Thursday, February 28, 2013

100 Traits of a Toxic People

Toxic people wreck your life. When you have trouble loving yourself, that's when you're the most susceptible to being lured into relationships with toxic people. You see, toxic people treat you like you're worthless. If you think that you are worth-less, or if you're not secure in who you are, then you will have difficulty noticing poor treatment. You will also have trouble setting boundaries against attack and protecting yourself from harm. Perhaps you agree with the toxic person's low opinion of you?

A toxic person causes pain, confusion and turmoil in the lives of those around him or her. We're all connected, so their toxic relational styles flows like poison into your heart, mind and soul. The sad part is that when it happens, when we don't know our worth, we blame ourselves.

When I began my last healing journey, the one that led to my emancipation from low self worth, to the world of self love, I found that I was surrounded by vultures. These people in my life had their way with my heart and I had no protection against it. I didn't realize that THEY were the reason I was sad and depressed. It was their treatment of me that brought me down. We are not emotionally equipped to be abused. When we're hurt, we break down. If you're breaking down, chances are it's caused by the way you allow yourself to be treated. Chances are you have a few toxic weeds you need to remove from your garden too.

Toxic people are all around. I read that 50% of people are toxic. I'm finding that to be accurate. Not everyone is friend-worthy. I've learned that if someone hurts me, disrespects me or dishonors me, that that person is not safe for me. I may love that person, but so long as they are toxic, they are not healthy for me and therefore must be pushed away or avoided altogether. It is recommended that you steer completely clear of all toxic people--UNLESS--there is no other recourse: ie: it's your mom, dad, co-worker or boss. Some toxic people must be dealt with, but when you can--RUN.

This article will give you clues to toxic people so you can avoid getting involved with them in the future. Keep away from toxic people and save yourself much grief and turmoil later.

