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12 Characteristics of Toxic People and How You Can Deal With Them Effectively

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We live in a world full of all kinds of different people, and learning how to interact with them successfully is a foundational life skill.  When we’re young, we often enter into relationships believing we will be able to change the other person. The sooner we realize nobody changes just because we want them to, the sooner we can get to work on resolving interpersonal issues.

A caring attitude, mutual respect and clear communication are usually enough to break through roadblocks between friends, lovers and co-workers. When we’re dealing with toxic people, however, the standard rules do not apply.

Toxic people can be extremely charismatic. We often find ourselves charmed and immersed in a relationship before we realize what’s happening. Because toxic people behave in ways that are damaging to others, it is important to recognize them early.

Here are 12 ways you can recognize a toxic person:
  1. Toxic people live lives of intense drama, and it’s easy to get sucked in.
  2. Toxic people are completely self-centered. They make sure all attention focuses on them.
  3. Toxic people often appear to need constant rescuing.
  4. They are mean. A toxic person may mistreat you over and over, if you allow it.
  5. Toxic people try to control you through emotional manipulation.
  6. You never know what behavior to expect. Toxic people can be alternately kind or hurtful, calm or enraged. They keep you off balance.
  7. Toxic people frequently test you, asking you to prove your love or friendship.
  8. Toxic people lie. You can’t believe anything they tell you.
  9. Toxic people may be around when you have a crisis, but they will rarely share a happy moment. They like it when you are struggling more than when you are succeeding.
  10. They take every chance to bring you down.
  11. Toxic people judge you.
  12. They manipulate conversations to keep you confused.

“Sometimes you have to accept the truth and stop wasting time on the wrong people.”

How can you protect yourself from a toxic person?

Once you have identified a toxic person, the best way to deal with that person is to keep your interactions at a minimum. When possible, detach from the relationship altogether.  Of course, complete withdrawal is not always practical.

Sometimes the toxic person is someone you must see at work, or a person in your family. If you make the choice to continue interacting with the toxic person, it is vital that you determine in advance the form of your interaction. Make a decision in which you will approach every interaction feeling centered and clear.

See the toxic person when necessary, but keep them at arm’s length. Check in with your body, and note any inner tension or anxiety. Give yourself plenty of space.

Do not be drawn into unnecessary conversation with a toxic person, and never attempt to justify yourself. Toxic people approach conversations as a win/lose proposition, so don’t waste your valuable time. Keep your interactions brief, polite, but superficial.

Have a clear sense of your own boundaries. If you are in a position of working with a toxic person on a project, decide early on what you will do and what is not acceptable to you. Be courteous but consistent. Having a toxic person in the vicinity is a great opportunity for you to practice establishing and enforcing your personal boundaries.

“Because at some point you have to realize that some people can stay in your heart but not in your life.” – Sandi Lynn

Most of us will encounter at least one toxic person during our lifetime. When you are able to identify them and protect yourself, you can think of this as a gift. Toxic people provide a great opportunity to practice operating autonomously, from a position of your own personal power.

How do you avoid letting toxic people into your life? Let us know by commenting below!
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Life

The 3 Most Important Things I Learned About Personal Growth

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When you look back on your life, what do you want to think about? Do you plan to reminisce on all of the good things that have happened and how they shaped who you are today? Or would you rather remember all of the bad decisions, challenging experiences, and mistakes made that hurt or wasted a portion of your life?

In my opinion, I think it is important to reflect on both. While it’s important to remember the hardships we’ve been through in our lives – without them we wouldn’t be where we are now. There are 3 very specific areas that I feel have helped me grow in a personal sense more than anything else in my life so far. 

These aren’t simple lessons in a book or a lecture that you can just absorb and apply to your life. These are things that I’ve learned through experience and reflection, and I’m still learning and growing today.

1. We determine how much we’re worth by what we think about ourselves, others, and life in general.

This might seem like a pretty obvious lesson in life but it’s actually one of the most important because we can determine our own worth by how we think about ourselves and the world around us. If you’re looking for success in any kind of business or social setting (dating), then I’ll tell you right now that it doesn’t matter if you have 10 billion dollars or not – people are still going to judge you based on your thoughts and beliefs alone.

What determines our value isn’t necessarily what we do with our lives (which is often based on luck) but whether or not we believe that ‘our work’ is worthy or not in some sort of grand scheme or universe. We may not always be able to control what happens in our lives, but we can always control how we value ourselves and others.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

2. You don’t have to change your habits or personality just because someone else doesn’t like it – their opinions are THEIRS alone.

This is another one of those lessons that people tend to pick up on a little bit late in life, but if anything that makes its importance even worse! Basically, there’s going to come a time when you’re going to meet someone who has certain expectations of you as a person…but these expectations might not be realistic due to their motivations and personal beliefs. For example, sometimes parents might expect you to be a lawyer or doctor because that’s what they believe is best for their child.

However, this isn’t the case for everyone and so maybe your passion lies in music or writing novels. In this example, if you were also pressured into becoming a doctor – then there would obviously be some kind of conflict going on within yourself as a person. You should never have to give up something that you want to do just because someone else doesn’t like it! The reason why we’re put onto this Earth is to make our own choices and go after our OWN dreams instead of letting others determine what we can and cannot do with our lives .

3. You can’t change your life until you accept that you need to make a change.

When I was younger, I thought that this lesson would be pretty obvious – but as I got older, it really made me appreciate the fact that there are always different ways of perceiving our lives. For example, if someone wants to become rich and famous one day – their mind might simply overshadow any other possibility in their head because they feel like this is what they NEED to do right now.

However, this isn’t always true within our own lives because we think about things too literally instead of having an open mind. If you want to achieve success in any kind of business or social setting (dating) then you should be willing to try out different things instead of staying in your comfort zone. If you want something, then it’s up to YOU to actually go after it – nobody else is going to give it to you!

The three lessons above are some of the main things I want to pass on to everyone because they’ve come at an important time in my life where I need to start thinking about others instead of only myself. It’s great if we can learn to love ourselves first before anything else, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect everyone around you even though they might be your friends and family members!

If you enjoyed this article on the 3 most important things I learned about personal growth, then please share it with your friends and family! Also, check out my other articles on success & motivation as well as life lessons that could help people who are struggling with their life right now on lifengoal.com. Thanks for reading!

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​​4 Boss Level Growth Strategies That Create an Optimized Life

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Building a business is about more than sales, marketing, and flexing on social media. While those things tend to draw attention, they attract the wrong type of clients and are not how you build a sustainable and freedom-focused business. (more…)

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Life

Practicing Self-Devotion: 3 Ways Towards a More Mindful and Compassionate You

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I can still hear the voices of my older relatives and my elementary school teachers telling me “be disciplined”, “keep at it”, to give time and energy towards what we want. As a young, impressionable child, I believed all those things because well, they made sense. They worked. And honestly, I felt like it’s the only way to flourish. (more…)

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Life

3 Business Optimization Strategies That Create a Fulfilled Life

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The balance between life and business is an interesting conundrum. There are articles, books, podcasts, and videos that talk about the need for work-life balance. The reality is that the balance has to be specific to your situation, and it’s a lifelong process to attain. Business leaders should be more focused on optimization strategies that create freedom in an enjoyable way. (more…)

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