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6 Types of Toxic People

Updated: Feb 22, 2022

"People inspire you or they drain you - Pick them wisely." - Hans F. Hansen

We meet all kinds of people in life, and it is essential to build solid and lasting relationships with friends and colleagues. Many times we take for granted our friends and family. People in our lives have always been there, and we can't imagine how our life would be without them. In many ways, the people we associate with have a significant impact on our life for better or worse. Imagine if everyone you knew were a millionaire or billionaire. Would those associations bring wealth into your life? Would those people hinder you from reaching your full potential if you hang around the wrong people or pessimistic people? For the most part, the people in our life should make our life better and bring us happiness. It is comforting to have someone to talk to that you can express your passions and frustrations with. Sometimes you just need a sounding board when dealing with controlling or micro-managing boss. It can be beneficial to have people that you can communicate your ideas and provide you with positive feedback. However, some people you're better off staying clear of. Below we will highlight the six types of toxic people you'll probably regret becoming friends with.

In the modern world, there are many types of people that we meet on a daily basis throughout our lifetime. From the time that we are born to adulthood, we see the full spectrum of human nature unfold before our eyes. Some people's nature we can't understand, but we may find weird. Similarly, some people may feel uncomfortable around certain people in different aspects for many different reasons. It is imperative to understand different types of people and strive to overcome all adversity when possible. However, we may find ourselves in a leadership position, or we may have members of our family we don't get along with. One of my mentors always taught me to always strive to build bridges because you never know when you need to run across. Many times we need to swallow our pride and put our mission or family first.

We need to learn to deal with difficult people, and we also need to understand how negativity can affect our lives. Once we come to an understanding of how to manage or overcome negative individuals, we can live a more tension-free and release positivity in our life.

Who is a toxic person?

As we live our lives, we come into contact with many different types of people, and have you ever wondered why certain people just rub you the wrong way? Now, I don't like calling people toxic, and I try to get along with everyone. However, some people can have a profoundly negative impact on your life and can derail your success because they are so negative. So let's put together a definition of toxic people that are not meant to be discriminatory but identify traits that can negatively affect our mental health. Toxic people are the people or specific individuals who upset you in any way or who add their negativity to your personality. Some individuals have negative habits of creating negativity, thoughts, or actions that stress people out or upset them. In addition, their actions create depression and trauma in many individuals. These individuals don't act in a way that does not represent themselves in the best light, however. As a result, they create anger and upset most people.

What are the signs of toxic people?

It is very important to understand human behavior and how the negative behavior of others can affect our mental health. Once we are able to see the warning signs, we can take the actions necessary to protect our mental health. Many of us have been hindered from reaching our full potential and achieving the things we want in life because we are around individuals that create a negative atmosphere that is toxic to our mental health.

Sometimes dealing with toxic people is unavoidable; your boss is an angry cynic, your friend is a pessimistic downer, or your mother-in-law is a constant complainer. However, the way your respond to these individuals is completely your choice. We should always use caution and use wisdom when dealing with people. We should also evaluate ourselves and understand how negativity is influencing our life. Negative individuals can influence the way we behave, think, and feel. Toxic individuals introduce chaos and unnecessary stress into your life that can bring you down.

We never want people to get the best of us and hinder us from achieving our full potential. Everyone wants to achieve success in every aspect of their life; however, we could be hindered by others who knowingly or unknowingly have a negative influence on our life. Have you ever played capture the flag? When I was a kid, we would put the flag on top of a slide and divide it into teams. The only rule we had was that we needed to capture the flag in the most efficient way possible. Imagine kids surrounding a slide, and when the whistle is blown, they attack the slide until one reaches the flag. What do we see in this scenario? Several kids will try to pull the other kids down to prevent them from reaching the flag. The winner of the game has to literally fight the other kids off him or her in order to capture the flag and keep it. This is just a childhood kids game that some people may remember playing in one form or another when they were a kid. However, figuratively speaking, we may find ourselves in situations where people are pulling us down from achieving our goals knowingly or unknowingly. We may find ourselves in a situation where we may have to fight our way to the top. That being said, we need to be able to identify the people that are having a negative influence on our life.

Have you caught yourself complaining about a particular person, or every time you get around them, get upset? You may find yourself complaining to your spouse about a self-absorbed relative taking your energy and time. You may complain to your coworkers about a rude boss. It can be therapeutic to vent out your frustrations to your friends and family. However, always be mindful when talking about people when they are not around. We never want to have individuals say that we are talking about them behind their backs. Especially if we hold a leadership position and those individuals are within our scope of responsibility. Suppose we find ourselves constantly talking negatively about a particular person; we are giving them more power over our life. As a leader, you always want to find the solution to the problem. We always want to form alliances or build bridges with people that may not share our point of view. The most valuable thing we have is our time, and we never want anyone to rob us of valuable time that we can be doing something more productive with.

