How to deal with these 12 difficult & toxic people.

I was chatting to a girlfriend last week, comparing notes about forthcoming holidays. She and her family are heading on holiday with another family this summer. It worked out so well last year that they decided to repeat the formula. What they didn’t build into the equation was that, for the last few months, the eldest child from the other family has been bullying their daughter quite badly. So now the dynamics are very uncertain and my friend is rather apprehensive not only about the holiday, but how she thinks she should deal with this sensitive situation.

It can be really difficult relating to some people. Especially those ‘colourful characters’ who bombard our lives with negativity and stress.

We aren’t always rational beings.

We are surrounded by so many people who have incongruous personalities, that dealing with everyone and trying to remain happy and positive can be a real challenge. So let’s try and identify some of these personality types and suggest how we might deal with each of these toxic individuals :

1. The Drama Queen : This person tends to thrive on the chaos and quite likes the attention that their performance is commanding. They aren’t really looking for solutions to their problems. As soon as one issue is solved they are likely to conjure up another problem, in an attempt to keep themselves in the limelight. The Trick is : If you are intent on helping them, then concentrate on finding solutions, rather than getting swamped with the new problems. Then distance yourself from the drama.

2. The Doom and Gloom Monger : This person thrives by living in a much greyer world than you. Their job is harder, their children are more needy, their husband works longer hours. It seems that at every turn your lives have turned into a competition; and you will be dragged through all their woes, step-by-step. The Trick is : Reframe their negativity. I am a glass half full person – so to me this Gloom Monger is either someone to be avoided at all costs – or to be met head on! Your approach depends on your level of resilience at the time. Resist the urge to get sucked in.

3. The Time Lord : This person seems to just waste your time. They manage to bleed you dry, looking for advice and support; but somehow they bring very little to the relationship. The Trick is : Establish boundaries. These can sometimes be rather difficult to enforce. But once you have identified the rules, you are able to regain your control.

4. Mr / Mrs. (Always) Right : This person tends to railroad you with their opinions. They tend to be rather bad communicators as they are only interested in their own points of view – and as a result, tend to be bad listeners. The Trick is : Pick your battles wisely. It is often just advisable to nod and to withdraw – as these people are not really going to change their mindsets.

5. The Worry Wart : This person seems to attract and constantly look for negativity. To be honest, they’re not much fun to be around. They have a tendency to focus on many areas that are outside their control and waste a lot of energy on worrying about things that may not even happen. The Trick is : To distance yourself from this defeatism, as it is highly contagious and terribly destructive. Focus on those issues that are within your control and bring you joy.

6. The Victim : This person does not take responsibility of their own circumstances. There is always someone else to blame for their troubles.These people tend to be masters of manipulation and get their own way by pulling the sympathy card. The Trick is : Call their bluff, with sympathy. Play them at their own game. Identify their triggers. Because you are showing concern – there is no space for argument. But you are challenging their manipulation in a non threatening way. But remember to remove yourself from the situation quickly, before they drag you into their blame game too.

7. The Drainer & Complainer : This person, is very like the victim. They feels that they are not to blame for their situation. They will moan and groan and drain you of your energy. The Trick is : Disconnect as quickly as possible and then recharge your own batteries. Ensure you have the positivity in your life that you need. Focus on the things that make you happy.

8. The Naysayer & Hater : This person will try their level best to bring you down. They can criticise you and try to erode your confidence. Battling against this person on your own can be extremely exhausting. The Trick is : Surround yourself with positive like minded souls. Create a support system to help build you up when you need the reassurance.

9. The Petulant Child : This person is prone to tantrums and childish outbursts. The problem is that they do not think rationally and as a result no amount of reasoning is likely to work. The Trick is : Develop your own self awareness and spot the signs. Keep an emotional distance. So stay calm and move on.

10. The Gossip Merchant : This person is dangerous. Not only can they erode your confidence – but they can also ruin your reputation. This person is likely to be insecure and have a desire to be accepted and recognised. The Trick is : Because they are likely to distort information, avoid their attempts to draw you into conversations. You don’t really want to be misquoted. Be true to yourself and rise above tittle-tattle; so that any misquotes will be greeted with suspicion.

11. The Social Leap-frogger : This person is only really seeking your friendship, because they are wanting something from you. It could be a social introduction or some favour. Once they have what they are looking for – they are not really very likely to hang around. The Trick is : Establishing your boundaries, again is important. It can be powerful and empowering to learn to say ‘No’.

12. The Judger : This person is often compelled to criticise and hurt you. Undermining your achievements and progress – often for their own gain. The Trick is : Be the bigger person. Invariably this person is trying to sabotage your self esteem because of their own inadequacies and limiting beliefs. By being compassionate this ensures that you are not swamped by their own disruptive behaviour.

Respect The Other Person’s Model of the World.

One of the presuppositions of NLP is to Respect Everybody’s Model of the World. This basically means that you have to walk a mile in someones shoes before you are able to truly judge/understand them. When trying to deal with people and to develop relationships – if you can appreciate their point of view, then it is easier to make sense of their behaviour and feelings.

Having respect for somebody else’s situation, helps you appreciate their choices and hence the reasons for their behaviour negative, or otherwise. If we are sensitive to this, perhaps approaching other people’s treatment of us with a degree of understanding might just diffuse a tricky situation. I guess it all boils down to mutual respect. All of this helps us to build rapport more easily and develop more effective lines of communication.

Relationships can be fraught. Many people can rock your confidence and very often their antagonism will erode your power.

Of course not everyone is intent to do you harm. More often than not their actions may not be intentional. But this caustic behaviour can be very damaging, it can ruin relationships and derail your progress. So finding ways to deal with this is important. We are however social beings. We do need to surround ourselves with people – but only those who enrich our lives.

Give yourself permission.

It is important to follow your intuition; to follow your heart. Go with what feels right for you. If you want to say no to a particular event that’s just fine. Oftentimes, it is hard not to compromise our own beliefs in the effort to appease others.
Not only do we need to look after ourselves, but sometimes it is important to distance ourselves from those who bring us down. We need to support one another and surround ourselves with people who help us achieve our dreams and allow us to thrive. Learning the value of setting some boundaries and making ourselves a priority will facilitate this.

NLP has many techniques which teach us to communicate better with others. We can do this by understanding our own thoughts and likewise how others think too.
Simply put, our thoughts and beliefs shape our behaviours and actions. This can be hugely powerful in dealing with both personal and professional relationships.

So if you are feeling in need of assistance. If you feel that learning some of these techniques can improve your relationships – give me a call – I can help.


Much Love 💕

Supporting Parents Build a Mentally Healthier and
Happier generation of Young People