Toxic people have a knack for making people miserable. They are masters at extracting all the goodwill and positive energy stored within you and replace it with dark, negative energy. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that cutting them out of our lives is the best weapon we have at our disposal to live a happy, fulfilling life.
However, it’s not always that simple. Sometimes, those very same toxic people are the ones we have developed an affinity with, making it harder to completely removing them from your lives. Family, friends.. even co-workers can be challenging to deal with since proximity is at play. And that’s not all, how can you even know for sure is someone is being toxic? Couldn’t they just be the obnoxious type of person you could still hang around?
Fear not: my experience of being around toxic family members for years has taught me a lot about how to deal with and recognize them. Before we can apply those strategies, though, we must first identify if the person we’re dealing with is toxic.
WHAT DOES BEING TOXIC MEAN?
Put simply, toxic behaviour refers to any behaviour that’s detrimental to another person – whether the said toxic person is aware of it or not. In fact, more often than not, toxic people aren’t even aware that they’re being toxic.
I’ve always known that my father always had my family’s best interests at heart, but it didn’t prevent him from engaging in terribly toxic behaviour, no matter how strong he denied it.
HOW DOES TOXICITY IMPACT OUR LIVES?
We often only see the tip of the iceberg, but toxicity can have two different effects on people: both visible and invisible. The visible – and easiest part to discern – is a change in mood or feeling more negative than usual. But it goes deeper than that.
Dealing with toxic people on a consistent basis can go right through your subconscious mind, and instill entirely new beliefs within you. It’s basically like training a dog new tricks, except that this time, those aren’t tricks that are going to benefit your life. If anything, they’ll destroy it.
NEW BELIEFS, NEW FEELINGS
Our beliefs are the result of all the conditioning we’ve received over the years. This is why negative people tend to be the ones who had a rough upbringing. But just because you’re positive doesn’t mean you’ve made it.
Your subconscious, just like a dog, will learn and replace any trick if repeated enough. That’s why proximity is your most dangerous enemy: the more you interact with toxic people and the more all of your past, positive beliefs will be overwritten over new, negative ones.
Ultimately, changing your beliefs changes the way you feel. Although this can be used to positively reprogram yourself, it’s definitely not a place you want to be in with negative people.
11 SIGNS OF TOXIC PEOPLE
Are you unsure if the person you’re thinking of is toxic or not? Check out those 11 signs of toxic people! Those signs are based on my experience, which has proved to be pretty accurate.
Keep in mind that just because someone show one or two of these signs doesn’t necessarily mean they’re toxic. However, you can legitimately start asking yourself some questions about them if they embody most of the signs mentioned in this article.
1 – INSTANTLY TRIGGER YOU
I recently went back to my home country, France, to visit my family. What I didn’t know was that spending one full day with my father would completely drain me psychologically – even after making so much efforts to grow into a happy, positive person. It completely blew me away that even though I felt so good and positive in the morning, I felt so bad at the end of the day.
Toxic people have this magic ability to trigger negativity instantly within you. It’s a place they know, they understand and have tamed.
2 – DON’T PAY ATTENTION TO THE RESULTS THEY GET
As I’ve said in the beginning, negative and toxic people aren’t necessarily bad people wanting to destroy your life. Sometimes, even the ones who care about you the most will be toxic.
Unfortunately, those people will likely not notice the negative influence they have on you – because they simply don’t pay any attention to the results. Others will ignore it, or genuinely believe that this negative influence is in fact good for you.
3 – PROJECT THEIR BELIEFS AND FEARS ONTO YOU
Toxic people love to project their own insecurities and beliefs onto other people because most people mistakenly believe that negativity is a more accurate representation of reality than positivity – which leads them to push their beliefs and fears onto you.
4 – LIMIT YOU
If you find yourself being limited around certain people, then it may be a sign you’re around a toxic person.
Genuinely supportive people always tell you to go for it and do your best, and never try to shut your down.
5 – AREN’T WILLING TO MAKE ANY CONCESSION
Don’t even try to negotiate with toxic people – selfishness is a core aspect of their being and will always try to get the most profitable, convenient situation for them.
6 – BRAG
No one likes to hear someone brag. It’s such a turn-off for many of us. But for some reason, toxic people believe we do like it. Their ego prevents them from seeing the reality – which circles back to not paying attention to the results they get. They operate blindly only looking at themselves.
7 – BAD LISTENERS
I have found that a lot of people are bad listeners, and this isn’t necessarily tied to being toxic and negative. Except when those very same bad listeners don’t let you say any word and just keep talking about themselves, and how they did great while you patiently wait to say something.
