It always feels good when that toxic person in the workplace finally is found out and gets what they deserve. Still, that happens far less than it should, and way later such that they are permitted to do much damage along the way. So how do you protect YOU from a toxic person in the workplace when you have to deal with them regularly??
Don’t get sucked into their schemes
A toxic person will try and pull you in to get an emotional response. Make a choice to not participate in that; make a choice to stand above that. They’ll also work slowly and methodically to derail your confidence and value, not only with others, but also with your own view of yourself. Stand firm in who you are, the incredible value you have to give, and purpose to let nothing take that from you. Review your accolades and accomplishments if you have to, or talk to “healthy” others and have them remind you of the incredible power you are. And always remember… A toxic person’s problem is THEIR problem. It only becomes your problem if you allow yourself to internalize it, and be rattled by it.
Strategize your next move
Depending on the organizational level of the toxic person (a boss for example), you might be stuck to having to deal with them longer term, and you might have no authority to effect change of the situation. In those cases, strategize your next move. YOU are in control of YOUR career, period. No one can take that from you, unless you give them that power. Don’t do that. Instead, plan your next move. If you still respect the organization overall, you can plan to change positions/ departments by building relationship with people outside your immediate area so that when a position is posted, you’ll already know the team and they’ll know you. If you have lost respect for the organization for allowing this toxic person to remain, then plan your exit strategy. The last thing you want to do is stick around too long such that you have lasting negative impact on you, or you put yourself into a situation of having to leap to whatever next job you can find when tensions get beyond the breaking point. Stay in control by intentionally planning your next move, allowing yourself time/ space to do it, and then being committed to execute within that timeline.
Not everyone is toxic
It’s so easy for us to throw around the word “toxic” for people we just don’t get along with, or we don’t like. Evaluate your own emotions and thoughts to determine if this person is really toxic, or if something needs to adjust in you. A few of the bigger signs of a truly toxic person in the workplace are below.
- Your character or value is attacked in a demeaning and emotional way
- You’re put in situations to fail because the expectations are truly impossible
- There are overt plots or schemes to trip you up, or make you feel bad
- You go home every night feeling exhausted and beat down (because of this person)
- You feel heavily micromanaged, and your own intelligence to the situation is devalued or completely ignored such that you even start to question yourself
If any of these resonate with your situation, re-read the first two points and purpose to take action right away. You deserve to be valued and appreciated, and set up for SUCCESS!