Toxic people are not confined to just those that you have an intimate relationship with. A toxic person could be a family member, a friend, a roommate, a coworker, a client, or an online friend. All of them will display the same types of behavior that you ought to be aware of.
You need to learn the subtle behaviors that toxic people employ to retain control over you, and have counter measures to avoid the trap.
Here we look at some of the behaviors toxic people employ. What tactics they engage in their quest to manipulate every situation to their advantage.
We will look at the effects toxic people have on you. How it makes you feel, and what it does to you.
Toxic people are everywhere. Could you identify them? Do you have methods to protect yourself?
TAKE, TAKE, TAKE
A toxic person will constantly ask you for favors or for help, without ever giving back. They will take advantage of your kindness and use you until you can’t give any more.
They will only reciprocate if there is something in it for them. Otherwise, they will not be there when you need a shoulder to cry on.
They most definitely won’t be around when you need them most. They will avoid your calls, texts and social media posts until it suits them to contact you.
At first, this type of person will seem like they really want to know everything about you. And they do, so they can file it away and use it against you later.
Toxic people are extremely selfish. They will always have an ulterior motive. These are also the types of people who pop up in your life only when you have a part in their plans.
Do you know someone who oversteps your boundaries? Each of us has a set of values that define who we are. Toxic people will ignore your boundaries, even after repeated attempts to tell them to stop.
This type of person will tell you anything you want to hear in order to force you to act in a manner that is contrary to your own values. They will make you move your boundaries in order to accommodate their wants and needs.
They will continue to walk all over you. They will be demanding, rude, obnoxious and disrespectful. You cannot change them. Your best bet is to avoid them.
CONTROLLING AND JEALOUS
If someone always tries to control what you do, who you see, and where you go, you need to steer clear. If this person is constantly jealous and angry when you do spend time with friends and family, that is a red flag.
You will not be allowed to have an opinion on anything. Controlling people know what’s best for you. This person will use fear and intimidation to slowly isolate you from outside influences and erode your self-esteem so they have total control over you.
Having total control over another person makes the perpetrator feel big and important. Some people who do this may have issues stemming from not ever feeling secure or having control over anything, but this is not healthy behavior.
Toxic people cannot tell the truth. They will twist words and situations in order to keep you on their side. They will lie about who they see, what they do, and where they go. They do not want to be exposed because people will find out how insecure, dishonest, or manipulative they really are.
People who constantly lie cannot be trusted or relied upon. They will break their word whenever it suits their purpose. They will defer to you, and then renege to get their own way. They will make excuses and blame others for their inability to stand by their word.
If you are constantly being let down, leaving you feeling disheartened and lonely, this is not a person you need in your life. They will continue to lie and let you down.
If someone constantly lies and when caught out denies all culpability or uses another toxic method to deflect the blame onto you, you need to get them out of your life.
Not taking responsibility for actions and always having a ready excuse and outside source to blame is dysfunctional.
NO COMPROMISE AND ALWAYS RIGHT
If you spend time with someone who will never compromise or is always right, you are around someone who will never acknowledge or examine another point of view. It is futile arguing your position.
If anything goes wrong, or they are backed into a corner, they will find a way to prove they are right or blame others. You cannot argue with someone so self-righteous that they admit no defect in their character whatsoever.
These types of people are very adept at manipulating situations to get you to agree with them and follow their plan, even when you can see that the situation is going to end badly.
EXCUSES AND BLAME
Do you know someone who always has an excuse or someone else to blame? This is the person who always deflects responsibility when something goes wrong. They are always the victim of a person, place or thing. They will never look at their own part.
In group situations, they will always choose a person to point the finger at. It may even sound like a compliment, but there will be a hidden barb that puts attention on you for failure or being the one to let the team down.
Playing the victim often puts that person at the center of attention. The victim always has people sympathizing and agreeing with them.
CRITICAL AND JUDGMENTAL
Being around someone who is always critical, judgmental, negative, or just plain mean destroys your self-esteem. Backhanded compliments and small criticisms about things you are proud of will have you doubting your worth.
They will one up you when you have successes in your life. When you reach a goal, these people will make it seem insignificant. In fact, they will do their best to make you feel small all the time so they can feel important.
These people have no qualms about publicly humiliating you. It doesn’t matter where you are, if it serves a purpose, they will find a way to put you down, or make you look incompetent in front of others.
