Do you have a toxic person in your life?

Draining, unsupportive, and difficult people are one of life’s greatest challenges. In this post, I want to talk about how you can spot, stop, and deal with the toxic people who come into your life. You deserve to have people in your life that you enjoy spending time with, that support you, and that you LOVE hanging out with.

Here’s the problem: Guilt

Whenever I talk about toxic people, the same categories seem to crop up over and over again:

  • Friend by History: This is a person whom you have known forever. Maybe you went to elementary school together, or you were neighbors growing up. Now you feel guilty ending the relationship. 
  • Friend by Proximity: This is a person who comes as a package with someone else in your life. Maybe it’s your partner’s best friend, or your friend’s brother who always tags along, or your best friend’s childhood friend. You feel guilty because you don’t want to put your person in an awkward situation.
  • Friend by Context: This is a person who you see all the time in a specific area of your life–someone you work with everyday… someone on your flag football team… someone who lives across the hall. You feel guilty brushing them off because you see them all the dang time.

Sometimes these relationships are casual, but other times they can grow rotten. You end up keeping someone in your life who is jealous or has a totally different set of ethics, and that is when they become toxic.

The 7 Types of Toxic People

Here are the 7 types of toxic people to watch out for:

The Conversational Narcissist

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 narcissists 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 will never be attentive to your needs.

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The Strait Jacket

The straitjacket 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!

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The Emotional Moocher

An emotional moocher is also known as a “spiritual vampire,” because they tend to suck the positivity out of you or bleed you emotionally dry. These are the people who always have something sad, negative, or pessimistic to say. In conversations and relationships, they can never see the positive, and tend to bring everyone down with them. If you’re with someone and they only have bad things to say whenever you see them, watch out; it might not get better.

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The 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.

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The JJ

A JJ is a jealous-judgmental person. My friends and I can spot a JJ from a mile away, and I want to show you how to as well. Jealous people are incredibly toxic because they have so much self-hate that they can’t be happy for anyone around them. And typically, their jealousy comes out as judgment, criticism, or gossip. According to them, everyone else is awful, uncool, or lacking in some way. If someone starts to gossip jealously about other people, watch out, this might be a toxic person—and you never know what they say about you behind your back.

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The Fibber

I had a lot of liars in my life before I learned human lie detection. Liars, fibbers, exaggerators… it’s exhausting to have a toxic deceiver in your life. Whether they tell little falsehoods or major lies, it’s impossible to trust a liar in a relationship. Dishonesty drains us because we are constantly doubting their words. If your intuition is ringing alarm bells, then watch out; get out before you’re lied to.

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The Tank

A tank crushes everything in its wake. A human tank is always right, doesn’t take anyone else’s feelings or ideas into account, and constantly puts themselves first. In a relationship, tanks are incredibly arrogant and see their personal opinions as facts. This is because they often think they are the smartest person in the room, so they see every conversation and person as a challenge that must be won over. They rarely see others as equals—and this can be challenging when trying to form a loving connection. If you feel your ideas are being run over, or you are not being respected, get out while you still can!

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How to Deal with Toxicity

Did someone pop into your head as I explained these toxic personality types? If you have someone in your life whom you dread seeing, who doesn’t respect your opinions, or who makes you feel bad about yourself in any way, then you need to just say no. 

Do you feel:

  • You have to constantly save this person and fix their problems
  • You are covering up or hiding for them
  • You dread seeing them
  • You feel drained after being with them
  • You get angry, sad or depressed when you are around them
  • They cause you to gossip or be mean
  • You feel you have to impress them
  • You’re affected by their drama or problems
  • They ignore your needs and don’t hear ‘no’

You deserve to have wonderful, supportive and loving people in your life. In fact, life is too short to spend time with people who don’t help you be your best self. I hope you will use this article as your immunization against toxic people!

About Science of People

Our mission is to help you achieve your social and professional goals faster using science backed, practical advice. Our team curates the best communication, relationship and social skills research; turning into actionable and relatable life skills. Science of People was founded by Vanessa Van Edwards, bestselling author of Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People. As a recovering awkward person, Vanessa helps millions find their inner charisma.

123 replies on “7 Types of Toxic People and How to Spot Them”

  1. William Peifer

    I met someone who meets all of the criteria of the conversational narcist, tank and the straight jacket.

    Yes all 3 in one person.

    He told me I need to change and every time I do something or say something then I am learning, and yet he doesn’t do anything impressive enough to show any growth himself.

  2. Carl Warren,Sr

    I totally agree with the explanations used for the 7 types of toxic people. As a Clinical Therapist for over forty plus years, I have been fortunate to encounter myself and other such people in professional ways and as clients. Toxic people have been great in helping me to emotionally, psychologically and spiritually grow. Toxic people helped me to introspectively “Stop”, “Look”, “Listen”, “Think” and “Process” much of my own pain and toxicity that I have been able to recognize, acknowledge and accept to overcome and is still overcoming more daily. It was and is my need to grow and heal my body, mind and spirit from self abuse, other’s abuses, cruelty and rejection by my mother, racism, and legal exploitations of myself and my black brothers and sisters, have led me on various paths, which oftentimes led me to serving others, serving “humanity”, and sometimes, serving my enemies with selflessness and agape love. I came to realize, “No One Can For Me, No One Will Do For Me, and I Do Not Expect Anyone to Do For Me, What I must First Do For Myself, and Accept the responsibilities and consequences for my decisions. I have had to learn from decisions that did not go the way I wanted the outcomes to be. As Hamlet said, “To Be, or Not To Be, Is the Question”. To Be or Not Be A Toxic Person, Is Each of Our Choice and Responsibility. A Beginning Point for Me, Was Learning to Get Out of My Way, by Learning to Be “Brutally” Emotional Honest With Myself. Then, I am Able to Be, Emotionally and Empathetically Honest with Others. However, I have learned to accept others as they are, “Remembering, Only by Grace of the Creator as I Understand the Creator To Be, “There Where I Once Was, or May in Some Way Still Be Struggling.” “Om Mani Pad Mi Hum”. “Hail to Our Over Selves”!!!

  3. DG WRITINGS twt

    Okay the reason why im here because i want to find answers on why i have to deal/ how to deal with someone like this who’s close with me- my sister. I mean we dont always fight, but when we do, it’s something because of communication breakdown and one of us refuse to be incorrect. I also wanted to know about what do you call somebody who emotionally manipulate someone just for them to become or feel superior, or to the point of using physical abuse to shut down someone. Toxic is a commonly used word for a variety of reasons, and i wanted to find specific answer by reaching out here. Nevertheless, i found answers here that seem helpful on how to spot different kinds of toxic people.

    1. Lee rose

      I have the same problem with my older brother but he gets me stuff and we hang out but as soon as he assumes or thinks I’m upset angry or using him witch I’m not he says a lot of mean stuff and gets really really petty and it’s constantly exhausting having him assume on a daily basis that I’m upset and he goes on long rant and text of paragraphs literal paragraphs on how I’m wrong and I need to apologize for making him sad or something or need to own up to my mistakes and grow up it’s mentally taxing and I’m soooo tired I just want my creativity and happyish self back I was 13 to 14 when he started living with us and he used me to vent and I’m a good person and listener but it becomes to much at some point to be dragged around and sit there and listen to some deep stuff he told me meanwhile I can barely deal with stuff I’m going through I’m 18 now and I’ve wasted my emotional health and mind dealing with this person I’m exhausted.

