This question is for a counsellor!I was wondering if I could get some assistance of different, effective ways to cope with negative, toxic people?
Everything I know of.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.People who are negative tend to be difficult to be around because they affect how you feel about things. And if they take the negativity further and act out in harmful ways (toxic behavior), then you can begin to feel stressed, upset and anxious about being around them. Their behavior can sometimes be considered a Personality disorder in Psychology. Here is a link to help you see how they relate:http://www.nmha.org/go/information/get-info/personality-disordersToxic people can include family, co workers and even friends or neighbors. Being around them feels draining and unsettling. Their issues can be the result of mental illness or past abuse, where they learned to cope with the loss of love and care by adapting their behavior to get attention.There are different types of toxic behavior. Some people feel they know everything and everyone else does not, some criticize and predict doom and gloom with every situation and others are dramatic, making a big deal out of everything. They can also focus a lot on themselves, making you feel insignificant and bothersome. Some are emotionally draining, needing your help with everything.One of the best ways to deal with toxic people is to try to eliminate them from your life. They are not going to change, no matter how hard you try to help them or be there for them. So you will continue to have the same relationship regardless of your effort. To remove them from your life, stop having any face to face or phone contact. If they call you, don't return the call. Avoid them as much as you can. If they ask you why, tell them you are busy or another legitimate excuse. Take them off your Facebook, remove their numbers from your phone. After a while, they should move on.If you cannot avoid them completely, as is the case with co workers or family, try reducing your contact as much as possible. Avoid contact unless you must be in the same place. When they talk with you, offer short, neutral responses. If they try to rope you into an emotional situation, have a neutral response ready like, "Sorry you feel that way" no matter what they say to you. Repeat as needed until they lose interest and leave. The only way to cope with toxic people is to reduce contact as much as you can. Unfortunately, everyone at one time or another must deal with people who act out. It helps to seek out others who are not toxic and develop good relationships so you can have a balance in your life.I hope this has helped you,Kate
Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
Hi,Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX exactly what I have been trying to cope with for along time. I have been criticized, a lot of times things were negative, pessimistic attitudes, not wanting others to succeed or be happy with relationships, always having to assist others & I had to fend to myself to ensure things were completed properly, family gatherings, being ignored & not included, being snapped at for no reason,PEOPLE have been doing this for a long time. Things were improving with therapy previously, but negative attitudes, lying, manipulation & backstabbing have been the drama too often. I am aware of how addicts are & act, I have had many relationships destroyed among other things because of that. I normally don't share a house with these PEOPLE but when trying to find a job & have them constantly belittle me or be negative that I won't get what I try to achieve is very draining. I do limit my time, communication & I do not like acting like them but I am finding being silent is no longer an option; I have a lot of anger & resentment of how I have been treated, ignored or my feelings don't count. I have been trying to find a job for awhile & these PEOPLE have made comments that others will get the positions etc ,before me. Its been very difficult trying to cope as I have read many books, articles & I don't like being controlled of what they want, its my life, they have been negative with many people & I have tried to remain positive but it has been difficult at times. Certain others have had drug/alcohol issues, I have tried to cope as much as I can but I need someone who can assist me through dealing with these behaviours. It is much easier when I have my own place but they feel because I have been here they can control what I do etc outside the normal boundaries & that is unfair. I have tried talking to them of how I feel but I have been blamed for things when I don't do or say anything; so I don't bother, its been too stressful & I do distance myself when I am on my own. Who tells their adult child, you can't do much until you go back to work, you shouldn't be doing anything? I have stood up for myself & stated I won't tolerate their behaviour, its been a power struggle because I have been in their house,or get yelled at for trivial things; so I just stay away as much as possible & only minimal talk when needed. The worst is they have talked about me to other PEOPLE=FAMILY, & I get blamed or its not the correct info. I don't do anything with my PARENTS because of how they treat me. They have mistreated my siblings also. I haven't been able to keep relationships going I end them because of how much people have hurt me, or lied to me, I have been forced to end things because of their control, or others have not wanted to be around because of how my FAMILY has acted, I am NOT a negative person but I WILL NOT TOLERATE being controlled or having others act destructively. I have tried to relocate to try to rebuild my life, people weren't cooperating but I got blamed. I have been told there is nothing I Can do but that isn't true because there is always something we can do to not tolerate this behaviour. They did change for awhile but they are off/on I never know how or when they will act like that. I know there are underlying issues but I refuse to be a part of that toxicity.I admit I do need someone who I can confide in to assist me through these behaviours & try to keep positive for myself. I haven't had much of a life since 2007. I have learned to say no, & do things for me, but I have been limited with funds until I return to work. I have taken courses, I have done everything to try to go back to work. Can you provide me with some assistance as to how I can attempt to withdraw from this?Thanks!
