Negativity can stress you out. You start your day energised, and full of ideas. Toxic people and negative vibes break your flow and bring on stress. You can choose to ignore, tackle, or confront the negativity. Is someone else’s bad day going to be yours? By understanding 6 common toxic personality types you find ways to detox these bad energies from your work, life and day. You can even turn negative energy into a positive force field. Get rid of the bad vibes and get to grips with how you can deal with negative energy. Doom and gloom — no more!
Negativity: Toxic Behaviour Signs
Negative energy is like a stormy cloud on a bright sunny day. The whole scenario invites you to run for cover, loose your inner self and defend yourself against unseen evil forces. The negativity of others does not have to become your problem. This is easy enough to say because if you are related to a negative person, or work alongside them, it is not as simple.
Negativity drains your energy, zap ideas, and brings pessimism in like a wet blanket. Everyone can have a bad day, but when you worry about how to deal with a certain person, or even avoid them — you are dealing with toxic behaviour.
Toxic people bring on stress. You have over time built your resistance to expected sources of stress. So called positive stress can add adrenaline but, negative stress can literally burn away at your inner core.
It’s the unexpected sources of stress that take you by surprise and harm you the most. – Dr. Travis Bradberry, Talentsmart
Negative vibes are brought in by people, and your reaction to them is what makes it toxic – for you. Toxic people are not inherently bad, nor will you stop loving or caring for them (if you are related to them). It is their behaviour that has gone astray, and the toxin comes in the form of negative influence over others. The detox starts when you realise that the person in front of you in stuck in reverse. A toxic personality will be absorbed in their own negativity, and there is no space left for you.
Negativity: To Be or Not To Be?
Negativity is unproductive for a team, and toxic in relationships. Coping with a negative person isn’t easy as they drain your energy. You can learn to recognise toxic behaviour and therefore build your resistance and create boundaries. This is not self-defence – it is common sense. If you continue to invite the black, you become part of the game. You may even become the unwilling star in a self-propelling drama.
To feel good, you need to be good – as it otherwise becomes very hard to do good. By inviting negativity the good turns sour, and the energy becomes clouded. How do we deal with the toxic people who turn every phrase, situation and event into negative stress?
Negativity: Personality Types
When thinking of toxic people you probably already know different types. Negative energy in itself is a stress factor. The toxin can evoke feelings that creep upon you, or turn a situation into an outright aggressive conflict. The trick is to understand the driving force behind the negativity, and find ways to deal with its effects. As a mature person you have responsibility to yourself, and your team, to identify what will affect you and how to make it work for you rather than against. Here are some common negativity types:
The Manipulating Judge: This person knows it all. There is no end to how little you can feel when this personality forces negative stress on you. You will feel attacked, shamed, and hurt by this personality. Highly manipulative and concentrated on his or her own success – this person will stop at nothing to make themselves shine – often at someone else’s expense. The bullying that often ensues will mean that you become a victim to satisfy the need for control.
What to do? You need to respect yourself, and realise that you have the right to be respected by others. To stand up to a manipulator is hard, as s/he is a well-trained bully who will have figured out your weaknesses, and will exploit them to its max potential. The manipulating judge will know how to work the office politics expertly, which can prove highly contentious in an organisation or team.
- You can actively choose to walk away. Look for another position or change in life. You can decide that the poisonous power-play is too harmful to continue with. You can grow from this decision. By walking away with your head held high is not a defeat, but may well prove to be the best lucky escape you ever got.
- You can also confront, and stand up to this personality by using well researched techniques as described in this article: How to Spot and Stop Manipulators. The main point here to realise your own worth, and see the judge for what s/he is: A bully. Don’t accept it, and don’t get felled – the toxin can spread and hurt you for years if you don’t choose to act.
The Emotional Blackmailer: Someone who will push your guilt buttons, overuse your sense of obligation, and instil fear to get their way. It is not a healthy relationship. The blackmailer has a self-centred way of relating to others, and is often a needy attention seeker. Emotional black mail is a powerful form of manipulation which operates with fear, obligation and guilt. It is game which requires two to play: The blackmailer and the blackmailee. The only way to put an end to it, is to not play the game.
What to do? By setting limits, and refusing to be held captive by the blackmailer you can re-evaluate the relationship and start afresh.
- You will need to not get blinded by your own emotions (of guilt, obligation and fear), which starts by understanding what emotional blackmail does to you. It is not the person that you get affected by – it is their behaviour. By seeing this you will be able to move forward.
- By avoiding to capitulate to the egotistical demands of the black mailer you change the rules of the game. Each time you gain more control over the situation. With time the blackmail stops, as you are not a willing participant any more.
The Cloak-and-Dagger Backstabber: This type will smile and be nice to you, while stabbing you in the back when s/he is with others. It is a dangerous person to have around in an office situation, and especially so if the cloak and dagger personality has a position of clout / power. If this person is a ‘friend’, the trust will be broken once you realise what is going on behind you back. The difficult thing is how to handle the cloak and dagger situation.
What to do? The situation can be turned if you choose to take action in a planned, calm way. You can undo the harm, and let the clock-and-dagger become the victim of his/her own negative behaviour.
- Check that you are not emotionally overreacting to whatever story is spread. Check around and see what is being said.
- Keep your relationships clean and don’t gossip. By being friendly with a level of distance you will feel and be in control.
