Toxic Coworkers
Ep. 216
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This is part 1 of a 3-part series on toxic work environments. 

The term “toxic” is thrown around so often that it has all but lost its meaning. It’s hard to know what truly is toxic and what is something we just don’t like. 

In this series, I’ll dive into how to start discerning what is toxic, what you have control over and how to think about your career in a way that will serve you. 

This episode deals specifically with toxic coworkers. But the principles can be applied to anything that is a part of your work life but doesn’t have a direct impact on you completing your duties. 

Part 2 will dive into toxic bosses or anything that does have a direct impact on your work.

And Part 3 will explore toxic jobs, meaning tasks, hours, or conditions that are not ideal.

Show Transcript
Hey, welcome to Lessons From a Quitter where we believe that it is never too late to start over. No matter how much time or energy you spent getting to where you are, if ultimately you are unfulfilled, then it is time to get out. Join me each week for both inspiration and actionable tips so that we can get you on the road to your dreams.

Hello, my friends. Welcome to another episode. I am so excited you are here. I'm excited cuz I'm gonna do a little series, three episodes, and I'm hoping that this is will be helpful for a wide range of issues that I see a lot on my coaching calls, my free coaching calls, and when I talk to you guys um on social media. So I can't wait to jump into this series but I did wanna let you know that I have been working on my fun little new secret project. It's mostly a secret because I don't know what I'm gonna call it yet. So I'm gonna launch that next month. And I cannot wait. I really have been taking the last couple of years and looking at the way that I've been helping people and how can I improve it and what is really to the benefit of my clients and how can I help more people and how can people help each other and how can we create a community and how can we do all the things and I've come up with it. And I'm so excited to put it out because I really think that it can help so many of you who are struggling in your careers, who hate your careers, who wake up on Mondays dreading going to work, who live for Fridays. No more of that. We're gonna quit that and we're gonna do it with this program. And I can't wait to tell you guys more about it but I did wanna say that the first round, when I launch it, because I've never launched it before and I'm gonna need feedback. And I wanna work with people that are kind of gonna set the stage and help me perfect it, I'm gonna give 50% off on the first launch and I will never give that price again. So is something you're even interested in and you wanna know more about, I would suggest getting on the wait list for it so that you are informed because the only people that will know about it that will be informed are the people on the wait list. So you can go to and sign up on the wait list so that when I launch, when I open it, when I'm getting ready to tell you all about it, you will know and you will have access and you'll be able to get that amazing price and we will work on creating a career you actually feel fulfilled in. Okay, so go to The other thing I wanted to tell you that I don't think I've talked about on the podcast but just a resource that I want you to have is if you go to my website under the coaching tab, there's a resources tab and there's a couple of resources you can check out. But specifically, I have a podcast guide and recently somebody was asking me if I've done podcasts on people-pleasing and I realized I haven't talked about this but the podcast guide bunches up the podcast episode based off topics. So like if you're looking for things on how to set bigger goals or how to go after goals or you're working on perfectionism and people-pleasing or you want to start from the beginning with mindset stuff, it has it all broken down and it'll tell you which episodes are gonna be best for that so that you don't have to obviously go back through 200 episodes and comb through it. So if that's something you want, it's free. It's a PDF, it's on the website. Make sure to go and download that. Okay, now onto the very important topic of toxic work places. I want you to answer a question before we get started. Have you worked in a toxic work environment? I would venture to guess that a large majority of you will say yes to that, would tell me that you have worked in toxic work environments. And this is why I wanted to do this series because I wanna talk a little bit about how we even describe that or how we define that and then discuss how to deal with various situations. And this series is gonna be broken up into three episodes. Part one is gonna be when you work with coworkers that are toxic. So this can be really whatever I'm talking about can also be applied to anything else in the environment that isn't directly related to your you working, right? Doesn't it's not your boss. It's not maybe a direct obstacle to you doing your job. Now, I know coworkers often will have an effect on your job. Sometimes you have to work with a team. Sometimes you need other people to do a job so you can do yours. Obviously, there's various ways that coworkers can affect. But for the most part, a lot of what I see where people just don't like their coworkers or are working with people that they deem are toxic um or difficult, it's really just an adjacent to their work. So it makes their work more unpleasant. It makes it a place where they don't wanna work but it doesn't actually have a direct impact on the work that they're doing. So part one is gonna be about that. And then next week, and the week after we'll talk about toxic bosses, so somebody that's maybe that you directly report to, a manager, whoever it is, somebody that may have more say over your job and how you wanna deal with that. And then the third part will be when you have a toxic job uh for better lack of a better term. I don't know like when your work hours, when the type of job that you're doing is going to require things that might put some mental strain on. So that's how we're gonna