  4. Some Guy

    Hi.

    Its great article. And i must say that some of this characteristic my wife had. I can say that i never met more pesimistic person in my life, plus, sometimes it got me upset, and by nature i am optimistic not angry guy, but she could poke that in me. Due to i was optimisic person always, i kinda always tried converting her pesimizam into finding solutions and moving on, but you get tired of it. So once i started to get tired of it, i started to pull back, cut out my feelings, and going towards the end of relationship. Which evetually happened and we got divorced. But 10 years of marriage is nice milestone for me. Check. Move on. Life is short, i want to feel happy in any moment, and have around myself only people who can fit in that. If i see i am getting tired of someone, i cut the root and its goodbye. Life is then much better. no matter if i end up alone. And i am not depressed person, so its advantage for me, because i always try to find positivity in everything, solution, and it feels great.

  5. Webworm

    I disagree with this video. I find it “dangerous” even. The type of persons you describe are not what “toxic” means. In your video you simply describe narcistic, negative or indifferent people. Yes, they _might_ be toxic, but this is not a sufficiant criteria for “toxic person”.

    I find your vido “danerous” because it causes suspiciousness reg. people that act in an annoying way, that have flaws, but that are not toxic.
    One of the comments shows it: “My dad is toxic. He always wants to be right”. Yes, this is annoying and exhausting. But that is not what toxic means.

    Your video doesn’t even describe a real toxic person:
    Someone who is toxic acts subtile, deceitful. They manipulate and – above all – they split people, friendshp and trust. Toxic people mob and segregate people. They spread lies and mistrust.

    1. Alone

      I am strongly agree with you, I have a few friends who are as toxic as you mentioned, acts deceitful and trying to manipulate. Most importantly is they do segregate people and friendship by spreading lies and hates. I feel like I am even more isolated and have to agree everything with them. I think this is the more appropriate definition of toxic people, they are just constantly spreading hates made me feel depressed. What makes me more depressed is one of them was actually a very close friend to me, my only best friend, but he does not even take me as his good friend let along best friend, I feel like he uses me as “negativity absorber”, when he approaches me mostly all he does is just constantly feeding me all the negative energy, hates, biased and manipulative opinions. I’m helpless, I don’t know what should I do, I need help, I need advices, I feel like I can’t let go a 8 years friendship.

    2. Ray

      Definition of Toxic Personality from WEB MD – A toxic person is anyone whose behavior adds negativity and upset to your life.
      Why have people in your life who bring negativity and upset? Unless you are forced to like in a job. But in your free time, why associate with people who add negative drag? It’s better to sit at home alone in good company than go out with someone who is gong to affect you negatively.
      You don’t owe people anything. If they don’t add to your life, there is no need to deal with them.

    3. Tami

      I agree with you. Everyone has flaws that doesn’t mean they are toxic. This video is totally wrong.

      1. Joan Fournier-Huck

        I have a toxic controlling person in my life and is my sons girlfriend and her daughter is my grand child whom I love very much, and this person is toxic in my life. I allowed her to move in because 0f my grand daughter and she in not grateful as she tries to change everything from how I arrange my fridge, my home, meals, furniture, daily routine, what I feed my dog and cat, take over my conversations with friends who stop by. buys food only she enjoys, will kiss my husbands butt to get to me. I can not take it any more when she goes to work I change it all back and it does not get the message through. Help

      2. Barb

        That’s very true…BUT when you recognize a toxic (narcissistic) person, it is what it is! Imagine having an Aunt & Uncle that carries 5 of the traits above! They’re my Mom’s siblings! It’s genetic. I love them but it’s a challenge to deal w/them!!

    4. J lo

      Try having better reading skills, because the author clearly wrote every single thing you said “she did not.” I didn’t watch the video, but I do know how to read and spell correctly. And you are, clearly, wrong.

  6. Adaline

    Yup. That settles it. My dad is definitely messed up and toxic. He always has to be right, ALWAYS. He uses fear, mocking, and other tactics to make me feel like the traitor. I DREAD hanging with him. My parents are divorced, but dont worry, it was a huge relief for me. They argued 24/7, my dad mentally and, would try to, physically abuse my mom. I cant even go the car trip home without getting scolded twice over something! And to gaslight me, he acts innocent and like hes never done anything wrong and can’t understand why we are so “disrespectful at times”. I’m done. So over it. I resent him so much I never want to build back our relationship, ever. I’m also bi, hes homophobic. I will not come out till I have complete control of my life, so he can do no harm. Hopefully. This article confirms through and through his tactics, and I’m done. Just wanted to vent that..

  7. Veronica

    Thank you!!!! Your first word was already a diagnosis: “guilt”. Thank you!! This is the invisible lash which keep us suffering from toxic people, and not feeling well saying no.
    Genius!

  8. Barbara

    I am 58 as is my friend from 7th grade. I feel like she is so toxic that it leaves me drained and I always need to block her out for periods of times. I am married, she is not, she cares for her elderly mother who is not well. She never listens to me no matter what. I do not like talking on the phone but she demands, pushes then insists so I try to talk to her on the phone at least once a week. I told her weekends are bad because my husband works and we have things to do and Sunday is family day here, she ignores that and will call over and over on those days anyway. She makes long lists of things people need to change about themselves or long lists on how someone should have done something. She points out people’s faults denies she has any ever, never apologizes for anything she does then has the hill to make remarks like her friends aren’t being supportive of her. It’s just a constant burage of psycho bs. It drains me. She saw a post on my fb where another friend of ours made a remark about leaving their phone in her car and she didn’t bring the phone to them.she flew into a slaughter house of berating remarks, blocking them, telling me what I should say to them according to her , on and on, when I said stop, stop this, the stress and drama causes my heart muscles to squeeze it’s not good for me I can’t take this and I am not joining in on gossip, she ignored it continued on for 5 more days, sending me snap shots of remarks then screen shots of the entire post and comments again. When I had enough and comforted her she literally denied any wrong, did not apologize and then decided to make remarks to people about how her father is dying and she knows who her real friends are from who commented on her fb post. I did not because I have had it with this garbage. Seriously I need to dump this self centered toxic train wreck. The question is do I now while her father is dying or do I wait and have to tolerate her raging fits further?

  9. Jason

    I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching and self reflection lately due to my marriage ending. Part of this is reading through articles like this to see where things went wrong. After 30 years of codependency, I find myself a broken man. When I looked through the list, some of those things reflect back on me and some relate to my ex. I know we are human and make mistakes and try to learn from them, but sometimes we fall into a rut and don’t realize it until it is too late. Of course hindsight is 20/20 and we can see the road behind us, but I had a hard time in the past seeing the road ahead and where I should have made the changes. Thank you for the article and the ability to post. It is a bit cathartic to be able to get this out in writing and reflect.

