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

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toxic people

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

How to Find the Courage to Start New

Change is scary, but it’s a normal part of life.

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It’s 2023, a new year, new you, right? But how do we start over? How do we make the changes in our lives that we crave so much to see?  (more…)

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Failing is More Important Than Succeeding

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5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma

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Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.

 

Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:

 

1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.

 

2. Persistent Pain

 
Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
 
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.
 
 

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

 
Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
 
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
 
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
 
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.
 

4. A strong need for control

 
It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
 
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
 
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.
 
 

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

 
Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
 
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.
 
 

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

 
Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
 
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.
 

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

 
 
If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to awebliss.com and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
 
 
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Life

3 Simple Steps to Cultivate Courage and Create a Life of Meaning

we cultivate meaning in our lives when we pursue our calling

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