Toxic People, Toxic Times is the topic of this episode of Coffee Break With KA & Dana: Meaningful Conversations From A Lesbian Perspective.
Toxic people spew negativity to demean and deflate you. And they think you’re the problem. Whatever insult or injury they’ve inflicted upon you, it’s either your fault or you’re making a mountain out of a molehill. — Psychology Today (2017)
In this episode, KA and Dana discuss the topic of toxic people and toxic times:
- Handling them in the workplace
- Dealing with them at home
- How having them around can negatively impact your health
KA is an author of lesbian fiction with degrees in counseling, psychology, and social work. AS KA Moll, she writes stories about lesbians, burdened by past trauma, who find healing in the love of a soul mate. As Cade Brogan, she writes thrillers.
Dana is an avid reader, a recovering alcoholic, a fisher-woman, and a graduate of the school of hard knocks.
As co-hosts, they’re quite the duo. Connect with them online at www.kamoll.com
Music in this episode (Lucky Way) is licensed for use in various multimedia applications by Melody Loops.
please note this transcript has not been edited and is automatically generated meaning certain words will be incorrect
Music] welcome to coffee break with KA and Dana were brought to you by the lesbian pop shell I’m KA a lesbian romance author and in my past life a counselor and a social worker and I’m Dana an avid reader coffee connoisseur recovering alcoholic and a graduate of the school of hard knocks grab a cup of coffee pull up a chair and join us for a meaningful conversation from a lesbian perspective a spew negativity to demean and deflate you and they think you’re the problem in this episode okay aunt Dana will discuss toxic people how to handle them and how to survive toxic times won’t you join us for a meaningful conversation so we are talking about toxic people today you know the name toxic people just for me I would know exactly what it was without a definition but I suppose I suppose we should define it the word toxic comes from the Latin word toxic on which means aryl poison so in a literal sense it means to kill or poison in a targeted way yeah people that kill maybe not literally but more figuratively other people with the dart of their poisonous words exactly and you know I can come in many different forms but I’ve worked with a few and I’ve had a few in my family so I know a little bit about it you know I across toxic folks now and then but that you know I’ve luckily not had to deal with with a lot of them you know for what I was reading it’s it’s becoming more and more problematic in the workplace did you did you experience it when you were like going to work every day at toxic supervisors who just made the job miserable because you knew even if you implement in one of their decisions and it didn’t work it was going to be your fault well that that’s kind of part of the definition for toxic people it’s always your fault never there’s it’s kind of a rule you just know what to expect you know I I worked for the state in child protection in my first career and I was I was fortunate to not work for you know very many toxic folks through all those years but the environment itself was a little bit toxic and I suppose maybe that’s a top-down thing you know with with the paranoia and the anxiety and all that goes with expecting something to be around the corner but you go to work and expect the other shoe to drop yeah that you expect the other shoe to drop so environments can be toxic and you look around and you don’t really see toxic people but yet the people in the environment kind of absorb that and so I don’t know maybe they take their frustration out on others or whatever ha so you said you’ve you’ve run across many over the years are you are you just talking about work no I’ve had toxic people in my family and you know it’s hard you know especially from my childhood you know I was taught I didn’t see what I saw I didn’t hear what I hear and I didn’t know what I didn’t feel what I felt so I’ve always been one the second guess myself so when I have somebody toxic like that in my life who’s telling me it’s all my fault I get into a horrible mind game with it you know is it my fault did I did I do it wrong and it’s taken me a long time to be able to realize that no I’m not the one always deployed well you know that’s part of being in a relationship with toxic people you know we have them they’re everywhere and the number of them are on the rise but that’s part of it you didn’t see what you thought you saw you didn’t hear it the way you thought you heard it there folks that just discount your opinion and your feelings and what you see in what you hear and and they discounted and twist it in a sense in a sense to me it’s almost like a form of brainwashing yeah I would agree with that you know it’s kind of like the pedophile that grooms their victims toxic people I think groomed their victims they’re really nice in the beginning and they kind of suck you in and then they just smash it like a bug yeah the toxic folks are tricky because if if you manage to get into an intimate relationship with one initially they were confident and charming and oh my gosh you know you felt so lucky to be with them and then as you get to know them they fall into this other pattern of being self-absorbed and discounting your feelings and you know I can’t resist a minor yeah yeah so so what so that was one thing we read an article as part of our preparation for this show and there was there was one thing that just totally stuck with me and I resist the urge to talk about politics but I can’t resist reading this by a four to one margin Americans found the 2016 presidential election especially toxic Donald Trump was viewed as uncivil by 72% of Americans according to McKinsey quarterly and so when I when I thought about this topic this is such a shame and I just don’t even like saying it but it’s such a shame when you think about toxic and the first thing that comes to your mind is your president I totally agree with that and the problem with that is is it rolls downhill he you can see the president acting like a ninny for lack of a more nicer term for the podcast and they think it’s okay for them to act that way and that’s where we get into more problems yeah that role model piece I mean that I mean I think that is a piece of that’s also a piece of it in families if if you’ve got a toxic parent who’s a role model there’s likely to be a toxic child that goes off to school bullying other children that role model piece it you know is a piece of it but you know just the rudeness and the bullying and the mockery and the manipulation and you know it’s it’s sad that people have to treat other people like that and and for some they actually have a personality to disorder or personality traits like paranoia our narcissism which our president has all of those well now I don’t know what is that yes this truly is but there’s been much speculation well I’m not a doctor but I expand it you know it’s just sad so toxic folks I mean you you run across them we’ve talked about them in the workplace sir and family and probably other places that you’ve had to deal with people so what do you what do you do well you can diagnose or figure out that that that’s where it starts from you’ve got to stay away from them because they’ll just they just suck you in there like a vortex and they suck people in and it’s hard to get out of that situation whether it’s at work I