Hey, Psych2Goers! Welcome back! Does the word “toxic” create a very specific image in your mind? Is your brain immediately treated to the total ear-worm that is the super popular Britney Spears song? Or do you think of a friend, a parent, or an ex? Do you shudder at the very thought of this particular individual? When was the last time you saw them or texted back?
It can sometimes be hard to tell if someone in your life is toxic. Do multiple people often say the same negative things about this one person? Do you agree with the group consensus? Are are you still unsure?
Here are ‘6 Ways To Recognize A Toxic Person In Your Life’.
Disclaimer: This post is for educational purposes and is based on personal opinions. This post is not a substitute for professional advice, but general guidance. We advise you to always listen to your intuition and always do what is right for you
#1. Disrespectful of Your Time
Your time is the most valuable thing you have. If you’re meeting someone for a coffee and they’re a little late, that’s not too big a deal, right? If they’re later than twenty minutes, that’s more of a problem though. Unless they have a legitimate excuse. It also helps if they apologize. But when they do show up, do they just say nothing at all? Is this person someone who’s seemingly late, every single time you try to hang out? Especially when you’re always the one making an effort to be on time?
When they do actually show up, are they talking over you the entire time? Do you feel it’s nearly impossible to get a word in edge-wise? Toxic people are often those that make everything about themselves. You may feel like a brick wall in what was otherwise supposed to be a two-way conversation.
If you find this is happening to you, maybe try spending more time with other people. Even those that show up somehow earlier than you, and let you talk equally!
#2. Lack of Boundaries
If the person is toxic, they might also devalue your days off. Just because it’s the weekend, that doesn’t mean you’re totally free to hang out with people. Contrary to popular belief. You may need a day or two to recharge those precious batteries. It’s okay to say you’re busy. Truly. You shouldn’t ever be made to feel guilty for needing a day away from everything. In many cases, this can be integral for your mental health.
If this person calls and texts you multiple times asking to spend time, where you say you’re busy but they insist you’re free, they’re probably toxic. Your day doesn’t revolve around one single person, and it shouldn’t. It’s important to place boundaries, especially at the start of a new friendship or relationship.
If the person can’t respect your ground rules from the very beginning, it’s very unlikely they’ll ever change their tune.
#3. Jealous of Your Success
As the age-old adage goes, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.” When you do well on a test or get promoted at work, these are things that should be celebrated and cheered on. When you tell the person about your achievement, do they belittle it? Do you feel worse about yourself after having told them?
People that are jealous of your success will go out of their way to criticize you and your work. This can be especially difficult to handle when it’s a good friend or a close family member. Chances are, the person is trying to knock you down a peg because they weren’t able to accomplish the same goal. It doesn’t matter to them that you completely earned it. Jealous people often project their failures and insecurities onto others.
Easier said than done, but try your best to run your own race. Without them. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.
#4. Walking On Eggshells
Have you ever actually tried walking on an eggshell? It’s basically impossible to not crush it immediately. Unless you have the light nimbleness of an elf. If you ever had to “walk on eggshells” around someone, it means you have to be very, very careful. Extremely careful in some cases. Are you in a relationship with someone who’s like this? It can be nothing short of exhausting. You may be scared of ever opening your mouth, for fear of them taking offence.
Relationships, whether they’re romantic or platonic are built on the same bedrock of principles. Trust and honesty. If you don’t have either, the relationship simply isn’t sustainable. An “eggshell person” is someone super delicate. To the point that you likely have to second-guess everything you say and do around them. All the time. That’s not healthy. Nor is it fair.
These types of people are often not very good handling criticism or critique. Something we all need every once in a while.
#5. Zero Responsibility
As human beings, we all make mistakes. Try as we might to be perfect, we can’t always be. If you own up to a mistake that you made, how do you feel afterward? Embarrassed? Or relieved? Admitting you’re at fault for something is never fun, but it can make your mind, body and soul feel a whole lot lighter. A toxic person on the other hand, is someone who never admits fault. Do you have a roommate who never throws out their garbage? Do they just expect others to do it for them?
Toxic people are like bad guys in the movies. They don’t know they’re the bad guy. A toxic person won’t ever take responsibility. This comes in all forms. Is there someone at your work who drags the company down? Are you still shocked that they somehow have a job there? Particularly when you yourself put in a hundred-percent effort every single day? If you can avoid them at work, that would probably be best.
If you’re forced to work together with this toxic person, do they pawn everything off on you? They very well might. Sometimes all you can do is grin and bear it.
#6. Emotionally Draining
This one seems the most obvious, but you’d be surprised at the number of people that simply ignore this key factor. If a person is an emotional drain on you, it’s super imperative that you take stock of this. Toxic people will often latch onto others like a parasite. A parasite needs another host to survive. On a subconscious level, you may have already clued into the fact that they’re toxic. Your brain might put them on the back-burner of your social calendar. There’s a definite reason for this.
There are many ways to drain the battery out of a phone. Like using GPS, Wifi or Data for instance. Another way is by keeping multiple tabs open and running. Do you accidentally forget to close your tabs? How many are open on your phone right now? A toxic person will likely feel like multiple apps all at once. Closing these apps, will keep your phone running faster and longer. Apply this principle to your life. Give it a try.
Hopefully, you’ll feel fully-charged in no time.
There you have it! ‘6 Ways’ To Identify A Toxic Person in Your Life’. Did any of ways mentioned ring true to you? Could you attribute these to at least few people? Or did all six apply to one single person? What other ways can people be toxic? What else did we miss? Did you identify with any of these behaviours?
If you’re struggling with a toxic person and you’re able to cut them out of your life, you’ll likely feel a large weight off your chest, the moment you do. It’s important to remember that you don’t deserve any toxicity in your life. Even if that source is coming from a family member, a good friend, or even a romantic partner.
As tough as it is to take that initial step, you need to value yourself and do what’s best for you. First and foremost.
‘How To Recognize A Toxic Person In Your Life by ‘SelfCareAdvocates’ (December 31st, 2021) (https://www.instagram.com/p/CYKR4YovomB/