After reading the title alone, I know you all have not only a name – but a face that comes to mind (and possibly a spike in blood pressure). Nothing pushes us closer to insanity, then dealing with someone whose actions depict that very word. Whether it is someone at work, a teacher, a relative, or the neighbour from hell, I believe that the same coping mechanisms will apply to all. First and foremost, my advice is that you – at all costs – retrain from stooping to their level of communication and negativity.The simple solution would be to accept the situation, change the situation, or leave the situation. Sometimes our situation will be an outlier to this though, in that it is in our best interest to stay in the situation, but by no means can we change it, and certainly not accept it. In this particular instance – you have to accept without accepting them. By this I mean that we need to have some sort of mutual understanding. In a work situation they might have a particular function that is necessary to the success of the organisation but …this person may also be the queen/king of manipulation…and…. they may be overtly trying to squash you. The silver lining is that if this person is as terrible as you think – judgement day will come.
Now, back to maintaining our sanity.
I advise you to follow the 5 C’s.
Civil – you have tried to be nice – and that bit you in the ass so just be civil. Don’t be aggressive, but certainly don’t go out of your way to accommodate them when they have repeatedly gone behind your back and screwed you over.
Careful – Only tell this person absolutely what is imperative to the task at hand or the object of why you have any type of interaction with them.
Calculated – When you come across outrageous insane evidence of this person displaying demonic behaviour – make a repertoire of their sins. But only escalate it in a calculated manner rather than constantly complaining or bringing up issues at inopportune times.
Calm – Find inner peace. Do this through yoga, telling your stories to your grandma, or having a 20 minute mediation session as soon as she/he emits a rapid fire of fierce negativity. Your favourite song, a fond memory or visualisation of your happy place and a cup of green tea can do wonders.
Comedy – In all it’s toxicity, take a step back and look at the situation. There is a high likelihood that you will find it fitting to be in a Sunday comic strip, such as Dilbert.
This is something I truly believe in. I won’t be a hypocrite and say “I only think positive thoughts about people” – because I think we all fall into the trap of releasing negative feelings into the universe when we have been pushed to a certain limit – or even just annoyed to the point where only swear words can be mustered up. I believe that the universe has a reward/consequence system whereby we will get dealt some unfavourable cards if we secum to negativity more than that of positivity. We cannot be optimists all the time, but thinking negative thought about people on a regular basis affects us in ways that are beyond explanation. I feel as though I have been penalised before for wishing the worst – and I now make a conscious effort to withhold feelings of jealousy, contempt, anger, and disgust. Instead, my advice is that we try to put ourselves in their shoes, and perhaps with practice this will remove the malicious undertone that we assume is there – and if all fails just try and limit the thoughts about that person and focus on things that we are grateful for – like family, friends, health, experiences, hobbies, and other things that make us happy :)
I’m not about to feed you some BS that working out is the bees knees. The fact of the matter is that although it feels good after, the results are great, and we sleep better at night from it – it still kinda sucks. I mean there are exercises that are more enjoyable than others…and yes it is a good way of getting rid of some stress, but being able to implement it into our daily routine (and not get bored of it) is tough. In my opinion, we all need a bit of cardio AND strength training in order to look and feel our best. I’m a fan of the tabata style – where I do 12 exercises 4 x for 30 sec with a 10 second break. My plan encompasses push-ups, squats, high-knees, tricep/dips, and other exercises which hit the whole body, define it, and actually make you feel stronger in just a few sessions. I do this 2-3 x a week (when I’m a keener) with a 20 minute jog to kick things off – and I’m done within an hour. Work outs like this are realistic and you don’t really need a gym to do it. Often I’m away on business trips and I manage to complete the whole thing just in my hotel room. I also change it up every few months by adding in more challenging exercises so that I don’t plateau. While the work out is fast-pace and tough, it’s also quick, to the point, and over before you know it!
Not all friends are alike. Everyone has their ‘rocks’ that they can count on for anything and everything, as well as acquaintances, and possibly even ‘frenemies’ that seem to drain our positivity and up-beat aura. There comes a day when we have to say to ourselves, “is this friendship worth the negativity that comes with it?” Chances are you will begin to lean towards ‘no’. Nothing is more refreshing then cleansing ourselves of toxic people and surrounding ourselves only with people that make us happy, and inspire us.
Whether it be backpacking Thailand or sipping wine in Paris, travel not only gives us a chance to turn off the reality button and enjoy life, but also shapes who we are and who we want to be. Without giving ourselves a chance to see a bit of the world, we miss out on key experiences that might lead to personal growth, career direction, or at very least – a new prospective and an open mind.