8 Things People Hate About Their Colleagues (Are You Guilty?)

8 Things People Hate About Their Colleagues (Are You Guilty?)

Bernard Marr

It’s true that we can’t choose our families, but in most cases, we also don’t get to choose our work colleagues — and many of us spend more time with the people at work than we do with our blood kin!

According to a UK study, one in five office employees say they hate one or more of their coworkers. A third of people in the study said they dislike their colleagues so much that they would never even consider socializing with them outside of work.

Bosses and senior management emerged as the most hated group overall, but no one was immune. The study found that media was the most vicious field to work in, followed by accounting, IT, and sales. Nursing came in as the nicest field.

No matter what your job, this study suggests that some people, somewhere in your office may really dislike each other… And these could be some of the reasons why.

  1. Disregard for shared spaces.
    Ever office has an office slob. They may be able to find what they need in that landfill they call a desk, but it may offend or inconvenience their colleagues — especially if they can’t find what they need when they need it. If someone’s mess goes beyond papers and files to include food wrappers and dirty dishes, closest neighbors may not appreciate the smell or potential for vermin. And if their mess extends to shared spaces like the kitchen or breakroom, well, now then they are just being inconsiderate.
  2. Lack of email etiquette
    Please tell me people at your work are not sending funny cat videos and spammy chain emails to their office mates… Even if someone’s email game isn’t that bad, they may still be annoying people if they habitually ‘reply all’ on emails when everyone does not need the reply, use all caps or no punctuation at all, or habitually send novels when a single sentence or two would suffice.
  3. Know-it-all
    Yes, clearly there are some people who are simply the smartest person in any boardroom, but no one else wants to be reminded of that. In fact, some have been so busy being right that they failed to notice that they have completely alienated their entire team, and that no one wants to implement their ideas just to spite them. Rather than having the answer for everything, why not let someone else have a go?
  4. TMI
    Sharing too much information (TMI) is a tricky line to walk. Many coworkers share personal information about their kids, their hobbies, or their pets – which is great and adds to things. But some may be crossing the line when they discuss their embarrassing medical problems, share photos of their weekend drunken debauchery, or kiss and tell. Remember, this doesn’t include just the things people tell their colleagues directly, but also the things they are unfortunate enough to have to overhear when they take private phone calls at their desk.
  5. Laziness
    Nothing will drop someone off people’s favorites list faster than not pulling their weight on the team. If there is someone who is constantly the one not finishing projects, taking long lunches, napping at your desk, or doing just the bare minimum to get by, they are the lazy guy. And those who have to pick up the slack for them won’t ever be their biggest fans. Similarly but slightly different, if someone is always late — to work, to meetings, to whatever — people get tired of that, too.
  6. Complaining
    If someone is constantly moaning about the work load, the hours, the boss, the temperature of the office or the sorry state of the coffee, you can bet that their coworkers are tired of listening to it. Everyone works hard, no one wants to stay late, and yes, the coffee sucks — but no one wants to hear about it all day every day.
  7. Gossip
    Many offices run on gossip as much as they do coffee or tea, but there’s also always someone who takes it too far.  If someone is more concerned with their coworkers’ personal lives or interpersonal communications than they are with their own life and work, chances are, somebody isn’t happy about it. Best to remember to mind your own business and let everyone else get on with theirs.
  8. Too competitive
    Competition can be healthy. Seeing who’s first on the sales leaderboard or who has completed the most projects this month can be motivating and fun. But when there is someone who acts as though work is a war and there can be only one victor, they’re probably taking things too seriously and almost certainly making enemies.

I believe that no-one should ever reach a state of ‘hating’ anyone at their work place and if people simply watched out for these little things our work places would be much better and happier places, for everyone!

What other most-hated office behaviors have I overlooked?  I’d love to have your contributions in the comments below.

Thank you for reading my post. Here at LinkedIn and at Forbes I regularly write about management, technology and Big Data.

Ways to Become More Productive


Time: it’s the one thing no one will ever have enough of and many mismanage. Even if one begins their day with a “to-do” list and good intent, it’s too common a scenario to fail achieving the day’s agenda by the end of the work day. That is, unless one possesses good work ethic and self motivation.

