A common trait with toxic people is that they carry it with them everywhere; at the workplace, home, road, shops and even in the church. One may not know your office state of affairs or details of your organisation but it is easy to identify people, their motives, competition and jealousy or envy at any given workplace.
The work environment and the stress associated with it can bring out both the very best or worst in people. People are not perfect and tend to have bad days and one may say something they should not or get into an argument or be moody. A toxic person is someone who does bad to people all the time and can be best described as poisonous.
Research shows that toxic people are found in many organisations and they make other workers feel worse with every interaction by always rubbing them the wrong way. One would advise that you stay separate from that toxic person.
The problem is that you may not have the luxury of doing this in the workplace, especially if you are not the boss.
- 1 Workplace activism: Speak up without burning bridges
- 2 Tackling the dynamics of workplace: How to self-promote
- 3 How to increase your value and influence at work
- 4 Is a colleague’s negative attitude rubbing off on you?
Also, the job is your livelihood and it is unreasonable to quit or keep hopping from one job to another just because you run into a toxic person.
How do you limit the toxic influence on your life? First, ask for wisdom to understand God’s plan for you on earth. Wisdom will save you from evil people whose speech is corrupt, are crooked and rejoice in doing wrong. Second, is to remember your mission because God put you at your workplace to be the light.
God will strengthen you and bless you if you do your job well and do not expect to be appreciated by people. Third, do not let the toxic environment get into you. Equip yourself with the armour of God to protect you and influence the situation to your advantage.
Fourth, increase your capacity to work with different types of personalities by being open-minded and do not limit yourself to only people you can work with. Jesus did not limit his ministry to only the devoted ones but interacted with tax collectors and prostitutes to minister to them.
Fifth, remember where you are does not define where you are going - it is just a stage in life. God has a great plan for you and he will deliver you from every situation. David was herding his father’s sheep and Saul even wanted to kill him before he became the king of Israel.
Sixth, do not associate with cliques or groupings. Cliques tend to be toxic. The moment you associate with a clique, you are labelled and this limits your usefulness. Seven, change your perceptive about toxic situations no matter how hurtful or shameful they are or how long it takes.
As the bible says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
Eight, try your best to get optimum results with minimum confusion. God is orderly and you too need to stay away from confusion and chaos. Ninth, seek opportunities to charge the atmosphere without commenting on the problem. You have a God to talk to and an assignment to accomplish. Be like the woman with the alabaster box of ointment, which once she poured on Jesus’ head, changed the environment completely. The bible tells us that we are called to bring change and we should know that we will face opposition. No one ever did anything significant without facing opposition but in quietness and confidence, they have strength.
Tenth, always have a song of praise in your mouth. The psalmist says, “I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be on my lips.”
As long as you are constantly worshipping God in everything that you do, you will not break down. Throughout the day, keep your song in your heart and allow God to brighten your workplace. Nothing can take from you this spiritual high!
Bishop David Muriithi
Founder & Overseer
House of Grace International Ministries