break it up. A lot of it is going to go back and forth. And so I would definitely start with this episode because a lot of it will kind of bleed into like the same thing that you're gonna do with coworkers you're likely gonna do with your boss. But it's just, I think a little, I don't wanna ramble for an hour on this topic. So I figured we'd do it in three different episodes. Okay, so let's talk about toxic coworkers. And here's the thing, before we talk about any of this and then one of the reasons I asked you before we even started like have you worked in a toxic work environment is because this whole idea of a toxic work environment or a toxic whatever friend, family, a toxic, my hometown is toxic, whatever it is, has become a buzzword. It has become a word that we throw around all the time all over social media. And when we do that, it loses some of its meaning because now we just lump anything and everything into being toxic. It's sort of like if you've noticed on social media in the last couple of years, the rise of people calling other people narcissists. It's like all over the place. And the reality is is the actual percentage of the population that would be diagnosed as narcissists is a very small percentage but not if you own social media it's not cuz everybody has been with a narcissist apparently. Right. And in one sense, it is a good thing that there is more awareness, right? Some people may have narcissist tendencies. We all probably do. We all probably do things that are, you know, that might be able to be deemed narcissism. I guess, I don't know. I haven't really studied that but for sure toxic, right? Like we all could likely be toxic in our lives, in the people around us lives, whether we want to or not. And I'll talk about that. And so it's great to start maybe having some awareness, you know, whereas before maybe we just, I don't know, deemed things as like well, you know, boys will be boys. That's how men act or whatever. Maybe now we're calling things by different names and it is opening us up to becoming more aware of like is this acceptable in my life? Do I wanna put up with this? Is this a boundary I wanna have with this person? All of that is sort of great and it can feel very validating. I've talked a lot about this, even when you talk about terms like ADHD now or OCD let's say, there has been a huge rise in people really flippantly talking about it. And this is one of the reasons I've talked about like wanting to get go through with um,being actually diagnosed and being examined and talking to a doctor and really understanding is because I realize that we tend to over-diagnose now with social media. And again, there's positive parts up to it cuz it can feel very validating. You can finally start understanding maybe yourself or the people in your life but it's also very harmful to the people that actually have those things, right. To the people that let's say, I I know a lot of times when someone's very organized, they might say like oh my God, I have such OCD. And it's like do you really have OCD or is it that you're just an organized person, right? Because there are people whose lives are debilitated with this mental illness and we sort of flippantly throw things around or if everybody all of a sudden has ADHD, then, you know, maybe somebody who actually has it is sort of taken less seriously if everybody else is also like functioning in their lives and saying they have it. And so it's just something to be aware of. And I think with words like narcissism and toxic specifically when we are directing it at other people, you very rarely hear people say like I'm a narcissist, right? I'm such a toxic human. Like we do say that with ADHD and like OCD and stuff but we don't tend to use these terms because we love binaries of good and bad. Humans love black and white. And we always love to be on the side of good. And so it's other people that are harmful to us. It's other people that are toxic, that are narcissists or whatnot. And so this is why I think it actually can become really harmful because it becomes a catch-all for any behavior that doesn't lead to our good feelings, right? It's like my friends are toxic. My family is toxic or what not because I have certain feelings if I'm around them. And I think that one of the reasons it becomes really har- harmful is because if everyone is, then no one is. The same tool that could be helpful in categorizing a small set of behaviors or people or things we wanna look at, ends up swallowing everything. So anything, any work environment, like the reason I bring this up is because everybody tells me they work in a toxic work environment. And oftentimes, when I push and we talk about what it is, it's just a regular work environment. Now, yes, there's just things that are toxic about the way that we work, capitalism, corporate America, sure. But also, this idea has swallowed the whole. So like anything, even the mildest amount of stress on us or the thing that we don't like, all of a sudden becomes toxic. And so it becomes harder to identify when something is actually toxic, right? It becomes harder let's say to identify someone that is a narcissist if everybody is a narcissist because obviously they care about themselves or they have some selfish tendencies, which we all tend to do. Like we just throw it around so it becomes watered down. It's also harmful because it lumps everybody into a box. There's no nuance. It's like you're either good or you're bad. And we love to kind of do this binary but it's very rarely the truth, even in a toxic work environment. And the reason I wanna talk about this in a couple episodes is because like can we slow ourselves down and really think about like what is toxic about this? Is it one person? Is it the culture? Is it, you know, the type of work? Meaning even if I go to another job, it will likely be quote unquote toxic because the hours that are required are just something that go against kind of human nature, right? Like it's really important for us to figure out like is it really toxic or is it that I just don't like this person? And I think that we don't do ourselves a favor when we create these really large nebulous terms that aren't really defined like what