In my travels across North America speaking on motivation and human potential I hear the same question asked repeatedly, " How can I become more assertive?" There is no doubt about it, there are people in our lives who are harmful to our health and we don't like it one bit.

I read recently that toxic people make up about ten percent of the population and cause over 50% of all relational damage. For our own well-being and the well-being of those we care about we must learn how to cope with these toxic people at home, at work and at play.

I wrote the following report in response to the question, "How can I learn to cope with the difficult people in my life?" From the reaction I have had to this report it is proving helpful. I do want to say emphatically that what you read here won't do a thing to improve your situation unless you have the courage to use the suggestions given. Go for it! You're worth the effort.


rob us of our dignity.

destroy our self confidence.

increase our stress levels.

destroy our morale.

erode our self esteem.

foster negativity.

decrease productivity.

make life hellish.

are abusive.

are toxic because they can get away with it and it works for them.


Remember that you can't change toxic people, but you can learn to cope with them. Here are some effective strategies to try.

* Always stand at eye level with the person you are confronting. Never have them standing over you looking down.

* Respect the toxic person and always expect respect in return. Settle for nothing less.

* Remain calm.

* Listen attentively.

* Don't argue or interrupt, just listen.

* Don't accuse or judge, just state how you feel.

* If the toxic person tries to verbally bully you, just say, " I don't allow people to treat me this way." Then slowly and calmly walk away.

* When someone is being toxic to you here is a powerful response and one that is easy to use because you don't have to say a word. In the midst of a toxic attack just PAUSE....LOOK AT THE PERSON, WITHOUT EMOTION......TURN AND WALK AWAY. It works!

* Anger is sometimes a valid response.

* If all else fails you might be left with only one option; to separate yourself from the toxic person in your life.


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Author's Bio: 

This is an excerpt from Mike's manual DEALING WITH DIFFICULT
PEOPLE. To check out Mike's motivational books, tapes and manuals visit
Mike Moore is an internationl speaker/writer on human potential and motivation.