Everyone has at least one difficult person in their life that they have to deal with, whether they like it or not.
“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
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
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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