is toxic? If someone tells you they're in a toxic work environment, it's not as though you have an idea of what that means. It could mean a million different things. And the other reason I think it’s really harmful is because it makes you the victim. It gives everybody else control. Like if you work in a place that is a if you tell someone you're in a toxic work environment, there's not really much else you can do. You either have to stay or you have to leave. And I think a lot of times, if you listen obviously to this podcast you know that everything that I teach about is the only thing we control is ourselves. How we think and feel and act, how we show up, how we want to show up, how we choose to show up. Do we choose to stay or do we choose to leave? Do we choose to put up boundaries or not? Do we choose to take responsibility or do we choose to give it away? And I think a lot of times, for so many of us in our work environments, we just naturally fall in, well, maybe not naturally, maybe it's learned, but we fall into this role of the victim. And this is why I constantly hear like I'm stuck here. It creates this idea that I'm a helpless person in this toxic work environment. And there's nothing I can do. And that's very rarely the case. I'm not saying it's never the case. Right. And a caveat with all this, and I'll talk about later on too, is that's not to say that there aren't toxic work environments like actual toxic work environments. That doesn't mean there aren't places where it's like hey, there's a lot of problems here and it's not worth my mental health and time and investment to like work on myself through it. I wanna leave. But I think that that becomes lost when everything becomes toxic. When we, as soon as we don't like somebody or if someone treats us in a way that we don't like or if someone acts in a way that we don't like, everyone becomes toxic and it becomes this idea that they cause my feelings, right. The way that they act, I have no control. Of course, I'm gonna feel sad or frustrated or annoyed or hate my job or whatever it is because this person is acting like this. And if you follow my work for any period of time and if you know the model and if you do any really mindset work, you start realizing like but I always have a choice of how I wanna think about it, how I wanna react to it, how I wanna show up for it, how I don't wanna show up, how I wanna choose to leave. And I think we've sort of given up that responsibility and we've put on this like learned helplessness. Like I I just work in this toxic work environment, there's nothing I can do. And all of corporate America is toxic and all of, you know, capitalism is toxic. It's very all or nothing. And again, that's not to say that there aren't things about capitalism that are toxic, there aren't things about corporate America that are toxic but I just want to know like how much of that is that really happening in your workplace? How much of it are things that are quote unquote toxic and how much is it really things that you could maybe manage if you wanted to? And so I think we first have to start with really defining like what is toxic anyway? How do we define it? Right. Cause it's like a step below abusive. If you told somebody I work in an abusive work environment or I have an abusive boss, what would that person tell you? Right. If someone told you that, you would would immediately be like uh you need to quit. You need to leave. Right. Because we all know what the standard of like if it's abuse, if you are being abused, then why would you ever stay? Right. It doesn't matter what else you have to do. It doesn't matter like you have to figure out a way ,we have to come up with a plan to get you out of there. Right. Or if someone said like I have abusive friends, well, we all know what that means. And it's like no, like you have to be able to learn how to either cut them off, put up boundaries, like you will not allow peoples to abuse you. But with toxic, it's very nebulous. So many of us talk about it. I was like oh yeah, I have this toxic friend but like I'm still friends with her. Or my boss is toxic or not. It's like this, okay, like this gray area but what do we do now? And if you look at the definition of toxic, it's poisonous obviously or very harmful or unpleasant in a pervasive or insidious way. Okay. But like how do we know what is very harmful? And I wanna note, as we talk about this thing, this is why I I honestly think this is an important topic to talk about. Just like talking about toxic people I guess, especially people when we label people as toxic is that we are all harmful. We're all toxic to some extent to other people. As humans, we all do things that will often cause other people to have thoughts that lead to negative emotions, right. That will cause them to feel hurt in certain ways. Some might might say that you’re the toxic coworker, right? Like that is very likely to happen. And the thing is, is that's rarely ever the whole story. If someone said that you were the toxic coworker, that does not mean that you are a toxic person or even that it's true. It's just that humans are complex. We aren't trying to harm others, most of us, sometimes maybe we are. And even that is like a response from trauma typically. It's just typically our survival tactics that we've learned and used to navigate life now become kind of maladaptive behaviors that we might use in the workspace. And so this binary anything that you look at is all or nothing, anything that you look at as black or white is typically very unhelpful because humans are nuanced. And so I want us to understand that when we label these things and we label other people, it's very easy to create an us versus them. It's very easy to create like no, I'm doing things perfectly, which notice that, isn't that funny that we're like no, I'm just like the nicest person. And I help everybody. And I work the amount that I should work and whatnot but like that coworker, she's the problem here. And I'm not saying it's not true. I'm just saying like it's like good to notice. Am I always showing up the way I want to? And even if I'm not like do I think that I am worth kind of being understood and being given compassion and not