How they make you feel and what you can do about it.
Do you know a toxic person? Even if you don’t now, at some point in your life you’re bound to have come across a person who fits the description. Dealing with such an individual can be difficult and draining, to say the least. In fact, it may challenge what you know about yourself and push you to the limits. Here are some traits to familiarize yourself with, and to help you navigate these trying relationships:
- Toxic people are manipulative. Their modus operandi is to get people to do what they want them to do. It’s all about them. They use other people to accomplish whatever their goal happens to be. Forget what you want; this is not about equality in a relationship far from it.
- They are judgmental. Keep your eyes and ears open for criticism about you, what you’ve done, and what you didn’t do. It’s never about them, and they will lie if it serves them.
- They take no responsibility for their own feelings. Rather, their feelings are projected onto you. If you try to point this out to them, they will likely vehemently defend their perspective, and take no responsibility for almost anything they do.
- They don’t apologize. They don’t see any reason to, because things are always someone else’s fault. In many instances, although they try to orchestrate relationships to serve their own ends, they try to gain sympathy and attention by claiming “victim” status.
- They are inconsistent. It’s hard to know who you’re with at any given time because they are often not the same person. They may change their perspective, attitude, and behavior depending on what they feel they need to accomplish or what they want to have happen. (And they know how to be kind when they want something from you.
- They make you prove yourself to them. Toxic people make you choose them over someone else, or something they want over something you want. Often, this turns into a “divide and conquer” dynamic in which the only choice is them, even to the point of requiring you to cut off other meaningful relationships to satisfy them.
- They make you defend yourself. They have difficulty staying on point about certain issues, probably because they’re not interested in your point of view or trying to reach an amicable conclusion. Remember, they are supreme manipulators: Their tactics may include being vague and arbitrary, as well as diverting the focus of the discussion to how you’re discussing an issue your tone, your words, etc. They focus on problems, not solutions.
- They are not caring, supportive, or interested in what’s important to you. In fact, the good things that happen to you move the attention away from them and thwart them from focusing on their own goals. Beware of people who find fault with you and make you wrong. Loyalty is foreign to them.
Toxic people often make you want to fix them and their problems. They want you to feel sorry for them, and responsible for what happens to them. Yet their problems are never really solved, for once you’ve helped them with one crisis, there’s inevitably another one. What they really want is your ongoing sympathy and support, and they will create one drama after another in order to get it. “Fixing” and “saving” them never works, especially since you probably care more about what happens to them than they do.
Toxic people are draining; encounters leave you emotionally wiped out. Time with them is about taking care of their business, which will leave you feeling frustrated and unfulfilled, if not angry. Don’t allow yourself to become depleted as a result of giving and giving and getting nothing in return. At first, you may feel for them and their plight but once you observe that every interaction is negatively charged you may want to limit your contact with them, or maybe even cut ties. Your time and energy are essential for your own life. Don’t be overly willing to give them away.
And beware especially the narcissistic toxic person. Their modus operandi includes gaining total control of a situation, and that means of you, too. They will demand your undivided attention and attempt to convince you that you need to join their camp. To their way of thinking they know better than you. They’re right; you’re wrong. And you need to do what they say. This kind of toxic person will think nothing of invading your space and may try to isolate you from others you are close to.
This post is meant as a general overview: Relationships are complex and it may not be easy to deal with toxic people until you have learned from previous interactions. I understand that many relationships, especially familial ones, are more difficult because it’s not so easy to close the door and say goodbye. But the bottom line is that if you feel bad about yourself as a result of a relationship with another person, it’s time to sit down and assess the issue. They may be unlikely to change, but you can. Weigh the pros (if there are any) and the cons, make a decision to limit your time with this person or end the relationship and don’t look back.
You are a toxic person if you have these traits (did not include verbal or physical abuse as that’s a given):
- Expect people to do things for you just because you want them to
- Expect people to change for you because you want them to
- Hold people responsible for things in YOUR life that is YOUR responsibility
- If you “vent” a lot, dumping your emotional garbage on to others, and draining them of energy
- If you gossip or criticise a lot
- If you talk about other peoples problems or personal stuff when they are not around, and have not given you permission to do so
- Conversations with you are a one-way street
- If you are ruining the mood of others because you are in a bad mood and can’t keep it to yourself
- If you are a certified party pooper
- If you guilt trip others to get your way
- Being jelaous of someones succsess, looks, friendships or achievements
- Empathy is an alien word to you
- If you think everybody is a fool but you
- Trying to control others by telling them what kind of hair they should have, or clothes, what to eat, who they shouldn’t hang out with etc.
- Being manipulative
- Needs to be everyones center of attention
- Getting hurt or upset all the time for the smallest slight
- Always giving your opinion but wont listen to others
- Moaning a lot about how you always do this and that but never get anything back
- Being passive agressive
- Causing unnecessary drama out of boredom or attention seeking
- Giving the silent treatment
- Always think you know best, even about subjects that others know more about
- Getting upset because people have other opinions, wants and needs
- Giving ultimatums
- Being negative
- Bragging a lot about yourself, but wont acknowledge/ or undermining someone else’s achievements
- If you act as a villain while playing a cameo role
If you feel this could be you, or someone pointed out these things to you before, you need to take a honest look at yourself and question:
Am I a drama queen?
Am I often negative?
Do I feel bad when other people are happier, more successful, more good looking than me?
Do I always have to be right about things and hate it when someone else corrects me?
If you answered yes, then you could possibly be the toxic person, knowing or unknowingly. Maybe someone in your life is behaving like this towards you? Sometimes a toxic person like this is a Narcissist, sometimes they are just the result of growing up in a toxic environment. With introspection, empathy and understanding it is possible to change. But there can be no change without taking responsibility first, and toxic people do not like responsibility.
If you tried to reach out to someone like this and they are unwilling improve, then the most loving thing is somethimes just to leave. Staying with a toxic person enables their behavior and it hurts your mental and emotional health at the same time.
If the toxic person is abandoned by a loved one or a close friend, that experience might force them to wake up and realize how they have been behaving. In some cases, people will just never change and you will be better off filling that space with someone caring, empathetic and positive. Someone that loves you is not supposed to make you feel bad.
Some people mentioned depression. As I said, this is a gross misconception. People that suffered from depression are often the most humble and caring people in this world because they know suffering.
[Disclaimer] Some people have gotten upset because they mean that everyone are toxic. No, they really are not. Yes, you can occasionally have one or a few traits that show up in bad times because you havent worked them out yet, but I am not talking about occassionally, I’m talking about “this is their personality”. How they behave most of the time. We all know people like this. Emotional vampires, narcissists and psychopaths etc.
Some of you have said that these are symptoms of depression. Remember that toxic people can have depression but depressed people don’t have to be toxic. Depression can make you have a low mood but you don’t go out of your way to ruin someone’s day.
Having suffered from depression for many years I know with myself that I was still trying my best to be a good person. Yes I was tired, scared and insecure but I was still taking responsibility and being a good person to other people. Never use depression as an excuse for shitty behaviour. Not from yourself and not from others.
A narcissist can be depressed but they are still a narcissist when they are not depressed. See the difference? With that said, we have all done things that have been bad for others and ourselves, but the first step to a happier life is to recognise whats hindering us. Therefore, admitting to having some of these traits or many, will work in your favour if you decide to work on it and change. The end result is a happier you and happier people around you.
Help others! Share this information! Thank you for your support Information can contribute to transformation