    1. Scott

      Hang in there Jason. I’m going thru the exact same thing. 30 years and suddenly it’s over and there’s no family home for kids and grandkids to get together at anymore. We are all capable of having toxic tendencies but honesty, humility and seeking and granting forgiveness helps a great deal. Best wishes.

  10. Dhananjay Lele

    Hi I liked the 7 steps but would have been really helpful if you had told us how to deal with them. Nexuses if we keep on eliminating people based on these techniques we might be left alone with no one around us.

  11. Sen

    there is something more important that you didn’t mention, there are of coarse more types of toxic people, but I’m sure everybody already knows that. what I’m trying to say is – the kind of toxic person that thinks of themselves lower than their partner or other people. these people always blame themselves and are very paranoid. they tend to think that people don’t like them and push others away. they pretend to like isolation but they are screaming for help. they almost always pretend to be happy and don’t share emotions or trust easily. often this is caused by their past and these people are toxic but not the kind that the author here mentions. but I like the article anyways. <3

    1. Angel

      That’s called depression with a touch of ptsd. The ptsd can be worked through. But the depression will more then likely if severe enough, need medication at least to begin with. Biggest thing to remember is that metaphoically we might stand in the same forest with the same trees, but no one’s eyes see the same trees…similar yes but you can’t judge wat others see and feel just because the way you see and feel. We must all be open to every ones interpretation… That doesn’t mean you have to see it the same we just have to acknowledge we see differently,and accept it as normal.

      1. Bahareh

        Hello !
        Is there any book which can help them ? Or is it any way to help them as unprofessional person ?

      2. Joan

        feel for you as I know how it feels and tired of it. When she leaves I change it all back and she does not get it even though I have brought it to her her attention. Help and I have tried it all including things not mentioned.

    2. j

      is this actually traits of a toxic person? to me, it sounds like they could possibly be having anxiety, depression etc.

    3. Margo

      This isn’t toxicity. This is depression and anxiety. These are the people that need support, and are usually victims of truly toxic people. So let’s not label people with trust issues and self esteem issues as “toxic” because they are already struggling more than you could understand. Judging and pushing them away because they are “paranoid” or “think less of themselves” is far more toxic than the attributes you just listed…

  12. SAM

    This article helps me realize that i’ve been in a relationship with a “Drama Magnet” , i could never understand how they’re always starting a problem, after another has been resolved. And they always make me feel bad and indirectly blames me for the problem they created themselves.

  13. Toyin

    The Story of my life.. I finally left the Toxic marriage.. It was terrible.. My health was affected. Depressed, mental down.. Now i found my Sanity back.. Leave a toxic relationship.. Fast

      1. Kelly Corkran

        I am having trouble with a toxic person in my life but on the upside I am having to learn to say no and stop being a soft touch.

  14. Anupriya

    Thankyou,

    I knew something was wrong with my own sister. Recently our relationship has become more vicious. While listening to you I have realized that there are so many traits she has. She finds something to blame on me every single day. Her energy around me is of hate and jealously for which I really see no reason. If I compare….She is fair, I am dark, She is intelligent I am not. She has so many achievements and I don’t. But, Instead I should have been that insecure person but I am not. I am feeling bad for myself realizing how much I have tolerated in last 30 years and where it lead us. I have completely lost myself. My selfesteem is dead and I hated myself so much all these years for causing pain to her. I definitely can’t change anything about and around her but yeah.. I am moving out!

  15. gul

    Hi, I’m 20(and from a non English speaking country) So, after I started a fight with my sister(a year older than me) I felt horrible. I knew I was going to start a fight and I couldn’t stop myself and said hurtful things to her..and made her cry and then I cried.. I did same thing to my older sister but only she cried. I even do same things to my parents.. I always realize how bad and horrible person I am right after I hurt them and when my anger is gone(like 5 to 10 mins :(..) and so, after feeling worst the way I treated my sister, I went online to see why I am the way I am..and I found this site/this post. I have 6 out of these 7 traits. I want to change but I always go back to being the same horrible person I am. I tried almost everything but I can’t keep my mouth shout. I am thinking of seeing a psychiatrist, because I always hurt and try to control people around me. That’s why I lost all my friends around me.

    I don’t think I can change without getting help anymore because I’m crossing the line every time and I don’t want my sister to not like me or not want to see me anymore. I hate making people sad but why can’t I stop myself..after this site popped out front of me, I’m more and more sure to see a psychiatrist, and hopefully be a better person. I hope anyone who has these traits can change:(

    I got so sad when I saw someone saying that they put distance between themselves and their sister and that they got better and that they still love their sister but they do not like them anymore. It’s sad. I don’t want any of my family members to say that or even think that way about me. Not because I like to control people but because I honestly truly love them.
    I really do.
    I want to be normal, like everyone else.

    1. Ashlyn

      Hi Gul,

      My sister is like you, except she doesn’t care that she hurts others. So the fact that you care and want to change is already huge. The biggest thing is mobilizing that desire of change into action. I would recommend seeing a psychologist/therapist, see someone who will try behavioral therapy and not force drugs like psychiatrists often do.

      I hope you are able to find help, because the reality is that we cannot treat people however we want and expect them to still want us in their lives (as you already know). I hope you find help, and know that it is out there. Research blogs and articles of people who struggle in the same way you do, you will find both solidarity, hope, and practices on how to get better. It is possible, I believe in you! 🙂

    2. Susan

      It’s good that recognize that you have problems and need to get help. I suggest that you do if you can. Wishing you the best!

    3. M.R.

      July 2, 2021

      I think/am wondering if maybe it’s a matter of different personalities, or something like birth order traits. It also sounds like you have emotional pain of your own: maybe you are just a different person( we all are), and maybe the relationships vary accordingly with each relationship. Family dynamics also play a role and are impacted by each family member and all the subsequent relationships. Do not be hard on yourself: love you, appreciate you, understand you, be a listener.

  16. Abdel Hamid

    How about the one person who is emotionally unpredictable, for making myself more clear, you wouldn’t know if this person would get mad at you for no apparent reason and upon asking, you have to dig really deep to know why they’re mad.

  17. Shelly

    I have this friend who is always talking about her boyfriends and her problems. She always asks me if she likes her boyfriend, if she should break up with him, or ask me if she like someone. This has been going on for months. She barley takes time for me. Any time I go to tell her my feelings she ignores them and goes on to talk about her boyfriend problems. We can’t even have a real conversetation without those questions coming up. She thinks everything is about her boyfriend. One day she said ” if I don’t eat my food I feel like I don’t love him anymore. – Talking about her boyfriend. It’s every five seconds. I want my friend back but at the same time I wonder if she’s toxic..

  18. Chuck

    I’m married with two kids and my wife is very toxic. What seemed things that could improve with time only got worse to an incredible extent. It’s tough. It made me grow a lot through meditation and self inquiry. I’d leave if I could but I love my children, they are 7 and 9 and they get it. They are victims too but they live their mother. By only satisfaction when I confront her is that I capture all her attention and she doesn’t lashes out on the kids so it protects them. I’m making plans to propose an amicable separation but I know it’s gonna be hard because she’s vengeful. She stopped her own mother and sister to see the children for 5 years. I was the one who brought them back. It’s hard. Sometimes I lose it. But I will keep meditating and growing. But I feel I also need to therapy.

