8 Weeks to Better Living: Detox Your Life
Friday, March 23, 2012
Most everyone can name a few people in their lives that are toxic. If a family member or extended family member falls into this category the situation can be doubly complex causing frequent stress and unhappiness.
Here are some specific toxic situations I have either witnessed or been asked about when polling friends and strangers. No names have been used to protect the poisoned.
Situation – A coworker tries to undermine your work performance to make herself look better in front of your boss.
Solution – Be specific about the objectives for working together and stay within those parameters. Never give this type of co-worker ammunition by gossiping or sharing personal information that could be used against you. Keep your boss in the loop about work accomplishments and goals.
Situation – Your longtime friend constantly competes with you on everything from dress size to how early her kids potty trained.
Solution - You can do one of two things. First, evaluate this friendship and determine if it is really meaningful to stay friends with this person. Second, you can avoid the drama of a friend breakup by limiting your exposure to a couple times a year and throwing in a holiday card for good measure.
Situation: Brother in law that makes you crazy by constantly bragging about how successful he is and constantly bringing the conversation back to him and his many accomplishments.
Solution: Unfortunately, as long as your sister thinks he’s great you’re stuck with him and so is the rest of the family. It’s highly possible that others in the family feel the same way you do. Try redirecting the conversation as much as possible to engage other family members in topics you can all be interested in. Spend as little one on one time with him as possible and never agree to attend events with
Situation: You are among friends discussing your dream of competing in a triathlon (insert goal or dream here). Your partner rolls his eyes and says, “ You’ll never do that, your goals are so pie in the sky”.
Solution: If you are not married to this guy then consider dumping him ASAP. If you are married to him, it’s time for a little come to Jesus conversation. No one who really cares about you would put you down in front of other people. If you want to salvage this relationship it’s important to let your partner know how much behavior like this hurts you. If you are the non confrontational type, a couple’s therapist might also be useful strategy especially if the situation is pervasive.