How do you know if someone is “toxic”? You can sense it when that person leaves a conversation – you shake your head, trying to gain clarity after feeling overwhelmed. A toxic person may appear as a verbal bully, a narcissist or a manipulator. However, all types can be negative toward you if they’ve crossed one too many boundaries. If we allow their harmful behavior to influence our mood, it can also affect how we act. When our attitude is negative, our ability to think coherently is worse than when we are in a positive place.
Here are five comebacks you can use when confronting toxic people that can turn the tables around.
‘Now what makes you say that?’
The goal of a toxic person is to be a thorn in your side and to say things that trigger your negative emotions. With this comeback, you hope they can realize their statement has crossed a boundary and will stop once you call them out on their behavior.
If yours or someone else’s feelings are hurt, call it as you see it. This comeback may help them realize the harm they are doing.
‘Are you aware that there are other points of view?’
A verbal bully tries to force their opinions and judgments onto others. This comeback invites the bully to realize their views may not hold true for other people.
‘Do you always mask insults with humor?’
At times, toxic people use humor or sarcasm to mask their negativity. When their “funny” remark contains an offense, then this comeback calls it out.
‘You need to stop talking now’ or ‘Where’s your off button?’
Ending the conversation with a toxic person could also be as easy as leaving, but this comeback leaves them with something to think about before you go.
Sometimes, you just have to let a toxic person know his or her behavior is not OK. You don’t have to stoop to their level to do so. Although it’s easy to hurl insults, you can be the bigger person and shut them down with class.