re: Stop being a toxic person, start to have empathy. VIEW POST


You are not alone in feeling that. Most of my experience has been with great people and having great experiences. It is the few individuals and the few times when negative attitudes came out that tended to really weigh on myself and others. These negative situations seemed to heavily drown out the positives, leading to a toxic environment.

I do not think you can change the way people form their opinions and express them, but you can change how you respond to it and how it affects you. For myself, I found that if I just sit there and take it in an effort to not cause conflict, it ends up causing me harm. Even if I was just a witness, the situation would stay with me and ruin my day. Having teammates afraid to speak their minds because of potential backlash makes every meeting tense and ineffective.

Doing something about it is hard and takes practice, but here are some of my tips.

  • Prepare. You may know typical meetings when others may be negative or you may see signs in passing that they don't like something. It is good to be mentally prepared for that to pop up.
  • Keep your emotions under control. Others may say things that make you angry. Let it pass before responding, otherwise, it could result in a conflict which may reflect poorly on you.
  • Be open-minded. Even though a person's position might be "I don't like it, my way is better" without much justification, there may be a good idea under that somewhere.
  • Seek information without being confrontational. If you believe someone is being negative simply because they don't like something, ask them for more information. "Tell us more about why you think/feel that way" is a simple question, but it forces them to justify their actions. This can take the burden off of their target.
    • I think the important part is not sharing an opinion while doing this. If someone is vocal about something, an opposing view may only cause confrontation. Ask questions and let them do the talking to justify their opinion and their attitude.

Through that, your teammates will appreciate you more. They may be more willing to speak up and share their thoughts because they know you have their back. The difficult individuals may also think twice about being confrontational since they know they are going to have to justify their position.

I hope this helps, hang in there.


I like your reply. I would only add that some have not learned that there could be more than one way to solve a problem.

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