being put in this good or bad kind of binary? So that's one thing to know. But the other thing I also want everyone to note is that just because I feel harmed does not mean that the other person is harmful. So again, just because I have a feeling and negative emotion, which we know is caused by my own thoughts, that does not mean that the other person is the one that is harmful. So as an example, let's just say two people are dating and one person breaks up with the other person. The person that was broken up with will likely feel harmed, right? They will feel rejected. They might feel embarrassed. They'll feel heartbroken. They might even think that the way that the person broke up with them was insensitive. They could have done it in a better way, whatever. There's a million thoughts that that person's gonna have. None of that means that the person that broke up with them took a harmful action. That person took an action based on their own thoughts and feelings and boundaries and what was right for them. And they're allowed to do that. And I think that sometimes we have this mistaken belief that again, just because somebody takes an action that I feel negative emotions means that like they're bad and I'm a victim and that's not always the case. And so I feel like these two things is like are things that we have to keep in mind as we are judging other people, as we are taking into account and we're trying to make sense of the things that are going on in our lives, in our work, in our families, because both of those things are also true. And again, that's not to say that there aren't people that will do things that will cause you to have thoughts and feelings that are harmful. And maybe they're doing it from a place to harm you or maybe they are doing it in a way that is quote unquote toxic, I don't know who decides that. So in no way am I saying like there is never abuse or there is never ways in which people do things that might be psychologically harmful. There are but this is one of the reasons why I think it's so harmful for us to use just like throw around the word toxic to everything. Cause it stops meaning anything. Like to me, like when someone tells me they have a toxic work environment like it doesn't trigger anything anymore. I'm like yeah, of course you do. You and everybody else. Because that doesn't mean anything to me anymore. Only because I've coached on it so many times and it turns out like it's really not that toxic. It's really not bad. It's just a regular work environment. So for today, I wanna talk more, now that we've talked a little bit about like toxicity and how I want you to think about it a little bit, I want us to talk about specifically the people that you work with, your coworkers. Okay. And if, you may not even describe your coworkers as toxic, maybe you don't use that term. Maybe that's not something that you struggle with but I do get a lot of people who want coaching on like disliking their coworkers, not getting along with their coworkers or thinking like their coworker does something like either their coworkers don't work hard enough or not pulling their own weight. They gossip too much. They spend too much time talking, whatever it is, like whatever problem you have, you can apply the same coaching and the same concepts here to that, right? It doesn't necessarily have to be rise to the level of having toxic coworkers. Really the point of this and talking about this is like what do you do when you work with people that you may not agree with all the time? You may not like even, you may not have a friendly relationship with. How do we coach ourselves and get ourselves and fix our own mindset around that specific issue? So again, going back to really the core concept of what a lot of my podcast and a lot of what I coach on, especially around your career, is really slowing down and understanding the difference between the things that you control and the things that you don't control. Okay. So as a recap, the only things you ever control is you. You control your thoughts, your feelings, and your actions. You control how you show up at work. You control the experience that you wanna have. You control what you do with your time outside of work. You control what you choose to make. What you're gonna use that job for, what you wanna learn. All of those things are the things that you control. What you don't control is other people which is really unfortunate because if they would just act the way that you wanted, it would be so much easier but they never will. Right? You don't control how they act. You don't control how they show up. You don't control how hard they work. You don't control their attitude. You don't control any of that. And the problem usually lies in the fact that we spend so much mental energy and frustration over the fact that we don't control other people, wishing that they were some other way, arguing with reality, right? All of your power comes from bringing yourself back to what you control. Your brain's gonna go back to wanting to complain and be upset about what that coworker did and your job is to always bring yourself back to like I don't control them. I control me. How do I wanna show up right now? Right? And so when you say that let's say your coworkers are making you feel a certain thing, like you feel outcast or alone or judged or whatever it is that you think your coworkers are doing. Oftentimes again, you're putting yourself you're giving away all of your power to them. Cuz if they have to act a certain way with you or if they have to be a certain type of coworker for you to be happy, there's nothing you can do. You're stuck. Which is what a lot of people feel like they are, right. This is why we go into kind of this helplessness but that's never true. I like to give the example of, I don't know if you guys watch Ted Lasso. If you don't, you should check it out. And if you don't, you can even watch like a clip of it on, I don't know, YouTube, just to see what maybe I'm talking about but it's really, it was fascinating for me to watch that show because it's very like an obvious example of the guy, Ted Lasso. He goes into these environments that are quote unquote hostile or toxic environments where, you