  1. They have grandiose air about them, boasting and bragging about how wonderful that they are.
  2. Flatter you by giving you an inordinate amount of attention, money or time early-on in the relationship.
  3. Cannot admit faults or flaws. Says, "I don't have any," and means it seriously.
  4. Not true to values and norms of society; lacking character.
  5. Disrespect you, do not return your call(s), ignore you, avoid you.
  6. Refuse to deal with issues in the relationship that you bring up.
  7. Blame you when you're upset because of something they did to you.
  8. Overly agreeable at first.
  9. Try to make you feel guilty when you're concerned over something they did to disrespect you.
  10. Mimic you.
  11. Put you down. 
  12. Blames world for their problems. 
  13. Show up late for appointments or cancel at the last minute. 
  14. Expect you to always come to them, rather than give-and-take.
  15. Does not listen to your concerns about the relationship or interactions.
  16. They are actively addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, etc... 
  17. They need an inordinate amount of attention or high regard from those around them.
  18. They are continually worried about position or rank.
  19. They are overly competitive.
  20. They put you down in any way. 
  21. Try to make you envious by rubbing your nose in their good fortune.
  22. Seem to be envious of you.
  23. Set-up outings with your other friends without inviting you.
  24. Try to create triangles by involving 3rd parties into your disagreements. 
  25. Talk behind your back or gossip about others. 
  26. Continually down, depressed and having catastrophes.
  27. Try to leave you out of the crowd.
  28. Refuse to acknowledge your needs.
  29. Fail to look you in the eye when you're talking. (Look over your shoulder at others instead.)
  30. Lack compassion for what you're going through.
  31. Refuse to share about themselves equally. 
  32. Label you or stereotype you.
  33. Refuse to acknowledge mistakes. 
  34. Refuse to apologize for wrongs. 
  35. Acts entitled to special treatment. 
  36. Manipulative.
  37. Tells lies, exaggerates constantly. 
  38. Down plays your accomplishments.
  39. By your side when you're down, then withdraws from you when you're doing well.
  40. Defensive about everything you do. 
  41. Refuse to validate your perception of reality. 
  42. Attempt to tell you how you feel or tell you how you are. 
  43. Constantly criticizing.
  44. Acts like they worship the ground you walk on one day, then like you don't exist the next. 
  45. Makes you feel worthless. 
  46. Orders you or bosses you around. 
  47. Is overly reliant on parents or another person. 
  48. Won't go out of their way for you, even when you go out of your way for them. 
  49. Ignore your texts, emails or calls at any time. (Big sign of disrespect!)
  50. Does not support you.
  51. Belittles your ambitions. 
  52. Speaks negatively about your friends, job, life. 
  53. Acts like he or she is always in a hurry, with very little time for you.
  54. Acts as though he or she is doing you a favor by talking to you or listening to you.
  55. Treats you as less than if you do not prescribe to their dogma, religion or doctrine. 
  56. Talks bad about those who are mentally ill, sick or hurting. 
  57. Tries to turn you into their administrative assistant (call to remind me, pick-up my cleaning).
  58. Confusing attitudes that change day-by-day.
  59. Does not keep word. 
  60. Seems to be more interested in power than in relationship.
  61. Seems to be more concerned about what others think than about your relationship. 
  62. Treats you as though he or she is angry, without giving explanation. 
  63. Knowingly makes comments that are contrary to your convictions.
  64. Tries to change you. 
  65. Insults your body, clothing, personality or anything about you. 
  66. Not available when you need him or her most. 
  67. Cannot talk about anything other than surface, materialistic or vain topics. 
  68. Does not do what you want to do. Always needs to control your time together. 
  69. Does not share information with you that they have that may help you excel in life.
  70. Constantly complains or whines.
  71. Has anger issues, rages, hates.
  72. Plays games.
  73. Judgmental
  74. Continues to ask the same question after you've told them you don't want to answer it. 
  75. Chews you out for no reason. 
  76. Controlling
  77. Uses money or flattery to control you.
  78. Tells you what to do, how to think, what to feel.
  79. Tells you one thing, then denies she said it.
  80. Brings up your faults, flaws or past mistakes.
  81. Brings up topics every time you see them that they know you'd rather not discuss.
  82. Blows up, flies off handle for no reason.
  83. Always needs to be in the center of attention.
  84. Cool toward you when you succeed, get attention or look good.
  85. Taker
  86. Challenges everything you say.
  87. Negative
  88. Black or white thinking - no gray area.
  89. Moves too fast, wants to become instant friends, lovers, in relationship.
  90. Ignores your boundaries. 
  91. Exploits you.
  92. Idealizes you.
  93. Acts pompous towards you.
  94. Acts condescending towards you.
  95. Agrees with your adversaries instead of supporting you.
  96. Acts like they know more than you, better than you about what you need to do in your life. 
  97. Bitter, vindictive or vengeful.
  98. Selfish, stingy.
  99. Rushes you.
  100. Withholds affection
  101. Kicks you when you're down.  
A toxic person can be anyone. A friend, a parent, a sibling, a teacher, a boss or a co-worker. No matter who it is that is toxic in your life, you must set up strong boundaries against them, and potentially remove yourself from their life.  You cannot change them. The tactics of a toxic person siphons away your self-esteem. Life is too short to be depleted by another person. You need all of yourself possible to live your life and grow as a person.

Relationship Spring Cleaning

Do an overhaul of your relationships, a "Spring Cleaning" if you will. You will find that you're not really missing anything if you walk away from a toxic person. Here's an excerpt from Cheryl Richardson's book,"Take Time for Your Life."

Since soulful connections require an investment of time and energy, you'll want to choose the people you spend time with wisely. To determine whether a relationship drains you or fuels you, ask yourself the following questions.

  1. Write down the name of a person in your life.
  2. Am I able to be myself with this person? Do I feel accepted by him/her?
  3. Is this person critical or judgmental of me?
  4. Does the relationship provide an even give-and-take exchange of energy?
  5. Do I feel upbeat and energized when I'm around this person, or depleted and drained?
  6. Does this person share my values? My level of integrity?
  7. Is this person committed to our relationship?
  8. Can this person celebrate my success?
  9. Do I feel good about myself when I'm with this person?

