You will encounter toxic people throughout your life. You'll have to deal with someone who is pessimistic, someone who doesn't respect your time or even someone who manipulates you. Despite the fact that it may seem inconvenient, these types of people can actually pose a health and safety risk.
If you know someone who displays any of these, then you may want to remove them from your life. It won’t be easy. But, it’s in your best interest.
You'll never know which version you'll get.
There are days when they are completely lovely, and then there are days when you wonder what you did to upset them. In most cases, there is no apparent cause for the change in attitude - you just know there is something wrong, such as feeling prickly, sad, cold, or cranky. There's probably nothing wrong, but they'll tell you just enough to let you know that there is something wrong if you ask. Just enough can mean a heaving sigh, a raised eyebrow, or even a cold shoulder. During these times, you may find yourself making excuses for them or doing everything you can to please them. Do you see why it works for them?
Don't try to please them. The toxic people figured out a long time ago that decent people will go to extraordinary lengths to keep the people they care about happy. Maybe it's time to stop trying to please if your attempts don't work or don't last. Walk away and return when the mood has changed. You are not responsible for anyone's feelings. Ask, talk about, and apologize if necessary if you have unknowingly hurt someone. You shouldn't have to guess.
You'll be manipulated by them
You're probably right if you feel that you're the only one contributing to the relationship. Toxic people give off the vibe that you owe them something. In addition, they have a way of taking from you or doing something that hurts you, and then maintaining they were doing it for you. It is especially common in workplaces or relationships where power is imbalanced. 'I have left six months' worth of filing for you. The experience will help you learn your way around the filing cabinets. Or, ‘I'm having a dinner party. Bring dinner. I'll feed 10. You can show off your cooking skills. Okay?’’’
Feelings won't be owned by them.
Instead of owning their own feelings, they will act as if they are yours. Projecting their feelings and thoughts onto you is called projection. When someone is angry, but won't take responsibility for it, they might accuse you of being angry with them. The question might be as subtle as, ‘Are you okay with me?’ or a bit more pointed, ‘Why are you angry at me?’ Or, ‘You have been in a bad mood all day.’
Justifying and defending yourself will often lead to a circular argument - because it's not about you. Clarify what's yours and what's theirs. If you feel as if you are defending yourself too often against accusations or questions that don't fit, you might be being projected onto. No need to explain, justify, or defend yourself, or deal with a misfired accusation. Just remember that.
You'll have to prove yourself to them.
Regularly, they'll put you in a position where you have to choose between them and something else - and you'll always feel as though you have to choose them. Toxic people will wait until you have a commitment, then they will unfold the drama. If you really cared about me, you would skip your exercise class and spend time with me. The problem with this is that enough will never be enough. There are few things that are fatal - unless it's life or death, chances are it can wait.
No apology is ever offered by them
They'll lie before they apologize, so there's no point in arguing. The story will be twisted, altered, and retold so convincingly that they'll believe their own nonsense.
Being wrong does not require apologizing. Moving forward does not require an apology. Move forward without them. Don't surrender your truth, but don't argue. There is no point. You have better things to do than provide fodder for those who want to be right more than they want to be happy.
They will be there for you in a crisis, but they will never ever share your joy.
There are reasons why your good news isn't great news. About a promotion: 'The pay isn't that great for the amount of work you'll be doing.' About a beach vacation: 'Well it's going to be very hot.' Are you sure you want to go?’ ‘Well, the Universe isn’t that big and I’m pretty sure you won’t get tea breaks.’ Get the idea? Don't let them dampen your spirits or shrink you down. It isn't necessary to get their approval - or anyone else's for that matter.
They will leave a conversation unfinished - and then go offline.
They won't answer the phone. Neither will they respond to texts or emails. As you listen to their voicemail message, you might find yourself replaying the conversation or argument over and over in your head, wondering what you've done to upset them, or whether they're dead, alive, or just ignoring you - which sometimes all feel the same. People who care about you won't let you feel crap without trying to fix it. Of course, that doesn't mean you'll get it sorted out, but at least they'll try. If they leave you 'out there' for lengthy sessions, take this as a sign that they are invested in the relationship.
Conversations with them will be filled with irrelevant details
Toxic people will bring up irrelevant details from five arguments ago when you're trying to resolve something important to you. Before you know it, you're still defending yourself over something you did six months ago, rather than tackling the issue at hand. It always seems to come down to what you have done to them.