      1. Anon

        it’s admirable what u are doing for ur kids and I appreciate your efforts, I’m sorry that u have to deal with this

      2. Pati

        Hi Chuck, You don’t need to correct your mistakes I understand exactly what you’re saying. I detect a lot of positivity with you and I wish you all the best to succeed and I get it that you’re staying around for the right reasons and you appear to be a very protective father and those children are very lucky to have you

      3. Jay

        Thank you so much for this piece of a well-written article.

        As I have seen from some of the comments about how they have a friend or two that fit into these categories and here I am wondering whether am I the one who is toxic. I am truly confused and sometimes my friends make me wonder if I am the bad guy.

        I have trust issues and I really hope that it doesn’t get in the way of me trying to open up to other people. My trust issues have been around since I was betrayed by some of my friends from way back then and I have been trying to fix it. Since some of my current friends knew that I have trust issues and I wonder if they are using this as a way to make me feel more like a bad person in a friendship. I hate it when I found out that one of them was trying to imitate whatever I am doing just to get others’ approval. I felt like my identity was stolen from me and it makes me think a lot about how I felt. Am I wrong to have such an ugly feeling?

        People say that a toxic person would feel angry at others getting compliment and I did feel angry at times especially when the compliments aren’t befitting to that person. There are lots of time when I would genuinely feel proud and happy for my friends’ achievements and that is because I know that they truly deserved it unlike some imitator.

        Can someone tell me whether am I the toxic one and if so, what should I do to grow into a better person, please?

      4. Susan

        I feel so bad for you, I can’t imagine how difficult this must be, especially when you have children. Hugs

    1. Nicole

      I am in a similar boat, however this just happened to me regarding my toxic Sister. After I rationally stood up to her and voiced how she hurt me emotionally she lashed out in anger and said I am never seeing her Son (my Nephew) again. I am also meditating and seeking therapy which is helpful. Good luck to you.

    2. Bob

      Chuck, I have been in a similar relationship for 23 years. I also have two children who are now 22 and 19 and dealing with emotional issues. My wife and I were in counciling one year after we met and the advice given to me was turn and run. I did not because of our first born and my love for him. My whole life has been nothing but serving her like a slave but nothing is ever enough to please her. I know now what a mistake it was to stay in the relationship and how staying actually hurt my children instead of helping. They never got to see me as a role model under normal life. My wife can’t help who she is, I’ve given up waiting for the day she will ever say she is sorry for mistreating someone. I have watched her disrespect and disown friends and family members over the years for reasons only she can justify. My advice is gather all of your strength and leave, even if you see your children less time each week it will be quality time that will help them develop into good people.

    3. John

      I have experienced your situation for 31 years and it is very difficult. Try to find joy and happiness for you and your 2 children and try not to take anything your wife does or says personally, she, like my wife , probably has a diagnosable personality disorder.

  19. Akari

    First, I want to thank you for the article that you published. It is really an eye opener for me.

    I am currently inside a certain dilemma right now, dealing with a friend who feels too entitled , simply because she is older than me, she was my classmate back in the University, she is my close friend’s big sister and my roommate for 6 months already due to the lockdown. I am in my 20’s and currently held a position at work. This “friend” happens to be under my supervision.
    Yet she always wants to bring our friendship at work.
    She will be too dramatic if new rules and announcements will be posted. She will message me, telling that it’s too much and rants all about it, she even did all these in a sarcastic way. She always told me like it’s bad to always follow company rules, that I just love the company too much because of my position. I just turn deaf ear and try to understand her side since I am responsible for her as her leader,I raised her concern everytime she has one and it turns out I’m the bad one after that.Worse is , she becomes my roommate because of the lockdown. I’ve been putting up with her for 6 months and counting. She often confronts and blames me, she will often throw shades at me, especially when my other roommates are around. She doesn’t want to talk to me directly when it’s only the two of us inside the room, it seems like she needs audience everytime she rants. I was almost done with the stage where I care too much for her because she’s my temporary roommate. I started not to care but it hurts to be excluded, to feel unwanted eventhough I did not do anything wrong. I was wondering sometimes what’s wrong with following company rules, raising concerns if necessary. Oftentimes, when she throw shades again and again , I just stay silent , I don’t want to waste my energy anymore explaining again and again and trying to let her understand my side.
    So , I recently bought a pair of headset because of this and I enclosed myself in a protective shell. I put barrier and will just stay as silent as possible whenever she throws shades at me. I become a kill joy person when I’m inside our room. But I still act civil in front of her and ask questions whenever I needed to. I am slowly turning into an introvert and I feel like I am being caged already. I want to leave this place before I will lose my sanity and myself but I can’t for now.
    I often cry myself to sleep. I feel like did I really did something wrong to ruin a friendship.Why is it too difficult for her to understand things, this is not the first time she did this , this past 6 months, too many times already that I came to the point where I just got fed up, I will not say I don’t care about because I still do.All I want is for her not to bring our misunderstanding at work in our room, because right now, the room is my only haven but she’s slowly turning it into an undesirable place to stay. And I can’t let that happen.
    I really don’t know if ignoring her and being civil will make a difference or I should talk to her alone again to bring back our friendship.

    1. Jay

      Dear Akari,

      After reading your comments, your friend is definitely the one who has the problem. Not only did she not respect your duty and job but she always wants to play the victim as well. I had friends like yours and I went through the same thing. Confining myself, becoming an introvert and I would always kill the mood in a room. Then, when things got worse, I began to develop trust issues and till today, I feel vulnerable trying to open up to new friends.

      Some friends who are considerate would understand whereas others would use this and manipulate you further. They would direct a play that makes you the villain of the stage.

      All in all, I just want you to know that you’re not alone and what you’ve done is for your own good. If you love the job and the company while others are trying to make your life harder, let’s just ignore them and move on with our life. We are better off without them and someday, someone who is better will definitely be there for you.

      1. Sheila

        I feel terrible for ignoring my friend. But is it supposed to take mounds of effort to be someone’s friend?
        We were friends years ago but stopped just parted ways. About a year ago she moved in two doors down from my dad and down the road from me. So of course we ran back into each other. At first it was great! Reminiscing and hanging out. But then I find out that she’s a major hoarder. She’s always going curbside shopping and getting more and more junk than she knows what to do with. She keeps asking me to help her get stuff on-line for her to sell. And she gets upset because I just don’t have any interest in doing that. She asks for way too much money for everything she’s got! And with the Corona epidemic now, people aren’t wanting to buy used stuff from other people.
        Also she’ll call me about some kind of drama and gets upset if I don’t answer or call her right back! I start getting messages from her saying I’m disrespectful and mean. I’ve helped her move stuff, clean and organize her place, loaned her money that I’ve never got back,and tried to give her advice that she never wants to hear from me.
        So yeah, now I’m ignoring her because either she’s going to ask to help her do something or I’ve got to hear how bad her life is. And I’ve got a boyfriend and a 11 year old girl. If I can’t jump to her needs, I have to hear what a bad friend I am.
        How do I tell her that I just can’t handle being her friend? She already talks about having no one and how alone she is!

