How To Deal With Emotional Muggers And Toxic People

Dublin Life Coach Uses NLP To Help You Deal With Difficult People

      My dear mum has the shortest fuse. I’ll make a comment about her food, like “it’s nice, I usually leave it a little crunchier, but it’s nice” and she’ll lash out and react as if I’ve criticized her whole being: “well next time you cook and let’s see what you come up with!”.

      A friend recently shared with me every time his boss is in the office, he’ll make “clever” and demeaning remarks about her or things she’s done, making her feel small, incompetent and insecure.

     A client who actually has a pretty optimistic outlook on life told me every time his dad calls all he does is moan and complain about people, life, and everything, to he point when he hangs up the phone he feels exhausted and really down.

    Another client told me the other day that certain family members keep making comments about the fact she’s almost forty and single: “Oh you’re still single”, “you’re gonna be left on the shelf if you don’t hurry up!”… which obviously doesn’t help.

    Not that we’re perfect and always feel super positive and say the right thing at the right time, but when your peace of mind and mood is constantly under threat, what’s one to do?

How do we deal with emotional muggers and toxic people?

It helps to understand their motivations and mugging strategies:

1# The Insecure Idiot

Someone who gets off causing other people pain. The don’t care who they hurt with their words or actions, and it probably makes them feel better about themselves. What can you do? Stay away from insecure idiots at all costs. If they’re family and you can’t for whatever reason, stay emotionally removed and never ever share any personal information with them. Most people are appalled by this behavior, so these people often end up with no friends and all on their own.

2# The Vampire

This is that person who calls you and spends an hour dumping their misery on you. You end up deflated and ready to jump out the window. Vampires suck up other people’s positive energy. These are people who’ve a negative outlook on life and fail to take responsibility for their own happiness. What to do? Do not feel sorry for them and or caught up in their game. Instead, point out they’re a resourceful person, and when they put their mind to it, they’ll be able to solve their problems.

3# The Secretive Liar

This is the partner who’ll get all defensive and agro when they find out you’ve checked their phone messages, emails, or Facebook account… not for moral reasons, but because they’re hiding something they don’t want you to find out about. Cheaters, addicts, and liars attack when they feel threatened. Their strong attacks can leave you questioning yourself and feeling insecure and like you’re the baddy. What to do? Always trust your instincts. Typically someone who’s telling the truth has no reason to get defensive and make you feel bad.

 4# The Eternal Pessimist

When I told my mother I’d started working for myself, she sighed. “Well,” she said, “you’re going to have to work your butt of to make any money, you’re better off working for someone else”. My mum is a deflator, a person who’s negative to the chore. With one sly jab, she can deflate you, and make a bad time feel even worse. Eternal Pessimists almost always have had a tough life, and see life though a grey lens. They don’t tend to respond well to discussion, so don’t bother. Instead, simply and cheerfully reject their pessimism or swiftly change subjects.

5# The Ticking Bomb

Ticking bombs can look deceptively calm. But on the inside stress and tension’s slowly building up, until it reaches a critical limit. If you happen to be around at that critical time, and you say or do something they don’t like, they explode. Being nice to them can make things worse as they’ll think you’re trying to manipulate them. Wait til the following day to talk to them and express your concern. The chances are they’ll respond more positively.

6# The Biatch

The most common of muggins, a lot of us have been guilty of at one time or another… The dog’s sick, the husband’s away, you didn’t sleep at all last night, and as you rush to get out the door already late for work, you can’t find your keys and the dog pees on the carpet… You lose your rag and shout “For God’s sake, will you f**k off!”. You’ve just turned into a biatch. It could’ve been worse though, someone else could’ve been there. Then, you would’ve been a royal biatch. Then again, they could’ve helped you find your keys and calm you down a little… What to do? Recognize that the keys haven’t lost themselves on purpose, and the dog’s not sick on purpose either. Breathe, focus, and deal with one thing at a time. When in a hurry, slow down.

       Emotional muggers often catch us by surprise and can leave us feeling bad. The best thing to do is to let go of any negative energy as soon as possible. Recognize it’s not your negative energy, but theirs, and therefore you don’t have to take it with you.

       What will also help is when you bow never to be the emotional mugger, on purpose or accidentally. Always acknowledge your mistakes, learn from them, and do better next time. Then, as the saying goes: let go, and let god.


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