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Ask Dr. DombeckAsk Dr. Dombeck:
Psychotherapy and Mental Health Questions

Toxic People

Tue, Dec 14th 1999

I'm not sure this an area you deal with, but I have a question regarding "toxic people". I have a VERY HARD time dealing with toxic personalities to the point that it makes me physically ill. I have left several jobs (that I liked) just because of people who are toxic, jealous of me (for reasons I don't understand), highly insecure people who only feel better if they make others feel worse, "catty" women. My question is what is the best way to deal with these kinds of people? I get angry because I'm not as mean as them and I have a tendancy to try to avoid them, avoid interacting with because I'm not comfortable with them -- in return, they become even worse. I stay away (or avoid frequently as possible if they are at my work place) and this seems to only make things worse. They are ruining my life and I'm tired of having to leave jobs, etc just because of them. It also makes me mad because they are getting the results they want when they are the ones who are the problem (especially women who are jealous, meanspirted, catty, petty, gossipy and want you to join and be like them -- which I can't because it's not me). HELP. I need to stop letting this ruin my life and find an effective way to deal with it instead of running away all the time. PLEASE HELP. Thank you.

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Disclaimer

  • Dr. Dombeck responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
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