Think about the people you've encountered throughout your professional life. There's probably a range, with some who have gone out of their way to help you learn and grow, others who may have helped a bit when it wasn't too much trouble, and perhaps a few who seemed to actively be working to hold you back.
If you're working with someone in that last group, it's important to respond to their actions in a way that helps you get the best out of yourself and others instead of reacting to their negativity.
Here are seven of the most toxic weapons ways these people wield, with strategies to overcome them. With a little help, you can overcome anyone who's trying to stand in the way of your success.
1. They make you doubt yourself.
Don't allow someone else's doubts about you to turn into your own. If you find yourself doubting yourself because of something someone said or did, remember how far you have come and how strong you have grown. Whatever you believe about yourself is what you will manifest in your actions. Believe unwaveringly in yourself and others will have no choice but to believe in you too.
2. They keep reminding you of your faults.
If others find fault in you, you can consider their criticism objectively and then move on. If it's valid, you can let it help motivate you to learn more, know more and be more. And if not, you can ignore it. But never allow it to become a reason to get stuck or play small.
3. They are constantly criticizing your ideas.
Some people almost can't help responding to any new idea with negativity. But even unworkable ideas often have elements that are worth preserving or that lead to something that does work. Find others who can help you explore new ideas in a spirit of discovery and invention.
4. They discount your strengths.
The best way to combat someone who tries to undermine your strengths is simply to know yourself. When you have a clear sense of your own strengths and weaknesses, you're well situated to ignore the uninformed opinions of others.
5. They minimize your contributions.
Often when people minimize the contributions of others, it's because they're trying to take more than their share of the credit. Lead by example--give credit to others ahead of yourself, knowing that shining a light on another's efforts does nothing to take away from your own. Meanwhile, continue to do great work.
6. They try to make you feel unimportant.
The first thing you have to get past when someone puts you down is this: it hurts. So feel what you're feeling. Allow the pain to make you stronger, the fear to make you braver, and the heartbreak to make you wiser. Then go invest in the opinions of others who know better.
7. They want you to think you have no options.
Negative people sometimes enjoy backing others into an imaginary corner, maybe to make up for their own feelings of being trapped. But of course the truth is that life is full of alternatives and choices. Simply choose to live your best life, every day, no matter what the options before you may be. Even if you don't have a choice about doing something, you always have a choice about how you do it and what you learn from it.
The bottom line is this: Don't take to heart the negativity of others. Remember that it has more to do with their own situation than with you. Stay tough and know what you're worth.