It is most likely that these people are projecting their reality onto you. They will point out all of your weaknesses when in fact, they are attempting to disguise their own.
THE EFFECTS TOXIC PEOPLE HAVE ON YOU
The effects of being around toxic people are both immediate and cumulative. They will hurt you, disappoint you, criticize, manipulate, lie to you, and blame you, ad infinitum.
The will make you feel small and insignificant. You will become too afraid to speak up or stand up for yourself. They will turn you into a scared, MOUSY, defeated, manipulated being.
Your self-esteem will be in ruins. You will not be able to make decisions for yourself without second guessing. You will no longer have the confidence to reach out and grab what you want out of life.
You will feel depleted, sick, pale, and lifeless. Toxic people literally suck the life out of you. They will have sucked all the goodness out of you and left a dried up shell.
You will have difficulty making decisions. Your sense of rightness will be broken. You will be unsure of everything. You will no longer trust your own judgment.
You will be scared all the time. You will be waiting for the other shoe to drop. You will have no confidence or trust that things will turn out well for you.
There will be no trust. You will not trust yourself, situations, or other people. Instead of relying on other people, or accepting help when you need it, you will stand apart and alone because you think they are going to use you.
Finding which way is up or down is going to be difficult. You have been manipulated so often in so many ways that you have lost your compass in life. Your impression of the world has been forcefully and artificially changed.
You will have to learn how to make forward progress all over again. You will have to begin laying your foundation again.
You will be exhausted. Physically, mentally and spiritually, you will be drained. It is a struggle to constantly deal with toxic people. They literally make you sick.
WHO ARE THESE TOXIC PEOPLE
Toxic people are everywhere. Parents, siblings, other family members who ‘playfully’ attack you at family gatherings, or make you feel small and unaccomplished.
Toxic workplaces are common. Departments, supervisors, team mates, or colleagues will take every opportunity to keep you in the spotlight as the one causing all the problems.
Academic institutions are not exempt from toxic people. Going back to school as a young adult or later in life, the same rules apply as they did to kids going through school.
There are teachers who will single you out, or pick apart your work. Other students who bully you constantly, or make snide remarks when you pass. Other students will refuse to work with you is gossip and rumors have been spread about your character.
Roommates at home, in dorms, or group vacations can also be toxic. These are the people who you would rather avoid than spend time around. They will manipulate you to get you to do more than your fair share and blame you when things go wrong.
Significant others are often the perpetrators of toxicity in your life. These are the people you have chosen as partners. When you first get together, the rose colored glasses are on. You will overlook negative traits at the beginning because you can ‘see the good’ in them.
By the time you realize what a bad situation you have gotten yourself into, you may have been physically injured or worse. Do not ignore your internal radar in relationships. If someone is verbally abusing you, it may not be long before they physically abuse you.
Online communities are rife with toxic people. Social media is a minefield of toxicity. With gas lighting and catfishing, and hacking, ghosting, and cyber bullying online is its own circle of hell.
People can hide behind their screens. They can use fake pictures on their profile. They can adopt an entirely new persona. And they can cause people to commit suicide.
LEARN TO RECOGNIZE TOXIC PEOPLE
You may be around toxic people and not recognize them. Learning to identify the tools toxic people use to get what they want requires awareness.
Know that toxic people are not going to change. No matter how hard you work at it, hope, pray, or demand it, they will not change.
Toxic people are master manipulators. By the time you realize they have taken over your life, walked all over your boundaries, and trashed your values… you may be in a dire situation.
As with everything in your life, the only thing you have complete control over is you. How to react, how you respond, and how you can remove toxic people from your life.
Evaluate people in your life who leave you feeling horrible after most interactions. Don’t believe what these people tell you. Stick with your own values and beliefs. And most of all, believe in you.
You have to get rid of toxic people; they have no place in your life. Make your own plan to deal with, avoid, or eliminate toxic people from your life.
To learn how to identify and set goals click the link.
Another helpful article explains how to identify and stop negative thinking.
How have toxic people affected you? What did you do about it? Comment below or drop me a line.
- Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-flux/201608/8-things-the-most-toxic-people-in-your-life-have-in-common
- Handle Toxic People: http://www.talentsmart.com/articles/How-Emotionally-Intelligent-People-Handle-Toxic-People-1028629190-p-1.html
- Psych Central: https://psychcentral.com/blog/whats-a-toxic-person-how-do-you-deal-with-one/