Thankfully, being productive is a skill which can be learned. By adopting the following habits, you, too, may learn how to better utilize your resources and become more productive.

1. Have a plant on your desk

Sound silly? This latest study found that people with a plant on their desk are 40% more productive and creative. If you’re seeking a promotion or just wanting to check more items off your list, having a plant nearby will produce more oxygen, reduce stress, reduce airborne molds and bacteria in the air, and even boost your immune system.

2. Visit your goals every day

If you need constant inspiration to stay on track, make a habit of looking over your short-term and long-term goals every day. A good habit is to contemplate, plan, and visualize your goals for five minutes every morning over your breakfast or hot tea.

3. Know when to say “yes” and “no”

In order to feel accepted, many feel they need to say ‘yes’ to every request. Pride your time and abilities, and only engage in those projects which support your elite productivity.

4. Sell your T.V.

Instead of watching others and their success, use the time you’d spend in front of the silver god to invest in your own dreams.

5. Sort your relationships

If you seek success and a fulfilled, happy life, be willing to say goodbye to energy vampires. Individuals that drain your energy or constantly harp on your goals are only holding you back from realizing your unlimited potential.

6. Keep Organized

Mess creates stress. Clean it up and work in an environment that is conducive to your studies.

7. Stop Multitasking

New research confirms that distractions common in modern day living are rewiring the way the brain works. (And are dropping the average IQ by 5 points!) Choose one task to focus on and give it all of your attention.

8. Get Fit

Take care of yourself first so you can be as efficient as possible. Being in peak physical condition can create explosive energy, renew your focus, and heighten your creativity.

9. Adopt Routine

The lives of highly productive and creative men, like Thomas Edison, John Grisham, and Stephen King, follow strict daily routines. Peak productivity is not about luck, it’s about devotion. Be willing to set a schedule (get up, start work, exercise, and relax) and stick to it.

10. Work chunks at a time

Working for 90 minute blocks with a ten minute break will allow your brain’s RNA to replenish. It’s then easier to go back to your work refueled. (Spirulina, the blue-green algae, also replenishes your brain’s RNA which can make you more productive).

11. Use your commute time

If you’re spending thirty minutes traveling one way per day, in one year you’ve spent 6 weeks of 8 hour days in your car. Listen to an inspirational audiobook, podcast, or study materials while you carpool with another individual.

12. Get lost

Escape to a quiet zone where there are no distractions. Turn off your devices and let yourself create, write, plan, and create. With intense focus, you will achieve massive results.

13. Drink more water

When you’re dehydrated, it’s more difficult to think; you’ll also experience a loss of energy. Begin your day with 8 oz of water (optimally with lime or lemon juice) and boost your body’s hydration.

By adopting these habits, you’ll discover how productive life can be. Dare to dream big and accomplish the unthinkable.

By: Amanda Froelich, trueactivist.com

Connect with ILSTV on facebook and on Twitter at @ILStv.

Ways to Radically Improve Your Life This Month

Ways to Radically Improve Your Life This Month

Excerpted article written BY MARCEL SCHWANTES | Principal and founder, Leadership From the Core

Let me be completely honest with you, as I’ve done in the past with my recommendations for 31 ways to improve your life in just a month (in case you haven’t read it yet): There are lessons below that may stretch you. Some will require yourmost-courageous self to show up.

But I say this with a great measure of encouragement and hope for you. I’ve learned that the true path to personal improvement starts with looking deep within oneself, and acknowledging the blind spots that may hold us back from the life we want.

Perhaps something here will trigger you to consider new possibilities–to change something that is no longer working. Search deep, friend, and think of familiar patterns or obstacles that no longer serve you.

How to radically improve yourself this month (or any month).

1. Be true to yourself.

How would you feel if, every day, you said what you meant, stayed true to yourself, and behaved in accordance with this? Imagine the happiness and self-respect you’d feel. Being true to yourself is far less stressful than being someone you are not. By being who you really are, you not only trust the judgments and decisions that you make, but others trust you as well. They’ll respect you for standing by your values and beliefs.

2. Choose to live in integrity.

When you’re honest, you don’t hesitate to do the right thing. You never have to second-guess yourself. Who you are, what you do, and what you believe in–all of these align perfectly.

