Toxic people may make an appearance in different stages of our lives and many times we may not be aware of them but their effects can drain you dry. Negative people are always drawn towards happier folks, if it’s just to get closer to some positivity. Unfortunately, they will bring us down with their poisonous personalities in the process.
We’ve all been there and done that – had a friend or even a partner who subtly wears away your confidence in yourself. If you find yourself bending over backward to please a person who never seems to be satisfied or are friends with a person who makes you question your self-worth- then it’s time to do some serious cleaning of your friend list. “It’s not you, it’s me”, we’ve heard that line before and if you’re continuously adjusting your schedule and behavior to fit into their life or always find yourself getting hurt, then you know what? Chances are it’s them and not you. So kick them to the curb.
Being able to identify these toxic characters is half the battle. Many times we live unaware of the negativity around us while it eats away at us, slowly chipping away. There are plenty of things that toxic people do that makes it easy to identify them to help you navigate around these trying relationships.
Toxic People And How To Deal With Them
1) They think the world revolves around them.
In other words, they’re plain and simply SELFISH. They’ll yap away for hours, oblivious to the fact that you haven’t got a word in edgeways. Most conversations you’ll have will be all about ‘ME, ME, ME’ and after a while, you may be so accustomed to it that you may not notice the pattern.
It’s also not just about the conversation, although it is a big part of the communication between two individuals which makes it so important. They may not concern themselves about your welfare or ask how you’re doing. They’re so wrapped up in caring about how they feel or what they like, that you will slowly be manipulated to ensure that they get what they want.
This behavior manifests itself in both your professional and personal life. From the boss who demands late working hours, irrespective of your own needs or to the friend who demands your time and expects you to drop whatever you’re doing whenever they want you, you probably have encountered this toxic behavior before.
If you realize you know a person like this, you should try to cut ties or minimize contact with them and move on with your life.
2) They’re born drama kings and queens
Toxic people thrive on drama. They may seem pure unlucky, but many times, bad things happen due to carelessness or even attracting bad experiences simply for the sympathy and attention that comes later.
We all know that one friend who always seems to get the short end of the stick in every situation. But when it happens once too many times and you always see them in the middle of a sympathizing crowd, you’ll know that something is definitely not right. A scapegoat is always needed for all their problems, from missing the work deadline because they were not reminded or missed the train because their partner didn’t set the alarm to more. They always blame others for their mistakes. These kinds of people like playing the victim and honestly, you don’t need this kind of negativity.
3) Liars, Liars – their pants are always on fire
It’s one thing to tell a small white lie to spare someone’s feelings about an ugly dress or if a dinner party doesn’t go to plan. The effort is put in and you don’t want to hurt that person’s feelings so you say you enjoyed the food and vice versa.
But if you find them misleading you, withholding information or are just lying straight to your face, then watch out. If a person gets too comfortable with lying, you’ll never be able to tell the truth from a lie and this could be toxic for any relationship. Toxic people twist the truth to serve their own purpose.
4) They will easily judge
Oh you know who I’m talking about. They’ll appear to say nice things, but you know what they really mean. Biting comments, sarcastic tones and abundant criticism from them will bring down your self-esteem. They take joy in cutting you down to size and to whittling down your confidence until you are nothing more than a shell.
We all make mistakes, after all, nobody is perfect – but toxic people will stand in judgment and will take swipes at you constantly. They’ll seem to do no wrong – they’re Mr. or Ms. Perfect but whatever you do will be brought under the magnifying glass.
5) The word ‘sorry’ is not in their vocabulary
They can never do wrong and as discussed earlier – it’s never their fault. They’ll have different versions of events to fit their own twisted story to point out how they were right. You don’t have to be wrong to apologize but if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you didn’t do just to keep the other person happy, then it’s time on move on without them. If being right instead of being happy is more important, you know what you have to do.
6) They’re never there for you
Everyone needs a shoulder to cry on, a friend to laugh with and a person who is there for you when you need them. “Sorrow shared is sorrow halved and happiness shared is happiness doubled.”
If you find that you are constantly there for them and every time you need a friend, they seem to be unreachable, then something’s wrong. They don’t pick up your calls, take days to respond to messages or even send your calls to voicemail. This behavior makes you replay everything in your head and question your self-worth and does more damage than good. Take it as a sign and never call them again. You need someone who you can depend on.
Now, Where Do We Go From Here?
Okay, now you’ve identified the toxic person in your life, but how do you handle them? The last thing you want is to stoop down to their level, but you have to learn how to safeguard your own interests and protect yourself. Here are a few tips that may come in handy when dealing with these negative characters.
- Honesty is the best policy: Don’t follow the adage an eye for an eye. If they lie, you shouldn’t go down that route as well. Set your own standards and live by them and other will also identify the toxic personalities on their own and believe you over any tall stories that may be concocted by toxic people.
- Know yourself: Many times we always try to fit in with other groups or other people just to make them happy. When we behave like this, we end up being a doormat for toxic people who will use you for their own needs. Know yourself, know what is important to you and stick to your guns.
- Be organized and have records of decisions made: It is very important to have written records in the workplace in case you have a toxic colleague or boss who seems to have it in for you. You are safeguarding your career from possible harm if you can back up with physical records of any conversations or decisions taken. This way, toxic people will know that you cannot be a scapegoat for their mistakes. Always have a follow up email to any meetings or decisions to prevent the liars from blaming you if anything goes wrong.
- Keep your life private: Avoid sharing deep confidences to someone that you believe does not have your best interests at heart. If you think you are close to a person, tell them a small secret and see if it is shared with others or you hear others talking about you negatively because of that story. Avoid baring your inner soul and deepest darkest secrets to a toxic person because that knowledge could be used against you. Gossip haunts every work place or even personal spaces and it is best to keep secrets secret.
- Save your positive energy for someone who deserves it: Being around negativity can wear you down. If you have a friend who constantly says negative things or is constantly being the victim, it’s time to make a change. Negativity is infectious and having negative people around you can affect your judgment of views on many things in life. If they always get dumped and moan about it constantly, or spend hours whining, make a clean break. Save your positive energy for people who make you feel better.
- Stand your ground: Don’t give in to toxic people’s demands. For them, it will always be their way or the highway. Don’t give in to them. At All.
It only takes one toxic person in your life to do untold damage. This could be from your partner to your work colleague or even a family member. If you have toxic people around you who constantly bring you down and make the world look bleak, walk away. You will thank yourself down the line when you find yourself to be happier and more positive without them. Each relationship is different, but value your own time and energy. Assess your life, make the decision and don’t look back. Your life is waiting for you.