By Aubrey Wursten
If you have ever known anybody who was less than perfectly pleasant, social media expert Drew Hendricks has some advice for dealing with them. His recent piece, “8 Ways Emotionally Intelligent People Deal With Toxic People,” offers tips on navigating the rugged terrain of a society that consists of (more than a few) emotionally stunted meanies.
If you have never encountered such individuals, you currently have no need for his tips. You live in a land populated by flying unicorns, and your biggest problem is maintaining your perfect hair day as you sail over (frizz-inducing) puffy white clouds. But just in case you should ever meet a difficult individual, you may want to read the following so you will be prepared.
You know, just in case.
1) Set Effective Boundaries
We should all be nice. Nobody has ever improved life by repaying toxic behavior with more toxic behavior. That just pours more poison into the existing emotional cauldron. However, being nice does not equate to enabling. Set firm limits, and stick to them.
2) React Less
Emotionally intelligent people do not let the demeaning behavior or words of toxic people affect their sense of self worth. Other people did not give you your value, and they cannot take it away. Remind yourself that condescending people are simply trying to elevate their own poor self esteem.
Poor toxic people. They just don’t have the stellar EQ skills that you do.
3) Rise Above
Due’s John Rampton knows a thing or two about rising above chaos. He has maintained his position as a successful entrepreneur, despite having experienced a debilitating accident that might have led less-determined people to give up such dreams. As he points out, in order to be victorious, we must rise “above the rest, no matter what the circumstance.” He encourages all of us to “remain rational and calm in the presence of the irrational and chaotic.” In other words, keep calm and EQ on.
4) Focus on Solutions
Resist the urge to dwell on negative people. Set them aside (figuratively, please) and focus on yourself and your personal goals.
5) Seek Support
You probably know other people who have a high EQ. Surround yourself with them. Work with them, play with them, eat with them, breathe with them. Ask for their advice.
6) Practice Self-Awareness
What upsets you? If you don’t really know, you will have serious difficulty preventing it from happening. Figure out what actions of others fluster you, and come up with a defensive strategy.
Because you will not be able to entirely avoid toxic people, your strategy cannot consist solely of hiding under your desk. You must learn to control your own feelings when someone else is attempting to ruffle your emotional feathers.
7) Never Forget
Forgiveness is an essential and admirable attribute. Forgetfulness is an annoying tendency to misplace your glasses. Somehow, we often confuse these two distinct and unrelated terms.
Forgiving a meanie brings freedom. Repeatedly forgetting that someone IS a meanie will just lead you to absent-mindedly engage them over and over and over…
8) Conserve Your Energy
Finally, remember that your brain is like a battery. It only has a finite amount of juice in it, and if you drain it trying to appease a toxic person, you will have nothing left when you need it for that big presentation. Save the power for important jobs, like picking the perfect pizza topping. Any task is more worthy of your energy than pleasing a toxic individual will ever be.