3. Deal with your problems quickly instead of neglecting them.

Don’t procrastinate, avoid conflict, or sweep things under the rug. Be open and honest with yourself enough to admit the things you need to take care of. Then take the first step! (that’s the hardest part, it’ll get easier from there)

4. Watch your words when you speak.

There’s an old saying from a wise leader that goes like this: “Words satisfy the mind as much as fruit does the stomach; good talk is as gratifying as a good harvest.” So much conflict, confusion and misunderstanding come from our words and what we communicate. So be wise and careful about what you speak: give sound advice, don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth, and always have the other person’s best interest in mind. When you do, you’ll get a lot more in return.

5. Don’t be arrogant.

Especially if you’re in a leadership role. Research by Jim Collins in Good to Great has already proven that the best leaders (what he coined as “Level 5” Leaders) demonstrate humility. And humility will save you in close quarters when the unpredictable nature of people is involved.

6. Learn from the wisdom of others.

An extension of humility is to acknowledge that you don’t know everything. You must view yourself as a small fish in the great big pond of life — seeking out connections and appointments from wise sages to learn to do great new things.

7. Avoid gossipers at all cost.

Smart people will walk away from the moment they pick up gossipers on their radar. It’s in the gossiper’s DNA to dig up things about other people and spread rumors like a tumor. There’s an insecurity to them that if they aren’t talking bad behind someone’s back, or devising some kind of scheme to get their way at someone else’s expense, they’re not being themselves. Take the higher road by not associating with such people. It will save you in the long run.

8. Exercise patience. Lots of it.

People who exercise patience have self-control and are slow to anger. So their conduct is steady, rational, and manageable. In the heat-of-the-moment, they seek to understand first before being understood. And they speak little — giving them a clear edge in communicating and diffusing someone else’s anger. That’s someone you can trust and depend on.

9. Look at both sides of an issue.

You do this with self-awareness — a component of emotional intelligence — which belongs to people who look at the whole picture, and both sides of the issue. They tap into their own feelings but also those of others to choose a different outcome, like a win-win. Highly empathic people, research states, are radical listeners, self-reflective, and curious about the lives of others. This trait is a sure winner in diffusing conflict or solving an interpersonal problem.

10. Walk your talk, others are watching.

As the famous saying goes, “do the right thing, even when no one is looking,” isn’t always easy. However, when you walk the talk, the benefits are tremendous:

  • You don’t question yourself and others don’t question your motives.
  • You command respect.
  • Your confidence shines for others.
  • You have influence — people listen to your words.

11. Accept that some things are beyond your control.

OK, so you’re the controlling type who thinks the world is accountable to you. Please stop for your sake. Many times, your worries are a direct result of the fact that you’re not in control of the people, things, and situations in your life or business. The things that are in your control, you can manage just fine. Relax, slow down, take one thing at a time, and then focus again on what’s immediately in front of you. This will help to ease your anxiety.

12. Practice Mindfulness.

A growing body of research in neuroscience suggest that mindfulness is one of the best-kept secrets to help entrepreneurs to deal with anxiety. You can practice it by intentionally putting the focus on your emotions, accepting in a nonjudgmental way whatever thoughts and sensations you’re experiencing in the moment. This Harvard Business Review article shows you some excellent techniques.

13. Made a mistake? Admit it to others.

Honest people show their likable humanity when the chips are down, rather than letting hubris rear its ugly head. When they make mistakes, they will admit them. And when employees make mistakes in an emotionally safe work environment, it’s also safe for them to risk being open enough to say, “Hey boss, I messed up.” They can say this due to the high levels of trust built over time with their team and bosses.

14. Be assertive and speak up when you have to.

If you want to avoid conflict, here’s what to do: avoid creating distance, being silent, or stone-walling–all passive-aggressive ways to deal with conflict. Instead, be assertive and courageously run toward the eye of the storm because cutting through a conflict to resolve a problem with respect, dignity, and good listening skills is easier than the negative consequences of running away from a conflict.

