9 Traits Of Toxic People And How They Destroy Your Mental Health
There are a lot of toxic people in the world, and some do more damage than others.
We have all encountered a toxic person in our lives. Their malignancy underlies their subtlety, and they usually get you to wholeheartedly believe that you are actually the problem, not them.
Toxic people may be lurking nearby – a family member, co-worker, or friend, and can have you questioning your ‘over-reactiveness’, and your ‘oversensitivity.’
This self-doubt and constant questioning of reality can have a damaging impact on your mental well-being. There is a scientific explanation for its extremely negative impact on human health.
Associate professor at Georgetown University, Christine Porath, says “Just being around toxic behavior, to say nothing of being its target, makes people sick.”
“Chronic stress is linked to cardiovascular disease, insomnia, depressed immunity, and overeating. Toxic people not only harm others emotionally, but they’re also a threat to health. And when toxic behavior takes hold in an environment, it turns everyone cynical.”
From mockery to the manipulation known as gaslighting, toxic behaviour can cause real damage. Here’s how to spot it:
1. They have an excuse for everything.
It’s never their fault, and they have no concept of the word “accountability.” If they chose to stay home from work several days in a row and end up getting fired, it’s not because they were lazy and irresponsible- it’s because their boss was a jerk. This example illustrates their sick and twisted perception of reality.
2. They talk over you.
Oh did you have an interesting point to make? Were you going to share your thoughts on the conversation at hand? Save your breath. The toxic person will maybe let you get a few words in before they interrupt and swing the spotlight back on themselves.
Even if you start saying something, they’ll never let you finish. Actually, they need you in the conversation so as not to appear they’ve been talking to themselves. And if you dare interrupt them, they’ll promptly accuse you of being a poor listener.
3. They are hungry for attention 24/7.
Speaking of spotlights, that is where toxic people thrive. They put on a show for everyone to see, and who knows which of their masks you’ll get to see this time. Try and ignore them, and they increase their volume like a puffer fish, bring in more drama, and throw emotional tantrums until they feel validated once more.
Sometimes toxic people behave like grown up children and that’s what shocks those who have to deal with them the most. For one thing, if you need to do business with such a peculiar character, try to find the balance between the carrot and the stick.
4. They are pathological liars.
Toxic people are notorious for shifting blame and lying on the spot. You could literally watch them trip and break a lamp and they will tell you straight to your face it was already broken. They have no remorse, no shame, and cannot be trusted.
In a way, they just can’t help lying, even if they know very well that their fabrications are shallow and easy to expose. The medical term for this condition is mythomania or pseudologia fantastica. Pathological lying in toxic people is mostly linked to their insatiable hunger for attention that was mentioned above.
5. They lack empathy.
A normal, functioning human being is invariably capable of experiencing empathy – it is a characteristic of a healthy personality. Toxic people, on the contrary, have no empathy, and they do not understand the concept of “feeling” something someone else is going through. This relates to their selfishness and ego. It’s all about them. This is why many toxic individuals also tend to exhibit some psychopathic character traits.
6. Ego issues.
They think the world of themselves. Wearing a crown, high atop a pedestal above everyone else, the toxic person thinks they are the best thing in the world. No one can be smarter, more attractive, better at what they do, and of course, they know everything.
It is really sad to think how these individuals have voluntarily chosen to spend all their life in a delusion, as described in the tale The Emperor’s New Clothes by the immortal Hans Christian Andersen
7. They tend to be abusive.
Truth be told, this goes beyond toxic and falls straight into the category of ‘evil.’ If someone is emotionally or physically abusive, get the hell out of there. There is no hope for saving them, and you can’t save yourself until you remove that person from your life.
Do not hesitate to approach the competent authorities and report the abuser. Remember that most of these toxic individuals rely on the fact that their victim would be too scared, shocked, or ashamed to file an official complaint against them. But you must act and try to get a restraint order as quickly as possible.
8. They never left high-school.
Remember the drama and cliques? The “he-said-she-said” gossip mills? The childish pranks and immature ways of handling situations? That’s where the toxic person stayed. They never left. Their entire life is built around that time most adults would rather leave behind. Says something, doesn’t it? Most of all, this is a sure indicator of their emotional deficiency.
9. They tend to be quite rude at times.
Toxic people say hurtful things and then play it off as a joke. When you let them know it was a bit offensive, they tell you that you are overreacting and that you are too sensitive. They are passive-aggressive, and sarcastic when you need them to be genuine and honest.
Knowing these favourite behaviours of toxic people will sharpen your radar, and make their manipulations easier to spot. When you do notice these red flags, pay attention and look for repetitive patterns.
We all have bad days, but if this person keeps doing the same things over and over again, it is a good indication that you should distance yourself from them as far away as possible.
Not everyone you meet is a good person, and that has nothing to do with you. Be confident in yourself and who you are as a person. Fully own your faults, your weirdness, and the things that make you who you really are. You do not need the approval of anyone but yourself. However, if someone is trying hard to manipulate you, it’s probably because they need yours.