Toxic workplace is undoubtedly a topic, but those conversations are murkier than the topic at hand, making it 1000 times more difficult to see clearly what is happening and get out of the situation.
A toxic environment is not more than being asked to renegotiate your values, ethics, integrity, beliefs, boundaries, self-worth or standards. When they get you to do that, you betray yourself, the worst form of betrayal that will eat you up. It is like taking a toxic pill. A slow, painful death is awaiting.
It is not that the environment or the people around you are toxic but what their request does to you. It creates a toxic environment inside of you.
If you decide not to betray yourself, you are not taking the pill. You will feel good and realise the environment will not be conducive to your well-being. You will say goodbye.
If you take the pill, your inner self, your true identity, enters a battle with the new terms and conditions you have negotiated. That is the only toxicity, nothing else.
So the fight is with yourself, not with others. They just give you options, and you can decide whether to take them.
This is what we should be teaching employees and leaders because having a conversation around me having to negotiate my values is easier than saying, "Hey you, leader, you are creating an impossible environment here."
When you are asked to engage in things that go against who you are, you can just calmly say, "I just wanted to confirm if this is the direction you want me to take because if it is, I cannot do that. It would compromise my...... and betray me. I am sure you don't want this." If the person still insists, you can decide to take it or reject it while knowing the consequences of both choices.
It is like The Matrix!