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8 Ways Emotionally Intelligent People Handle Toxic People Successfully


Throughout the course of life, we meet all kinds of people. Some help us grow and lead a happy, meaningful, successful life, while others drag us down and stand in the way to our happiness and success. The latter are toxic.

Narcissists, Negative Nancies, complainers, manipulators, and liars are probably the best representatives of this kind of people. Yes, they come in all shapes and sizes and they all defy logic.

One thing’s for sure – when a toxic person enters your life, it means only thing – chaos. They can easily get under your skin and they know plenty of ways to manipulate you so as to get what they want from you.

If you’ve ever come across them (and I’m sure you have), then you must have noticed how hard it is to handle them. The truth is that dealing with such people requires emotional intelligence.

People who possess high levels of it are able to control their feelings and stay calm under pressure. Not only does this prevent them from feeling stressed out and mentally exhausted when they’re in the company of toxic people, who are undoubtedly one of the greatest sources of stress, but it also helps them to neutralize them more easily.

Here’s how they do it:

1. They stay aware of their emotions.

To maintain emotional detachment, emotionally intelligent people stay aware of their emotions. This helps them remain calm when dealing with toxic people.

By staying aware of the emotions they’re feeling and the reason why they’re feeling them, they prevent toxic people from causing negative feelings and reactions in them.

2. They set boundaries.

There’s a fine line between listening to someone’s problems and getting sucked into their downward, destructive emotional spiral, and emotionally intelligent people are perfectly aware of this.

They distance themselves completely from anyone that they see as a threat to their efforts to remain productive. However, when dealing with a difficult, negative person, they don’t exit the conversation in a rude or offensive way, but they make themselves clear in a calm, polite manner.

3. They only focus on solutions, not problems.

The more you focus on the toxic person and the negative feelings they provoke in you, the more stressed and anxious you feel and the more power you give them over you.

That’s why instead of thinking about how negative and insufferable some toxic person is,  emotionally intelligent people think about how they’re going to deal with them as quickly and successfully as they possibly can.

4. They rise above the situation.

Since toxic people defy logic, you should never allow yourself to emotionally respond to their behavior and get sucked into their trap.

So, instead of playing their devious mind games or reacting to the emotional chaos, focus only on the facts and distance yourself emotionally from them.

5. They forgive but they don’t forget.

They forgive those that have betrayed their trust or hurt their feelings because they don’t want to carry feelings of resentment, bitterness, or hatred.

However, they never give someone a second chance to manipulate them again and they remember the way they were tricked, lied to, or hurt. In this way, they protect themselves from any potential future harm.

6. They neutralize negative self-talk.

Feeling bad about the way someone behaves towards you is one thing and having negative thoughts about yourself is another.

Negative self-talk is unrealistic, needless, and self-defeating and it can only intensify the negativity and weaken your confidence and self-esteem. Therefore, you should avoid it at all costs.

7. They rely on their support system.

If you want to handle toxic people quickly and successfully, you need to recognize the shortcomings in your approach to them. This means that you need to be willing to rely on someone who wants and is ready to help you deal with challenging people, be it a family member, a friend, a co-worker, or your partner.

The thing is that a person who is not as emotionally invested in the situation as you are can offer you a solution and a new, objective perspective on the situation. So, identify these people in your life and don’t be ashamed to ask for their insight, help, and support.  

8. They get enough sleep.

Lack of sleep increases your stress levels even when you’re not faced with any life stressor. On the other hand, good quality sleep improves your self-control, memory, and attention. It also makes you feel calmer, more positive and creative, and it offers you the perspective you need to handle toxic people successfully.

8 Ways Emotionally Intelligent People Handle Toxic People Successfully