mean you know most people need their jobs even though they don’t like them and don’t like the people they work or they need the job and at home it’s even I would guess even harder to get away from a toxic person yeah well it could be tricky in both places I mean you need your job but there are things that you can do you know if your toxic person is your boss well I mean if you’re in an organization where you can transfer then you might want to think about that some people have one boss and one job and so for that you’ve got to be a little more creative but sometimes your toxic person is your office mate I mean you can ask to get a different office there are yeah you mean you might have to be creative but that’s one thing to limit your exposure now if you’re married to them or even just generally or in a relationship with them you know have children with them whatever it becomes much more complicated and and you probably need some professional help to help you navigate that but that guess staying away from them you know sometimes though you’re with a toxic person before you know they’re toxic that’s kind of it whether it’s in a in a relationship or whether it’s deciding to share an office space yeah you don’t know it immediately but when it hits you they say something or do something it just hits you like a punch to the gut and then they get better and better at that so once you do recognize what you’re dealing with you try to keep yourself away from them the other thing another thing you can do is try your best to not react they’re gonna bait you they are also going to bait you and discount you and bully you but do your best not to react because they feed on that yeah there’s a saying in a a and it’s pause when agitated and you know that’s the biggest thing is just stop and just give it a minute before you respawn because I respond off the pup and it’s never it’s never good when I do that when I’m agitated I always have to make enemies that’s just generally good advice what you just gave pause take a breath before you open your mouth and put your foot in it but but with a toxic person just their very nature they are going to discount what you say there is nothing that you are going to say that they are going to hear they’re going to explain it away and so it just tends to leave you with stress and frustration and hurt feelings and whatever goes along with that so it the best you can you should try not to react at all come up with some some phrase that you can say just to dismiss it it could be as simple as look I’m not going to talk about this Perry what else can you do if you’re stuck with one and you’re in your world well just being able to know that there that that’s the toxic person is the I believe the first step once you’ve identified where it comes from or in my case at work it started it at the top and then it just steamroll that’s way down I think you need to put a system in place to defend yourself I documented everything in my job anytime I gave an idea and somebody took credit for it or my ideas were dismissed I mean I every time I was talked to poorly I documented everything see that’s another that’s another piece of good general advice you just gave but I mean if you if you’re if you’re having trouble at work even if even if you’re not dealing with someone who’s actually toxic if you’re having trouble document take time to write things down you might need that information but especially with your toxic yes person and I I found it best in an email I opened up a brand new email account just for my emails and I would do the email and then send it because then it had a recording of the date it was written in the date it was you know how it was received and I could prove each state of according to the dates from the Nina’s yeah I’ve done that a time or two when dealing with an iffy situation in the workplace that’s a good thing to do it’s date stamped and there is no change in it yeah send it and print it yeah and save it yes yeah that’s that’s that’s good you know sometimes you see drama coming your way you not always married to them I mean sometimes you just you you get so you see toxic coming down the street and and you know probably just some basic common sense advice is to get the heck out of there absolutely do not seek out drama queens number drama in general don’t seek it out it’s not good for you and I I found a lot of times too if I just listen to my gut when I meet somebody new you can tell if they’re negative and just by the way they talk and stuff sometimes you you can sense it before you really have actual proof of their toxic yeah and get out of there just just don’t just don’t you know and they’re good reasons besides they can make you miserable I mean the you know toxic behavior if you’re dealing with that it it can cause insomnia and depression and overeating even cardiac disease that can lower your immunity there are all kinds of negative things that happen when you’re around negative people and negative environments toxic anything is to be is to be avoided at all cost absolutely you know again it like you said it’s just another the people that aren’t the toxic people take it on and it ruins their health and it ruins our happiness you know it’s hard to go to work every day when you dread it no you don’t eight hours there or more and if you know if you’ve got a toxic person at home you dread going home I mean I you know you’ve got to address the situation she just you just can’t let them go on and on because you’re the one that ends up paying for that it affects your well-being they go on just being toxic and you know in that situation I always recommend you know find a counselor I’m 2sec Pollak find somebody it has some initials after their name to help you work through this talking it over with your best friend she’s just gonna agree with you that he or she is an ass and you get no get no perspective but if you can go to somebody to a counselor or anybody that’s got those initials after their name they can at least help you get a little perspective and even an escape point and initials I’ll just toss it in from a mental health perspective initials they’re they’re very nice they mean that you you hop through some hoops and you collected some degrees but they may not always mean that the person is competent to help you so just like you said before about trusting your gut trust your gut in that situation to you know if you seek professional help seek it and get something positive from it and that’s where you might get some recommendations from your friends too you know if you have friends that you know are seeing a counselor asked them how they like who they see you know you might be that might be a good place to start for friends with your friends to find counseling you know yeah and and if what we’re on friends friends are a good thing if you were in a relationship with a toxic person because toxic people will often try to isolate you so bringing people into your world is a good thing it helps you gain perspective and can be a support system [Music] and on that note I think we’ll call it a day and I look forward to another great conversation next week sounds good you’ve been listening to coffee break with KA and Dana meaningful conversations from a lesbian perspective brought to you by the lesbian talk show be sure to like us on facebook follow us on Twitter and visit our website wwlp.com until next week work hard be kind to one another and watch amazing things happen in your corner of the world [Music]