2. They frequently criticize you.
Toxic people are masters at being judgmental. They make it incredibly difficult for you to please them. As a result, your self-esteem suffers in their hands when they constantly make jabs at it. A toxic person spends more time pointing out your flaws and mistakes, rather than helping you get better at something with constructive feedback. I’ve often been told I’m stupid by the one person I’ve always wanted to be proud of me.
It’ll usually be over something so small and accidental, and somehow, I’ll get such a strong negative reaction from it. I used to take their words to heart, because their feedback was the only one that mattered. But now that I see that I don’t need their approval any longer, I’ve learned to turn to other sources for help if I need to get better at something.