Strategies for toxic people


Strategies for toxic people exist but do YOU have them? Many of us have experienced working at toxic workplaces or having to deal with toxic people. But do you have the tools you need to blossom and flourish? Perhaps you’re dealing with this very issue right now!

Often times this also includes our closest family members! While it’s easier to disconnect and minimize contact with a relative or stranger, it’s much more difficult when the toxic person is your boss or your partner or a family member. 


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However, please don’t despair. There are some strategies that work to minimize emotional upset caused by having to deal with toxic people on a daily basis.

Strategies for “Energy Vampires”

In one of my previous articles entitled “5 Tips for Dealing with Difficult People”, I discussed strategies for dealing with certain types of difficult people. Such as the “dictators” and “know it all’s” of this world. In this article, I focus on people who can be also known as verbally abusive or “energy vampires.” 


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Strategies for toxic family members

Throughout my career and personal life, I have had to deal with toxic people. This started with my own family, and especially my mom, who was verbally, physically, and emotionally abusive. When you are a child and this occurs, you feel powerless as your life depends on your parents, and therefore, many times you are not able to express your true feelings, such as anger.

Instead, one develops defense mechanisms just to survive. My way of surviving a toxic upbringing was to spend many hours in my room journaling, listening to music, spending time with my friends, and dating a lot because I never felt loved or secure for that matter.

This also made me fearful of those in authority and I became a “people pleaser” out of fear of being rejected. I put up with abusive bosses out of fear of losing a job, and as a result, developed chronic anxiety and gastrointestinal issues.  

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Strategies for toxic people at work

The final wake-up call was in the Fall of 2012. My wake up call was after a scary episode of being diagnosed with acute gastritis after working at yet another toxic workplace. I decided it was time for a change and began to work for myself full time. It felt like jumping from a plane without a parachute. You may understand what that feels like! Yes I had no savings or a plan, but I just knew I would get seriously ill if I didn’t take care of myself.

Luckily my fiance (now my husband) was there for me to make this important decision and he continues to support me. The journey towards self-love and assertiveness was long and often times painful, but it was well worth it. Today, I’m able to share this with my clients and help them create healthier boundaries with others. 

“Poison People” by Katherine Schreiber

Recently, I came across a powerful article on this topic in Psychology Today titled, Poison People,” by Katherine Schreiber. She discusses four major strategies to handle toxic people I have included below.

Four major strategies to handle toxic people

Control Your Exposure

If nothing else, try to minimize your contact. Limit the time you spend together if it’s a family member and maybe even schedule an event so that you don’t have to overstay. If the person is your boss, only spend time as needed, and if you can, ask to be transferred to a different department.

Manage Your Reactivity

We cannot change others, however, we can change how we react. Learn meditation and stress relief techniques. Excuse yourself and go to the bathroom to do some deep breathing. You may need to tell the person you will be happy to talk to them when they are calmer.

Don’t Explain

There is no use in trying to explain yourself as the other person is the one who is refusing to listen. Simply say that you are busy at the moment, without explanation.

Immunize Yourself

Get to know people first before making any major decisions as well as pay attention to non-verbal cues and body language is vital. The goal at work is to get away from toxic people. But in our personal lives, we are more prone perhaps to invite them in. This is because many times they have appealing traits such as confidence and charm. 

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Strategies for handling toxic people in review

We need to be mindful when we start blaming ourselves at times. We can’t continue making excuses for toxic people. It’s key to set healthy boundaries right from the beginning. We deserve to be treated with respect. Sometimes that may even mean leaving a toxic job or relationship.

Scheduling a Complimentary 15 minute Phone Session with Mateja Petje

Don’t suffer! Schedule a complimentary consultation with me. Click this link to go to my website Contact Us page.

Here you will find several ways of contacting me to schedule a 15 minute complimentary session. We can speak over the phone as an example to determine if we would be a good fit for one another.

When you visit to my Contact Us page you will come across a scheduling widget. You can actually book your session right through my website and pick the time/day that would work best for you!

Ready to feel better or want more information?

Click here to book a session

Check out my profile on Psychology Today to learn more.

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Did you know … Ninety three percent (93%) of my clients are discharged after 8-10 sessions!

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Mateja Petje Holistic Coaching International Natural Stress Management
Office: 5301 N Federal Hwy, #380,  ​Boca Raton, FL 33487 ​

(Boca Greenhouse building off Yamato & US1)

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Interview with Mateja Petje 

Watch this WPBiTV Interview with Licensed Marriage &

Family Therapist Mateja Petje
Enjoy this excellent interview with Mateja Petje and Jonathan Lederman at WPBiTV. You will discover Mateja’s background & the methods she uses to work with her clients. This is a really terrific video & interview where you can learn a great deal about Mateja!


Slovenia my home country

There are many amazing destinations in this world. One is Slovenia my home country. I came across this link to a website where they have a web page discussing Triglav Mountain. My company years ago began under the inspiration of Triglav Mountain. It’s even in my business name!

Here is the article & link

Mt Triglav Top choice mountain in Triglav National Park

“The 2864m limestone peak called Triglav (Three Heads) has been a source of inspiration and an object of devotion for Slovenes for more than a millennium – it even appears on the country’s flag. The early Slavs believed the mountain to be the home of a three-headed deity who ruled the sky, the earth and the underworld.”

Learn more about Donacka Mountain Landmark in Slovenia my home 


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Donacka Mountain

“Between Boč and Macelj mountain lies Donačka mountain  (882 m), which got her name after the church st. Donat (511 m), origin from 18. century, lying on the sunny side of the mountain. Donačka mountain is unique on her steep, cone shape and location on the east border of Alpine world.

Her specialty is variety of vegetation. On the rocky walls, on sunny side of mountain, is location of “juvanov netresk”,endemit.” Here is a link to this wonderful place!

4 replies
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