Oprah and many other people tell you to deal with toxic people by abandoning them. Even family members and once-upon-a-time friends. Not a good idea for two reasons. One: The feelings created in you by toxic encounters, belong to you and are your responsibility to deal with. I doubt you would be upset if I called you a” Five-headed-purple-colored-octopus”. So if someone calls you “Stupid,” “a Nazi,” “a cheat, ” or any other name, it should only hurt if part of you thinks it is true.
Two: When you abandon a family member or a close friend, you increase their toxicity. You are then part of the problem. What to do? Try the following.”
Emotional Fitness Tip One: if the toxicity includes physical violence or major emotional abuse, get and stay safe. Maintain caring and concern from a safe distance. As the Rabbi in Fiddler on the Roof suggested when asked how to pray for the Jew-Killing-Tsar: “Bless him and keep him far away from me.”
Emotional Fitness Tip Two: As Captain Kirk said to Scotty in Star Trek when entering a war zone: “Shields up.” Meaning? You are the one responsible for what you let upset you. Strong self-soothing skills are your main shields against toxic attacks by another. Calming self-talk is a major shield. Some slogans that help me, “Not my circus, not my monkey,” “Him (her) not me, Breathe,” “Forgive,” “Be better than.”
Emotional Fitness Tip Three: Take a self-defense course. Peace Dojo’s do it best. Confidence is a useful armor against toxicity.
Emotional Fitness Tip Four: Face the toxicity head on. Tell the person what you find toxic about your relationship with them. Often this is best done by a handwritten letter. Include two things. How you hope they will change. What you will do when their behavior turns toxic.
Emotional Fitness Tip Five: When someone’s behavior is toxic, practice strategic retreat. This means withdrawing from a fight or unpleasant situation. That could be as simple a strategy as saying “I need a break.” Going to the bathroom is a good excuse. for that one. You could also say,” I hear how upset you are, but I need to think some about this before responding. I’ll let you know when I am calm enough to respond. Right now I have other things to do.
Emotional Fitness Tip Six: Practice forgiveness regularly and often.
The more toxic the person, the harder it will be to follow these tip. Keep trying, it will help you and the toxic person.
Thank you for all you do.
Practice kindness by liking, commenting or sharing this post.