8 – FOCUS ON THE BAD
I’m sure you had already figured this one out on your own, but it’s always important to mention it since it’s a very common sign of toxic people.
Everything seems black to them, and according to them, the world is a sad place to live in. What you focus on, you feel – which accounts for how negative they are. After all, how can you feel uplifted always thinking about what’s wrong with the world?
9 – WANT TO BE RIGHT
Wanting to be right alone is not a sign of being toxic, because we all want to be to some extent. It’s a flaw at best.
Toxic people, however, will never admit that they’re wrong – except if it’s to prove a point (like bragging, “See? I’m not bragging. I can admit it when I’m wrong.”)
10 – ARROGANT
This one is especially more difficult to deal with when interacting with somebody significantly older than you, like I had to with my dad, since according to him, he had more experience than me and so was inevitably right all the time.
11 – COMPLAIN… A LOT
Toxic people aren’t happy, even if some might say they are. They always find something to complain about, or someone to blame. It’s in their nature, and a proof they’re not living a happy and fulfilling life. Complaining can quickly become a habit – even for you.
I’ve found myself complaining more than usual when interacting with toxic people. Even just the simple act of hearing their nonsense for a long period of time can negatively influence you.
HOW TO DEAL WITH TOXIC PEOPLE
Knowing these signs is all well and good, but what can I do if I need to deal with toxic people on a regular basis, you may understandably ask. Well, my experience has taught me that there are 6 different ways you could go about it.
1- CUT THEM OUT OF YOUR LIFE (BEST WAY)
I already talked about it, but this is the best way by far. By cutting toxic people out of your life, you ensure a certain level of positivity and well-being in your life, instead of leaving it up to chance. Set high standards for your life, and the results will show up.
I understand that it’s not always easy. I’ve had to do that with my family and it wasn’t pleasant to leave for good, but I’ve learned that sometimes it’s better to love some people from a distance. I challenge you to expand your horizon and see new possibilities that you may have shut down from the beginning.
2 – BALANCE THEIR NEGATIVITY WITH POSITIVITY
If for whatever reason, you still need to interact with toxic people on a daily basis, I recommend that you work towards maintaining a certain balance in your life. When dealing with such people, the balance can easily tip towards negativity – which is why you need to be proactive about your positivity.
Say affirmations, hang out with positive people, watch inspiring videos.. do anything that could help you preserve your positivity. What you don’t want to do is to let it up to chance, because that’s the surefire way to fall into negativity.
3 – SPEND AS LITTLE TIME AS YOU CAN WITH THEM
Needless to say, don’t spend more time with them than you have to. It’s especially true when it comes to jobs, where you don’t always have a choice as to who you hang around.
Do your best so that you spend as little time as possible with toxic people.
4 – DON’T PLAY THEIR GAME
One of the easiest trap to fall into is that of playing their game – which is the territory they’re familiar with. But it’s a lost battle since they’re far more experienced than you at negativity and putting people down. Don’t even attempt to argue with them, they know the rules better than you.
5 – DON’T GIVE THEM OPPORTUNITIES TO EXPRESS THEIR NEGATIVITY
The longer you discuss with toxic people, and the greater the chances of them showing the signs mentioned in this article. Don’t give them even one occasion to complain by asking them questions or talking about a subject that may trigger them.
You may not always know what those are, but the more you interact with someone and the more you will come to learn their hot buttons.
6 – SET BOUNDARIES
This works best for people who don’t even know they’re being toxic. Tell them straight that you’re not willing to tolerate their nonsense.
Being firm doesn’t mean being mean and negative, but making sure that they do not abuse your thoughtfulness and time.
NEVER DO THIS WITH TOXIC PEOPLE
A lot of people surprisingly seem to have it all wrong when it comes to toxic people. There are certain things which you should never do, even if it may seem complicated in the heat of the moment.
1 – TRYING TO CONVINCE THEM
A big mistake I see a lot of people make, which I’ve made myself, is to try and convince them of something. More often than not, this will fail because most toxic people aren’t willing to change their mind – even if they’re wrong.
2 – ARGUE WITH THEM
There’s no point in arguing with them, it’s a waste of time and energy – and I have committed this mistake oh so many times.
3 – SHARING YOUR GOALS AND DREAMS
It can be hard especially if those people are your friends or family, but do not tell them about your dreams. They have a knack to mistake negativity for reality, and will do their best to crush your dreams.
SIGNS OF TOXIC PEOPLE – HOW MANY SIGNS DO THEY EMBODY?
Could you identify if the person you are thinking about is toxic? Feel free to tell me in the comment section and let’s have a discussion. I would love to hear your story.