Every day you deal with people that stress you out. It can be a friend, a family member or colleague. Toxic people lurk in all parts of our lives. If you find yourself completely stressed when dealing with certain people, you need to find ways to cope and make the best of the situation. Here are some tips to help you stay cool, and deal with people that stress you out. And if you’d like some IRL inspiration, reserve your seat for The Board – this event is the perfect way for you to meet inspiring women, share your challenges, and learn from others doing amazing things.
How to deal with people that stress you out
Don’t indulge negativity
Toxic people love to be negative. Nothing gets them more animated than moaning about all the ways life has let them down. They love to place blame on everyone else – their family, society, government – it doesn’t matter. They rarely take ownership on improving their own situation, instead, wallow in their negativity. Misery loves company. So if you have been indulging them in the past and letting them be negative, you need to realise that you are just enabling their behaviour and that they will never change.
Next time they are about to go on a negative tirade that’s going to stress you out, you need to step in and question them about ways that they are improving their situation. If they continually just give excuse after excuse and over time never actively try and change their problem, it may be time to phase out the relationship.
Know your triggers
By being able to identify what it is exactly that this person does that causes you such stress, you should be in a better position to deal with it. There are two types of triggers you should become familiar with.
One is emotional triggers. These occur when the toxic person you are dealing with says something that presses your buttons. Why do the things they say hurt you? Are they highlighting your personal insecurities? Can you reframe these insecurities within your own mind, so they no longer hold such a power over you?
Second are physical triggers. Get to know what your body does when you are stressed. Does your face go red? Does your heart begin to beat wildly? Do you find it hard to even speak? By knowing your physical triggers you can begin to identify them earlier during a conflict so you can remove yourself from the situation sooner.
Be aware of manipulation
Stressful people can be very manipulative. They can find ways to make you feel worthless and inferior. If you allow them to treat you like that, that’s what they will continue to do. If the person is someone that you can’t phase out of your life, like a boss or family member you need to figure out exactly how they are manipulating your emotions. For example, If a boss or coworker are saying that you are lazy, keep detailed notes on the work you are doing and go through the correct channels within your organisation to resolve the situation.
If it’s a family member, limit your interaction with them to occasions where attendance is mandatory and beforehand identify the triggers that cause you to become upset in their presence. This will help you prepare responses for when the toxic family member tries to hurt you and cause you stress.
Take a stand and set boundaries
This can be very difficult to do, especially if you feel intimidated by the person who is causing you stress. The person may be completely oblivious to the fact that they are being difficult to deal with. By vocalising the issues you are having with them, it gives them a chance to change their ways. If they continue with the behaviour, you will need to set boundaries. This might mean only dealing with them at certain times and not responding to every message that they send you. This can be difficult in a work environment, so you may need to start looking for other employment opportunities. Having a constant stress at work will impact negatively on your mental health, so you must figure this into your career choices.
Have something to look forward to
If you must deal with this stressful person, try and have something to look forward to afterwards. Family gatherings can be stressful, so plan to go for a facial or back massage a day or two after the event to unwind. If it’s a stressful client in work, treat yourself to an indulgent lunch or dinner afterwards. Spending the entire lead up thinking about the toxic person, you are making the situation worse by adding to your anxiousness. Instead, having something to look forward to after dealing with the difficult person can help salvage a little bit of positive mindset.
What are your coping mechanisms for dealing with people that stress you out? How do you react when faced with a stressful situation? Let us know on the GirlCrew app or in the comments below.