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Most of us have come in contact with a person that just sucks the life out of a room. This person may act like the life of the party and “joke” at other peoples expense. There are many traits that indicate someone may be a toxic person, so let’s take a look at some of the them.
Common Traits of a Toxic Person
1. They take more than they give…always!
A toxic person is always concerned with what someone can do for them. They may constantly ask for favors or “need” your help. Someone like this may only call you if they need something or might need something later.
2. They live in crisis mode…all the time!
A person that always seems to have a crisis going on might have a bigger issue than just a string of bad luck. They may even take minor things and make it seem like a crisis in order to get attention. The purpose of the “crisis” is always attention seeking and never about solving the problems.
3. Nothing is ever their fault.
No matter what the situation, there is always a reason that something isn’t their fault. Someone else overreacted, someone else misunderstood, someone else lied, someone else made me angry. There is someone else always at fault for the things that happen to them.
4. You never know what you are going to get.
A person who is toxic can be pleasant one time that you see them and vindictive the next. There is no real indication of why their attitudes change so you have no way of knowing in advance. This person may change in an instant so you find that you are “walking on eggshells” around them.
5. They do not respect your boundaries.
If you continually have to ask someone not to act a certain way around you and they ignore it. This is a sign that they may be toxic. If you have to constantly set your boundaries it is a sign that the person actually thrives on creating conflict. They may even blame you for being upset about it.
6. They never follow through.
Getting you to do things for them is their primary goal and they will promise you anything to get it. It is easy to spot this because this person will never follow through on those promises. They will always have a reason that they can’t fulfill the promise and you are supposed to accept it without question.
7. They lie about things that don’t matter.
This isn’t about white lies, lying to save face or to protect someone. This is a blatant pattern of repeated dishonesty. If you have someone around you that you can’t tell if they are lying or telling the truth, chances are that they might be toxic.
8. They lack empathy for others.
They usually don’t even acknowledge things going on in other people’s lives unless it affects them. If a family member is sick or having problems, they usually act like it isn’t a big deal. They basically don’t care about those around them so they do not bother to check on them…unless they suddenly need something.
What to Do About a Toxic Person?
Now that you have identified that someone is a toxic person, what do you do about it? There are several different ways to handle this but it can be tricky depending on what role the person has in you life. If this person is a family member, you may not be able to completely avoid contact altogether. If this person is a friend then it may be time to evaluate the status of the friendship.
What you can do is control how much this person is in your life. If they call and you are not in the mood to talk, don’t answer. Learn to say no when they ask you to do things for them. You have the ability to control what access someone has to your life and it is just a matter of taking that control.
Read my mental health story at How My Mind became my Enemy.