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There are many who act like toxins that poison our careers, dreams, goals, and aspirations
Why does she always have to be mean? Why can’t he understand? Why is it so hard for my boss to get it? Why does she have to always be so …. toxic!
Yes, Toxic. Indeed, it is a strong word which means pertaining to, affected with, or caused by a toxin, or poison. That is the meaning attributed to the word. Sad when it is used to describe an individual’s behavior. But truth be told, there are many who act like toxins that poison our careers, dreams, goals, and aspirations. Year in year out, time and again they poison our ability to succeed. Yet why do so many choose to stick around such people? Toxic people are offensive, and people hate being around them.
So in order to succeed, we must get away from them. It is difficult when you work directly with such individuals, but when you choose them as your ‘Generous‘ friends, it’s a sure recipe for disaster.
Traits of Toxic People
Selected here are eight (8) of the characteristics described by Dr. Lillian Glass, Expert in Human Behavior. As alluded, if you see yourself in any of the traits, don’t Panic! Simply recognize the trait(s) and start the process to do something about it. But first, brace yourselves and let’s try to understand the various characteristics.
- The Cut-You-Downer is arrogant, mean, belittling, bitchy, hateful, self-righteous, condescending, threatened, superior, insecure, offensive, critical, sarcastic, disrespectful, underhanded, and fault-finding. They have little self-esteem and will find fault with you and with everyone else. They love to belittle, taunt, ridicule, others. They cut others down so they can build themselves up.
- The Self-Destroyer is victim-like, unrealistic, weak, unstable, sabotaging, rejecting, negative, threatened, selfish, lifeless, desperate, unappreciative, depressed, defiant, rebellious, and out of control. They hate themselves so much that they constantly tear themselves down and harp on what’s wrong with them, while berating themselves. They usually say things like “I’m so stupid”; “that was dumb of me”; or “I’m the worst.” In essence, self-destroyers try to cut themselves down before anyone else has a chance to do it. They hardly ever accept compliments and will negate any nice or kind words that come their way. They can be so full of self-loathing that they will become alcoholics, foodaholics, drug abusers, etc. Essentially self-destroyers don’t think they are worthy of good things or deserve anything positive in life.
- The Gossip is indiscreet, insecure, fault-finding, false, belittling, quick to place blame, brazen, hypocritical, competitive, hurtful, self-righteous, shallow, sharp-tongued, skeptical, sneaky, imposing, adversarial, conspiratorial, critical, disloyal, meddling, mean-spirited, offensive, and angry. The gossip loves to spread stories even embellish them, and may invent stories of his or her own. The gossip is usually a nosy person whose biggest pleasure is telling you about someone else’s misfortunes. He might find pleasure in telling stories about others. Gossips generally have very little going on in their own lives. So they want to be accepted and to feel important so they bring you the latest news (real or imagined).
- The Gloom and Doom Victim is masochistic, guilt-ridden, worrisome, sabotaging, resentful, rigid, selfish, rejecting, sad, negative, petty, fault-finding, paranoid, stubborn, whiny, weak, defeatist, unimaginative, self-destructive, fearful, solemn, cowardly, depressed, skeptical, unappreciative, suspicious, lifeless, lethargic, lackadaisical, defensive, and depressed. Gloom and Doom victims are depressing to be around. Their energy really zaps you as they tell you how horrible life is, has been, and will be for them. They aim to make you feel sorry for them, but they have no interest in any advice you offer. Their preference is to wallow in self-pity, certain that the world has done them in and everybody has done them wrong. Nothing ever goes right for them. Maybe it’s because their glass is always half empty rather than half full. They blame everyone but themselves when anything goes wrong in their lives.
- The opportunistic User is selfish, interfering, manipulative, back-stabbing, brown-nosing, secretive, indirect, disloyal, conspiratorial, dishonest, sneaky, unappreciative, underhanded, tenacious and seductive. Opportunistic users are out for themselves alone. They are fair weather friends who want you in their life only when it is convenient for them—when they can benefit. These people will do anything to get ahead. If they can benefit from someone or have benefited all they can, they discard the person like a used paper towel, without a second thought.
