10 Signs Someone Is Becoming Toxic

(If you can relate to any of these signs, please do not take this feedback as an attack on your or others’ character. This article was meant to be for educational purposes for those of you who have been feeling a little stuck with others. We advise you to always listen to your intuition and always do what is right for you.)

Have you ever felt that someone you know drains your energy when you engage with them? They might not seem like it at first, and you really liked them. They’ve been great, but when they start to change, they make you feel bad, uncomfortable, vulnerable, and in danger. They attack you as if it’s their habit and normal routine, and they probably don’t realize or ignore the negative impact on you with their action. This could be a red flag that the person is toxic to you.

Hey Psych2Go-ers! In this article, we’re going to talk about 10 signs someone is becoming toxic. These signs can be subtle. Sometimes, the person you know might not be overtly mean or take pleasure in hurting others, but there are still some telltale signs that they’re not healthy for us. The purpose of this article is to help you identify if a person may be turning into a toxic one for you so that you can consider what steps you should take next to protect yourself, and move on with someone who brings out the best parts of you instead. Let’s get into it, shall we?

1. They see you as their property.

If they see you as their property, they don’t see you as a person; rather, they see you as an extension of them that needs to be controlled and manipulated—a possession. If someone thinks that way, even if it’s not intentional or outwardly visible, it’s a sign that they have some deep-rooted issues to work out. They may think if you are close enough to them, or spends enough time with them, then it means you belong to them without your consent. It’s an unhealthy mentality because ownership of another person is completely wrong and violates what love should be.

2. They twist your words if you’re faced with a disagreement.

When a toxic individual doesn’t like what’s being said in a conversation, they’ll do everything in their power to change the meaning and make themselves look good instead of taking responsibility for any injustice done. They love to twist words and use it as a means of avoiding conflict. This also conveys that they tend to defend their own mistakes by distorting the truth.

3. They blame you for everything.

Every relationship has its rocky moments, and it’s okay to disagree sometimes; however, if someone is constantly telling you that everything is your fault because of what you say or do, then there’s absolutely something wrong. You may feel like they’re trying to put the blame on you because they’re not owning up to what’s going on, or taking accountability for the things that don’t work.

4. They need constant validation.

When a person can’t express themselves without inserting how great they are, they’re sending out the message loud and clear that they need you to reinforce how much better they are than everyone else. They’ll expect your compliments, be there for them whenever they need help, agree with their opinions, and never disregard and defy them.

5. They make you feel guilty for everything.

If someone has been putting a lot of pressure on you despite where the relationship is going, to the extent of overlooking your thoughts and opinions, then it’s time to take a step back and look at this further because toxic people aim to turn things around so that you feel like their problems are yours. They use guilt as power over other people, which is why you may find yourself apologizing all the time. It could be a sign of an abusive relationship where your partner is constantly putting blame on you in order to gain control or power over you.

6. They are never there for you.

Toxic people will always have an excuse as to why they can’t be there for you, even when you need them the most. In fact, it’s usually because they don’t actually care about your problems or feelings. No matter what happens in your life, a toxic individual will not be there to give their support. Even when times are good for you, they will always find something to complain about or just barely tolerate your happiness.

7. They make excuses for physical or emotional abuse.

Toxic people will never take responsibility for the way they treat others. They never apologize for the damage they’ve inflicted on you, but finding a way to justify their toxic actions is their first instinct as a way to dismissing their responsibility for everything.

8. They like to play the victim.

This may be an obvious sign that toxic people do this often because they want others to feel sorry for them or give into their demands without hesitation. They see themselves as the victim in every situation imaginable, which makes them manipulative over time.

9. They are hypercritical of others.

This can be a bit of a red flag, and it’s often seen in the workplace—where you might not know all of your co-workers very well. You may notice someone is hypercritical of everyone around them because they don’t want to come across as unkind or hurtful, but this is just an act by toxic people to get what they want without anyone suspecting that they’re being manipulative.

10. They try to change you.

Changing you is pretty much something that abusers do to you when trying to turn you into who they want. This could be seen as a tactic because if there are changes in your behavior around them, then it allows them to feel like you’re becoming too dependent on them, which means controlling you becomes easier. It usually stems from insecurity—they want to make sure no one else will come along and take what they think belongs to them, but at the same time, toxic people aren’t looking out for your best interests; they just want to make themselves look better by comparison. At some point or another, all of these things can lead up to physical abuse, so watch out.

If someone makes you feel terrible about yourself on a consistent basis without backing down, then you need to let them go because this is what a toxic relationship looks like. Sometimes, the reason why someone feels this way about themselves isn’t something they can control, but if they keep treating you poorly without putting any effort to change themselves, then it’s time to say goodbye—it’s for your own good overall. You deserve so much better than that! Thanks for your time for reading this article. I hope you gained some knowledge about this topic! 


  1. Meyerowitz, A. (2020, May 15). 7 warning signs a person is toxic. Red Online. https://www.redonline.co.uk/health-self/self/a28577908/signs-a-person-is-toxic/

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