Browsing Tag


toxic people

4 Ways to Set Healthy Boundaries with Toxic People

FAM, health By March 25, 2014 Tags: , , , , , 1 Comment

I’ve been doing a fair bit of self-improvement reading of late and love when the universe send me messages to reinforce the work I am doing. This press release ended up in my inbox and I typically re-write, interview and do loads of extra work to give readers fully unique content, but this piece was so wonderful we didn’t want to change a thing. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Difficult relationships are far more than a nuisance; they can cause anxiety, burnout, clinical depression and even physical illness. Healthy relationships at work can propel you to great heights of achievement; dysfunctional or toxic ones will tether you to mediocrity. When we mismanage relationships, the fall-out affects productivity and quite possibly our ability to advance. Your social and interpersonal success depends on your ability to set the kinds of boundaries that encourage mutual respect. 

Every relationship you have influences you. There are no neutral relationships; each one lifts you up or weighs you down. They move you forward or hold you back. They help you or they hurt you. When you know how to handle relationships appropriately, it will make the difference between a fulfilling work life or one that is riddled with disappointment, failure, and regret.

Setting Boundaries with Toxic People

One of the best ways to deal with unhealthy people is to set boundaries. Healthy boundaries keep frustration and confusion low. Boundaries remind people of what is acceptable to you and what is reasonable to expect from you. Boundaries prevent unhealthy people from taking up too much of your time, energy, or resources – all precious commodities. Be warned, toxic people don’t like boundaries because they want to shift responsibilities according to their mood.  They will not set the boundaries for you.

Here are 4 ways you can set boundaries:

  • Manage Your Time. Set a limit on the amount of time you spend beyond the hours needed to be around teh toxic individual. Rigidity douses the flames of collegiality but blurred lines lead to confusion and frustration.
  • Express Yourself. Reveal aspects of your personality that will reinforce your values. Sometimes it’s a matter of letting people in a little bit to help keep your boundaries intact.
  • Play Your Part. Everyone plays a role: the victim, the brown-noser, the star, the slacker, the go-to guy. Build your reputation, and do it carefully and consistently.  It’s important that others know what you stand for and what to expect from you. Then, don’t waiver.
  • Change the Conversation. Hanging out or working close quarters or for long periods of time sometimes blur the lines. Here are suggested words to say to help you stay focused and away from nonproductive behavior: “Let’s focus on finishing the task at hand instead of the latest gossip so we can get home.”

7 Tale-Tell Signs of a Toxic Relationship

How to know? You’re in a toxic relationship when they:

  1. Stifle your talent and limit your opportunities for advancement
  2. Twist circumstances and conversations to their benefit
  3. Chide or punish you for a mistake rather than help you correct it
  4. Remind you constantly or publicly of a disappointing experience or unmet expectation
  5. Take credit or withhold recognition for new ideas and extra effort
  6. Focus solely on meeting their goals and do so at your expense
  7. Fail to respect your need for personal space and time


Field expert Van Moody is the author of The People Factor (an upcoming release by publisher Thomas Nelson) and a motivational speaker who advises on matters related to relationships as they pertain to friends, family, significant others and the workplace.  He is a “People Scholar” who helps others build their “Relational IQ” to achieve success at home, in their social circles, and in business. He may be reached online at

1 Association for Psychological Type International, APTI


Easy Inspired Romance for Valentine’s Day

FAM, self By January 30, 2014 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments

The continent of Africa has helped me fall more deeply in love this year and I couldn’t possibly set up a romantic Valentine’s dinner without giving a nod to its guttural beauty and spirit.  In February I worked with kids in Liberia with Right To Play Canada and then my husband raised money in August for Canada’s first blood cord bank by summiting Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Throughout the year, our kids’ school fundraised to build water wells in South Sudan.


Easy Ideas for Year-Round Romance

FAM, self By February 14, 2011 Tags: , , , , , , , No Comments

I never get flowers on Valentine’s Day.  I made the decision long ago that I’d rather a bouquet every month for no reason than an overpriced bunch of roses on February 14th that won’t last long.  Really, what do men and women need?  To feel loved and cared about.  Flowers, chocolate and all of the commercial trappings pushed on society once a year don’t always translate into a feeling of being loved.  Why not try some of these ideas that will cost next to nothing but make your partner feel truly cared about?  Here are some Easy Ideas for Year-Round Romance.  Feel free to add your own.


Change In Your Primary Relationship

Uncategorized By November 5, 2007 Tags: , , , 4 Comments

Before babies there was a partnership in which you and your partner were both nurtured and each other’s top priority. Once the babies arrive you may find that they are the only ones getting nurtured! This is a pitfall that is difficult to avoid. There are going to be sacrifices that you and your partner are both going to have to make that you won’t expect. Some advice: recognize that this will probably be the case for several months and try to help each other as much as possible. Your new bond is that of “team parent” and this can strengthen your relationship in ways you can’t foresee. It’s something to go on when you don’t seem to have any time for each other in the first few months. Try to keep your sense of humour intact and everything should be fine.


Mom Groups

FAM, self By November 5, 2007 Tags: , , , , , , 2 Comments

Your Public Health Nurse will probably strongly suggest that you attend your local weekly group meeting, and this is good advice. The group setting we’re familiar with is an informal, relaxed atmosphere where everyone sits on a gym mat playing with their babies and getting acquainted with other moms. If the group is run by the local health unit, there will be a nurse there to answer questions and who will have a scale available for you to weigh your baby. Mom group is an excellent outlet for questions (many of which other mums will have) on things like breastfeeding, teething, sleeping issues and first foods. The age range of the babies is typically from two weeks to nine months old, so moms with more ‘experience’ or who have already gone through some of these things may have good advice too.


Working Together as Parents

FAM, kids By August 30, 2006 Tags: , , , , , 1 Comment

Remember when mom took care of the house and dad went off to work? If you were like me, that was the context in which growing up occurred. My mom was amazing. She baked fresh bread every week and for dinner we always had a homemade dessert. She kept her house clean and her children safe and held her marriage together with patience, persistence, tolerance and love. Dad was amazing too. Every day he would go to work long hours in his construction trade and was home to eat dinner with the family. On weekends he would take us fishing or hiking or we would build things in his workshop.