Calm and confidence will slay the toxic people in your life

You're worth sticking up for.

Calm and confidence will slay the toxic people in your life
Photo credit: Ollyy / Shutterstock

According to psychologist Margarita Tartakovsky, the best way to overcome the toxic influence of overly critical people is to disassociate with them. Of course, this isn't always a possibility; these folks tend to be in positions we can't simply avoid. They're our bosses, parents, co-workers, family, etc.


Nevertheless, their behavior has a significant impact in our lives. "[W]e can only process so much negative emotion and take so many hits to our self-esteem before we start to become angry, depressed, anxious," Ashley Thorn, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Salt Lake City, Utah, told Psych Central, of which Tartakovsky is an associate editor.

In response to this dilemma, Tartakovsky, with help of Thorn, has outlined several strategies for dealing with these people in a recent article. There are two things to remember when communicating your gripes to an overly critical observer: First, you're not going to change them, so don't try. Second, being silent sends a tacit message that their criticisms are working, thus encouraging them to criticize you more. That's definitely not where you want to go.

"We teach people how to treat us by how we act, what we say, and what we do or do not allow," Thorn said.

This said, Tartakovsky says, you have to find the happy medium in which firmness is wrapped in kindness: "Thorn likened it to dealing with young kids: To set a limit with a 3-year-old, you don't yell or belittle them. Instead, you're clear and direct, and you can always end with mentioning what they mean to you."

That's a fun image, isn't it? Talking to your nosy co-worker like they're wearing Thomas the Tank Engine pajamas. Thorn says to allow your behavior and body language to reflect this new firm approach in which you effectively train your critic to be more cognizant of what is acceptable.

All throughout, it's vital to maintain your own sense of self-worth — remember that you're worth sticking up for.

Read more at Psych Central.

‘Time is elastic’: Why time passes faster atop a mountain than at sea level

The idea of 'absolute time' is an illusion. Physics and subjective experience reveal why.

ESA
Surprising Science
  • Since Einstein posited his theory of general relativity, we've understood that gravity has the power to warp space and time.
  • This "time dilation" effect occurs even at small levels.
  • Outside of physics, we experience distortions in how we perceive time — sometimes to a startling extent.
Keep reading Show less

The cost of world peace? It's much less than the price of war

The world's 10 most affected countries are spending up to 59% of their GDP on the effects of violence.

Mario Tama/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Conflict and violence cost the world more than $14 trillion a year.
  • That's the equivalent of $5 a day for every person on the planet.
  • Research shows that peace brings prosperity, lower inflation and more jobs.
  • Just a 2% reduction in conflict would free up as much money as the global aid budget.
  • Report urges governments to improve peacefulness, especially amid COVID-19.
Keep reading Show less

The evolution of modern rainforests began with the dinosaur-killing asteroid

The lush biodiversity of South America's rainforests is rooted in one of the most cataclysmic events that ever struck Earth.

Velociraptor Dinosaur in the Rainforest

meen_na via Adobe Stock
Surprising Science
  • One especially mysterious thing about the asteroid impact, which killed the dinosaurs, is how it transformed Earth's tropical rainforests.
  • A recent study analyzed ancient fossils collected in modern-day Colombia to determine how tropical rainforests changed after the bolide impact.
  • The results highlight how nature is able to recover from cataclysmic events, though it may take millions of years.
Keep reading Show less
Quantcast