    2. Patrick

      Dear Askari,

      She is jealous of you and trying to bring you down. She will never change. Try and hold on until you don’t have to share your room and drop her. Jealous people never change, it’s in their nature and they are toxic. She will try and put you down at every opportunity. You love the company you work for so, follow the rules if you want. Do what your heart is telling you to do, you will feel better when you move on from this person. I do , since I moved on from a toxic family member who had put me down for years. I realised after moving on, that she was the cause of me feeling depressed. I am fine now that I have moved on.
      I know this is about you ,but just given you an example of how toxic people make you feel and the benefit of moving on. You can do it by cooling off in a gentle was as you work with her so, keep professional and slowly push her away.
      Good luck.

    3. Lillie

      Hi Akari,

      It’s an awful thing to be going through and you shouldn’t have to as you have a right to peace and respect!

      Your so called “friend” is not a friend. Regardless of the situation she needs to show respect.

      Obviously she has issues, and is behaving in a totally disrespectful manner towards you at work which is unacceptable. You are doing the right thing, you are following company guidelines and procedures, of course if you don’t agree you can take them up personally with your management. If your staff don’t agree you can organize a team meeting and then discuss it with upper management. If that fails, too bad, she either needs to zip her mouth and get on with her job, leave or get fired!!

      You should not have to accommodate her needs this is not about her, it’s a place of business, and she needs to get over it, get on with it or get out and you need to remind her of this, dont be afraid of the ” what if”. Look at it this way, you lose a friend you gain another.

      Nobody should have to succumb to attitudes of others, by you depriving yourself of enjoying your time at work and home. The reason she won’t confront you directly alone is she is afraid of what you will say to her, she is not as strong as you think!!
      This is only because nobody has yet to stand up to her, she need’s other’s around for support and approval. This makes her feel special and superior.

      Best way to deal with her is show her who’s in charge. You’re not settling for her pettiness, she needs to be reminded she is at work and if you need to be more ruthless then you do it!!
      Having said that, you can share private jokes, conversations but remind her there will be no special treatment in the workplace and not be compelled into thinking she can act a certain way and be treated differently to other’s because she is a “friend” . When you’re outside of work, she can be your friend. You may like to talk to your close friend about their sister’s behavior. This is inappropriate and unacceptable behavior towards you. If she shows no restraint or improves in her attitude, then you need to let her go, this is not healthy for you and your environment.

      Remain professional, be tactful and diplomatic in your approach. Let her know the difference between work and outside. There are rules and etiquette to follow in the real world it’s called professionalism and business.

    4. Mary

      Greetings Askari,
      I am sorry about that situation. I have experienced similar situation. After 11 years I excused myself and that ended that. Sometimes people stay and get “battered”and they become same as you feel. Toxic drama Is there a reason you let her batter you? You can change your situation and it takes courage. You can sympathize with her and slowly ad leave her. Send her to another dept. or fire her. Misery loves company and it is to “disinfect” yourself. She will not change for a wild. It appears you feel responsible for her. This is a good example to use “social distancing”. 6 ft apart and wear a mask. Seek help from your supervisor Ask the super to watch the interaction and feedback. OR one of you have to go. If it continues she will cost your job, She has to be noticed- -she is a borderline drama queen. Outsiders will see the problem and may turn on you. That is how she will win. You can work with someone or be a friend but you will lose in the end. Seen it too many times. Sorry I can not change the situation but YOU are her boss. It will hurt because you want to help a Borderline Disorder. There is no help for her, except a therapist/psychology. BPD is the ONE disorder NO one wanted to deal with. I got stuck with same type and they kept assigning her to me when I was off duty. When I returned I fixed them. She did not want me as her primary after I got fed up with the staff and her. Women With serious personality disorder. Google Personality disorders. There are 3 major problem Personality disorders: BPD is the WORSE. You may know another as serious as your problem.They always get one up on you. You may get help with a counselor. That will also benefit you to remedy the ties. At this point, YOU have to make the call. Toughen up. You nay have to deal with same situation again. Then, you will “Be Prepared”. I tel you this because I have been same situation and it is a circular situation. Be Well.
      Mary

  20. Cecelia

    I wasn’t aware I had a toxic co-worker/friend until recently. We were both at the same place in our lives at one time (worked from home–had three kids the same age). We run in the same social circles for work. One of our other social friends sent a group email out asking for advise on a certain vendor. Right away, my coworker replied with a suggestion. I also replied later asking if she knew another vendor for her situation. My coworker immediately responded back to me that she took care of the problem already with our social friend . As if I am a 6th grader being told to stay out of a certain group! I responded back to her “wow!. She asked for suggestions and I gave her my idea”. And other things..snide remarks to me how she didnt’ how “I was that busy at work!” ( I won an award) She secretly competes with me..takes courses after she finds out I have taken them.
    What an eye opener! I’ve been ghosting her for the weeks now. She is constantly calling me for ‘help’ ( which I now see a way to convince me she is a victim in some fashion).
    When I think back on past conversations, she has a way to play the victim “why does he like you and not me?” “Why do they respond to you and not me?” “What did I do wrong that he screamed at me on the phone”. So many things that sadly, I didn’t know I was being used and played. No more. I can’t believe I am 60 years old and having to deal with a woman who has a 6th grade maturity level. Good grief.

    1. Mary

      Hi Cecelia,

      I read couldn’t help but empathized with you as your situation sounds so much like my very own.
      I came into a friendship with a co worker who just joined the staff little over a year ago. We meshed right away as we both are mothers of children around the same age and worked in the same department.
      As time passed, she became very controlling, competitive and judgmental of everyone around her including me. She asks a lot of favors from people and tried using me to do things for her- for the people who she wanted the favors from. She is highly manipulative and seems to be always in the midst of a staff conflict but somehow gets herself out. I noticed that when she cannot get her way she becomes highly critical and compares her co workers. She claims she has a lot of friends but all I see her doing is using them for favors and it made me so sick that I slowly stopped hanging around her. She became obsessive when she realized I was trying to pull away and told me how much she loved me and our friendship. Oh … she is very good at complimenting and buttering up to people to melt their hearts…she does it to everyone and she tells everyone she loves them when she wants something from them. A part from that she is a spoilt child in a body of an adult and expects everyone to pamper her the same way her mother and husband do. I have reached to the point that I told her some things on my mind…but she turns it around like its my fault.

      The best advice I can give is to stay clear and severe all close ties to people like this. They live in their own bubble and see things from their own perspective. It does not make sense to argue your point or give an opinion as persons like this fail to see their own shortcomings.

      1. Mary

        You did the right thing for both of you.The other people have to make up their own minds to cut the cord. Those situations never resolve unless one leaves the relationship. You are correct about handling that circular relationship. One person can not make that situation work. It takes two but one has to decide that the relationship is toxic and has to sever ties. Others are feeding her never ending appetite for drama. She may even argue with herself. I am glad you were Brave,. You may have saved you and her. Now the other employees have to do what you did. It is hard but that was a losing situation.
        Be Well.

    2. Lillie

      Hi Cecelia,

      Wow! is about right.

      How atrocious co-workers and friends can act.