If you suspect that someone is toxic, chances are, you're right. The best thing to do is to go with your gut and trust your intuition. Ignoring your intuition can leave you in a state of confusion. Toxic people are good at playing on your emotions, making you feel ashamed, guilty or obligated to let them treat you with disregard. Don't let that happen! You are a worthwhile person and you deserve to be treated as an equal in ALL RELATIONSHIPS. Don't settle for less. Put up your boundary and pull back or permanently away.

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    1. Sometimes we hear a term (toxic) and assume we know what it means. This post is helpful to clarify at least for my own understanding exactly what a toxic person is.

      Surely after comparing against this large list of examples, one may go away confidently knowing which corrosive relationships to consider downgrading or even severing. Also, your Relationship Spring Cleaning tool is priceless. Thank you dotJenna!

    2. Thanks Jenna,

      I needed to find your blog today.. I have shared it on my own blog and also facebook.

      I had to detox someone today.. its liberating to finally honour my Intuition and love myself!!


    3. You go! I've done it numerous times and now I am surrounded by blissful love. It was hard at first, but the payoff? OMG, there is light, beautiful light at the end of the tunnel. Much love.

    4. Delighted I've found this site, amazing how the power of recognition and validation for my feeling about some helps me to let go. I thought this person was my friend at first but I lived lon enough to acknowledge my feelings.. So I will let her go and free muself of the toxic input she has had on my life... No more! Thank you very very much :-)

    5. I have been trying to "detox" a person with whom I have had a toxic relationship for three years. It wasn't all bad, but in the end I found myself becoming just as toxic and I am scared to death. I believed everything she said about me, and made those things a reality. It's a struggle everyday, not to slip down, answer an email, even send a hateful email explaining all what I feel and the disappointment in myself for even being involved. I know thats not healthy nor, am I going to do that because that's being just as toxic and I know this person will never change. Never put forth the effort required to change. It is a huge heartbreak and just a reminder that someone who has so much potential is wasting it away. Until she confronts her past issues, she'll never love herself, and in turn can never love anyone else.
      Sorry this became such an outpouring email. But sometimes I am reminded that I deserve love and I am a good person, no matter what I was made to believe and whom I let myself become from that.

      Thanks again I needed this article/

    6. OMG so glad i found this site..I am slowly detoxing myself from a person that has been in my life for 4-5 years..the relationship was fine or so i thought..i thought that i was in love..BUT..there were signs. still we moved in together..the signs were more obvious got to the point that i didn't want to come home..the only thing that kept me going was my kids..i found myself also becoming very toxic..hoarding things for comfort..crying..not being able to freely talk about things..the individual was always playing games and now i realize he was tearing me down more and more..but now..he has moved out and i feel the light and smell the air of my kids and i are slowly detoxifying ourselves from this individual. not that i didn't have problems from a previous relationship but he also had his..major ones..( his wife sleeping around with other guys his kids acting badly deeply devoted to his job but ignoring his family) ( Me- being sexually abused when younger..married an alcoholic) we both brought our baggage into this relationship..but now its time to get it go .go sit down somewhere and breathe..and support myself and my children to detoxify from R and support each other and get back to life..AMEN.

    7. Great post, Jenna. Can't see a way to msg you privately - are you aware of the typo in the headline? Might want to remove the "a".

    8. Interesting as I am about 10 of those things and can become even more if I get one ounce of disrespect from some. I am very courteous of people but mainly I just want to be left alone as I am 100% a Misanthrope.

    9. Really, this is a laughable list of sometimes-contradictory, oftentimes-normal human qualities that the Shiny Happy People fear and base their facile ostracism upon.

      Yes, shut everybody out of your life who's even obliquely nonconformist - "not true to values or norms of society," don't make me laugh! By that vague standard, you could justify leaving a woman who wouldn't wear a hijab in an Islamic state in the dust.

      I think it's just a reflection of how empty and narcissistic this site is, as well as most of modern American self-help thinking: that the only thing that matters is YOUR OWN personal happiness. Nevermind the psychic pain you cause these people by arbitrarily declaring them "toxic" based on a list with no basis in anything resembling reality; nevermind the fact that other human beings exist, feel the same emotions you do, and are as legitimate (or moreso) as you are.

