Staying positive is a challenge. Add toxic people to the mix, and it gets even more difficult. Why? Toxic people love dragging you into their drama. And this brings you down, along with all of your positive energy. Life’s too short for that! So, here’s a brilliant hack to stand your own ground and stay out of all the toxic drama. 

Toxic people love drama

Clinical psychologist, Nadene van der Linden, knows just how difficult it is to deal with toxic people, both from personal experience and professional experience helping people deal with manipulative and controlling people. 

Her tactic to deal with toxic people? It’s something called the “Grey Rock Method.”

Now, it doesn’t sound very glamorous, but here’s why it works.

As van der Linden explains, this method is a set of behavioral choices that essentially transforms you into someone who is not engaged, not interested and really blasé.

Why would anyone want to act that way?

Toxic people love drama and excitement – especially negative topics. And if you show interest in any of it, you’ll likely get swept up in their drama. And you’ll probably feel pretty bad as a result. 

How to keep toxic people from dragging you down

According to van der Linden, here are the best behaviors to keep toxic people from dragging you down:

  • Talk with a neutral voice
  • Answer them with short, unemotional responses
  • Only talk about boring stuff
  • Don’t engage with any taunting
  • Avoid eye contact
  • Avoid sharing personal or intimate information about yourself

This will take practice, especially if you pride yourself on being kind, open and a good listener. But sometimes, the best way to deal with toxic people is by acting like a big, boring grey rock. 

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