      Simply, this lady is very jealous of you and your achievements. She plays the victim while at the same time wants to be like you.

      However, since she is nothing like you, by her immediately responding before you and telling you she’s taking care of everything makes her feel more competent and centre of attention.

      Ghosting her is one way but not always the best way. Confronting her in a polite way of course, about her actions and responses to you is often the best way to get her to realize what she is doing can be uncomfortable and hurtful as it shows disregard and disrespect on your output.

      If you simply just ignore her, she keeps doing this and will do to other’s. These type of people need to be shown a mirror, their actions cause hurt and discomfort to other’s they need to be told. This may not make them always change their ways but certainly wakes them up, like a slap in the face.

      If she poses more problems, then it’s time to not have anything to do with her cease contact and stay away from her if possible.

  21. Teresa

    I’ve been in a relationship for 3 yrs.
    Always getting hope to : taking me out, spending time with me. But instead all I’ve received are lies Giving without receiving till my immune system is now weak. I’m depressed Unsure of myself Low self esteem and drained when he feels the need to see me All I have done is cry for the last 3 yrs He ignored my birthday Went in a trip with so called friends Which I found out to be a lie. Now getting help from hospital counseling:) it was hard for me to believe people can be so selfish and cruel

    1. Ogunbela Mayowa

      I am largely broken from your comment here, thing is you have allowed man play GOD in your private life, I have not seen or meet you in person but I know you are a beautiful person in and out and you deserve way better than you are offering yourself, come-on girl three years is too long to mourn a dead man say less of a careless thing, if he don’t care about you why bother about him, a thousand of us would go to the moon and back just because of you, release yourself from this self-imposed bondage and explore the best the world has to offer you my dear, you will soon find love and regret wasting so much time and energy on a very careless thing, I hate to see you cry again about this baby, wake up and get up for that which is good for your health. Run a few meters and tell yourself how beautiful you are and how someone good is dying to just have a hand shake with you. Just to let you know I love you and we love you too. [email protected]

  22. Jesse Silva

    Question: What if the better answer to dealing with toxic people is to increase our skills so that no form of toxicity affects us internally? Wouldn’t that be the antidote to toxic behavior? It seems an odd path to remove people from your life that you blame for your feelsing inside, doesn’t it?

    1. Suzie

      No. The other person will not change. I suppose you can muscle up but, don’t expect that person to change.

    2. Crystal

      I think it’s hard to be emotionally competent beccause it in a way helps to enforce such toxic behaviours. But with love I often hold the belief that the toxic person would eventually realize his problems at his pace.

      Everyone can be toxic from time to time. I would also believe that my toxic behaviours would go away by embracing the world with more love.

  23. Subs

    Hi, I commend those who could identify some of these toxic traits within themselves. I was actually doing a search on why people would always be mean to me and avoid me and why my relationships with other people always end up a desaster. I am a toxic person seeing in this article what I see. The only close friend I have is another toxic person. Thank God for lockdown! I am now frantically searching for an antidote, remedy or medication, as I read this can be neurological. Help!

    1. starryskies

      My friend who is toxic is actually has a friend that is toxic also i gave up on her because she posted a conversation with her toxic friend and the topic was me she forgot to blur out my name. She’s a best friend of mine from elementary and i’m turning 30 in my life time i just want to avoid and detox from things that will cause me unnecessary stress all that i read about in this article fits her i always have to fix her and her problems even her decision making she always always have problems she can’t seem to get away from she lies and cheat but enough is enough she have done me wrong so many times this one is the last i love her but i can’t be with her life goes on.

    2. Ogunbela Mayowa

      I commend those who could identify some of these toxic traits within themselves, I also commend those who could identify some of these toxic traits within themselves and work on it, truth is we all have some toxicity in us all but how we chose to carefully look out and search our inner self to see how toxic we are at some junction and how ready we are to make sacrifices to develop our self-conscious in regards to our activity and how they impact others and also portray us is a very significant first step at hunting down that beast in us. [email protected]

    3. Dani

      I’ve learned I’m the toxic one too. But I don’t want to be so Im reading comments of people who are dealing with toxic people tring to see their point to better myself. I really need advice on how to change.

    4. Patrick

      Hi Subs
      I think the best way to deal with your toxic behaviour is, create good Kama within yourself. First, try forgiveness by forgiving your self and others. Then try changing bad thoughts to good thoughts and do something nice for someone every day. It can be as simple as saying some thing kind to some one. Show more care for people. If you give care and respect you will receive it back. Learn to listen to people with patients and show some understanding. I am sure you have all those life skills, but some of us don’t communicate them very well. Try and love yourself inside and out. You sound like a nice person who can identify your own problem which is good. Most toxic people don’t change because they are totally unaware they are toxic and have no insight to change. You have the insight so, you can change and I am sure you will. You have made the first step. Good luck

  24. Mikayla Atkins

    For many years I’ve visited my mom a few times throughout the year who lives with what used to be a pretty close friend of hers but obviously not now and her unbearable and disrespectful kids who have no care for anyone but themselves.
    I can’t tell if they’re all tanks or fibbers or drama magnets because everyday is a new episode of chaos and disgusting behavior.
    For one, they all lie! No seriously, every single one of them. None of them ever own up to their actions and always seem to pin the blame on someone else. Every time there is an issue it’s so hard to ask them of simple things without them coming to the conclusion that they could possibly be responsible.
    The mom in particular never gives any help to my mom and always puts herself and her kids first even though my mom has extended a hand to them multiple times when in desperate need of medical and financial stability. Not once has my mom ever asked for the money back, all anyone could ever expect is a little decency to take the time out of their day to ask how she’s doing or if she needs something.
    Last but not least, everyday Is literally a new chapter of stress and a non-stop continuation of poor and childish behavior. There is never a day where things are going smoothly when suddenly, BAMB out of no where there is ether a disaster and everything turns to absolute agony. Not only that, but when they in particular feel sad, upset or angry with one another they need to make everyone else in the room feel the same way even when it has nothing to do with them.

    I know these are toxic people because these occurrences don’t happen just once a month or week, this kind of horrid behavior is literally EVERY day. It doesn’t stop. Unfortunately my mom is in a tuff situation where she is stuck living with them at the moment, but please if you or you know someone who is a victim to these TOXIC people please help them or let them into your heart. Now I too have become a victim to this disgusting environment and I feel sick to my stomach knowing my mom may not ever get out. My heart is broken to others who also have to endure this type of environment.
    If only there was a way to cure this kind of behavior. Now I know why we are always fighting at each other and not with each other. No wonder why we have the issues we have today.

