Ask Away Blog: How To Handle Toxic Situations

How To Handle Toxic Situations

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

 

I'm sure you've heard someone describe something or someone as toxic before, haven't you?  Whether it's someone that works with you and is always complaining or a home situation that is just full of bad energy.  Toxic situations exist everywhere and at all times, and it's important to know how to handle them.  



What is a toxic situation?

A toxic situation is anything that doesn't serve you well when it comes to your mental, emotional, or physical well being.  So an abusive spouse, a clingy friend, a berating boss, or a chaotic home life filled with verbal arguments among family members can be considered toxic.  There are plenty of degrees of toxicity for all of these types of situations but one thing that they all share is that they aren't serving you well.   

Why it's important to get away...
Staying around a toxic person or situation can affect a person in so many ways.  You may lose or gain weight from eating (or lack thereof) from stress, you can feel anxious and fearful, you can dread going to work or going home where the toxic situation is, and you can suffer physical injuries from a physically harmful scenario.  

The thing is... YOU have the power to remove yourself, change how you respond and how you let it affect you, or begin to devise a plan to remedy and remove yourself.  Of course, I know that's easier said than done in certain situations.  For example, when someone has an abusive spouse, often times leaving them can cause more danger.  So planning and confiding in close people that will help you leave is important. 

You only live once....you don't want to waste any of your time feeling like shit or allowing others to dictate how your life goes, right? 


How to handle different types of toxic situations...
I guess the best way to talk about how to handle different types of toxic situations is by using specific scenarios. 

Toxic Work Environment
Let's say your boss makes your life a living hell and you know you're a damn good employee.  Obviously, the issue is them, not you.  You need to remind yourself of that.  Then you need to work on how you let what they say affect you.  Don't allow yourself to be consumed with resentful thoughts of them, especially when you aren't at work.  But really, you need to take action.  Maybe that means polishing your resume to get a new job or reporting the situation to a superior.  Either way YOU need to take some sort of action.  

Stressful Home Environment
You get home from a long day at work and the kids are fighting, your spouse is asking you when dinner will be ready, the floors need washed, and the dog is sick. WOW! Well... first you need to delegate and ask for help.  Perhaps your spouse can work on dinner or clean, or even the kids can do it.  You need to prioritize some quiet time for yourself so you can relax and decompress.  Tell everyone not to bother you.  Then give yourself a routine on a daily or weekly basis of tasks you will do around the house.  If the dog is sick, take them to the vet and focus on that scenario first since it seems to be the most important.  If things at home are always escalating, and laying down the law as a parent doesn't work with kids, try family therapy. 

Toxic Friend
A toxic friend is someone that has bad juju.  They can be all drama, repeat everything you tell them, and make you feel guilty for not spending time with them.  Sometimes we feel fear when we think about toxic friends. So you know what? Remove yourself.  If the friendship is not serving you, you don't need to keep it.  Fade away slowly (or quickly, up to you) and help them get the hint by telling them how busy you are (no matter how mad they get).  Surround yourself with better people that are more supportive and have better energy. 

These are just SOME examples of toxic situations but have you ever had experience with something different? How did you handle it? 


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