Naked Radio." For more helpful information, visit Laure's website. She's also available for private coaching for individuals or groups.