know, the fans or whatnot hate him or certain people are making fun of him or certain people are whatever, treating him in a certain way. And the guy is just like the happiest, jolliest guy. And he just goes about doing his own thing. He doesn't let any of them get to him. Like he's gonna be him and he acts the way he wants to act. And he shows up the way he wants to show up. And he makes the corny jokes that he wants to make. And it truly, I know it seems like oh, that's delusional or I can't be like that. And I'm not saying you have to go to the extent that Ted Lasso is but it's just such a profound example. When I was watching it, I was like oh, this is like the perfect example because someone else is a curmudgeon that you work with, that doesn't mean that you have to be all upset or in a bad mood every day because that person's in a bad mood. You get to choose what you wanna think and feel. And we're gonna talk about how you can do that. But it's just important to understand that, that like I have control of how I wanna think and feel, of how I wanna show up. Right? And so in every situation, you have three options. You can stay and hate it. You can leave or you can stay and make it work. You can try to like it even. Right. And so I want you to ask yourself when you talk about your coworkers, this situation let's say, especially if you think that you have toxic coworkers, I want you to ask yourself am I going to stay or am I going to leave? Because if it's truly toxic, let's say I have an abusive coworker or whatever the situation is, then a viable option really might be then I have to leave here. And we'll talk about that in a minute. But one of the reasons I want you to explore staying is because you may go to another job and there is no guarantee that you're going to love your coworkers there either. So you might as well learn how to deal with people you don't like, maybe this is the learning ground. This is my education for learning how to work with people that I don't really wanna hang out with outside of work. Right? So you have to make that decision, that conscious choice, like am I gonna stay? And maybe you have to stay. Okay, it's good to know. Maybe it's like I can't leave right now cause financially I need this. Or maybe I can, but this job pays me more than I would get paid anywhere else. So I'm choosing to stay, great. If we're gonna choose to stay, let's try moving past staying and hating it and being miserable. Let's at least see if we can try to make do, to be okay with it. And so here is my tough love for all my friends who wanna stay in the job they're in but they don't like the environment for whatever reason, whether it's coworkers or whatnot, you're not entitled to liking your coworkers. Would it be nice? Of course. Would that make the job more fun? Sure. Would it make it easier to be in a good mood? No doubt about it. Of course, yes. A hundred percent. And I always tell this to my coaching clients who, whenever I wanna coach them, it's like they always feel more perplexed when there's a problem. And I like to remind them that when everything is going great, you don't need to manage your mind. Right? So if you work in an office and you have your best friends as your coworkers, great. You likely don't need to learn how to manage your mind around that subject because you're gonna have fantastic thoughts. Every day you're gonna wake up and be like this is so fun. I love this. But what I want you to know is that you're not entitled to that. I think that we've created this false idea and this likely is through corporate America, who loves to say like we're a family. No, we're not. No we are not. This is a job. You pay me to do a job and get paid. It is strictly a business relationship. As shown in corporate America, when they can let you go whenever they want. And you can quit whenever you want. Right. This is not a family at all. And actually, that even brings up a better point cause I want you guys to think about do you even get along with everybody in your family, right? Or when you were in school, did you like every single person that you were in school with? Of course not. So what makes you think that you're gonna go into a place with a bunch of random people that are simply there to do a job and all of a sudden you're gonna have the same temperaments, working styles, interests, focus. You guys are just gonna love each other. That's not what you're there for. And so I think a lot of times we get bent outta shape because we think that things should be different. I should like it should be this wonderful environment where everybody's super friendly and everybody loves hanging out. Everybody wants to go for happy hours. That's not why you're there. And if that's what you want, like fine, you can keep moving from job to job. I just don't know, like I think about where has there ever been a time when I'm around like 20 people, 30 people, 40 people, where I like every single one of them? Especially if I actually have to work with them on a day to day basis. Right? I want you to think about your family members. Like there could be people in your family that you love if you see a couple times a year for holidays but if you had to be with them eight hours a day and you had to like work as a team on something, likely there's gonna be sh*t that annoys you about them. It's just the reality of being around any human. You can love like your spouse or your kids or your best friends and I guarantee you that if you spend eight hours a day with them every day, they'd start getting on your nerves. They probably already get on your nerves. Right? So I just want us to stop there for a second and understand that that a lot of our own suffering is just thinking that things should be different. It's thinking that like I should be around people that I enjoy all the time. No you shouldn't. I did a podcast episode, episode 183, it was called How You Think About Your Job Matters. And it was really this idea that oftentimes with just this expectation of what things should be is what sets us up for being so unhappy rather than just accepting what is, right. When you look at your thoughts and realizing the facts. Okay, the facts are I work with Becky and I don't like