      1. Colin, very well put in my opinion. Also, i think if we aren't in touch with our dark side, then we are very likely pretty toxic.

    10. How do you detox when the toxic person is your mother?

      1. Kelly,My mother was so toxic that I had to stand up to her many times,she would just keep hurting me with her ignorance and never listened to me at all.Finally at the age of 51 I walked away didn't see her or talk to her for quite some time! I am now 60 years old and I saw her in December 2013 and for the first time in my life I felt at peace sitting in the same room with her! Now that she is 78 years old she finally gets it, She has a daughter and I don't need to be told what to do,how to do it,when to do it! Maybe at some point we can be friends! As a child I never liked her,she blamed me for everything in her life,she was very abusive,not a good mother! No One Says You Have to Like Your Parents! I did love my Dad,my mother No,never felt love from her ever! I have love in my heart so I finally did forgive her and maybe that's why I am at peace now! I wish you Well! <3

    11. Hi, I don't know if this assessment of Toxic people is your experience Marquis or if it comes from someone else, but whoever wrote this as their experience,,,,,you have learnt a great I have. I have detached myself from quite a number of toxic people. It is not always easy because quite often they are a friend, but you know that there is something not quite right. The question above from Kelly....How do you detox when the toxic person is you mother....Well, that's a good question and I don't exactly have the answer as I haven't really thought about that one, but what I can say is that it was my mother who put me on the road of destruction that I was on. Starting life with low self esteem, worthlessness, feeling that everyone is better than you, you will never come to anything, you are ignorant, stupid, etc. etc. Leads you along a path of vulnerability. I have learnt a great deal, but it took a long time. That is why I wrote my story, Eva, the darkness in my life. Eva being the name of my mother in my story. Her toxic influence in my young life led me to make bad choices due to my lack of self worth. An abusive husband only compounded the damage she had done to me. How to you detox when it is your mother? I don't know...yet. But I do know that as a young child I was aware of what was happening, and I vowed I would not be like my mother...and I'm not and my children have had a very happy childhood and are now good and decent and loving adults. My story is published on Amazon Kindle Books and I really would love as many people as possible to read it as it was put out there to help - to make people aware of what can happen in your life if you allow toxic people into it. Regards, Sandra..

    12. WOW my ex was all of the above. Thank you for this article ! Thank You! Thank you!

    13. Thank you for this. I do need help in this area, and this helps ALOT !!! I just got tired of being stepped on and treated like crap! ~Kath

    14. This is an excellent site. I totally agree that if something feels off, then it probably is. I'll be reading a lot more of your posts. Learning to spot toxic types before getting in too deep will definitely save you a lot of trouble down the road.

    15. This is not a good article to base the direction of your relationship on.
      This is an article to consider, and then to consider whether or not you may fit some of the same descriptors.
      There are 100 descriptors.
      Who doesn't fit a certain percentage of these at one time or another?
      This is written as if it has some kind of scientific study behind it.
      It is also written as an advice column from a seemingly bitter journalist.
      Not everyone is bad and no one is perfect.
      If you are in a troubled marriage and read this, do not follow its advice unless you have already tried a marriage of faith, at that, and it is agreed that there may be something psychologically wrong with your spouse. Even then, fight for your marriage instead of justifying your victimhood.
      Abuse is another subject.
      It is probably unintended, but this is a potentially harmful article to read in an age where people already quit so many things with so little effort put forth.

    16. ive heard it said that trying to understand the narcissist is like trying to smell the bottom of a swimming pool.

    17. I always like your blog post because you always comes with different ideas and information. I always shared your site post with my friends. Keep posting and i will follow you.
      Only Child Personality

    18. By far one of the best articles I have ever read...the list is clear and allows u to cross refrence toxic people around you and eliminate them from your life at once!!!

    19. By far one of the best articles I have ever read...the list is clear and allows u to cross refrence toxic people around you and eliminate them from your life at once!!!