Toxic individuals are completely exhausting to be around and they can have a negative impact on your forward momentum. Entrepreneurs need to remain laser focused , heads of households need to have stress free partners to create a healthy home life for their family. This means in no scenario in life is it ever a good thing to have a toxic person in your life. The distractions and stress that toxic people bring into your life act as unnecessary obstacles, so it is best to avoid them. Toxic personality types are deceitful, deceptive, ruthless and dishonest. Lacking empathy, they appear as narcissists or sociopaths and can be charming and disarming. They will sabotage your success.
It doesn’t take much research to find study after study associating negative close relationships with higher probabilities of things like heart disease, depression, adrenal fatigue, obesity, and early death. And while we might all question the “need” for a study to tell us being a toxic jerk is a bad thing,” the studies are there. So now we have common sense and science telling us being toxic is a bad thing.
For instance, let’s consider toxic people who get in the way of your progress. Some of these might actively subvert you by spreading gossip or lies, or trying to manipulate you to serve their needs. Others might undermine your efforts without ill intent. An example would be “Negative Nellies” (or Nelsons), characterized by pessimism, a lack of self-efficacy, and the belief that the world is not conducive to personal growth. You can “catch” their worldview if you have enough contact with it. They might even discourage you in your efforts, not in an attempt to thwart you but to protect you from the disappointment they believe is inevitable.
Keep in mind the flip side to this dilemma. We like to perceive toxic people to be monsters – trying to tear us down and make our lives wretched at all costs. We slap the label ‘toxic’ on people without ever considering their side of the equation – whether their actions are deliberate or if they truly just do not understand our side of things. And this us-versus-them mentality forces a problematic rift in the way we perceive toxic people. So in some cases the person may not be as toxic as you assume them to be. It can be just your own dysfunctional way of viewing them.
So if your not 100% sure if a person is toxic, here are some clear signs that will convince you that it’s time to sever the connection you have with them.
- They’re self-centered – it’s always about them:
When a toxic person comes home and your clearly upset and mention to them that you had a rough day, what’s the first thing that comes to their mind? A toxic person’s natural reaction starts with something like “you think you had a bad day, mine was worse” and it only gets worse from there. We all understand that there is nothing wrong with a person putting themselves first. But when everything becomes about them, with no concern about your well being and their every little whim and preference needs to be matched, it’s obvious they are toxic or becoming toxic.
- It seems like you can’t do anything right.
The other person constantly puts you down as not good enough. They mock your personality, and you feel ashamed most of the time. You only feel pardoned when you take on the traits of the person doing the condemning or judging.
- They would rather be right than happy.
There’s a difference between being “right” and being “happy.” If they don’t know the difference or don’t care as long as they’re right, they may be a toxic person. Do they keep arguing until you give in even when they’re plain wrong? Are they so focused on being right that they lose sight of what they’re actually arguing about sometimes? Bullying their way through an argument until their partner gives in even when they’re wrong makes nobody happy.
- Toxic people are usually negative.
Toxic people wake up in the morning waiting for the world to suck the life out of them. They see days as “bad” until something happens to make it “good”. They respond to pretty good news with “yea, but [something to the effect of it could have been better]”. They can find an insult in a bouquet of roses and will be unapologetic about it. The same applies if you are having a rough time and the toxic person isn’t. They will not hesitate to give you a stern lecture about why you should cheer up without taking into consideration the pain of your current situation (even though 9 times out of 10 they are in a rotten mood) . In their eyes, if they are feeling good, everyone should.
- Conversational Nazi
Have you ever been talking to someone who keeps interrupting you? Maybe I should revise that sentence: have you ever been trying to talk to someone who won’t let you get a word in? Conversational nazis LOVE to talk about themselves—or just hear themselves talk. They don’t ask you any questions, they don’t wait for your responses and they won’t shut up. In a relationship, these people will end up being completely self-centered and never be attentive to your needs.
- The Control Freak
The control freak is someone who wants to control everything and everyone around them. They want to be in charge of what you do, what you say and even what you think. You know the person I am talking about–they freak out when you disagree with them and won’t stop trying to convince you that they are right and you should do what they say. In a relationship, this person will give you no breathing room and will constantly nag you until you are in complete alignment with them. Be careful, these people will go after your emotional, conversational and mental freedom until you have nothing left. Get out while you can!
- Drama Magnet
Some toxic people are magnets for drama. Something is always wrong. Always. And of course, once a problem is solved, another one emerges. And they only want your empathy, sympathy and support–but not your advice! You offer help and solutions, but they never seem to want to fix anything. Instead they complain and complain. In a relationship, drama magnets are victims and thrive in a crisis because it makes them feel important. If someone is a beacon for adversity, watch out, you might one day become part of the drama.
- Gossip Addicts & Blabbermouths
People gossip because they are insecure — they don’t know how to separate fact from speculation and when truths get twisted, the wrong information is conveyed, feelings get hurt and enemies are born. Having a gossiper within your business or personal life can be very destructive — they are cancers and can quickly create a negative environment.
What to do if you work with a Toxic person:
- Avoid sharing personal feelings or confiding in them because they will twist or manipulate what you say to help their own cause. Confidential or private information shared with a Toxic will be used against you.
- Do your own research. Don’t rely on what the Toxic coworker says because you can’t trust him/her, even when they appear to be your friend.
- Publicize deadlines and job duties to all co-workers on projects and document your actions. This minimizes the chances of the Toxic being able to blame you for his/her shortcomings.
Time To Clean House
Set Boundaries -Have a sit-down with yourself before you make any decisions and decide what kind of behavior would be ideal for your lifestyle. Write a list or a letter to yourself and clearly state what kinds of healthy boundaries are needed for you to be happy in the relationship. Once a relationship has become unhealthy (many times it started that way), there is usually no way to detoxify it. So, just keep in mind there is little to no chance of ridding a person of their hurtful behavior.
Cutting someone out of your life is never an easy choice to make, but every person deserves to have happiness. Remember that most people who bring toxicity to a relationship are on a path of chronic unhappiness. Until that person seeks real help in one way or another, they usually will not see the error of their ways. No matter whether it’s a family member or friend who is toxifying your life, just remember that you do have the power to be happy. Lastly, and this is very important, if a person ever makes you feel unsafe please seek help from trusted friends, family members and/or the police if necessary. No length is too extreme for your well-being.