In Life Coach, Psychotherapy, Relationships

What is a toxic person?

Toxic people may come in many different forms. It can be someone who does not push you to improve and try your best or tries to sabotage you when you do. Maybe they pressure you to drink a lot or they pressure you to ditch your work to go have fun. Toxic people can also suck your energy by always focusing on negative things but forgetting the positive (i.e. I got an A and not at A+). Perhaps its someone who is always complaining about everything or always making everything about them.

These are a few common examples, however, toxic people are not always easy to identify. They can be family members, friends, bosses, or just about anyone in your life.

Here are some very common warning signs of toxic people

They’re selfish and they manipulate

A healthy relationship is reciprocal meaning both people equally give and take. Think about your interactions with the people in your life. Do you have a friend who talks about themselves and shows zero interest in listening to you? When a decision needs to be made, does the person seem to always get their way? Does this person only do things that benefit themselves?

Manipulation often involves obligation, fear or guilt. One example of how a toxic person might manipulate a situation to get what they want is by triggering you to pity them so you want to help and do things for them. They might play the victim card to make you feel bad or sorry for them and guilty if you don’t do what they want.

Another type of manipulator will bully you to get their way by being aggressive and intimidating.  A strong relationship should have a balance of give and take. If you pay for dinner, the next time you hang out, they should do something for you. These acts don’t have to include money. Simply put, if someone does something nice for another person, the other person should remember and maintain a balance of giving and taking.

They don’t want the best for you

It can be hard to sacrifice short-term happiness for completing long-term goals. However, the people in your life should encourage you to work towards achieving your goals, rather than doing something that will interfere with your goals. Ever heard of crabs in the bucket? When a crab tries to swim out the other crabs in the bucket will pull it back down – ensuring that no crabs ever escape. This also occurs in toxic relationships.

Toxic people will pull you back down when they see you progressing towards your goals. Imagine getting a new job, getting engaged or coming into an inheritance and others around you are not happy for you or proud of you. Instead they belittle you, they judge you, they compare their greater successes to yours. In other words they can’t help but make it about them and their issues. If others don’t want to see you improve and they do things that get in the way of your advancement and success, you don’t need them in your life.

They are judgmental

There is a big difference between expressing your opinion and judging. Toxic people could judge you, people you know or random strangers in mean and cruel ways. It is hard to be around someone who is always pointing out the flaws of others. It erodes your self-esteem by triggering your brain to focus on your own flaws. This leads to increased self-criticism and insecurities.

They are negative

The glass is always half empty with toxic people. They never see what’s right but hyper-focus on what’s wrong. They point out the downside of everything, they complain, and they are jealous. It can be so draining to around a negative person. It can also increase your own negativity.

They don’t make you happy

It is easiest to identify toxic people by how they make you feel. They might make you feel drained, depressed, irritable, resentful or angry. They might decrease your self-confidence or increase your self-doubt.

You might feel sorry for the toxic person in your life and feel the need to help them. These feelings can help keep you trapped in these unhealthy relationships. Simply put, if someone is not making you happy, or having some sort of positive impact on yourself, it’s time to take a break from that person.

If there is a toxic person in your life, it may be time to move on from that relationship. Read these 4 steps to help you cleanse your life of toxic people. 

Recent Posts
Couple learning to productively communicate their feelingsYou can smile after cleansing your life of toxic people