15. Speak your truth.

Similar to No. 1 on this list, by being your authentic self, you don’t say things to sugarcoat, try to please others, or to look good in front of your peers. It’s highly unlikely that you will hear a person who speaks her truth as someone being talked about around water coolers on Monday morning for “throwing someone under the bus.” It’s really a simple formula for success: Speak clearly, honestly, and with integrity.

16. Don’t just listen; listen to understand.

Effective communication isn’t just about talking; it is also the ability to listen and understand what’s happening on the other side of the fence. So in meetings or one-on-ones, listen and reflect back what you heard to clarify (“What I hear you saying is …”), and ask questions to probe the other person’s feelings or opinions on the topic of conversation. This can be as simple as: “Tell me how you feel about this.”

17. Don’t be a perfectionist.

Perfectionism will surely strip you of your joy and vitality, kill collaboration, and, you’re a boss, send your best people packing. Perfectionism silently stifles productivity by showing up in self-defeating thought patterns that are pretty easy to recognize in yourself, if you’re willing to self-diagnose.

18. Trust your intuition.

I’m speaking of that “inner voice” — that gut feeling from deep down inside — that clues us in to thoughts and feelings under the typical layers of logic and rationale. In such times, intuition kicks into high gear as an internal compass to keep us moving in the right direction. If you’re not sure of whether your intuition is speaking to you,here’s a list of the things your inner-voice will be telling you.

19. Develop your emotional intelligence (EQ).

While IQ still remains the best predictor of job success, once you land a job in your field of expertise, and start thinking about increasing your role, getting promoted, leading others, and navigating political landscapes, IQ will be begging for EQ to show up. Daniel Goleman, the foremost authority on emotional intelligence, has put together these 9 important questions to help you evaluate your own emotional intelligence, and get you thinking about your strengths and limitations in EQ.

20. Be a giver.

The late Jim Rohn said, “Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have.” In The Go-Giver, the main character learns that changing his focus from getting to giving–putting others’ interests first and consistently adding value to their lives–ultimately leads to unexpected returns. Science also says giving makes us feel happy, is good for our health, and evokes gratitude. Lastly, giving isn’t restricted to money. Give of your time, mentor others, volunteer at a shelter, support a cause, sponsor a child, fight injustice, and have a pay-it-forward mindset.

Source: INC

20 inspirational new years quotes to kick start your 2016

20 inspirational new years quotes to kick start your 2016


New Years quotes for a fantastic 2016

2016 is upon us and our culture seeks for a fresh start around this time of year as we turn the page on the calendar to an entirely new year. We make resolutions, we set goals, and we tell ourselves that this year will be different, it will be better.

We often find that tapping the wisdom of famed thinkers and doers, we can find inspiration. Below are 20 quotes to light a fire under your rear for 2016 – let’s go get ‘em!

Doing your best and believing in your dreams

“Only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be.” – Karen Ravn

“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” – Anatole Fran

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

“Reach high, for the stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.” – Pamela Vaull Starr

Inspiring words about courage and goals

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T.S. Eliot

“Goals are dreams with deadlines.” – Diana Scharf Hunt

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide

“Crystallize your goals. Make a plan for achieving them and set yourself a deadline. Then, with supreme confidence, determination and disregard for obstacles and other people’s criticisms, carry out your plan.” – Paul J. Meyer

It’s never too late!

“Goals are a means to an end, not the ultimate purpose of our lives. They are simply a tool to concentrate our focus and move us in a direction. The only reason we really pursue goals is to cause ourselves to expand and grow. Achieving goals by themselves will never make us happy in the long term; it’s who you become, as you overcome the obstacles necessary to achieve your goals, that can give you the deepest of most long-lasting sense of fulfillment.” – Anthony Robbins

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C.S. Lewis

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

It takes grit, determination, and devotion

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.” – George Sheehan

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice.” – T.S. Eliot

“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.” – Benjamin Franklin

Hold on tightly to your aspirations

“Today’s patience can transform yesterday’s discouragements into tomorrow’s discoveries. Today’s purposes can turn yesterday’s defeats into tomorrow’s determination.” – William Arthur Ward

“Do not lose hold of your dreams or aspirations. For if you do, you may still exist but you have ceased to live.” – Henry David Thoreau

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” – Henry David Thoreau

“To dream anything that you want to dream. That’s the beauty of the human mind. To do anything that you want to do. That is the strength of the human will. To trust yourself to test your limits. That is the courage to succeed.” – Bernard Edmonds

Happy New Year readers!


