Your mental health is one of the most important things in this world, and it’s heavily impacted by the company you spend time with. Just one toxic relationship can be enough to have an effect on your own well being, which is why it’s important to set boundaries in life.
But what exactly is a toxic person, and how can you identify them in your life? We’re going to look at the telltale signs of a toxic personality, so you can determine whether you want to limit the amount of time you spend with them.
What is a Toxic Person?
A toxic person generally refers to someone who consistently exhibits harmful or negative behavior towards others. Though this may not seem like a big deal at the time, over the long term this can have an effect on both your mental and physical wellbeing.
The tricky thing about toxic people is that it can be the people closest to you – from a friend or family member, all the way through to a co worker that you have no choice but to spend time in the office with.
Toxic individuals can often create a harmful environment around them, which can lead to increased stress, rocketing anxiety, and in some cases, even making you feel depressed. They can have a big effect on your self esteem, and you feel drained just by spending time with them.
How can you identify toxic behavior in your life? This behavior adds negativity to your life, so it’s important that you can figure out whether someone is bringing you down (intentionally or not).
9 Signs You’re Dealing with a Toxic Person
There are some specific toxic personality traits that can help you know whether you may be dealing with a toxic friend or family member. We’re going to run through the most common signs, then look at ways that you can let the other person know.
They’ll leave a conversation unfinished – and then they’ll go offline
In a modern world, it’s not just toxic people in person that you need to worry about – it can be on your mobile too. Often, they’ll say something negative in a conversation, and then completely abandon it without trying to find a solution, leaving you to try and solve the situation yourself.
This pushes the problem onto you, along with potentially a whole host of other feelings: guilt, concern and generally just making you feel bad.
They see themselves as a victim of their own behavior
Someone who seems themselves as aggrieved no matter what the scenario may be worth keeping an eye on. They may have an underlying mentality of victomhood that makes them feel like a perpetual victim, even when they’re the perpetrator.
Their mindset suggests that they’ll find a way to make you the bad guy or girl no matter the consequences. If you feel like someone is constantly pushing the blame onto you, it could be that they’re just a toxic personality in general.
They don’t understand how their behavior makes others feel
In some cases, people are totally aware of their negative behavior. But unfortunately, the majority of the time people are completely oblivious to the way that they make other people feel.
In some ways this is actually harder to deal with, as you have no idea how they’ll react if you confront them about it (and often, you’ll be the one that ends up feeling guilty after you let them know).
They lie or omit the truth
Some toxic people will lie to your face without a second thought. However, these people usually get caught out at the end of the day. What is more dangerous is those that choose to omit facts that would be important to you, either for their own benefit or for other reasons.
Compulsive liars usually lack confidence, and simply lie to improve their situation. They often lie and create stories spun up from thin air – there are various different types of liars, and in some cases, it may even indicate sociopathic tendencies.
They’ll make it about the way you’re talking, rather than what you’re talking about
The ability to understand context is becoming lost in this new internet era, people with toxic behaviors will find a way to pin the blame on you – even if what you’re saying is factually correct or intended well.
This is very common amongst family members, and you’ve likely heard the phrase that “it’s not what you said, it’s the way that you said it“. This is a huge red flag, and can often show you that there’s just no winning with this person.
They ignore your boundaries
Common in toxic relationships are people that don’t respect your limits and boundaries. They’ll push and push, even when you’ve already told them that they’re taking things too far.
Healthy relationships are those build on trust and open conversations, so when you set your boundaries, the other person in the relationship needs to respect them.
They never apologize or own up to their actions or mistakes
Toxic people never apologize for any wrongdoing, even when it’s blatantly obvious that they’ve done something wrong. People with personality disorders often have trouble with owning up to their mistakes, and it can make you feel uncomfortable just talking to them about it.
In some cases, they may even go in the opposite direction and try to push the blame onto you. And sometimes in this scenario, it’s best to just move on and forget about them – for your own sanity.
They’ll bring irrelevant details into a conversation
We all make mistakes. But, some people in your life may repeatedly bring up things that you’ve done in the past in an attempt to make you feel bad or feel guilty – even when you’ve already apologized and tried to put this in the past.
This can be a form of emotional manipulation, and is definitely an easy way to identify a good person from a toxic one.
They use ignorance as a weapon
Toxic people often pretend they are completely clueless when you confront them about a specific scenario, feigning ignorance to try and make you look like the bad person in the relationship. Their lack of self awareness can be astonishing, as it’s usually pretty easy to tell when someone is genuine or not.
In some cases, it can be better to ask them about this over text or phone call as opposed to in person. This gives people that have issues with confrontation own up to their behavior without feeling intimidated.
How to Deal with Toxic People
So, we’ve looked at how too know whether someone in your life is toxic. But once you’ve identified them, what can you do about it?
Talk to them about their behavior
In most cases, it’s fine for you to approach the person about their behavior and let them know you they make you feel. When you encounter someone that’s negative, it’s important that we give them a chance to change – as mentioned, in many scenarios they’re likely oblivious to their behaviour.
Setting stricter boundaries in the future can be a good idea to let them know what is and isn’t acceptable. However, you should try to avoid arguing and making accusations about someone else’s behaviour, as this is more likely to do harm than any good.
Just casually speak to them about the problem you’re having, and hopefully they’ll understand exactly where you’re coming from.
Seek help from others
Someone’s toxic traits could negatively impact your social life and family, and you may need some emotional support to try and deal with the issue. Of course, in this scenario you can ask for help from someone else – preferably someone that knows them at least as well as you do, if not a little better.
By doing this, youmay be able to get another perspective on whether the person’s behavior is common, and whether they make other people feel the same way. Make sure not to make this a “tag team” scenario though, and just ask the additional person for some support.
Stop trying to fix them
Many people think that if you fight hard enough, you can change or “fix” anyone. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and although we should always give people a chance to be better, there are some instances where it would be better to cut ties altogether.
Unfortunately many people won’t change their behaviour, and the older they get, the more they become set in their toxic ways. And in this scenario, you may need to wash your hands of them.