As a fan and follower of Dr. Travis Bradberry, author of “Emotional Intelligence 2.0”, I admire and respect his plaudits for self-reflection/introspection and road maps to greater success. There is a “however”. Isn’t there always?
Dr Bradberry lives and breathes in a world that is far removed from the world many others of us live in; and, must live in. His list of the ten most toxic people one should “avoid like the plague” is spot on. It has been very helpful as I process my current professional predicament.
The president of a client board has put a target on my back to get me fired. She admitted as much to my assistant manager, in “secret”; not realizing, perhaps, that my assistant’s loyalty is to me; not to her. Ergo, he told me her plans. This particular woman is toxic, possessing at least three of Bradberry’s ten toxins. Many of us who have interacted with her conclude she is consumed with hate and anger. She especially hates men; all the more men who are strong; ones over which she cannot trample or ride rough shod. At her core she is a bully, often highly irrational; living in a world of rage and anger just below the surface that is easily triggered. She is not, by any measure, a leader. She is self-flagellating, often becoming demonstrably angry when anyone dares to disagree with her opinion or her point of view. If you are “in her sights”, she will cleverly set you up for an attack. When someone holds that much authority, they can and will commit serious damage even to the suspecting.
Dr. Bradberry has posited, “One cannot be rational with an irrational person.” This particular board president’s behavior and demeanor underscore the reality perfectly!
I want to hear Dr. Bradberry’s views on survival in such toxic situations. Such environments are, after all, war zones and minefields. Most often, it is difficult to extract oneself quickly from battle fields such as these. Those who find ourselves in highly toxic work settings must follow rules and guidelines to survive the nefariously driven chaos. Finding another job is the logical goal. But in the meantime, the abused must summon up the psychic energy to survive; not play into the hand of the villain. Anyone who finds themselves in such cancerous surroundings must deftly strive to extract themselves — permanently.
Toxic people motivated by hate, the origins of their hate often not known to them, are destructive. They are a poison in both the professional and the social environments. When they hold a “seat of power” where they can lord over those they want to “get rid of” or do harm to, they are relentless. Dr. Bradberry’s words and theories are powerful. Dr. Bradberry works through the light; from the bright side. Regrettably, certain real world settings are so negative and disruptive that applying Dr. Bradberry’s axioms may not work.
Those under attack must be ever-vigilant. We must summon up our strengths and keep our defenses and wits about us. We must not play into the pernicious hand of the villain, for they are set upon seeing us fail; destroyed. Once an escape has availed itself, take it post haste! Never give up. Never give in. Good souls ultimately victor over the bad ones, but the road can be treacherous along the way.