In our age, when we are attracted to virtual communication via the Internet, there is still not enough “live” communication. Changing work or teaching place, we get into a new team. We begin to communicate with people previously unfamiliar to us. We try to make contact, to show our best side, to be polite and well-mannered. Subsequently, new friendships are made. Often such relationships turn into friendship. But a completely opposite situation tends to happen as well. When after daily “friendly relations”, you start to catch yourself on the thought that the opponent plays his own game. Then it gets impossible to build not only friendly relations but also constructive ones with such people. Nowadays, this is a very relevant topic all over the world. Today we will talk about such people.
There are several kinds of those so-called “toxic” people:
These people are very enthusiastic, but when it comes to work it is difficult to call them workaholics. Their energy is directed to the discussion of someone else's life. They will not find it difficult to spend a lot of time discussing someone else's life. Someone else's success irritates them. They begin to “tear to pieces” their new victim, trying to find his imperfections and thus calming themselves. Gossips in the team are constantly trying to improve their own self-esteem, focusing all employees on the failure of their victim. This is how he gets moral satisfaction. Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of US President Franklin Roosevelt, once said: “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, and small minds discuss people.”
These people apply psychological violence for a long time. They are very cunning. The purpose of such people is to make their victim to completely submit to them. They can blatantly lie and deny the obvious, constantly confuse you, deliberately make you think about a nonexistent problem. They act with cynical nobility saying: “I do it for you, I will not tell anyone, only for your own good.” They turn others against you. This can often be found in the team between colleagues. In order to resist such an aggressor, you need to stop tug-of-war, stop communicating with him. Let him find a new victim.
Yes, of course, we are not perfect, but only people with our mistakes, emotions, and we can afford to criticize someone else's project or work. But there is a huge difference between people and critics not in professional activity but in the psychological sense. Critic, for example, in the team it is a specific person who will find mistakes in almost everything. One day he might notice your mistake and later make a comment about your clothes or even about the beard (“shave it immediately”). Besides, the critic will express his sarcastic remarks not in private, but in front of everyone. How to help yourself in this case? In any case, do not use your own aggression. Try to look at this situation with humor. If this is difficult, you can apply a good exercise from psychology: imagine the aggressor in “funny underwear”. You will feel better immediately.
Manipulative friends are time thieves. We can say that mainly manipulators are such people — they steal our time, our positive emotions, our sense of self-confidence. When dealing with a manipulator, we may not even immediately feel his influence on us. He doesn't just behave like a gaslighter, it's a more refined game. Calmly placing traps, calculating the reaction to them, thinking through different combinations. And all this is made to drag you into his game. Sometimes in the company of the manipulator, you feel very good, needed and suddenly the next day everything can change dramatically. Like a cold shower, you suddenly realize that this person never needed you.
This is essentially one of the stages of manipulation. That is, you keep being manipulated, but now you communicate with the victim, who manipulates you constantly. He is often in a difficult situation, he can make a drama about anything, show an interesting performance. Every day he will tell you that he needs only you, that only you can help him and no one in the world except you. He will ask the same questions as “Why is this happening to him, what for?”. Of course, many people will have a feeling of compassion, but over time you will spend more and more time and nerves on this person. In the end, you will not be able to stand it.
In fact, people are very complicated. They are not so easy to divide into compartments and draw the right conclusions basing on them. If you meet a toxic person in life, try to abstract from him, do not take everything too seriously, humor often helps in communication. Don't play with them. At first, you will believe that you can beat him. But you have your own life, relationships, troubles, emotions. And this kind of person is often lonely in life and therefore he has time and energy for you. Forget him. He will never rest and will look for a new victim. Remember that this is your life and only you can manage it. All the rest are only guests, only you can set borders and rules here.