The Most Common Traits Of Toxic People
What is a Toxic person?
It’s not that the whole person is toxic. Rather, their behavior is toxic or your relationship with the person is toxic, said Jodie Gale, MA, a psychotherapist and life coach in Sydney, Australia.
“Often the person is deeply wounded and for whatever reason, they are not yet able to take responsibility for their wounding, their feelings, their needs and their subsequent problems in life.”
They may over identify and act out the parts of who they are, such as the victim, bully, perfectionist or martyr, she said. “They act from these parts trying to get their needs met, albeit in an extremely unhealthy way.”
According to Gale, it’s common for people with toxic behavior to: create drama in their lives or be surrounded by it; try to manipulate or control others; be needy (“it is all about them all the time”); use others to meet their needs (such as “narcissistic parents”); be extremely critical of themselves and others; be jealous and envious of others, bemoaning their bad fortune and others’ good fortune; abuse substances or harm themselves in other ways, and be unwilling (or unable) to seek help from loved ones, a therapist or a recovery program.
Signs You’re Surrounded by a Toxic Person
You’re emotionally affected by their drama
You dread (or fear) being around them
You’re exhausted or you feel angry while you’re with them or after your interaction
You feel bad or ashamed about yourself
You’re stuck in a cycle of trying to rescue, fix or care for them.
Knowing these 8 signs can help you reveal the toxic people in your life.
Keep in mind that a toxic person will not always show all 8 characteristics, but rather one or a few combined traits. If someone engages in these behaviours chronically- they might be a toxic person
8 common traits of highly toxic people
They are compulsive liars
A person with a toxic personality trait are notorious for shifting blame and are are pathological liars. You could literally watch them trip and brake a lamp and they will tell you it was already broken. They tend to have no remorse and no guilt. Compulsive liars cannot be trusted, because you never know what to believe, so you can’t count on their promises. They will lie to you about others, and you can vet that they will lie to others about you.
They have an excuse for everything
They have no concept of the word “accountability”. Nothing is ever their fault. If something goes wrong its always “because of the other person”. They will come up with complex explanations of why they couldn’t possibly be to blame for any given issue that has gone wrong. A person who has a toxic personality trait is completely unable to accept their portion of the blame at any level.
They have Huge Ego Issues
Toxic people come with huge ego issues. They have a very strong sense of self-importance and believe they are better, smarter, more cultured than anyone around them. They think the world of themselves, can be quite arrogant because they think they are more important than anyone else. They subtly belittle your intelligence and abilities
They exhibit punitive behaviour
Their instinct is to punish, without adequate communication, feedback, and understanding. Their approach is to belittle you and is designed to make you feel like you’ve done something wrong without fully informing you of what. that “something wrong” is. If you pick a fight- your voice won’t be heard. They’ll just label you as someone who is too sensitive.
They love to criticise
One of the more noticeable traits of a toxic person is that they love to criticise. They will see something wrong in almost everything. They will constantly criticize others, for their appearance, personality traits, behavior, or anything else that catches their attention and they do it so naturally. They will criticize you with a condescending, joking sort of attitude
They love gaslighting
A toxic person will use this form of manipulation to undermine your entire perception of reality. They deny they ever said something, even though you have proof, and they will make you believe without a shadow of doubt that it’s your fault- by seeding so much self-doubt in you, that you start questioning your own sanity. You end up second-guessing yourself, your memories and your perception of what really happened.
They frequently play devil’s advocate especially when it’s unnecessary
They tend to do this with regards to issues that are deeply personal to you and touch on your core values, belief systems, life experiences and moral codes. For example, a highly toxic person might try to dismiss a trauma you’ve gone through by arguing that it’s not really a trauma at all. This is not done with the intention of adding to the discussion, but to provoke you and warp your sense of security about your perspectives.
They give you the silent treatment.
This one stings but sometimes family members can be toxic too. Whether it’s refusing to speak to you for months, or they passive-aggressively express displeasure by shutting you out of their life as you wonder what went wrong, it’s a form of manipulation. And this is true regardless of the family member. Toxic family members are notorious for using silence as a form of punishment and emotional control.
Don’t waste your time fostering a relationship with toxic people who don’t want the best for you. Have you run into any of these toxic types of people? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.