oh man, i know how you feel. i have had to work with quite a few of these "toxic" people. it makes them feel better about themselves to put you down. they are insecure about themselves and by stealing away your power and security it gives them a sense of power over you.
i worked with quite a few people like this. i have been working with this one guy for a few months now who likes to try to order me around very rudely. he is my coworker, not my boss, but he tries to talk down to me and tell me to do stuff because he has been there longer than me. and he barks these commands in an obviously rude manner. he is trying to make me agitated and irritated but it drives him crazy when i just smile and laugh it off, unfazed. you see, a few years back i realized that these people feel small and they are trying to cut everyone else down to their size. so when someone acts like that towards me i don't get mad, actually, i feel bad for them. and i just extend them nothing but kindness the way i would treat anyone else. sooner or later they realize that they need to go pick on someone else because it doesn't work with me.
honestly, there seems to be at least one person like this no matter where you work. so you are going to have to learn to create boundaries of self security. they prey on you because they smell insecurity. your goal should be self security. you need to know and be happy with who you are. this is a huge part of the human experience for all people. we all have to go through this struggle.
back when i was in my teens/early twenties, my voice still hadn't deepened so i felt insecure because i felt like i had a girly voice. i was too skinny. i was kinda shy. i had all kinds of inferiority complexes. you just gotta fight through it and you will come into your own. don't give up.
sometimes you get jobs that are just too overwhelmingly negative and isn't worth it. just ditch those jobs and get another. but sometimes you are going to have to fight for it. sometimes you are going to have to fight to change the chemistry of the work place to one in which people treat you with respect.
this is the process of finding yourself that we all go through. i echo what charles said here:
hang in there buddy.
Originally Posted by charles
"When you look into the eyes of another, any other, and you see your own soul looking back at you, then you will know that you have reached another level of consciousness." -Brian Weiss