5 Steps To Surviving A Job So Bad That It’s Toxic (Because They’re Just Awful)


Between being under a microscope of “never good enough”, pointing fingers, low to none morals, discriminating, and flat out bullying- whether you know it or not- It is affecting your health.

This is a toxic workplace

I believe, no matter how amazing the pay, it isn’t worth your sanity. Unfortunately, I had to learn this on my own, and I took the heat for far past my body and mind could handle.

Not being able to sleep due to anxiety of the coming work day. It was extremely unhealthy. Surviving sometimes means removing yourself from the toxic environment. For others who may not have it as severe, but still affects them on the daily- here’s how to coat yourself with bullshit repellent, and be able to get through your 9-5 with a smile on your face-

1. Take it day by day

In this type of setting, it’s difficult saying “yes, I want to make this abuse long-term.” But, you still need to survive. So, rather than seeing every problem taken place in the office- forgive and forget and move on to the next day. The problems will seem less detrimental in this case.

2. It’s okay to defend yourself (respectfully)

There was a point where I was the punching bag, because my employer knew I wouldn’t talk back, and I was being paid highly enough It was “okay” to call me any name they wanted, yell, scream, take out even personal frustration on me and I would just sit there with tears in my eyes.

Finally, after many screaming car rides to get out my own frustration and hurt, I realized in the middle of my talking-to-myself-rant, I said “be professional.” I went back to work and was told I was (an insignificant, mean comment) and my response was “I know you’re frustrated, but I feel that was very unnecessary along with disrespectful, and I’d like to keep this professional from now on.” Sticking up for yourself often times gets confused with fighting back. You don’t need to go to their level to make a point. Keep your cool, and express yourself.

3. Realize most, if not all, of the  problems are of their own

Unfortunately, often times the toxic workplace are consisted of employers who begin to feel entitled based on their position. Respect is a universal thing, not something your higher-up gets the privilege of dropping on employees. It’s hard at times when the abuse is directed towards you to have a regulated self esteem. It seems in these types of situations, your well being is put on the back burner and you’re just trying to keep it together enough to get through the day. That isn’t okay. Your sanity needs to always come first. But it may help if you begin to realize that “hey, they’re angry because of their own problems. This is venting, and has nothing to do with me. Obviously they had a bad day (or many, many, many), and I now feel bad for them. Let me buy them a cupcake.” In no way am I saying let the abuse continue and you oversee it, but if you choose to be the better person in all aspects, then you’re succeeding in my eyes, and most importantly, your own.

4. Distance yourself from conversations around the coffee pot where the topic includes drama, low morals, etc

There’s nothing wrong with distancing yourself from toxic people. You’re there to work, not gather and talk badly about others or things that make you uncomfortable. There was a lot of money and changes and people talk, and with that came talk of sex, drugs, and affairs. I almost felt rude not engaging in the conversation, but all I had to input was how skewed their mindset was, so distancing was better for everyone involved. You’re not there to lecture, lower your own standards, or be Ghandi to lost souls. Do your work and go home to people who have better things to discuss.

5. Sometimes surviving the workplace is dismissing yourself from it

It’s never smart to quit your job without having another in line, but it’s even worse  to lose your well being due to a job, in my opinion. Evaluate the situation, decide whether you can coat yourself in bullshit repellent to a point where the poison can’t get in and you can get the job done, or leave. Start applying, put in your two weeks to be respectful (and so that all that hard work and abuse wasn’t for nothing), and go. Keep your head high while doing so. You just took a big step to a brighter future.

We’ll get through this. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

featured image – Murray Williams

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