Toxic people are everywhere, and the VC is no different. We may be in a group with them, part of a forum or even know them socially. If you have been around one, than you already know how disruptive and draining they can be to interact with.
The issue with the greater vampire culture is that you can’t simply avoid forever, and if you are on line, leaving a group, or forum simply makes them feel more powerful. So what do you do about them? Well, just as with any kind of toxin, you need to limit your exposure and keep yourself protected. A critical first step is to recognize when a person is toxic. I patched this list together from a few different articles, and I think it makes sense.
- Toxic arrogance
There is a big difference between confidence and arrogance. Confidence inspires; arrogance intimidates. Arrogant people always know best and feel superior to others. A University of Akron study found that arrogance is correlated with a slew of problems in the workplace. Arrogant people tend to be lower performers, more disagreeable, and have more cognitive problems than the average person.
- Toxic victimhood
One of the most dangerous people you can have around you is the perpetual victim. Perpetual victims look at their own issues and mistakes and always find others to blame, from their unreasonable boss to their unloving parents. They never take ownership of their own lives. The hard part about dealing with these people is that they can be hard to identify. Initially you empathize with them and want to help in their time of need, but eventually you find their “time of need” is all the time.
- Toxic control
Controlling people know everything and the best way to do anything. They’re usually very insecure beneath it all. They often will ask for your idea’s then down play them and use that as a platform for their own. If others like your idea better, they tend to get upset, and ensure that everyone knows how addle minded the people are who aren’t in agreement.
- Toxic envy
Those plagued with jealousy are never happy with what they have, and they aren’t capable of being happy when good things happen to you. They can’t appreciate it when others achieve or move forward; they feel that if anything good is going to happen, it should happen to them. These people can be very hard to deal with in a group. If you have success with in your community, they might very well go after you in the attempt to ensure you don’t look better than them.
- Toxic lies
As long as there are people, there will be people who lie. But chronic liars are harmful because you never know what to believe, so you can’t count on their promises or their word. They will lie to you about others, and they will lie to others about you. Toxic liars often built themselves up claiming some heritage, or lineage and accompanying title that tends to come from nowhere.
- Toxic negativity
This is a big issue in the whole VC as of late. You probably know someone who’s always angry and resentful, suspicious of everything. They don’t see the good in anything, or if they do they will admit it only after picking apart anything they can. You often see them sitting on the side lines waiting to pounce on a subject, or person’s beliefs, and it generally makes everyone uncomfortable to have them around. These people kill forums, and ruin events.
- Toxic greed
So much of our culture tells us to want more, achieve more, earn more. And to a degree that kind of desire and ambition can be good. But it turns toxic when people want it all–what’s theirs and what’s not–and when having, rather than doing or being, becomes the focus of their life. They have to be respected, and known as THE big shot, or they will focus their desires on destroying any obstacle
- Toxic judgmentalism
There is a big difference between making a judgment and being judgmental. Judgments are objective and based on discernment, while being judgmental is just about criticism. Judgmental people are always quick to jump to conclusions. They are poor listeners and communicators.
- Toxic gossip
Gossipers see themselves as having a deep conversation about someone, an exchange of information. They do it to elevate themselves above their insecurity, and there’s no distinction between speculation and fact. Few things are more destructive than gossip.
- Toxic lack of character
When someone lacks integrity and honesty–when cheating, lying, manipulating, gossip, and greed are part of the norm–there are few things they won’t do to get their way. If they decide you’re
Toxic people are maddening because their motivations don’t make any sense. When you are dealing with them it can be tricky to know exactly what to do, or how to handle them, after all you don’t want to become their new focus. So what do you do?
Well you have to maintain your emotional distance from these people. When they try to suck you into their toxic world, you have to become aware that they are pushing your buttons, whether that be your empathy, confidence or anger. You have to set limits. When you are dealing with a Toxic victim, for example, once you see the pattern you might need to back off in your interactions.
Also consider the issue carefully. How important is it to “fight the fight?” Know what sets you off, and be ready to set back or simply walk away. Not many people would think less of you for not engaging someone who’s toxic, even if they claim victory for silencing you.
Rise above it. The more irrational and off-base someone is, the easier it should be for you to remove yourself from their traps. Quit trying to beat them at their own game. Distance yourself from them emotionally and approach your interactions like they’re a science project (or you’re their shrink, if you prefer the analogy). You don’t need to respond to the emotional chaos—only the facts.
At the same time you need to be aware of their emotions. Toxic people aren’t always BAD people, many are totally unaware of what they are doing. Discussing it with them can be tricky however. Think of it this way—if you ran into someone on the street that was claiming to be a high lord king of Norway, you might not have an issue with setting them straight, but if they are people you know, it might just be best to smile and nod until you can think of a way to discuss the issue without blowing it up into a fight. If blowing it up into a fight appeals to you, you might be the toxic person.
My final piece of advice is this; Never Forget
Once you have identified a toxic person, you need to keep it in mind when dealing with them or you might get sucked back into their traps.
The Department of Biological and Clinical Psychological studies at Friedrich Schiller University in Germany found that being around toxic people for long periods of time can actually cause brain damage as weeks of accumulated stress takes its toll on your mind.
Whether it’s negativity, cruelty, the victim syndrome, or just plain craziness, toxic people drive your brain into a stressed-out state that should be avoided at all costs.
Talentsmart.com How Emotionally Intelligent People Handle Toxic People
Forbes.com- Ten toxic people you should avoid at all costs
Inc.com- Ten toxic people you should avoid like the plague
© 2016 Deacon Gray and The Graveyard Press