I would certainly like to talk with you about your situation and help you in any way I can!
Can you tell me a bit more about who the people are that you are dealing with? You mentioned your parents and siblings. Are there people at work as well that treat you badly? And what kind of support do you have? Any friends who understand? Are you in a relationship?
Thanks for the additional information,
Its been my parents, siblings, at times coworkers, extended family, neighbours, thats why I refuse to bring anyone to meet my parents because they are negative, & have made comments to them so I don't. I have tried getting help at times, answer was no, or not available. My mother & father both play manipulaters & have denied that anyone has tried to hurt me when they have. (That is a mask for how negatively I have been treated) I assist in cleaning their house they make a mess & expect others to clean it, (me, some, I do back away from it) Then, I just tried to talk with my mother & she was denying anything because its my brother's gf, They all lie & have cheated, I don't because I know how I have been treated & how much have been mistreated, or neglected. They have always somehow ruined relationships or caused trouble & wouldnt except the responsibilty. I have refused to eat at the table for awhile, cause of their mean aggrevating, I didn't speak to them most of the winter because of how they treat me. I was trying to help clean, & put some books aside, my father just picked an argument with me & my mother just sits there & smirked. Cause I put them in a bag to go through she didn't want them anyways. Its all about power & ITS MY HOUSE CRAP, all I was trying to do is help but because it was my brother's gf things he always has yelled at me, she is an addict too with a personalty disorder. I have been verbally abused by all of them & I don't want to be here any longer but he also tries to control where I should apply to or where I will or won't get hired at. Again, my opinion doesn't matter. They act like they don't care about me, its always been that way when I have lived here. I have been trying to move for the past 2 years, & somehow each interview I have had they have said other will get it or new grads because they work for lower wages etc. I have been told to go to my room numerous times for standing for myself. Im an adult. I leave the situation & its me who always does, he has to control. They were ok until recently especially this past weekend they started again. I haven't been able to date since 2006 because of how I have been treated & how people have lied or strayed. Friends I did have we all used to discuss our issues but when I have been with my parents they don't bother much because of the negative comments. My mother is awful about how people are she thinks I should put up with people's behaviour that there is nothing I can do, wrong, she used to work for an agency for abused kids. I sometimes remain calm, other times I get angry, they don't care if I ever have anyone or have kids. I know I need to leave this house but I refuse to be controlled all the time. Everytime I try to do something someone tries to be negative about it, but they don't see it as sabotaging. I have had people copy me, whether its jobs, cars, clothes, etc, I have had difficulty with references when not usually. I have always been a good employee but somehow I have been picked at for trivial things & others have bullied their way around when I don't do anything but try to do my work efficiently. At times when I have stood up for myself it would depend on the situation. People have been too negative in some places & Im tired of constantly dealing with people who don't care or do their jobs correctly. My father says its only getting worse, & thats the way people are, just go with it. Who has to put up with that negativity? He is ok, some & others he is terrible. They are co depending, enabling & toxic after being around certain people. It has made me emotionally paralyzed at times & I don't want much to do with them. My mother says she is tired of hearing me say how I feel & I am tired of them not considering me at all because they don't, she hasn't dealt with the negativity & lets it happen just like she always did. Any suggestions?