- The Me, Myself, and I Narcissist is selfish, egomaniacal, lacking in self-confidence, shallow, insecure, arrogant, boring, limited, socially inept, exhausting, obnoxious, flamboyant, self-centered, indiscreet, and a show-off. They have only one thing in mind—themselves. They are the most self-centered individuals anyone can encounter. They don’t want to talk about or do anything unless it pertains to them. They want to hear about your issues only if it affects them. Their vocabularies are filled with the words “me”, “myself”, and “I”. Trying to have a conversation with a narcissist can be the most frustrating experience you will ever have, because they speak a monologue instead of a give-and-take dialogue.
- The Competitor is provocative, fearless, fanatical, obnoxious, paranoid, offensive, pushy, aggressive, resentful, sabotaging, conniving, intense, intimated, defensive, confrontational, threatened, untrustworthy, negative, insecure, argumentative, and always looking for a fight. Competitors seek every opportunity to outwit or surpass others. Everything is a competition from getting a job to getting a boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife. Competitors tend to be show-offs and braggarts who gloat about their achievements—both past and present. They constantly try to impress you with how much better they are than you. In essence they have such low self-esteem that the only way they can relate to you is by turning everything into a contest.
- The Control Freak is invasive, sabotaging, rigid, manipulative, arrogant, aggressive, forceful, backstabbing, self-righteous, meddlesome, confrontational, inflexible, egotistical, obstinate, pushy, unreasonable, stubborn, selfish, unaware, threatened, disrespectful, uncommunicative, and stubborn. Control freaks can never let go. Like bullies, they are immobilized if not in control. However, unlike bullies, they don’t always use anger or meanness to get what they want. Control freaks often use sweet talk and manipulation. They are not team players and have difficulty delegating authority, as they try to do everything themselves. If things don’t go their way, they get angry or lose interest, for they feel they must always be in charge. Their lives are filled with frustration and disappointment and never go with the flow. Instead, they force things to happen and when things don’t go their rigid way they panic and become angry or more manipulative.
Did any of these traits remind you of someone you knew? If so what effect has it had on your success? Maybe it’s time for a change.
Traveling in the slow lane, I get angry. I get upset. Forgetting that I’m traveling in the slow lane. My progress is slowed. My destination eludes me and seem to get further away. My anger grows. My frustration… like a fuse lights up, ready to explode!
But that’s how it is with life. Missed steps, missed deadlines, procrastination. Failed business, exams, twisted careers, and more cause us to feel like we are driving in the slow lane. Our goals, dreams, aspirations seems unreachable. We get angry, frustrated, feel punished. But that’s because we have gone off course. We fail to plan. We fail to focus. We fail to keep our eyes on the goal. Milestones recede…ebbs away in the distance. One by one. We procrastinate saying I’ll get it done tomorrow…, but tomorrow never comes.
But all is not lost. Achieving our goal is like a Hike. If carefully planned our long walk to success can be achieved one step at a time. One foot before the other..again and again, and again. And if we plan it, we are able to enjoy the beauty of the experience along the way.
Today, take a step in the right direction. If you slipped… get up, dust yourself off, and get back on track. Your goal will be a step closer for sure.
Inspiring Thoughts on life’s dreams and writing
The natural creativity of a child inspires us to dream, to expose the feelings of the heart. The heart of a child is not afraid, not Fragile. A child steps out in confidence to do what he or she wants to do.
Today let’s be like a child. Let’s be bold! Let’s reach for those goals, dreams, and aspirations buried deep inside our soul.
Go ahead. Unveil the Dream. Bring it to reality.
We show up everyday doing a job that we don’t like, and then feel like we are losing our mind when we are expected to be productive and profitable.
Get angry! Tell them off on national TV-like that famous weather reporter did! Give them a piece of your mind-like that flight attendant did, then de-planed! Or quietly sneak away never to return again, which unfortunately happens too often.
Though we may smile at these examples, they are real life situations that actually happened. As a HR consultant, I have worked with clients that have had these experiences and more. Because we spend most of our time at work, it would be great for us to really like what we do, and who we have to work with.