Becky. Okay, now what? Now what do I wanna do with that? And for so many of us, what we do is we just spend all of our time obsessing over the fact that I hate Becky. We have all of these thoughts. She's the worst. She's so annoying. Why is she, you know, she's always trying to be the boss's favorite. She's throwing me under the bus. She doesn't do enough work. Why does she even work like that? She is, you know, spends all day chatting. Whatever it is, on and on and on. And of course, we have tons of feelings. We're frustrated. We're annoyed. We're angry. And then what we do from that is just more complaining. We talk to other coworkers about it. We kind of gang up together. We go home and we talk about it with our spouse and our partners and our friends. And we talk to everybody else about how annoying she is or this person is or whatnot. The result is like you are creating part of this toxic work environment for yourself. You are creating this situation where of course you're gonna hate this person because you're spending all of your time obsessing over her or him or whoever. Instead of thinking I don't have to like her, I'm here to do a job. That's it. I'm here to get paid every two weeks. That's what they're paying me for. They're not paying me to be Becky's best friend. I'm not meant to get along with everybody. Totally fine. Your job is not your friends and family. No matter how much they tell you, it's not. It doesn't even need to be your purpose. It needs to pay your bills. Like when you signed up for this job, they told you we will pay you to do something. And if you can do that something and you get paid, then the contract is being fulfilled. There are no problems. And when you start looking at your job like that and you start really like truly getting to like the nuts and bolts of like what are they paying me to do? What am I here to do? And what am I using this job for as, I want you to think about exactly where you're at. I want you to think about what do I want to get out of this job? What purpose do I want it to serve for me in my life? Do I want to network? Do I wanna learn a certain set of skills? Am I here to hone my own skills in this field so that I can use this as a stepping stone to a promotion, to go somewhere else? Am I using it just to make money? That is a perfectly reasonable thing to do with a job. I've heard a lot of people talk about, like even when you're starting a side hustle, when you start looking at your job, what I see when people start a side hustle is like they hate on their job. And they really are trying to get to a place where they can quit really quickly or they have all these negative thoughts about the job. Instead of like what if you looked at your job as like an investor in your dreams, right? Instead of going out and getting investment, I'm using this money that I get from this job to be able to put into the dream that I'm working on at nights and weekends and whenever I wanna work on it. Just changing that thought just changes my experience of the job. It changes the way that I show up for that job. Instead of constantly being dragging myself like ugh, can't believe I have to work. I just wanna work on this side hustle. It's like hey, I'm making money here. And that's making it so much easier for me to not put pressure on this side hustle. That's giving me the time it needs. Like just that little reframe changes everything. And even when it comes to, let's say you're not doing a side hustle, but just let's say you don't like the person that you're working with. You don't like this toxic coworker. So what? What are you there for? Can you still do your work? Right? I want you to ask yourself those questions. Like can I get still get my jobs, if I'm here to learn skills because I wanna make it to a next position. I wanna get make it to a bigger job. I don't know what I wanna do. I just wanna hone these skills. Alright, is Becky getting in my way? No. Then it's irrelevant. And I want you guys to truly reflect, a lot of my people-pleasing friends, myself included, a lot of us, the problem that we have with coworkers is truly like comes down to the fact that we can't handle other people not liking us or having a relationship in which we're not like super friendly. Let's say people aren't always not like the nicest to us. And that's something to reckon again with yourself and your own thoughts and feelings. Like there might be people that you encounter who just don't have time for niceties, who don't care to sit and chat with you, who don't like you even. They're not required to like you. Totally fine. Not a problem. And it only becomes a problem when we make it a problem because of our thoughts. When we're constantly like why is she so rude? Why wouldn't she just talk to me? Why'd she look at me like that? Da, da, da, whatever, on and on and on. Instead of like alright, I'm here to do my job. I don't actually care. But a lot of us have to grapple with that people-pleasing that we have that we're so uncomfortable. We have so many negative emotions if everybody isn't just overly nice all the time to us. And so one of the things I want you to do is like choose how you want to think about them. Okay? I'm gonna give you a couple options, a couple of just suggestions. You can come up with your own but this is what I talk about in that episode where I talked about emotional maturity saying that like this person doesn't cause my feelings, my own thought, there's a step in between whatever this person does and my own thoughts before it leads to my feelings. My power comes in that little step, in that in my response to what this person is doing. So for instance, I'm gonna one suggestion that I've used many a times and it's so powerful is I make it a game. So if I'm gonna be around somebody that's a little curmudgeony, I try to make it a game. I've done this with numerous family members. I've done this with people I work with. I will say like I wonder how many times that person's gonna complain today. Let's see if we can make it to 10. Right? Because before I would get annoyed, like why do you complain all the time? Why are you always so negative? Oh my God, nobody wants to hear you drawn on and on about how everything is miserable. Right? And