How To Handle Toxic People In The Work Place

I am sure you know what I’m talking about.

That hypercritical, mean, pessimistic, offensive, gossipy, manipulative, or otherwise toxic person who is always on your case and you just can’t seem to escape at work.
He or she somehow finds a reason to always be at your desk during work hours. You have to sit through meetings with him or her. He or she picks you to be their lunch buddy. And all he or she does is to point out one flaw after the other. The disgusting odor of his or her criticisms wafts through the workplace, threatening to seep into your mind and work, if you aren’t careful.

Truth is, you can’t escape these people-they’re everywhere and are part of your everyday routine. Toxic people have the salient ability to undermine and sabotage any plan or project, whatever their subtle actions and motive, they have an effect on the people who have to work with them.

Can anything that can be done about them?

Yes! Try some of these tactics:

1. Know Thy Strength

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.-Eleanor Roosevelt

It’s more of a mental work than physical. Start by firmly and quickly kicking the person out of your head. You are not responsible for the way people act, but you are 100% responsible for the way you react to them.
Do not give toxic people any space in your brain and if you already have, stop it! I know, it is very difficult, but you don’t you’ll end up sabotaging your efforts if you give them any hold on your mind.
Take the emotion out of your every reaction to toxic people. Fact remains that they’re going to do what they’re going to do, but you don’t need to get upset about it.



2. Distance Yourself Mentally and Physically

If you happen to share workspace, it might be a bit hard to physically distance yourself, but make sure you cut it to the barest minimum. Don’t be forced to hang out with this person during lunch or coffee breaks.
If that doesn’t work, distance yourself mentally and emotionally. If headphones are allowed, please by all means get one. Music might help you tune him or her out, but truthfully, you don’t even have to play anything-wearing headphones is a kind of shield that keeps people away and tells them that you can only be disturbed only when it’s necessary. It helps cut off the instant access that might have someone in your ear every five minutes.

3. Put Your Foot Down

The key here is, knowing your boundaries, and making sure they’re crystal clear to those around you. If the toxic person crosses the line and becomes a pest, is abusive or inappropriate for a professional setting, then by all means, make a complaint. Swallowing anything a toxic person throws at you tells the person your boundaries are farther than he or she thought, and there is a lot more he or she can get away with.

A quick warning here, don’t allow it to become personal. A complaint about inappropriate behavior in the workplace should not become an avenue for listing out all the person’s many bad attitudes. No! Keep it brief and professional; be clear about which workplace rules he or she is breaking and how it affects you and the workplace as a whole.
Oh! Yeah be prepared because there will be backlash. Be ready for it, and don’t take it to heart. You might just find that others start putting their foot down as well.

4. Don’t over analyze the situation

Negative people can sometimes behave irrationally. You will waste valuable time and energy if you try to make sense of their actions. Do whatever you can to prevent yourself from becoming emotionally invested in their issues.

5. Counterstrike: Mission Positivity

The surest way to counter negative, toxic, soul-draining people is to surround yourself with people who are their exact opposite. They’ll lift you up and give you the needed energy.
Make a conscious decision to spend more time with the fun, happy, constructive people in your workplace and go beyond making that decision in your mind but actually carry it out. Uplifting people are a great counterbalance to toxicity.
You can also speak to yourself. Tell yourself those positive things you desperately want to hear-after all, you are your number one champion and you owe yourself that. Take note when you’re thinking and telling yourself negative things, which just might echo the things a toxic person has told you before. Reframe these things into positives.



Remember, life isn’t always fair; it’s a sad but unavoidable truth. You might have to work with toxic people all through your career. You can’t change them, so it’s up to you to decide how you’re going to deal with them and move past it.

About Stellamaris Obomanu

Loves to read, loves to write, loves to laugh, loves life and yeah, she's as real as they come.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.