    With love,
    Mikayla 🤍

    1. Mary Jo Camacho

      As I was reading about toxic people I read Mikayla what you shared.And I could not only feel you’re pain and concern for you’re mom. And I could also relate emotionaly to what you’re mom is feeling…And about 10 years ago I met this woman who I found very intrigueing. And at times I would share with her things that I would be going through at that moment. I will never forget the very first phrase to me was ” Now M.J. I want to ask you something you don’t need to answere me .I just want you think about this ? . Me : ok . ” What part did you play in this situation ?'” I walked away a little puzzled but for ever greatful for the way she would help me see and understand myself , sometimes others. And it’s beautiful that we can understand accountability. I found myself using her methods to help and teach my children. 1 day my daughter told me mom you’re so smart mom if people could think like you life would be so easy. She made me feel so amazing , but I had to tell her the truth with all honesty. I said to her ” Baby (I laughed) I have not all ways been that smart, life , age , has taught me so much about life my life about me. It also taught me how to be a better mother through experiences with you’re grandmother. And it also taught me to work on me and not point fingers. And I will be abetter person or mom then I was yesterday. She smiled lovingly at me. Then I shared with her my greatest tools were 1. Be open minded 2. stay teachable 3. most important be willing…Back to toxic as I read about toxic people I learned that at some point in my life I was too. And when I think back I remembered asking myself ? What role or part did I play in those situations. There were times when the light bulb didnt turn. And at times my daughter had to play my rewind tape. And I still didnt get it. Till I got so tired of hearing the victim, drama, poor me. And I would get so tired of it and how it was affecting me and who I was and I didnt want to turn into them that I realized that only I could change my situation no matter how hard it was gonna be and sometimes it was hard but I did it. No lie my children helped me and wewre teaching me as well. They helped me remember who I was. And I can say still working on all of my life but I stay focused on positivity and I remember we can”t help people who dont want to help themselves. And yes you are on point they will suck the life out of…And I will pray for youre mom cause I had to live with people who were I thought my freinds untill I remembered I am my best freind..Thanking for sharing youre story with me.

  25. Rose

    I, myself is a toxic type of person. I tend to send negativity to other people. I easily pinpoint someone else’s fault which made them turn their back to me, that i am experiencing right now. In return they are causing toxicity in my life. I don’t how i am going to deal with them. I don’t want to run from this problem.

    1. Elizabeth

      What is so fascinating about toxicity is that those who tend to find (or is it “seek”) toxic people in their lives are usually toxic themselves. Toxicity can quickly become an echo chamber or a hall of mirrors. It does take two to tango.

      I grew up in an alcoholic household. People in the orbit of addicts become enmeshed in the complex stew of deception needed in order to keep the addiction satisfied. You can see whole families living in service of this. And the resulting toxicity often becomes intergenerational trauma, since there’s a genetic component to addiction.

      Learning to root out —really, not respond to—manipulation and toxicity when it’s present in your life requires a removal of oneself and quiet meditation. We have to try to listen to ourselves with the remove of an objective observer. We have to listen for the voice inside us that knows what is healthy—and maybe more importantly, recognizes how we are complicit in controlling others or being controlled by them. You have to really want to be happy and healthy and it’s going to be hard.

      I’m learning the science of people and I’m so glad you’re offering such solid tools to people so they can learn. But I think the most important tool is self reflection. Toxic people are always going to be in the world doing their thing, but how and why are you finding them? How are you responding to them? Maybe these are the questions that will machete through the weeds of toxicity so we can live in the light.

  26. Kate

    My sister is s straightjacket. A total control freak. I love her but I dread being slone with her because she would put me down and try to control everything I say and do.
    She doesn’t like it when I din’t do what she says or when I don’t invite her to do things with me. She cannot see her controlling behavior nor does she try to fix it .
    My best option is to avoid her as much as I can. It’s sad but I put up with it for do long I xannot bear it anymore.

    1. sandy

      Kate sorry to hear that you are having such difficulty with your sister. But in my opinion the best thing to do is sit her down and tell her.

    2. Nicole

      Kate, I was in a similar boat regarding my toxic Sister. She has emotionally and verbally abused me for years. Recently i wrote her a letter to tell her rationally how much pain and hurt she has caused me. She responded angrily and irrationally; it was a reminder to distance myself further and to say goodbye because I need to focus on my mental health.
      I recommend gathering your thoughts and find the courage to tell her how you feel and set boundaries.
      The biggest priority is taking care of your sanity. Good luck

    3. Patrick

      Hi Kate

      Your story reminds me of myself. My sister is a very toxic person and has put me down for years. She has damaged my relationship with other family members. A few years a go i decided to distances her and now have very little contact with her. It is she that will text me occasionally and I responded with a polite reply ,but don’t engage. I feel so much better and my depression has gone since distancing her out of my life. I still love her ,but don’t like her. I send positive thought and hope that she will keep well and don’t hold any anger about her, but cannot have her in my life again. I am a much happier person now. Create good karma within yourself by forgiveness ,but set the boundaries to protect yourself if your relationship improves. Good luck

  27. Henrik Sørensen

    Maybe an following article about how to become a less toxic person ? What to do and what to do not. How do you grow away from toxicity ?

    1. Linda Milligan

      They will take from you but cant give and very self centred always full of ..their own importance

    2. paul

      pay attention to your behavior around others. Ask yourself. is this the way I would like to be treated? Think before you speak or act. Those are some tips.

    3. gretel

      As someone who grew up in a really toxic family and repeated that pattern in many relationships… I would say to people who believe they´re toxic… consider how much damage you´re doing every single time you put your negativity onto others…. not only because it does so much psychological harm to others, but because no health person will want to be around you. If you realize that you´re toxic, you already know that your anger and resentment is harmful. So make the decision to address it rather than harm others with that negativity.

  28. Vijay

    A fantastic article I will share with all my non-toxic friends! Thank you for the tips on how to identify and deal with the toxic people in our lives. You are right, we all deserve to only be around supportive people who will help us to become our best selves.

  29. I know this is about spotting toxicity in other people, but what if you show some of these traits? I have shown signs of 2, 3, and 4. It was more so pronounced after childhood, going into college and being in a different environment from my mother (very toxic traits). I have a very patient and loving boyfriend, and we’ve been together for 3.5 years. The intensity of the signs I used to show is practically gone, but I still see them come up every now and then. I do currently live with my mother while I finish school. Could the signs I’m displaying be from the relationship I have with my mother? Is there ways I can figure out the toxicity in myself and correct it so I can have better relationships, particularly for my relationship with my boyfriend and self-health?

    1. Nancy

      Yes sade. The first thing I noticed with you is that you recognize that there’s a problem and want to fix it. Try paying close attention to your behavior around mom and boyfriend. Check your responses and attitude before speaking or acting. And also positive communication is a major key to healthy relationships.
      Try talking to mom about some of those childhood memories or things that concern you in your relationship with your bf Hope this helps.

  30. A fantastic article I will share with all my non-toxic friends! Thank you for the tips on how to identify and deal with the toxic people in our lives. You are right, we all deserve to only be around supportive people who will help us to become our best selves.

  31. Gordon

    Should I share Vanessa’s ‘7 types of toxic people’ video, with the toxic people in my life? THAT is the question.

  32. rebecca owen

    After reading several postings of toxic people I began to think that maybe I am a “toxic” person… some symptoms apply, others are not me. For example I am a pretty honest person, my home has always been open to my friends and my kids friends.. I am pretty concerned about people, eg. homeless people, or minority people on public transportation.. but… I do come into a room like a storm, and do request to eat where I would prefer, or a movie I prefer.. I do share all the things that befall me, bureaucratically, financilly.. bills and things..and about some relationships. I always apologize when I do or say something wrong …after reviewing same.. and yet my family mainly treat me like a toxic person.. and yet, I have always had good friends in every city or country or school I went to. In fact, some friends date back to my first 20 years, others, the next, and so forth..now I am 80 and barely surviving.. So am I toxic? I know I am often depressed for good reason and lonely.. though I do love to read and go to my park, or a movie, but not so much to another person’s house to be indoors.. cause I like being home alone.

