Humans are organic and social creatures, we crave interaction as a means of growth. But sometimes a toxic person can get into our social circles, and infect our emotional well-being.
This could be a friend or a family member, and it doesn’t always mean that they are a bad person.
Whether through ignorance of our own thought processes or past trauma, a toxic person doesn’t always know that what they are doing is toxic.
And while it may be our first instinct to help them, there’s only so much we can do.
At the end of the day, it has to be each individuals choice to grow into a better person or not.
And if a toxic person is impeding your growth, it may be time to distance yourself or take them out of your life completely, if possible.
Here are a few warning signs that there is a toxic person in your life, so you know the red flags of when to walk away.
1. Toxic People Constantly Judge Others.
If you’re hanging out with someone who is constantly judging others around them it could be a major warning sign that they are a toxic person.
It says a lot about a persons character if they are willing to repeatedly judge others, especially if it’s random strangers.
Someone who tries to continuously point out the flaws in others has a hole in themselves they are trying to fill by constantly bringing to light other peoples insecurities.
And that’s not someone you want to be hanging around.
2. They are bad at listening to you
Stephen R. Covey once said that “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
This is especially true of a toxic person.
Whenever you are speaking to them, they are never trying to understand what you are saying.
A toxic person will only wait for their moment to interject and begin talking about what they what to say.
Which brings us to our next sign…
3. They are constantly interrupting you.
It doesn’t matter if you are talking directly to them or within a group.
A toxic person will always look for a way to interrupt you to put the focus on them.
They aren’t listening to what anyone has to say unless it’s about them.
And if no one’s talking about them, they’ll keep interrupting conversation until it is.
4. They NEED to be the center of attention.
Let’s admit it, it’s great sometimes to be the center of attention and to have others admire you.
But for a toxic person it’s a constant NEED.
Like a drug they crave attention to fill their emptiness, and will do anything to get it.
Including, interrupting all your conversations to talk about themselves, or acting overly dramatic so everyone is looking at them.
5. They can’t admit when they are wrong.
A toxic person cannot admit when something is their fault. They will always find someone else to blame.
In their mind they can do no wrong. They can always twist a situation to make the other person look and feel like the guilty one.
Which spills over to our next sign which is..
6. Toxic People always play the victim.
One way a toxic person will get the attention they seek is by playing the victim. In any circumstance, even if they did something bad.
A toxic person will always turn things around and try to make people feel sorry for them. Or guilty for not helping them.
Everything wrong is always someone else’s fault. And they are just a victim of the circumstance.
7. They are Physically or Emotionally Abusive.
Toxic people feel like there’s a hole inside themselves.
And to fill that hole, they will make others feel just as bad if not worse than they do.
It makes them feel in control of things, but in reality is just down right abusive.
Physical abuse is more obvious to spot, but emotional abuse can be a little more nuanced.
If you need help identifying Emotional abuse and manipulation we made an article for you here:
Both forms of abuse are highly toxic. If you know someone who abuses you physically or emotionally, the best thing you can do is separate yourselves from them immediately.
And if you’re in a position where you can’t do so easily, reach out for help, or suggest counseling.
8. They have no empathy for others.
If you know someone who has no empathy for others, it could be an even darker sign that you are dealing with a sociopath.
Having compassion and empathy for others is one of the most human traits we all share. Even most toxic people will have some kind of sympathy for others.
It may be wrapped up in a story about how they feel the exact same way, but they at least have some amount of empathy.
But when a toxic person also has no sympathy for others, it could mean something worst. Sociopaths don’t understand others emotions and are only out to better their situation.
Even if they show empathy, they are faking it to get something they want.
9. They Constantly Boost Their Own Ego.
Let’s get one thing clear..
An amazing person never needs to talk about how amazing they are. Their actions speak for themselves.
Toxic people however, are constantly searching for validation and will always try to bring up how awesome they are.
It’s like that joke that says, if someones tell you “I’m not really into all that drama.” You know they are totally about that drama life.
If someone is constantly talking about how great they are.
They may not be all that great.
10. Toxic People are always negative.
Constant negativity is a trademark calling sign of a toxic person.
Whether it be complaining or judging others, a toxic person will always try to be in the worst state of mind.
In their minds, nothing ever goes right and the world is a terrible place.
Being around someone who is negative all the time can really drain your energy.
Make sure to keep an eye out for them.
11. They constantly lie.
It could be a big one or a little white lie, the size doesn’t matter.
A toxic person always feels the need to lie in their favor to make them seem better, or event bigger than they are.
Keep a look out for someone who is constantly lying to you, even if it’s small. If it’s constant, it’s a problem.
12. They have unresolved addictions.
Loving someone with an addiction can be difficult to handle.
Addicts usually use their vice of choice to masks some pain they are hiding, emotional or physical.
And the sad part is, that they could be a great person, but it’s their addictions that are making them toxic.
As much as we want to help them, it can be impossible on our own.
Seek professional help to get the person the mental and physical treatment they need.
And if that still doesn’t work, we may have to make the hard decision to focus on our own health, and let them handle theirs without you.
Because at the end of the day we can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped.
13. They just give off a ‘bad vibe’
Sometimes you can’t place your finger on it. But every now and again, someone will come around that just gives you a bad feeling.
You don’t know exactly what it is, but you just feel uncomfortable around them. In instances like that, it is best to trust your first instinct and stay away from them.
Chances are they are just naturally exuding their toxic aurora and your sub-conscious is picking up on it.
Does this sound like any one if your life?
If so, the best thing to do may be to separate yourself from them as much as possible.
But as we stated in the beginning of this article, there are those out there who may not even realize how toxic they are.
They may be dealing with addiction or trying to conceal their depression.
Sometimes it can be difficult to tell the difference.
If this person in your head right now means a lot to you, try to talk with them. Try getting them the help they need.
But remember if those things don’t work, you need to do what’s right for you.
We can’t help someone who doesn’t want to admit there’s a problem. Take care of your own mental health first.