- Confront the backstabber and explain what the rumour mongering is doing to you and others, and keep the conversation calm and cool.
- Remain friendly and cordial but, let the so called ‘friendship’ end.
The Rainmaker: Contrary to the what the word actually means – i.e. to attract business – this negative personality type will make rain fall at every turn. Self-centred and needy, this person will have negative views about everything – the weather, the office supplies, the food served, the staff, and of course you. The toxic rain will fall around them in a sad, bad way. To rain on your parade is part of what make this person tick. “That won’t work” is a favourite answer to all suggestions. Nothing you do or say will change the tune, and to continue trying will feed their negative behaviour. Some rainmakers are not even aware that they affect their environment, and they mindset remains stuck on sub-zero.
What to do? The best way to tackle them is to inform them that their dark cloud is impacting others. Be kind, talk about lighter issues and do not feed the negative.
- Give the person a talking-to in a friendly way, so you can make the person see that they impact those around them. Get them thinking, and perhaps even give them this motivational book: Positive Thinking Guide.
- Don’t get upset by their constant whining – let it become ‘noise’ as karma will take care of their downward turn which often follows by itself.
- As an emotionally intelligent person you will realise that you can’t change everyone, and shouldn’t even try, so confront your inner avoidance monster – be kind and let go.
The Joking Dumpster: This person cracks a joke in the middle of a meeting, and teases you whenever they can. Everything is turned into a joke, and the most serious of situations will seem funny to this person. You will become irritated, cross and even angry at these teases, jokes and antics. That is when this ‘humorous’ person turns into negative toxin. You have no sense of humour; can’t understand jokes; are too serious and don’t belong to the in-crowd. The social setting where this person often reigns can make your life toxic. You will feel affected by the sense of not belonging.
What to do? By confronting your inner self, you will need to rationalise and see that this person is not worthy of you. Maybe you will be their colleague, but keep is friendly and distant.
- Realise that the insecurity that the Joking Dumpster harbours is nestled in an inferiority complex, and they make up for this by cracking jokes at every turn. As a mental 12-year-old, this person is still acting as if s/he is at school.
- Essentially different from a judging manipulator, this person is nevertheless a destructive force. Let go, and distance yourself by realising this person is unworthy of you. You cannot change to please this person nor should you try, It is often a question of simply moving on.
The Needy Stalker: The needy stalker is a self-pity party expert, and someone who considers you their closest friend. In this role you belong to them, and cannot be with anyone else. Needy to the max, and sadness-qualified to the fullest, this person will always find something bad and you are the only one who can fix it. They have somehow made you their slave, and will almost become stalking in their sense of ownership. Their interpretation of friendship has become clouded by their own need to play centre stage.
This is an emotional vampire that will drain your energies dry if you allow it to continue.The toxic behaviour takes the form of abuse, as you start feeling as if you are constantly worried about their state of mind. You have no space in the relationship – it’s all about them.
What to do? Insecurity, and narcissism drives this personality – and the emotional manipulation tricks become highly toxic in relationships. You can let this go for a while, but the time comes to say stop.
- Confront the friend and clearly explain how the situation has turned from a duet to an opera for one. Explain the concept of give and take.
- Reflect on the relationship, and consider how you’re caught in an unhealthy cycle of relating to the person. Are you making excuses for them or trying to fix them? If the person’s toxic behaviour doesn’t change, or the relationship is just too toxic for you, send them forward in life with love and compassion, and then move forward with your life.
- Change the friendship balance, by re-taking control. If you feel obligated or even fearful from the reactions of this personality you can read how to tackle Emotional Vampires, get stronger and grow from the experience. You may need to take help from a trained professional to get back into your balance again.
Negativity: Breaking The Toxic Cycle
The best way to handle your own self when dealing with negativity is to realise your own self-worth, and understand what your role is in the situation.
If you are a friend or a relative your choices are often clouded in love and guilt. You can compartmentalize by seeing that it is the behaviour that is toxic – not the person who you love. In a work situation a colleague will make your life difficult, but a negative manipulative boss can literally make your work life hell.
The emotionally intelligent responses to each to these negative personality types will differ. The important thing is to actively move forward by realising that you have a worth. To detox from the situation, or person, is the responsible thing to do – for yourself and those around you.
You cannot accept to be part of a drama nor fall pray for someone else cruel games. Sometimes you just have to end a relationship which can be painful, especially if you have known someone for a long while. If you are related to, or a partner with, someone who displays toxic behaviour you will need to change your way towards them too. To safeguard yourself, you need to work on developing a different kind of relationship. Asking for professional help is advisable.
Ultimately creating space for healthier and more nourishing relationships in your life – and work – will make you feel good, be good and do good. By detoxing from the negative energy you de-stress and grow.
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Recommended and Related:
- Examples of Personality Traits – your dictionary.com
- How To Detox Negative People From Your Life – Lifed
- How To Spot and Stop Manipulators – Psychology Today
- Fear, Obligation and Guilt in Relationships – Psychology Today
- Emotional Manipulation – Live Bold and Bloom
- Negative Personality Traits in Relation with Leadership Styles – Chron.com
- 6 Tips to Handle Someone Who Stabs You In The Back – Personal Excellence
- What’s a Toxic Person and How Do You Deal With One – World of Psychology
- Books about Negative Energy, Toxic People and Positive Thinking from Amazon:
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