I believe we all have met with toxic people before. And usually, we would avoid and remove them from our lives. But not everyone can do that. Some of us, unfortunately, have to deal with them on a regular basis. So, here comes the question: What is the best way to deal with toxic people? Do you need to fight back or ignore them? Well, according to Buddhism, none of those work. There is a better technique called loving-kindness. It may sound strange, but it works wonders. Below are the 4 most effective ways to deal with toxic people (according to Buddhism).
Anger or resentment
Toxic people will make you feel angry and frustrated with them. However, even if they deserve your bitterness, you should not hold onto it. Carrying those feelings around will only lead you to tension and sadness within you.
“May my enemies be well, happy, and peaceful. May no harm come to them. May no difficulties come to them. May no problems come to them. May they always meet with success. May they also have patience, courage, understanding, and determination to meet and overcome inevitable difficulties, problems, and failures in life.” -Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
Patience and loving kindness
Toxic people will only give you negative vibes. But, change your perspective on the situation and see it as an opportunity to practice your patience and loving kindness!
Sit down and ask yourself again why did you consider certain people your enemies? Is it because they’re rude, short-tempered, selfish or boastful? Whatever the reason is, those unpleasant characteristics can come from various problems in their own life. It could be because they hate their jobs, or maybe they’re very insecure about themselves.
“Practically speaking, if all of your enemies were well, happy, and peaceful, they would not be your enemies. If they were free from problems, pain, suffering, affliction, neurosis, psychosis, paranoia, fear, tension, anxiety, etc., they would not be your enemies. The practical approach toward your enemies is to help them overcome their problems, so you can live in peace and happiness.” – Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, Mindfulness in Plain English, 94
Lastly, you need to remind yourself that you can only see what’s obvious and do not know the entire story of the situation. Hence, before judging or taking it too personally, think first. You could have misunderstood something or misjudged someone.
“Although you may spend your life killing, you will not exhaust all your foes.” – Nagarjuna