Yorba Linda Counseling, Irvine Psychologist, Anaheim Therapist in Yorba Linda, CA, California - Dr. Sherrie Campbell, Ph.D.
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How To Strategize With A Toxic Person

We cannot respond to toxic people in the same way we would respond to a healthy person. Everything with a toxic person needs to be handled with as little contact and conversation as possible. The more you say, the more you seek understanding, the more ammunition they use against you. It is best to do what you can to remain vague, non-combative and unavaialbe whenever possilbe. It is also effective to redirect any questions asked of you for your set-up back onto them as if you’re trying to seek understanding to why they would ask such a question. This keeps you safer from having everything you say looped back around onto you. This works whether it’s a love relationship or a work environment. Ultimately there is no real way to “win” with these types of people or to do anything that will make you look like the “good guy.” It’s best to focus on you, what you need and want out of your life and to pursue those things rather than to focus on how you can or cannot control them, what they do or what they understand. There is no such thing as proving your point to them, so stop trying. It is best to base all your decisions on what feels good to you, and if saying no places you in conflict, make yourself unavailble, busy or otherwise not interested. The more quietly you can approach these types, the better for you. They thrive on attention and emotional reaction. It’s their drug. This is why you must work to avoid giving it to them. They are not going to change, they are not capable of consistency or predictability. Their goal is to keep you confused and off balance so as to guarantee them the eventual emotional reaction from you they crave. It’s such an adjustment to operate this way, but it is a great strategy to keep you from reacting and keeping you out of the line of fire.

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Dr. Sherrie Campbell is a licensed counselor, psychologist, and marriage and family therapist in Yorba Linda, CA,
providing counseling and psychotherapy services to residents of Yorba Linda, Irvine, Anaheim, Fullerton and Brea, California.

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