then when I realized, like why do I care? It doesn't have to affect me. I thought I I used to think it did. I used to think like well, how can I be f- happy if someone's always negative around me? And then I realize the power in that because I get to be happy because of my own thoughts. Somebody else can complain all day long about how terrible the weather is and I can be like I actually love the rain. It makes me feel super cozy. It gives me a chance to snuggle inside. Right? I get to choose the experience I wanna have. And so I started making it a game and it's actually extremely powerful because it shows you the power that you have over your own thoughts because instantly something that was annoying to me got flipped. So I would look at certain people that were passive aggressive and I would be like I wonder if they can make five passive aggressive comments today. Let's see if we can get to five. And I would just keep a little tally. And so each time they made a passive aggressive comment, it would be funny to me. I'd be like there is one. There we go. Let's see if we can get four more. It completely changed the dynamic with which I was looking at that person, right. This may not work all the time. I'm just saying it's like one tool in helping you reframe that you actually have control over how you view it. That that person saying words does not need to equate you feeling a certain thing, getting annoyed. Right. If my reaction is always rolling my eyes like ugh, why do they have to be so passive aggressive? It's so annoying. I hate being around somebody that's like this. I'm like yeah, let's see let's see what we get to today. What was our highest this month? So that's one way. Another way is having compassion. What I talked about earlier, one of the biggest tools that I've had in really learning mindset coaching and really learning so much about the mind. And I mean, this is something I've always had mostly because I was like one of the reasons I wanted to go into public defense and I became a public defender is I just don't ever think that anybody is the worst thing that they did or even the way that they're acting like most of us are simply trying the best that we can with what we have. And some of us have had created more maladaptive behaviors that maybe aren't helpful but that doesn't mean that we're doing it consciously or on purpose. I don't mean to excuse behavior. Again, I think that you always get to choose the boundaries that you wanna put up and boundaries are a really helpful thing to have when there's people in your life that you think may affect the thoughts and feelings that you're having. I just also can do it from a really compassionate place. And so I look at people who I find quote unquote toxic and I really try to figure out like I wonder what happened that made you this impatient or that made you this mean, closed off or whatever the the thought is because most humans don't want to be like that. And oftentimes, it's simply some kind of defense mechanism. I recently saw an example, somebody was saying, you know, if you saw a dog and you started approaching the dog and the dog started like snarl- snarling at you and showing its teeth and growling and you obviously got scared and you were frightened. And then you noticed that the dog's leg was caught in trap, you would understand immediately that like the dog is not mean. The dog is afraid and it's hurt. And so when you think about people that are reacting in that way, it's typically wounds that we can't see. And again, I don't think that that means that I am responsible for everybody's to take on everybody's baggage or everybody could treat me however they want. Absolutely not. And I think I very much, one of the reasons I've actually become better at boundaries is because I have compassion. Cause I'm like I get it. I don't think you're a toxic person. I'm just not available for this. Like I can't be the one that saves you. And I also like won't put up with this in my life. Both of those things can be true but I do think sometimes having compassion can help us get out of this cycle of constantly ruminating about how much we hate somebody or how terrible they are or how, you know, whatever the situation is. Especially if you're working with someone that is a difficult person. I think sometimes putting on that hat of just even getting curious about like I wonder why this person reacts to people like this. I wonder what makes it like them not be able to handle their emotions. It helps you simply reframe. Another thing is just deciding what you want to think about it, right? It's just deciding like you know what, and you don't have to repeat this out loud, but it could just be like I won't let you ruin my day. I'm having a great day. You can be a curmudgeon as much as you want. You can be like or whatever, but deciding what you wanna think. And then you can go back to the episode that I talked about um boundaries and really figuring out like what is my boundary? If this person comes to talk to me, I might just say like I'm not available to talk, I wanna get my work done. And I have to be okay with them being upset. Them not liking me, them having more of a outbreak or whatever, lashing out. But I have control, that's where I control. I control my own thoughts and my own feelings and my own action. I control how I think about this person. I control the boundaries that I put up. I control how much time I spend thinking and complaining and b*tching and going on about a person that doesn't actually affect whether I get paid or not at this job. And now I know I'm gonna cure from some of you like but it does make my job harder. It does make I have to do more work. To which I say, I want you to question that. I'm not saying it doesn't. Oftentimes it does but I always I always hear people say like well, they don't do their work and then I have to carry the burden. I have to do the work of three people because they're chatting all day and I'm always like why? How did they get away with not doing work? Right. Clearly what you're telling me is that either in this job you don't get fired for not doing work or they just figured out that you would do it anyways. So you can't tell me you're gonna get