    1. Ethan T Staton

      I Hope you have a good life sir, this one has been probably so cruel and unfair to you in many ways, I just hope you find peace in whats left here. I think being toxic, even a little, doesn’t matter, we’ve all been there before and even some of us live as such, in small or bigger ways. To me I’m toxic, yet told I’m a good person by a lot of friends and family members, they have triats of being toxic as well, but are some of the best people I’ve ever known, they are toxic to an extent; but I still very much love them. The truth is, everyone has been toxic and non-toxic, just matters to you who you live with or decide to talk to, there’s nothing inherently wrong in being this way, so long as nobody is overly hurt by it, and even then when would anybody know who’s right and who’s wrong? It’s up to us as individuals to decide that, and choose who we want to spend our lives with. Take care and rest well friend🍁

    2. perry don

      Hi Rebecca. There’s a difference between toxic and assertive. Sounds to me that you just have a strong personality. Maybe a boss or have a leadership roll at work/office. Sometimes people get stuck in those work rolls after doing it for so long and bring them back to the family and friends. “You need a vacation”

    3. Andrew Ferrier

      No. You’re not toxic, you’re human. Sometimes we are the center of our on reality, and for that family members really do need their space. Let them be the center of their own lives. Don’t worry if they have tendencies which could make you feel like they have to purposefully try to be away from you. A strong personality does have it’s setbacks for some gravitationally speaking. You’ll find that they are always still with you along lives journey. Families are like that (which is a reality they have already acknowledged, hence their tendencies.) Just do what you do, forge ahead onto new friendships. Which I’m certain you will come to find over time are also lifelong ones.

  33. Gustavo M.G.

    Hi Vanessa!
    Your video is great!
    I read quite a lot about this kind of people but your explanation is the best.
    I also ask to myself: What can we do if the toxic person is an important client? Or perhaps a boss?
    Bye, Bye and nice to see you again.
    Gustavo

  34. These are great, Vanessa. As I talk to people about health, understanding how to recognize toxic people can be a difference between falling into a depression a living a happy healthy life. Toxic people’s influence can actually manifest in stress-related physical symptoms, from insomnia, to weight gain, to cardiovascular issues.
    I’m definitely sharing this with my community! You are awesome, as always.

  35. Carlos

    Hi, that’s realy serious stuff 🙂 Could I ask you, how to act when you feel some “toxicity” from one of your parents? I mean someone, who is certainly not the one you want to cut off from your life.. Do you have to accept it and be aware, or are there any magic methods how to nicely change the person? (I’ve read that change someone is almost impossible :).

  36. Ameliarose14

    I grew up with this person-she and I were best friends as kids. We had fallen out of contact after awhile, but about 7 years ago we ran into each other again. At first, it was like the “old days”, just laughing and joking, having a good time. Suddenly though, it was like a switch was flipped in her mind as soon as I confided some rather personal struggles with her. Suddenly she was using that information I had trusted her with, as a way to constantly hurt me. For so long, I really did believe maybe I was over-reacting by no longer wanting to associate myself with her. It took 6 years to finally realize that she was an incredibly toxic individual-she was real quick to use my husband and I for a lot of money and even stole from us (we will never get any of the money back). Then I heard her bragging how she stole from one of her neighbors when they were out of town for a week. Then it clicked for me: I NEEDED to get her out of my life, and only when I looked at it from the perspective of “this is wrong; I have to start taking care of myself emotionally; I can’t continue wondering if it’s me, when I know that it’s not.” that I finally got her out of my life. I told her flat out that I deserved much better in a friend, that she was clearly never my friend, because of her behavior towards me, and that I was done with her and her bs. Despite her tears, and all the other crap she tried to come up with to try to make me take pity on her, I walked away-I have NO regrets about that. If I had to do it all again, it wouldn’t take me 6 years to walk away, but “you live and you learn” as some people say. Nothing more than a valuable and tough life lesson.

  37. Emma

    Thank you for this useful article, and your whole website in general – I love it!

    I had a question: I recognise someone close to me in one of the toxic person personas (#5). However, I care about him deeply and think it has to do with a lack of self confidence. Do you have any tips or a follow up article on how to handle these different types of personas?

    Thank you!
    Emma

  38. Bleu

    Thank you! This helps a lot. I spend years figuring out why I put up and believe certain people to just realize that their traits are listed in one of the types. You helped me to understand it better.

  39. Joan miller

    I have learned a lot from this, and now I know I’ll be staying away from a person who is very toxic to me . I’ll not let her into my life again. Thanks.

  40. NOMBUSO

    My husband of five years has the sympyoms of a toxic person. He does not want me to express my feelings and he reacts with anger outbursts. He is very dishonest, cheating . We are now separated for six months .he is not protective of me and insensitive. hE had a tendency of lashing out at me in public.This has drained me as now i dont want to him near me. Whenever he is around, i feel very depressed. I now feel stress free since we are separated.

  41. Terri

    After 35 years I just ended a business partnership with a person who has every trait listed. When the partnership was ending they would call me a insult me. The day it ended I was so happy, 8am another bad phone call ending with them telling me that they were going to directly compete with me in business. This has been working overtime stealing employees and spreading hate about me. The employees who left have been offered the world. This is the sad part, this person is my brother, I have kids and they really loved him. After he called and told me he plans to ruin my business I decided that my kids could no longer go stay at his house. These people are so scary, once you get on third bad side they seem to be solely focused on destruction.

  42. My 37-year-old stepson and his 35-year-old wife never seem to come around myself and my husband until they want us to babysit their kids. Since both my husband and I are retired, they seem to think that all we should be doing now is babysitting for them while they work. I have babysat for them in the past, but this one particular time they came by early one morning without calling me to drop their child off for me to watch all day. I didn’t appreciate that especially because I wasn’t feeling well. I let them know that. They both got upset with me and didn’t visited us in two years . They only started coming back around two weeks ago, the day before school started. And even then they were “hinting” about us babysitting their kids. They are both fully employed and day care centers are available . It appears that they only want to use us, particularly , me as a day care center. I really get negative vibes whenever they are around.

  43. Add one more – someone is always blaming others for the internal responses that cause them pain. Living in denial they dissociate from what is going on inside of themselves and conclude they must get away from the people that “make” them feel what was already inside of them!

    Don’t try to get away from this person, do your inner worn and heal 🙂

  44. Dany

    Hi! It would be great if you could make a video about what happens and what to do when YOU’re the toxic one :
    Thanks! 🙂

    1. Dani

      Oh wow..I am on here for advice because I am also the toxic one and I never realized it(obvious sign) & I want to change. I don’t want to hurt anyone or be a bad person!

    1. Danielle McRae

      Thanks for checking it out, Nejc. Welcome to the Science of People community!

      Danielle | Science of People Team

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