top of page

7 Effective Tips for Dealing with Toxic People at Work

If going to work makes you feel stressed or depressed, you’re likely working in a bad environment. Learn effective ways to cope with a toxic workplace before it’s too late.


Most of us spend a huge portion of our day at the workplace. If 8 hours of your day are filled with toxicity, it can be hugely detrimental to your mental health. Toxicity creeps up gradually, incrementally adding stress and frustration with each passing day. Surviving toxic workplace anxiety is a tough task, but it is necessary for your health and mental well-being.

Major Signs of a Toxic Work Environment

You can’t fix what you don’t understand. To determine effective ways to deal with a toxic workplace, first identify the major signs of a toxic work environment at your workplace. Some of the signs that can create or contribute to a toxic work environment are as follows:

● Fear-based leadership

● Passive aggressive boss or coworkers

● No recognition of excellence

● Unsafe working conditions

● Gossip, rumour, and speculation

● Unhealthy competition

● Lack of respect

● Lack of opportunities for growth

● Favouritism

● Harassment or discrimination

Effective Tips to Handle Toxic Work Environment

You can’t deliver your best performance in a toxic workplace, while your health and well-being remain at risk. According to a study done by a reputed university in Sweden, over the past 20 years, toxic work environments have contributed to depression, substance abuse and other health issues among employees. But before quitting your job and seeking another opportunity, try the following ways to tackle the stress caused due to a toxic workplace.

1. Connect With Positive Colleagues

Toxic workplaces are usually filled with selfish, judgmental, and manipulative people. Find one or two good colleagues you can trust in your workplace and strengthen relationships with them through effective communication in the workplace. Gradually, build a network of trusted colleagues who offer each other support and a place to vent. Such networks save your morale from deteriorating and help you make it through the toxic environment.

2. Build Trust and Be Nice to Everyone

Toxic workplaces are often very competitive, where people leave no opportunity to climb over their colleagues to get ahead. Such a mindset leads to lying, cheating, and stealing ideas to ascend up the corporate ladder. In this type of environment, don’t stoop to their level. Instead, handle them with empathy and kindness through effective communication in the workplace. It may take a while, but their attitude towards you will change and the work environment will transform.

3. Create a Fulfilling Workplace

Whether you are a team lead or a manager or have some other significant professional role in an organisation, your efforts towards establishing a fulfilling workplace for your colleagues can help you stand out. Incorporating specific workplace strategies can help you handle toxic work environments and create a fulfilling workplace.

4. Stay Focused on Your Career Goals

A toxic workplace often comprises people who love to gossip about everything or spread rumours about others. Spreading rumours or gossiping is one of the easiest ways to break the trust of your colleagues and lose your integrity. Never participate in such conversations and always practise effective communication in the workplace. Don’t let workplace gossip consume your valuable time, distract you from your career goals and break trust with your colleagues.

5. Maintain a Good Work-Life Balance

Do you keep working or think about work even when you aren’t at work? If yes, then set some boundaries, and take effective steps to achieve and maintain a good work-life balance. It can reduce the impact that toxicity at the workplace can have on other areas of your life and empowers you to stay healthy and energised for the long haul.

6. Move Forward with a New Job

The ultimate way to deal with toxic workplace anxiety is to find a new workplace. If you find the status quo is worse than the thought of change, it’s time to start looking for other job opportunities. Finding a new job may need some effort but you will find your effort worth it when you feel more fulfilled with it. It impacts other areas of your life too in a positive way.

7. Seek Out Professional Help

A toxic work environment may lead to burnout situations. Seek a professional coach before it becomes severe. An executive coach can help you get to the root cause of the issue and develop the right strategies to deal with a toxic work environment. They further help you develop crucial strategies for getting ahead in your career without losing enthusiasm.

Nobody should endure a toxic workplace. It affects your mental health and damages your confidence, motivation, and career trajectory. Identifying the signs of a toxic workplace and understanding how to handle them allows you to proceed with your professional journey on your terms. Always choose yourself and do everything possible to create a happier relationship with work.

Are you in the right job? Take the Free ‘Are You in The Right Career Assessment’ to identify whether you are in the right job and discover what type of jobs you will excel at. The results of this test will be your guide towards a successful career change.

Smita D Jain is a Certified Life Coach, Executive Coach and NLP Practitioner. Smita’s ‘Empower Yourself’ Personal Clarity Coaching Programs enable busy professionals unhappy in their jobs to tap into their passions and transform them into professions so that they work because they want to, not because they have to.

Before her journey as a coach, Smita had extensive experience of 14 years as a corporate and business strategy professional with Fortune 500 companies. She is also a speaker at various public forums, a published writer, and an Amazon bestselling author.

You can learn more about Personal Empowerment Life Coach and Executive Coach Smita D Jain’s ‘Empower Yourself’ Coaching Programs by visiting and book a strategy session at

Related Posts:


bottom of page