Ask yourself, honestly, if anyone of your friends or colleagues are toxic. If yes, you may need to learn how to stay away from toxic people.
As a career and self-employed woman you definitely deal with a lot of stress from work or something in your work environment. On the home front, bills or raising kids may be causing your stress. But are you on guard for specific people that may be causing your stress.
Do you notice a pattern of certain people being the primary source stress in your life. Maybe a colleague at work? Or a specific customer? Perhaps a friend or family member with more than the usual drama in his or her life? Do you know how to stay away from toxic people…and WHY?
Just like a common cold or flu, you can actually ‘catch’ stress from others! Stress is highly contagious.
Just like second hand smoke can damage your health, so can second-hand stress!
Just like a wildfire or pink eye, secondhand stress spreads FAST, without any physical contact.
Here is what to do when the primary source of stress in your life is a person or group of people.
How to Stay Away From Toxic People In General
#1.Tackle the Stress Directly
You don’t want to remove someone from your life just because they are causing stress, unless they are the root of the problem. So, the first step in deciding how to stay away from toxic people is to tackle the stress directly.
Figure out if the person is the one causing the stress or if it is something else.
For example, you may feel that it is a person at work causing you stress. After you look into the matter, you may find that it is a work related issue and not the person. You may find the person in question is under just as much stress as you are and just passing the stress down the line.
You can try to figure out the root issue and work together to fix it so that BOTH of you can lower your stress dramatically.
#2. Slowly Remove Yourself
One of the next steps in figuring out how to stay away from toxic people is to slowly remove yourself from the stress and the person.
This is usually a step you take when you don’t feel that the stress will be ongoing and you still want the person in your life.
A prime example of what may lead to this step is having a friend that is going through a drama filled issue and the drama and anger associated with it is causing stress for you either directly or indirectly.
You may want to slowly start removing yourself or making yourself unavailable for a bit to keep away from the situation. After the drama blows over you can re-approach the person and maybe discuss why you had to back off.
#3. Cut Off Contact
Finding the root of the problem, talking to the person, and removing yourself from the drama may be enough to lower your “second-hand” stress. If not, then figuring out how to stay away from toxic people could mean that you have to cut off contact and break free of the person completely.
This is a last ditch option, but in some cases it’s the only solution to safeguard your health and your sanity.
Try talking with the person and explaining the issue. Try to tell them where you stand and how their stress is affecting you. If there is no resolution, then make the choice that is best for your health and peace of mind.
This is the toughest and most difficult aspect of figuring out how to stay away from toxic people.
It is one thing to remove other aspects of your life that are causing stress. It is a different one to remove people that may have been in your life for years or play a specific role in your life.
Keep in mind that your life and your health is important and sometimes removing people is better than dealing with the health issues they may cause in your life.
How To Stay Away From Toxic People At Work
If you are like most career women, you find the work environment to be a very stressful place. The stress at work can be from a lot of different sources, from the people you work with, to the actual work you are doing and various other situations.
Use these two tips to stay away from toxic people while at work.
#1. Focus More on Positive Relationships
One of the major contributors to stress in the workplace is other people. This might be your supervisor, co-workers, clients, or customers.
If you find that the people you work with are part of the problem, it isn’t as easy as just avoiding them since you still need to interact on a regular basis. However, one thing you can do is instead of dwelling on the people that are causing you stress, focus more on the positive people you work with that help inspire and motivate you.
Form some positive friendships in the workplace so that you can turn to them when you need a little uplifting.
#2. Keep Track of What (& WHO) Makes You Stressed
You may be like many women who are constantly stressed while at work, but you can’t really put your finger on one thing, person, or situation that is causing it.
This is when having a stress journal really comes in handy.
You can use it to help track your stress levels and try to figure out where all those negative emotions are coming from.
You may find that it isn’t the people you work with, but you feel more stress on a day when you have a management meeting, or a conference or near payroll time.
This lets you know when you might need a little boost of stress relief and at what times.
How to Cope with the Stress of Toxic People in Your Life
#1. Get Regular Exercise
Exercise is very important when it comes to stress relief.
This isn’t just something that can have a positive impact while at home, but right at work as well.
If you have your own office, shut the door during your lunch break and get a little bit of a workout done.
You can also walk around the building during your morning break, or find a work friend to go on a nice hike with after work is over.
#2. Make Sure You Get Adequate Sleep
Before you even get to work, you can already be developing healthy habits that will help you with your stress. This begins the night before when you are heading to sleep. Start with a normal sleep schedule and make sure you are getting enough sleep every night.