Ways Successful People Handle Toxic People


Co-author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 and President at TalentSmart

Toxic people defy logic. Some are blissfully unaware of the negative impact that they have on those around them, and others seem to derive satisfaction from creating chaos and pushing other people’s buttons. Either way, they create unnecessary complexity, strife, and worst of all stress.

Studies have long shown that stress can have a lasting, negative impact on the brain. Exposure to even a few days of stress compromises the effectiveness of neurons in the hippocampus—an important brain area responsible for reasoning and memory. Weeks of stress cause reversible damage to neuronal dendrites (the small “arms” that brain cells use to communicate with each other), and months of stress can permanently destroy neurons. Stress is a formidable threat to your success—when stress gets out of control, your brain and your performance suffer.

Most sources of stress at work are easy to identify. If your non-profit is working to land a grant that your organization needs to function, you’re bound to feel stress and likely know how to manage it. It’s the unexpected sources of stress that take you by surprise and harm you the most.

Recent research from the Department of Biological and Clinical Psychology at Friedrich Schiller University in Germany found that exposure to stimuli that cause strong negative emotions—the same kind of exposure you get when dealing with toxic people—caused subjects’ brains to have a massive stress response. 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.

The ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance. TalentSmart has conducted research with more than a million people, and we’ve found that 90% of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control. One of their greatest gifts is the ability to neutralize toxic people. Top performers have well-honed coping strategies that they employ to keep toxic people at bay.

While I’ve run across numerous effective strategies that successful people employ when dealing with toxic people, what follows are twelve of the best. To deal with toxic people effectively, you need an approach that enables you, across the board, to control what you can and eliminate what you can’t. The important thing to remember is that you are in control of far more than you realize.

1. They Set Limits (Especially with Complainers)

Complainers and negative people are bad news because they wallow in their problems and fail to focus on solutions. They want people to join their pity party so that they can feel better about themselves. People often feel pressure to listen to complainers because they don’t want to be seen as callous or rude, but there’s a fine line between lending a sympathetic ear and getting sucked into their negative emotional spiral.

You can avoid this only by setting limits and distancing yourself when necessary. Think of it this way: if the complainer were smoking, would you sit there all afternoon inhaling the second-hand smoke? You’d distance yourself, and you should do the same with complainers. A great way to set limits is to ask complainers how they intend to fix the problem. They will either quiet down or redirect the conversation in a productive direction.

2. They Don’t Die in the Fight

Successful people know how important it is to live to fight another day, especially when your foe is a toxic individual. In conflict, unchecked emotion makes you dig your heels in and fight the kind of battle that can leave you severely damaged. When you read and respond to your emotions, you’re able to choose your battles wisely and only stand your ground when the time is right.

3. They Rise Above

Toxic people drive you crazy because their behavior is so irrational. Make no mistake about it; their behavior truly goes against reason. So why do you allow yourself to respond to them emotionally and get sucked into the mix?

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.

4. They Stay Aware of Their Emotions

Maintaining an emotional distance requires awareness. You can’t stop someone from pushing your buttons if you don’t recognize when it’s happening. Sometimes you’ll find yourself in situations where you’ll need to regroup and choose the best way forward. This is fine and you shouldn’t be afraid to buy yourself some time to do so.

Think of it this way—if a mentally unstable person approaches you on the street and tells you he’s John F. Kennedy, you’re unlikely to set him straight. When you find yourself with a coworker who is engaged in similarly derailed thinking, sometimes it’s best to just smile and nod. If you’re going to have to straighten them out, it’s better to give yourself some time to plan the best way to go about it.

5. They Establish Boundaries

This is the area where most people tend to sell themselves short. They feel like because they work or live with someone, they have no way to control the chaos. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Once you’ve found your way to Rise Above a person, you’ll begin to find their behavior more predictable and easier to understand. This will equip you to think rationally about when and where you have to put up with them and when you don’t. For example, even if you work with someone closely on a project team, that doesn’t mean that you need to have the same level of one-on-one interaction with them that you have with other team members.