fired if you don't do their work, like if they're not getting fired, then you're not gonna get fired. So why are you choosing to take on their work? And this is where I think we have to like really, really get granular about like what is in my control? What is not? What do I want to do? What do I not like what can I do instead of complaining? Cuz I think a lot, what a lot of us do, is like I don't wanna have the difficult conversation with my boss about the fact that like they don't get their work done and so I can't do mine. I don't wanna have the difficult conversation with them about like listen, if you don't do this, I'm gonna have to talk to the boss because I'm not gonna do everybody's work. I feel very like people say like I don't like confrontation. It doesn't have to be confrontation but it's simply like putting up boundaries and learning to advocate for ourselves and having the difficult conversations that we don't wanna have and feeling the feelings that we don't wanna feel. And so we push all that down. We keep quiet and then we just seethe with anger and resentment. And so I want you to understand, again, when I talk about where is your power like what is what is it that you can do? All of this is included. If it's people-pleasing or not knowing how to put up boundaries, then you need to sign up for my secret offer so we can work together. So you can start figuring out I don't need to hate them. I don't need to hate this toxic coworker. I need to learn how to advocate for myself. We don't need to be best friends. And I can still say like no, you know what, you need to do your work. And if it's not gonna get done, then something needs to happen here. And I can only do that when I like clean up my thoughts around them and myself and what I need from other people and what I need to do for my work. And if I choose to do their work, if I'm choosing to take on the job of three people for whatever reason, which is usually not a choice I would ever advise anybody to take. But if that's what you've chosen, you have to ask yourself why and are you okay with that? Then why like why are we complaining then? If you think you can do get their work done and you'd rather not make a fuss and you'd rather not talk to HR and you'd rather not, okay, that's the choice you've made. Can we stop complaining about it? Right? Can we stop adding on all of the negative feelings of I hate it if that's what you're choosing to do? Because here's the thing, the reality is if it really is toxic like you're doing the work of tons of other people and you have no control and you're being basically taken advantage of and abused, then you need to figure out how to leave. You're also in control of that. It's figuring out like no, this is a place. And again, I'm I don't deny that there are places that are toxic. Then it's coming to this understanding of like okay, no, there's none of this other stuff I can do. I can't put up boundaries. I can't talk to HR or my boss or anybody else. I they do affect the work that I do. There's no getting around this. Then we can talk about like okay, maybe this is not the place for me. Maybe I need to be in a place where I can actually get my work done. Right. But even that is in our control. And I just want you to understand really that point, that all of this is a decision that we have to make each day. Every day when we go in, we decide how we wanna show up and and what we wanna do. And I think for so many of us, we just layer on so many negative emotions at our workplace for things that we don't need to bring on. Like it's just so much extra baggage. And so if you work with people that you do not love, that you do not get along with, that you have a problem with, I just want you to start with like these couple of questions. Like am I gonna stay or am I gonna leave? If I'm gonna stay, how do I want to think about them? What are the boundaries I want to set up? How am I gonna stop having this take up all of the mental energy in my life so I can actually spend the time focusing on like what I wanna do at work? What do I wanna get out of this job? How can I learn how to advocate for myself and how can I actually make this a pleasant experience? Maybe it's as simple as really understanding like oh, they don't have to be my best friends. Okay, done. Great. I actually can get to work and just do the work I need to do. That tends to be the case. And that's great. Maybe it's like no, I do need to put up a boundary or two. Okay. How do I work on that? Get my mind around the fact that I have to have these difficult conversations and feel a lot of negative emotions. I'm gonna have to feel nervous and worried. Can I do that? Can I sit through the discomfort of like somebody else being mad at me or not liking my actions and still do it to advocate for myself? Maybe this is the part where I learn that. I want you to figure out how you can start changing the relationship that you have at with work, with the people at your work, with the coworkers, with the things that don't directly affect what you are doing on the day to day so that you can create an environment that you actually enjoy, that you don't hate on a day-to-day basis. So that's your homework for this week. And then next week I'll be back and I will talk to you more about like what to do if the person that you are reporting to, your boss, your manager is the one that is quote unquote toxic. Though after listening to this, hopefully we won't we won't give them that label but we will still chat about what to do. Alright, my friends. And if you want to hear more about the program that will help you do all of this stuff, that will help you learn how to manage your mind, that will help you learn how to put up boundaries and think differently about the people you work with, you can go to and sign up for the wait list for that. Alright y'all, I'll see you next week.

Thank you so much for listening. If you liked this episode, share it with someone else. I promise you know somebody who also hates their job and wants to quit, so why not share the love? And if you want to come follow along for more, come join me on Instagram at LessonsFromAQuitter and make sure you say hi. I'll see you next week for another episode.