Mental Muggers: Don’t let toxic people rob you

When you are being mentally mugged by the toxic types, your self-confidence is in harms way.  Here are weapons that help you take aim:

  • Relive a confident moment. Dig back in your memory bank and recapture an event when you delivered the kind of success you want.  Remember as much detail as you can. It’s true – you become what you think about.
  • Stop “awfulizing.” You must train yourself to put on the brakes when your thinking wanders to a devastating event. Every time you relive a mental mugging, it seems just a little bit worse and becomes an even more awful event. Get a good weapon to take out the mental terrorists.
  • Put on your rational fighting gloves. Over learn a positive quote, saying, or mantra to replace the negativity. Try this one:  “No matter what you say or do to me, I’m still a worthwhile person.” Use the broken record technique by saying it repeatedly to yourself.
  • Arrest the mental muggers in your life and send them off to solitary confinement. Enlist people that are supportive of you.  Welcome people that will keep you realistic and focused on strengths while keeping you grounded in reality. And listen to them. Continue to learn as much as you can!
  • Learn to stand up for your rights.  When you are given objective criticism, don’t take it as a mugging.  Question the input (and that’s all it is – input).  Your perception makes it a mental mugging.  Store these words so you can use them quickly, “You may be right, help me understand where you’re coming from.”

Remember the old childhood rhyme of “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names will never hurt me?”  You are the one that perceives what the words actually mean, not someone else.  This one of the reasons you must train yourself and your work group to be better at handling difficult people in the workplace.

How do you manage toxic behavior?

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  1. Linda says:

    People repeat what they have been rewarded for – good or bad. To counter a toxic individual, you need to understand what they perceive as a reward and focus on changing that to something more positive.

    1. Marsha says:

      Great comment. Linda you are so right. I do think most people don’t understand that they must change their own behavior and approach before toxic people will change theirs.

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