Vincent Van Gogh said that he put his heart and soul into his work and lost his mind in the process. How many of us really feel that way? We show up everyday doing a job that we don’t like, and then feel like we are losing our mind when we are expected to be productive and profitable. It’s hard. But we keep at it if we are to cover our basic needs to survive, thrive, or for those at the higher levels, fulfill our higher need to self-actualize.
STRATEGIES FOR DEALING WITH A BAD BOSS
If you have a bad boss…see qualities in 23 signs you have a Bad Boss, it is not likely that you are going to change them. So here are a few strategies to help you take the steps to work better with him or her.
- Have an early, upfront conversation about what is important to you in a leader and how you can best work together. In a civil manner, discuss things such as:
- Leadership style and the coaching you would need to develop.
- Expectations. What he/she expects from you, and what you expect.
- Perception. How each of you perceive “success” with regard to the job.
- What “meets expectations” or “exceeds expectations” look like on the performance-rating continuum.
- Your current performance
- Be proactive and check in with him or her often to provide reports, or updates.
- Acknowledge them publicly for their support, especially when they have been instrumental in helping you succeed.
- If problems occur that escalate, have a conversation with the HR manager to ensure that any complaints are logged. HR will take the necessary steps to help resolve the issue and can serve as a mediator in future meetings.
- If 360-degree feedback systems, and other anonymous options are in place in your organization, do use them to provide input regarding your concerns.
- Keep a record of dates, times, and specific examples of issues that have occurred so that you will be able to recall them when necessary.
Essentially, do your best to try to work with the situation you are charged with at the moment. Nothing lasts forever. Things do change sometimes. But by all means, if the horizon really looks bleak in that company, then start the process to move on, especially if it starts to negatively affect your health. Start the job change process to search for a new opportunity. Take the steps to:
- Update your Resume
- Refresh your LinkedIn Profile
- Connect with a Recruiter
- Consider other career options
It’s important to heed the caution before you make such Radical change….Making irrational decisions then saying “oh wait”, will be too late. So be cautioned that you never leave a job without first finding another one. It will be well worth it in the long run.
We have all had to deal with bad bosses at one time or the other throughout our career. We scream, complain, lose the Zing, become demotivated, do barely enough to get by, or inevitably jump ship. If you are dealing with a bad boss here are a few examples of characteristics that depicts the behavior.
Common Bad Boss Behavior
- Lack of vision and inability to communicate effectively
- Thinking you have all the answers and that you must have all the answers
- Working late everyday
- Poor Hiring Decisions
- Failure to Admit Mistakes
- Takes the credit but gives the blame
- Does not Lead by Example
- My way or the high way
- Mistakes being liked for being respected
- Provides little/no feedback or coaching
- Shows favoritism
- Task-focused vs team-oriented
- Embraces the status quo
- Being a good ‘doer’ means you will be a good manager
- Selects and leads based on “like me”
- Ignores diversity of thought or varying opinions
- Past focused vs present/future
- Lacks courage
- Being a friend instead of a leader
- Failing to delegate and demonstrate trust
- Allowing ego and pride to get in the way of good decisions
- Personal agendas/motives
If you are a new manager, reflect on these characteristics. Recognize the signs and plan to change. You will then be on your way to becoming a good leader.
Nature’s birds converge at the Edge of the seas. Captiva Island, Florida.
Even downtime is to be planned like a marinating
Summer’s over! Free reign! The iguana walks around like he’s the Don in charge. The gecko scampers on my approach, and the little lizard (big to me but small when compared to the iguana), stands still as if asking me “what you gonna do now”? What can I do but dart in the opposite direction.
That said, it’s the same in our lives. Seasons change and Businesses take on renewed zest. We take a look around and realize …oh yea I’m supposed to be busy working on my goal. The truth is, you should never have stopped. Even downtime is to be planned like a marinating Sandwich until we return.
But don’t be too hard on yourself. Get back in the game. Push forward and catch up.
Here are two Goal guides to help you compliments of The Coaching Tools Company and iHarry.