You can establish a boundary, but you’ll have to do so consciously and proactively. If you let things happen naturally, you are bound to find yourself constantly embroiled in difficult conversations. If you set boundaries and decide when and where you’ll engage a difficult person, you can control much of the chaos. The only trick is to stick to your guns and keep boundaries in place when the person tries to encroach upon them, which they will.

6. They Won’t Let Anyone Limit Their Joy

When your sense of pleasure and satisfaction are derived from the opinions of other people, you are no longer the master of your own happiness. When emotionally intelligent people feel good about something that they’ve done, they won’t let anyone’s opinions or snide remarks take that away from them.

While it’s impossible to turn off your reactions to what others think of you, you don’t have to compare yourself to others, and you can always take people’s opinions with a grain of salt. That way, no matter what toxic people are thinking or doing, your self-worth comes from within. Regardless of what people think of you at any particular moment, one thing is certain—you’re never as good or bad as they say you are.

7. They Don’t Focus on Problems—Only Solutions

Where you focus your attention determines your emotional state. When you fixate on the problems you’re facing, you create and prolong negative emotions and stress. When you focus on actions to better yourself and your circumstances, you create a sense of personal efficacy that produces positive emotions and reduces stress.

When it comes to toxic people, fixating on how crazy and difficult they are gives them power over you. Quit thinking about how troubling your difficult person is, and focus instead on how you’re going to go about handling them. This makes you more effective by putting you in control, and it will reduce the amount of stress you experience when interacting with them.

8. They Don’t Forget

Emotionally intelligent people are quick to forgive, but that doesn’t mean that they forget. Forgiveness requires letting go of what’s happened so that you can move on. It doesn’t mean you’ll give a wrongdoer another chance. Successful people are unwilling to be bogged down unnecessarily by others’ mistakes, so they let them go quickly and are assertive in protecting themselves from future harm.

9. They Squash Negative Self-Talk

Sometimes you absorb the negativity of other people. There’s nothing wrong with feeling bad about how someone is treating you, but your self-talk (the thoughts you have about your feelings) can either intensify the negativity or help you move past it. Negative self-talk is unrealistic, unnecessary, and self-defeating. It sends you into a downward emotional spiral that is difficult to pull out of. You should avoid negative self-talk at all costs.

10. They Limit Their Caffeine Intake

Drinking caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline. Adrenaline is the source of the “fight-or-flight” response, a survival mechanism that forces you to stand up and fight or run for the hills when faced with a threat. The fight-or-flight mechanism sidesteps rational thinking in favor of a faster response. This is great when a bear is chasing you, but not so great when you’re surprised in the hallway by an angry coworker.

11. They Get Some Sleep

I’ve beaten this one to death over the years and can’t say enough about the importance of sleep to increasing your emotional intelligence and managing your stress levels. When you sleep, your brain literally recharges, shuffling through the day’s memories and storing or discarding them (which causes dreams), so that you wake up alert and clear-headed. Your self-control, attention, and memory are all reduced when you don’t get enough—or the right kind—of sleep. Sleep deprivation raises stress hormone levels on its own, even without a stressor present.

A good night’s sleep makes you more positive, creative, and proactive in your approach to toxic people, giving you the perspective you need to deal effectively with them.

12. They Use Their Support System

It’s tempting, yet entirely ineffective, to attempt tackling everything by yourself. To deal with toxic people, you need to recognize the weaknesses in your approach to them. This means tapping into your support system to gain perspective on a challenging person. Everyone has someone at work and/or outside work who is on their team, rooting for them, and ready to help them get the best from a difficult situation. Identify these individuals in your life and make an effort to seek their insight and assistance when you need it. Something as simple as explaining the situation can lead to a new perspective. Most of the time, other people can see a solution that you can’t because they are not as emotionally invested in the situation.

Bringing It All Together

Before you get this system to work brilliantly, you’re going to have to pass some tests. Most of the time, you will find yourself tested by touchy interactions with problem people. Thankfully, the plasticity of the brain allows it to mold and change as you practice new behaviors, even when you fail. Implementing these healthy, stress-relieving techniques for dealing with difficult people will train your brain to handle stress more effectively and decrease the likelihood of ill effects.

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