Toxic emotions refer to strong and powerful negative feelings like anger, hatred, frustration and despair.

In an office setting, toxic emotions arise when there is distrust and conflict among the staff. Tension is often the result of some individuals within the organisation who make it their mission to poison the work environment with their negativity.

These are people who create discord because they are forever complaining about something or someone. If you are not careful, they can sap your emotional energy. 

If you do not address this toxic situation, you and other colleagues who are caught in the crossfire may face other problems like low morale, a lack of self-esteem and a general feeling of dread at having to go to work.

Many people succumb to the ill effects of a toxic work environment and quit a job that they could actually like and succeed at if things were different.

You can take effective steps to ensure that you are not poisoned by the toxic emotions at your workplace. Here is what you should do:

Create a powerful personal vision

There is a saying that “if you do not stand for something than you will fall for everything”. When you create a powerful personal vision, your role in the company will become clearer. 

It is important that you see yourself as an asset to your organisation. When you are confident about how you are contributing to the organisation, it becomes more difficult for the naysayers to bring you down.

Focus on the positive

When your job becomes mundane, boredom will set in, and you become vulnerable to toxic emotion. You might become sensitive to what people say or think — because you think their negative opinions are justified — and this will gradually start affecting your performance at work. 

Instead of worrying about what people think about you, focus on doing the right things right. That will keep you from settling into a comfort zone and prevent your work from becoming too routine.

The way to achieve this is to set a daily goal for yourself — whether it is learning something new about your work or sticking to an exercise routine. These tasks will keep you positive and make you a more confident person when you complete them successfully. 

Apply the “positive-negative-positive” principle

You have heard of the expression, “it takes two hands to clap” or “there are always two sides to a story”.  It is easy to point to people who raise the level of toxicity within your personal environment, but you should also ask yourself a tough question: “Am I doing the same?”

When you talk to family members, friends, colleagues, your boss or your subordinates, do you always focus on the negative? Are you quick to blame other people when things go wrong? Do you communicate with integrity and fairness? Do people always come to you first for the latest office gossip?

If you expect people to be positive towards you, then you need to be positive towards them as well. For example, if you have to give your views on a colleague, you can be truthful without being nasty.

Apply the positive-negative-positive rule. Start by saying something positive about your colleague, then if you have to give some criticism (the negative), say it in the middle of your conversation and end it with something positive again.

When you do that, you will be seen as a fair-minded person, and people will become more comfortable in your company. As you become more likeable, your confidence level will rise, along with your ability to influence people.

These are all antidotes to a toxic environment.

Tomorrow is another day

Finally, remember that today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday. Each day will provide you with the opportunity to better yourself. Seize the opportunities that come your way to bring a little bit more happiness to yourself and others.

If you follow these guidelines, you will not be affected by negative emotions in your environment. In fact, people will look up to you for pouring oil on troubled waters.