It is never easy dealing with a person who has a toxic inner critic.
The inner critic is that part of our ego that tries to keep you safe by locking you into the status quo. You can recognize the inner critic by its loud, impatient and demeaning voice that does its best to prevent you from leaving your comfort zone.
You are going to stay stuck in your ego when you are not willing to move out of your comfort zone. Life will become more and more difficult because you are limiting your options. You will be missing so much in life because you are afraid of trying anything new.
The inner critic becomes toxic when you have no awareness of how this part of our ego is impacting us and the relationships you have with others.
When you have no awareness of your inner critic, that demeaning voice within you will come out in the way you treat family, friends and colleagues. People may experience you as impatient, angry, abusive, loud, intolerant and uncaring. The trouble is when you get to this place you will have no awareness that anything is wrong.
How to deal with a toxic inner critic when you must work or play with them? Here are eight ways to grow and survive:
1. Get grounded:
You need to find a way to stay grounded and present. Get grounded and present through meditation, exercise, yoga, prayer, dancing, creating and anything that helps you to feel present in your body, open your heart and quiet your mind.
2. Take care of yourself:
Remember you can only change yourself. Take time to relax. Eat good food. Get plenty of sleep. Enjoy time alone and with friends and family. Do something you enjoy outside of work. Get plenty of exercise. Have some fun.
3. Stand up for yourself:
People with toxic inner critics are often bullies. You will need to find the courage to stand up for yourself. Speak with authority. Be clear what your expectations are.
Set healthy boundaries with your managers and staff under you.
Take responsibility for your feelings and thoughts by using the "I statement." Let your colleague know when they move into abuse and bullying. Don’t take responsibility for issues that are not yours.
4. Remember the only person you can change is yourself:
You can only change yourself. You will waste your energy if you try to change another person. The best thing you can do is be your best self. We can invite people to change, but we can not force them.
5. Talk to your human resource department:
When you can no longer manage the situation get help. Go to someone in the organization who can effect change.
6. Leave the job or relationship:
If the position is starting to impact your mental, emotional and physical health, you may need to leave. Don't stay in an abusive situation out of the fear of not being able to find another job. Your physical, emotional and spiritual well-being is essential.
The danger is that if you stay in the abusive relationship too long, you are at risk at starting to believe the negative things the toxic person keeps telling you. So, get out while you are still well.
7. Go for coaching or counselling:
Dealing with a toxic person is never easy. Often getting the support of a coach or counsellor can help you to discern how you need to respond. The coach or counsellor can help you notice the difference between what you need to take responsibility for and what you need to let go.
Focus on what you can change and let go of what you can’t: The only way to do this is to stay present and be honest with yourself. Trying to fix a toxic person never works.
Make sure you don’t stay in unsafe situations:
The bottom line is that if you are not feeling safe, you need to get out as soon as you can. Remember you are worth it. We all deserve dignity.
Toxic people are in a way crying out for help, but until they realize they have a problem nothing is ever going to change.
Any organization needs to name their values, and part of your values is how you treat each other. No matter how big or small there needs to be some process available to discipline an employee who has become destructive.
Part of the discipline is an invitation to greater emotional, spiritual and physical health through some form of counselling or coaching. But if the person is not willing to take any responsibility, they will need to be fired.
When you are stuck working with a toxic person or have a family member who is toxic you need to ensure that you take care of yourself. You will know your limits. You will know how much you can take before it starts to hurt you.
In the end, you must take care of yourself. Don’t be afraid to get help. Getting help is a sign of strength.
Never give up on those who are hurting. But you can only invite the troubled person to change. Until they want to change there is nothing much you can do about it.
Stay well. You are your best friend. Remember you are worth it!
I am, Roland Legge a Life Coach here to help you deal with the toxic people in your life. You can join my private newsletter list for Free Monthly Advice and get Your Free Enneagram Test and sign up for a Free 30 Minute Discovery Call with me in my Acuity Scheduling Calendar.