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Step out of the toxicity

Sharing something vulnerable today: 🧘🏾‍♀️

for a long time, I used to fall into what’s known as the “toxic triangle”. I would either step into the role of a helper or victim.

I found myself getting caught up in drama and negativity, both in my personal and professional life.

On top of that, I used to have a lot of ups and downs in my emotional state. Most people only saw the “ups” and didn’t realize the struggles I was dealing with internally.

But once I learned how to step out of that triangle, my life changed in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Not only did I feel more empowered and less stressed, but my professional life started to soar. 🐉

Here are three easy rules for stepping out of the drama.


Helpers: Set boundaries and practice self-care. If you tend to step into the helper role, ensure you’re not neglecting your needs. Set boundaries and prioritize self-care, even if it means saying no to others.

🌟 As a manager, it’s essential to respect your report’s boundaries and encourage them to prioritize self-care. Ensure they’re not taking on too much and provide them with resources for managing stress. Teach them how not to sit in team member's chairs. Sympathy not = empathy.


Victims: Take responsibility for your own life. You can only change you. If you tend to step into the role of the victim, try to focus on what you can control. Take responsibility for your own life and choices, and look for ways to make positive changes in your life.

🌟 As a manager, it’s vital to help your report feel empowered and in control of their work. Please encourage them to take ownership of their responsibilities and provide them with the resources they need to succeed. Don't step in and go the work for them.


Complainers: Focus on solutions, not problems. If you tend to complain a lot, try to reframe your mindset. Instead of focusing on the problems, look for solutions. This will help you feel more empowered. You can only change you. You have a choice to step away.  Show appreciation. Others may have different concerns.

🌟 As a manager, it’s important to help your report shift their mindset from complaining to problem-solving. Please encourage them to come up with solutions to challenges they encounter and provide resources to help them brainstorm and implement solutions. Encourage them to speak from a place of vulnerability and have courageous conversations. Get them to agree with others on clear expectations.

🔑 Universal rule: Cultivate self-awareness and practice mindfulness. For everyone, regardless of which role you might fall into, it's important to become more self-aware and understand your patterns. Engage in mindfulness practices, such as exercise or drawing, to help you gain insight into your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

If you find yourself stuck in the toxic triangle, know that it’s possible to break free. It takes work and self-reflection, but the results are worth it.

I’m grateful for the journey I’ve been on, and for the lessons I’ve learned along the way.

In the spirit of a little dragon humor: remember, breaking free from the toxic triangle can be like escaping a dragon's lair - it might seem difficult at first, but once you're out, the sense of freedom is exhilarating!

Have you ever struggled with the toxic triangle? How did you overcome it?

As a manager, how do you help your reports escape the drama?

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