Toxicity: vs normal conflict

A conflict can escalate to a toxic situation if the wrong set of responses are employed.  And a toxic situation can be cooled with the right set of responses, some of which were discussed in yesterday’s Toxicity post.

If the responses toward conflict and toxic situations are different, how can you determine which one you are dealing with?

You may be involved in toxic situation if a party involved:

  • Threatens others
  • Demeans and insults others
  • Gets angry any time someone disagrees with them
  • Refuses to actively participate in reaching a solution
  • Shifts the focus from the central issue to other complaints
  • Displays emotions that are not in proportion to the disagreement
  • Has a consistent pattern of blaming others and denying their contribution to the situation

If truly working in a toxic situation, remember that you may need to put very clear boundaries in place and to only respond to the central issue.  Ignore tone, insults and unrelated complaints.  Focus on steps that will move you closer to the goal.  

P.S. Threats are never acceptable and should be reported. Do not engage with individuals making threats without first seeking help and advice.