9 clever ways to keep your cool around toxic people

Navigating your way around toxic people can be a real challenge.

The key is maintaining your cool, even when they’re testing every ounce of your patience.

 You are finding clever tactics to keep your peace and sanity intact. They will protect your mental space. 

In this article, I’ll share nine clever strategies to help you keep cool around toxic individuals.

1) Keep it neutral

Engaging with toxic individuals can be like navigating a minefield. One wrong step, and boom, you’re caught in a whirlwind of negativity.

How do you keep yourself neutral?

It means not responding with equal anger or frustration when they’re trying to provoke you. 

Instead, keep your tone and body language calm and composed, even if inside you’re seething.

Their negativity is their problem, not yours. Don’t let them dictate how you should feel.

This way, you conserve your emotional energy and avoid unnecessary confrontations.

Staying neutral isn’t always easy, but with practice, it becomes a powerful tool in dealing with toxic individuals.

2) Set boundaries

I remember when I had a challenging co-worker. She had a knack for turning even the most minor issues into dramatic incidents. 

And for some reason, she loved to bring her drama to my desk.

In the beginning, I indulged her, thinking I was being supportive. But soon, it started draining me. 

I felt I was constantly on edge, bracing myself for her next crisis.

That was the moment I realized the importance of setting boundaries.

I politely declined when she attempted to pull me into her drama. 

I’d say things like, “I’m swamped right now; maybe we can discuss this later?” or “I think you should talk to our supervisor about this issue.”

Over time, she got the message and backed off. 

While it was a challenging situation, it taught me that setting clear boundaries is crucial when dealing with toxic individuals.

Boundaries protect your mental well-being and signal to others that their negativity has no place in your space. 

3) Focus on solutions, not problems

In the modern world, bias can often lead us to dwell on problems rather than seek solutions.

When dealing with toxic people, getting caught up in their drama and negativity is easy.

Instead of getting sucked into their problem-oriented mindset, try shifting the focus towards potential solutions.

For instance, if someone constantly complains about a situation, you can suggest a possible solution instead of joining the complaint session or asking them how they plan to resolve the issue.

This approach helps maintain your mental balance and subtly encourages a more positive and proactive outlook. 

Where attention goes, energy flows. Let’s direct it towards solutions rather than problems.

4) Practice self-care

While dealing with toxic people, it’s essential not to neglect your own needs. 

Self-care comes in many forms. Meditating or doing deep breathing exercises could take a few minutes each day. 

It could be going for a jog, reading a book, or simply taking a relaxing bath.

Whatever form it takes, self-care to recharge your emotional batteries and give yourself the strength to handle toxic individuals.

You can’t pour from an empty cup; hence, take time out to refill yours. 

5) Don’t take it personally

Toxic people often have a way of making you feel like you’re the problem.

Their behavior is a reflection of them, not you.

It’s easy to internalize their negativity and start believing something is wrong with you. 

But that’s not the case. People behave toxically because of their issues and insecurities.

When a toxic person tries to bring you down, remind yourself it’s not your problem. You’re a target for them to project their issues onto.

Shrug it off and move on. You know your worth; don’t let anyone make you doubt it.

6) Show empathy

Here’s a hard truth: behind every toxic person, there’s often a story of pain, disappointment, or trauma. 

This no longer excuses their behavior but might help you understand it better.

Showing empathy doesn’t mean accepting or condoning their toxic behavior. 

It just means you’re acknowledging their humanity, and that can be a powerful tool in dealing with them.

When you approach a toxic person with empathy, it can sometimes diffuse their negativity. 

It shows them they’re being heard and understood, something they might not receive often.

And sometimes, that’s all people need to start making positive changes.

7) Seek support

There was a time when I felt utterly overwhelmed by a toxic person in my life. 

I felt helpless because their negativity was seeping into every aspect of my existence. 

That’s when I reached out for support. I opened up to a close friend about what I was going through. 

I had someone listen and validate my feelings, making a difference.

Sharing your experiences with someone you trust can be incredibly therapeutic. 

It helps you gain perspective; often, they can offer advice or insights you might have yet to think of.

You don’t have to deal with toxic people alone. Reach out and seek support. 

Sometimes, a shoulder to lean on is all you need to regain your strength.

8) Limit your exposure

Maintaining your cool can be challenging if you’re constantly around toxic people. 

Limiting your exposure to them is a practical and effective strategy.

This could mean physically distancing yourself from them or limiting your time with them. 

If you can’t avoid them entirely (say, if they’re a co-worker or family member), try to minimize your interactions.

By doing it, you are creating a healthier environment for yourself. 

You have a right to protect your mental and emotional health. 

Don’t feel guilty about doing what’s best for you.

9) Stay true to yourself

The most important thing to remember when dealing with toxic people is to stay true to yourself. 

Don’t let their negativity change who you are or how you see the world.

It’s easy to start mirroring their toxic behavior or let their negativity darken your positive outlook. 

You have control over your actions and your attitudes.

Stay kind, stay positive, stay you. You’re more robust and more resilient than you think.

Final thoughts: Self-preservation

When navigating through the murky waters of dealing with toxic people, it’s not a contest of who can outwit whom but a strategy of self-preservation.

You are maintaining your calm around toxic people. 

You choose peace over chaos, solutions over problems, and empathy over resentment.

You are preserving your mental and emotional health in negativity. 

Stay true to your values, and do not let others dictate how you should feel or react.

In the end, dealing with toxic people is as much a practice as patience and resilience. It is a journey of self-growth.

Let’s take these strategies and apply them in your life. 

You have the strength to rise above toxicity.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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