---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <fleetwood_macncheese@...> wrote :

 After Share mentioned Emotional Intelligence, I found this:
 

 http://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/7-techniques-to-handle-toxic-people.html 
http://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/7-techniques-to-handle-toxic-people.html

 

 The sad reality is that toxic people are common. So common, in fact, that my 
Inc.com colleague Lolly Daskal was recently able to come up with 10 types or 
subspecies of this noxious breed. Equally troubling is the effect those 
individuals--who like to push others' buttons, stymie projects, and inject 
pessimism into every situation--can have on their better-adjusted co-workers.
  
 "Recent research from the Department of Biological and Clinical Psychology at 
Friedrich Schiller University in Germany found that exposure to stimuli that 
cause strong negative emotions--the same kind of exposure you get when dealing 
with toxic people--caused subjects' brains to have a massive stress response," 
Emotional Intelligence 2.0 author Travis Bradberry recently wrote in his 
LinkedIn Influencer column.
  
 That level of stress, science has shown, can actually cause negative physical 
changes in your brain. You've probably experienced firsthand what that feels 
like subjectively--in short, it's terrible! So how can you stop these toxic 
people from messing with your mind, as well as hurting your productivity?
  
 In his hugely useful post, Bradberry offers a dozen techniques to take the 
sting out of your office crazy person or resident grump. Here are seven of the 
best.
  
 1. Set limits
  
 Combine your niceness with someone else's love of endless complaint and you 
have a recipe for a whole lot of wasted time and unnecessary stress. Don't feel 
bound to indulge the constant kvetcher at your company, advises Bradberry.
 "People often feel pressure to listen to complainers because they don't want 
to be seen as callous or rude, but there's a fine line between lending a 
sympathetic ear and getting sucked into their negative emotional spiral," he 
writes. "You can avoid this only by setting limits and distancing yourself when 
necessary. Think of it this way: If the complainer were smoking, would you sit 
there all afternoon inhaling the second-hand smoke?" How do you do this in 
practice? Just ask them how they intend to fix whatever it is they're 
complaining about. That should either put the conversation on a more positive 
track or quiet them down.
  
 2. Choose your battles
  
 "Successful people know how important it is to live to fight another day, 
especially when your foe is a toxic individual. In conflict, unchecked emotion 
makes you dig your heels in and fight the kind of battle that can leave you 
severely damaged," says Bradberry. "Choose your battles wisely and only stand 
your ground when the time is right."
  
 3. Keep tabs on your own emotions
  
 The danger of toxic people is that their negativity can be catching--even if 
you're usually not the type to get sucked into endless crankiness and gloom. So 
keep a sharp eye out for how your annoying officemate affects your emotions. 
"You can't stop someone from pushing your buttons if you don't recognize when 
it's happening," he advises.
  
 By keeping tabs on when someone is riling you up, you can better choose calm 
times to deal with that person. "Think of it this way--if a mentally unstable 
person approaches you on the street and tells you he's John F. Kennedy, you're 
unlikely to set him straight. When you find yourself with a co-worker who is 
engaged in similarly derailed thinking, sometimes it's best to just smile and 
nod. If you're going to have to straighten them out, it's better to give 
yourself some time to plan the best way to go about it," Bradberry offers as an 
illustration.
  
 4. Defend your joy
  
 Making your happiness contingent on the happiness of people who love to be 
miserable is a losing game. "When your sense of pleasure and satisfaction are 
derived from the opinions of other people, you are no longer the master of your 
own happiness. When emotionally intelligent people feel good about something 
that they've done, they won't let anyone's opinions or snide remarks take that 
away from them," Bradberry insists.
  
 So train yourself to take others' commentary with a grain of salt and let your 
own feelings about your accomplishments take the lead.
  
 5. Focus on solutions
  
 You can't make your toxic colleagues any less crazy, so don't waste your time 
ruminating on their many, many faults. That will just drag you down to their 
level. Instead try to focus on positive and practical measures you can take to 
deal with them. "This makes you more effective by putting you in control, and 
it will reduce the amount of stress you experience when interacting with them," 
explains Bradberry.
  
 6. Watch physical stressors
  
 You already have enough on your plate managing the toxic people in your life. 
Don't make it more difficult on yourself by trying to do it when you're 
exhausted or strung out on 18 cups of coffee.
  
 "Your self-control, attention, and memory are all reduced when you don't get 
enough--or the right kind--of sleep. Sleep deprivation raises stress hormone 
levels on its own, even without a stressor present," Bradberry reminds readers. 
"A good night's sleep makes you more positive, creative, and proactive in your 
approach to toxic people, giving you the perspective you need to deal 
effectively with them."
  
 7. Enlist help
  
 Sometimes you're just too close to a toxic situation to assess it thoughtfully 
and come up with optimum solutions. In these situations, an outside perspective 
can be a lifesaver. Don't attempt to be a hero and handle the toxic people in 
your work life 100 percent on your own.
  
 
 "Everyone has someone at work and/or outside work who is on their team, 
rooting for them, and ready to help them get the best from a difficult 
situation. Identify these individuals in your life and make an effort to seek 
their insight and assistance when you need it," Bradberry urges those 
overwhelmed by crazy colleagues.
 

 These are great guidelines. Thanks for posting. You know, the other attribute 
of toxic people is that they often are the instigators, take the initiative to 
create problems and cause harm. It's like you're minding your own business and 
before you know if they've poked you with a stick six times in the ribs and you 
turn to tell them to knock it off and before you know it you're off to the 
races.
 



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