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Responding to #ToxicPeople and Behaviors from a #TraumaInformed Perspective
Where Do #ToxicBehaviors Come From?
 Toxic behaviors communicate that you are not okay, you are unsafe and try to rob you of your power to be safe, happy and empowered.
 They are learned from our:
 Caregivers
 Media (News, movies/television, educational institutions, social media)
 Peers (Twitter, colleagues, friends)
 Toxic behaviors often can be traced back to insecure attachment / Fear of abandonment
Toxic Relationship Behaviors
 In-Consistency
 Extremes (Walking on eggshells)
 Passive-Aggressive
 Un-Responsiveness
 Always about them / Don’t care about your happiness
 Conditional Love
 Shut Out
 Neg-Attention
 They must be the center of attention
 Manipulation to get your attention (flirting with others; dramatic reactions, guilt)
 No positive attention for you
 Relationship Scorecard
 In-Validation
 Lack of empathy
 Won’t take responsibility
 Lack of Encouragement
 Jealous of your successes
 Discourage growth
 Support
 Splitting
 Clingy
More Toxic Relationship Behaviors
 Boundary Violation (Lack of Respect)

Abusive Behaviors (Power & Control)
 Coercion, threats and intimidation of repercussions (failing, cancelled/delisted, breakup, lawsuits, trolling, stalking)
 Emotional abuse to force people to do what you want, make them feel guilty/inadequate, gain a sense of power over them
 Economic abuse: Controlling access to money (allowance) or jobs through compliance, or spending all the money on themselves
 Isolation: Controlling what people are allowed to do and information they are allowed to have
 Gaslighting: Deny, blame, minimize to make you question your sanity or harm people’s trust in you

How Do I Co-Exist?
 Increase your self-awareness of your wants and needs, their behaviors that are toxic and the impact that is having on you (Safety and Empowerment)
 Recognize it is likely more about them and their insecurities (lack of a sense of safety and power) than anything you did wrong (Jealousy, passive-aggressive behavior, extremes (love/hate), blaming, controlling)
 Explore what those behaviors are communicating for that person/entity and how they may have developed as a survival response
 Empathy and validation Acceptance
Give People What They CRAVE
 We all want to feel safe, empowered and loved.
 Decide what your goals and needs are for that relationship. Are you going to ignore it; assertively address it or terminate the relationship. (Twitter, job, school, family etc.)
 Consistently
 Maintain your boundaries (I’m rubber and you’re glue) overtly or covertly and learn to trust yourself.
 Recognize your part (even if it is being a target of transference (How they feel about someone else) or projection (They assume you feel how they do))
 Respond by Validating/acknowledging their fears, thoughts and needs as real to them (respect their boundaries) and (if safe and necessary and helpful) your feelings about the situation and preferences
 Attend to them proactively to help them feel safe so they do not need to use the toxic behaviors
 Encourage appropriate behavior by rewarding it

Other Tips
 Practice good self-care
 Develop an emergency line
 Focus on the facts and what you can and cannot control
 You can choose to address the situation
 You can choose to internalize or ignore
 You can choose to end the relationship
 You can choose pity and compassion over anger
 Don’t feed the trolls (unrewarded behavior will often extinguish (Hoover)). Breathe.
 Avoid trigger topics


Video by Dr. Dawn Elise Snipes on integrative behavioral health approaches including counseling techniques and skills for improving mental health and reducing mental illness.

AllCEUs provides multimedia counselor education and CEUs for LPCs, LMHCs, LMFTs and LCSWs as well as addiction counselor precertification training and continuing education. AllCEUs courses for counselor continuing education are accepted in most states because we are an approved education provider for NAADAC, the State Boards of Social Work and Mental Health/Professional CCAPP

Dr Dawn Elise Snipes provides training through that are helpful for ACA OPD, Counsellor OPD, OPD Points, LPC CEUs LMHC CEUs LCPC CEUs LSW CEUs LCSW CEUs LMFT CEUs CRC CEUs LADC CEUs CADC CEUs MAC CEUs MCAP CEUs NCC CEUS LCDC CEUs CPRS CEUs CTRS CEUs and HPCSA ACA NBCC r@cebroker