We all know of that person in the workplace that is, or was, impossible to be around. This person is not intrinsically bad, but has a personality which carries an aura or negativity and slowly corrodes the happiness in your day. Sometimes dealing with these personalities is unavoidable, as they may be a prospective customer, investor, or associate. If you allow them, they will inadvertently destroy your day and negatively impact your chances of success by their seemingly predisposition towards bad luck and incessant pessimism.
If you cannot control the personalities of these people or completely avoid them, it is important to understand how to deal with them. Rather than letting them negatively impact your day, turn them into an asset by accepting who they are and not allowing their negativity to influence others. The top twelve ways to help you deal with people that have toxic personalities have been aggregated below. We have seem many successful people follow these techniques to form more fruitful relationships within the workplace and beyond.
- Maintain Self-Awareness
In this context, we do not consider self-awareness to be the recognition of your human characteristics or primordial instinct. Self-awareness in this case is defined as being aware of your emotions and how they will impact the decisions that you make. Maintain self-awareness of how you are reacting to this person, as it will help you to recognize when they are negatively impacting your own emotions.
- Distance Yourself
Regardless of the work performed, many companies would seek to rid themselves of this person before they are capable of negatively impacting the surrounding environment. As the old adage goes for one bad apple spoiling the entire bunch, it is possible if the negative person has a strong enough personality or is expressive of his/her negativity, as you are aware that many of them are. If this person cannot be removed, try your best to distance yourself from them as much as possible.
In general, surrounding yourself with people that are intelligent and positive will increase your chances of success. Try to identify people that have a positive outlook at are apparently ‘lucky’ and surround yourself with them. Just as the negativity creeps into your life from another person’s like a virus, positivity and optimism can lead to better outcomes and also be inherited from your surroundings.
- Rise Above Politics
Sometimes people want to start conflict with not particular goal in mind. They form illogical arguments that are based on emotional bias and will re-inforce them until your appear to conform to their perspective. Rather than wasting your time by arguing trivialities, it may be easier to simply entertain their idea to avoid meaningless conflict. For instance, if someone has a passionate stance on Iranian-United States relations, do not re-inforce your own bias if it needlessly heats a unnecessary argument.
- Do not Fight
Some people are always looking for a verbal fight, although they may not directly realize it. All of their views may be extremist political ideals based on flawed logic or incorrect data, but you cannot change the fact that they believe it. Therefore, the only result of initiating an argument is to lose time and increase your stress level. The very worst thing to do is fight when you are dealing with toxic people. Avoid entering a heating argument with this individual, as they will use these arguments to directly steal your time and inject the virus of their negative emotions into your day.
- Recognize Habits
If you are a manager or work in the services industry, you may have little choice to deal with people. Some of these intrinsically have toxic personalities filled with pessimism, whereas other people simply have bad days. When making the consideration to enter a discussion or avoid this person, understand why they are behaving the way that they are. Even if this person has had a prolonged span of negativity, it may be only temporary due to outstanding personal events. Aristotle said that “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”