They do! Just when you think they are gone, they come alive on the movie screen. They also can be in your life every day. Not Vampires from the Twilight Series, negative energy vampires. Toxic people! Pot stirrers! Basement people! The Vampires that try to sabotage our lives and relationships.
§ The people you don’t look forward to seeing.
§ The people who have a tendency to stress you out.
§ The people who make you feel like what you have to say is not relevant…it’s all about them.
§ The people who talk negatively about you behind your back and then to your face, they are your best friend.
You know whom I’m talking about. You can name them right now. We all have them. I’ll just use a fictitious example, and call one of these toxic people, Jane.
So how do you handle the “Janes” (remember, just a fictitious example) in your life? How you choose to deal with these kinds of people in your life will have an impact on how you physically and emotionally feel.
Isn’t it amazing that we try to get these people to like us? Isn’t it amazing that we argue with these people? When you argue with a fool, chances are he or she is doing just the same.
What’s the solution?
1) Always take the high road. Treat people the way you want to be treated even when it’s not the natural response. Confucius says, “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”
2) Respond properly. Eleanor Roosevelt said it best; “No one can make you feel inferior unless you let them.” If you let those “toxic people” spread their toxicity to you, it’s because you let them do it! You are in control of your response.
3) Leave them alone. When possible, don’t be around them. When impossible, rise above them. Be kind, be courteous, and make the interaction one that maintains your integrity and character.
4) Confront only when it will make a difference. You cannot change them, nor should you try. Sometimes, when a trusted friend breaks confidence or the rumor mill carries some unbelievable stuff, confront them if it will make a difference. If it will not, adjust. One of my leadership principles: it’s better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and prove it.
5) Practice FIDO: Forget It and Drive On! I have a good forgetter. I’m happier because I have a good forgetter! Do yourself a favor, the next time you encounter a toxic person, encounter a nasty event, or deal with someone who has treated you unfairly, FIDO.
6) Find the positive. Regardless of the person, the situation, or the event, look for the positive. It will help you keep balance and perspective.
7) Don’t talk about these people to others. Toxic people attract toxic people. You talking negatively to others about these people will only prove how “toxic” you have become.
We all have a choice. I won’t be toxic, I won’t be negative, I won’t be a pot stirrer, and I won’t be a basement person. Just as Edward protected Bella in the movies, if I have to be a vampire, I will be a good one.
And these are just my thoughts on a Monday afternoon.
THE PEOPLE BUILDER,
Steve Siemens, CSP