It sounds like your parents may have personality issues. They could also be considered emotionally abusive if they try to sabotage any efforts you make to get out of the home and on your own. And if your father is saying things to you and your mother is smirking about it, then that means they both agree that this type of behavior towards you and others is ok and normal, to them anyway.Denying that anyone is hurting you when it is obvious others are is part of an abusers way to keep the abuse going. It is a way to ignore the pain you feel and deny what they are doing and the consequences of their behavior.The fact that your brother and his girlfriend agree with the behavior means that they have learned that the way your parents treat others is acceptable. They are mimicking what they learned and accept that it is ok and may not know there is any other way.You are in a very difficult situation. You seemed to have tried all avenues to get out of the home and so far, you have not been able to because of those around you causing issues. I encourage you to keep trying. It is hard to find a job these days so as you said, it could be that employers are hiring cheaper workers. But one time is all it takes so if you keep trying, you will find something.Also, consider volunteering. That can help you make connections that may turn into a job. It also gives you a change to care for others, which can help your self esteem. Listening to all this manipulation and dealing with the abuse can make you feel low about yourself. Giving to others can improve how you feel.Keep trying what we talked about before with keeping your responses to simple, neutral statements. That will help you from getting to emotionally involved. That is hard to do when you feel angry and picked on, but by making the one statement you help shut down the behavior eventually.We can also keep talking about this to help you have a place to vent and to find some answers for you. Kate
I understand what you are saying, it used to bring me down & give me a lot of headaches, stress & drain me but I refuse to be a victim of their negativity. There have been many times where I have tried to do things, participate, make new friends & someone has tried to sabotage it, once people hear of the chaos, people have not seem to not care about how it effects me. I do try to stay positive, optimistic, hoping I will get something soon as possible. I make sure I have minimal contact with them when they treat me like that. I have always wondered why I have been treated so differently than my brothers. My younger brother got away with more than my older brother & I did. Im not perfect but no one deserves to be spoken to negatively. If have any other suggestions I would be grateful!Thanks!
It may help you to see these issues as part of who your family is and that it has nothing to do with you. You are not at fault. This is about their difficulty with coping and they transfer those feelings to you. As long as you can separate yourself from them emotionally, then you can start to feel better. This does take time, though. With each thing they say or do, try to say to yourself that what they are doing is about them, not about you. Eventually, you will be able to tune out what they say and do.
If you would like to continue from here, we need to open a new thread. May I please request that if you find the answers helpful at all that you rate me with three or more stars? Anything lower results in a negative against my record (ratings are confusing, sorry!). Thank you so much!
I tried sending it before & it wouldn't go through. This website has done that previously to me. I know it's not my fault but I am fed up with them displacing their emotions on me when they need to cope with it themselves instead of being toxic. They have done that to other family members too & they know it's not right, they did change for a while, its an off/on projection of negativity that they do. Its like they have a narrow mind of what they only want to see, thats part of the controlling, toxic behaviours. I have read all the books about toxic people & it has many of the signs that they portray. I even didn't go to a family function this evening because I don't want to be around them, when I told my mother I wasn't going, she says "Oh, why, being sarcastic" They both have ben mean to each other that isn't my fault, I stay out of their arguments but if they aren't content with things then they need to accept responsiabilty to fix things. They have done it previous times before. Anyone who has stayed here before says the same thing, they always pick on things that are meaningless. Im always cleaning or doing something, then I get I am taking over, Im touching other people's things, when they are in those MOODS; or denying the truth. That makes me very resentful. Eg, The air conditioning won't go on unless it is hot for more than a few days, it's ridiculous, too many people have suffered for unnecessary reasons. I am resenting others too who say they have or are helping & suddenly I have realized they are NOT when they have been? I need to be around positive people that care about others & not want to be destructive. I have been trying to do that for 3 years. Im sure you are aware there are laws about extorting people to try to ruin their reputation? That has happened to me numerous times & I haven't done anything wrong but try to defend myself. Do you have any further suggestions? Please, do not post any of my questions!
Thanks for trying. Just Answer has a new policy of one answer per thread. If you want to start a new thread, addressed to me, then I will copy your new question to it and we can go from there. Thanks!