Everyone has at least one difficult person in their life that they have to deal with, whether they like it or not.
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“Our personal networks involve all kinds of complicated relationships,” Claude Fischer, a sociology professor at the University of California, Berkeley, tells The Post. In a recent study, he found that some “difficult and demanding people” — specifically, co-workers and close relatives — “are much harder to sunder ties with” than other types of acquaintances.
Psychiatrist Judith Orloff, author of “The Empath’s Survival Guide,” has tips for dealing with toxic, draining people — and advice for when you should cut them free.
The narcissistic mother
Faye Dunaway as the ultimate toxic parent, Joan Crawford, in the 1981 movie “Mommie Dearest.”
Why they’re toxic: She sees you as a mirror of herself — and becomes cold and punishing when you do anything she disapproves of.
How to deal: She’s self-obsessed and always will be, so “lower your expectations,” Orloff says. Limit conversations so you “won’t allow yourself to be manipulated by them,” and stay calm at all costs — if she senses weakness, she’ll go for the jugular.
When to cut ties: If she becomes verbally or physically abusive and/or oversteps a clear boundary, such as “Don’t belittle me in public.”
The watercooler whiner
Why they’re toxic: Your co-worker kvetches about everything from his workload to the break-room coffee, and it hurts your productivity.
How to deal: Shut him down kindly: “That sucks, I’m so sorry. I hope you figure it out, but I’ve got to get back to work now.” Physically turn away to end the convo. Also, invest in a large pair of headphones and put them on when you need to be left alone.
When to cut ties: If he’s still bothering you, bring it up with your boss or HR: “I think he needs extra help that I can’t provide, and he’s coming into my workspace” or making it difficult to get stuff done.
The self-absorbed boss
The world revolved around Michael Scott (Steve Carell) in “The Office.”
Why they’re toxic: Remember Michael Scott from “The Office”? Me-me-me managers turn the workday into a circus — starring them.
How to deal: To get ahead, “frame requests in terms of how it’ll benefit them,” Orloff says. To stay sane, take breaks when you can — go for a walk or grab a coffee with a level-minded co-worker.
When to cut ties: When the thought of dealing with them makes you physically ill or exhausted, start looking for a new job.
The “poor me” pal
Why they’re toxic: She’s constantly making bad decisions, and when you try to offer advice, she ignores it. Listening to her drains you.
How to deal: “She’s not interested in solutions,” Orloff says, “so stop offering them.” Make plans shorter — opt for phone calls, not dinner — and clearly limit how long you’ll spend chatting (and listening to them whine).
When to cut ties: If your friendship has become way more negative than positive and shows no time for changing anytime soon.
The finger-pointing sibling
Why they’re toxic: Your not-so-darling brother or sister is always looking to assign blame and refuses to take responsibility for his or her actions.
How to deal: Tempted as you may be to lose your cool, “it’s key not to let yourself be triggered,” Orloff says. “Stay very solution-oriented,” and if things get nasty, “ask them to not talk to you that way — then enforce distance.”
When to cut ties: When he or she starts spreading lies about you to other family members.
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