Has an individual influenced you negatively, causing you to lose your temper? Whether you are dealing with an office gossiper or master manipulator, toxic individuals bring up strong emotions within us. If we don't manage these emotions tactfully or carefully, our frustrations can turn into a rage of anger against the negative individual. Feeling like you are not in control of your emotions is very uncomfortable, and a master manipulator can use those emotions against you. We should always filter our emotions and be mindful of individuals who could be influencing our behavior.

Do you feel that your self-esteem is dwindling? We should always monitor our self-esteem and make sure our self-worth isn't being manipulated by outside influences that can lead us into depression. According to statistics, over half of all workers in the United States experience burnout at some point. It can cause all areas of your life to suffer by sucking the enjoyment out of every day. That feeling is multiplied when negative individuals are often insulting, rude, and downright disregarding. Many times, it can be tempting to think, "My mother makes me feel bad about myself." However, you don't have to let it continue; in fact, you can prevent it from happening in the first place. Your self-worth is entirely in your hands, and you should never depend on anyone to feel worth.

Have you been blamed for someone else's mistakes and failures? When I was in the United States Marine Corps, I contacted many kinds of individuals. Rising through the ranks can feel like a curse. Competition is heavy, and everyone wants to get promoted. It is easy to blame individuals under you. This tactic can make individuals feel like they are prone to making mistakes and second guess themselves when they were not actually at fault but absorbed the blame for a leader who was unable to take ownership of their actions. Toxic leaders can make you believe that you are at fault, and it seems like everything is falling on you. It is not a good feeling to fall victim to the blame game and deal with complicated manipulative tricks that can go on for years. Once you start documenting everything and finding witnesses that can collaborate with your story, you will fight this kind of manipulation. Taking ownership of your actions goes a long way, and the respect you gain is priceless. You will have a reputation of being honorable, and when you feel that it is not all your fault, people will want to investigate your concerns.

With this kind of manipulation, you may be tempted to blame others for the mistakes you make because you see your leadership following this practice. However, if you feel that you have to follow this practice is a clear indicator that a negative person has too much power over you. Accepting accountability for how you spend your time and whom you spend it with is honorable.

Do you know people that drain your energy?

The feeling of dread can fill your heart with worry consuming your valuable energy and time. Your first warning sign is that every time you see a particular person, you feel violated, and your motivation is depleted instantly. This can manifest in many ways, whether you're going to a family get-together with a toxic relative or a toxic coworker that is constantly invading your personal space.

Is a toxic person driving you to seek out revenge?

We should always take the moral high ground, and self-defense or violence should be a last resort. However, we often feel that if we can not beat them, we should join them. If you find that you are behaving outside your values or moral code, you should immediately identify if your actions would be justified in a court of law. The use of violence or self-defense should always be a last resort, but it is not an effective coping strategy. Ultimately, it will create chaos in your life.

Now that we understand what a toxic person is and how we can identify them in a non-discriminating manner. Let's explore these signs of toxic individuals more directly:

  1. The Energy Drainer

  2. Fake complement

  3. The Pessimist

  4. The Critisizer

  5. The Manipulator

  6. The Victim

The energy drainer is an individual in a constant negative state and will point out what is wrong with anything good that enters your life. They will never be happy for you and will put you down at every chance they get. The fake complement always puts you in an uncomfortable position and makes you feel lousy instead of good. The pessimist puts other people down to make them feel better. They are self-centered and only care about their needs exclusively. They try to talk others out of their dreams. The criticizer will never support you in anything you do and make you feel that you can't do anything right. The manipulator always wants to be in a position of control. They will pretend to like you and others to get everything they want. They want to make every decision for themselves and others. The victim always blames others instead of taking ownership for their actions. They blame others for their fortune and are always at the mercy of forces out of their control. They talk about and excuse their failure instead of finding reasons or solutions.

As we go through our lives, we contact people from all backgrounds holding many different beliefs. We may feel that some people put us in a positive state of mind while others influence our lives with their negative attitudes and behavior. These people may not respect our boundaries or manipulate things to make their lives better at our expense. They may feel that they are always right and take control of every situation, putting us in an uncomfortable position. They may have a victim mentality and blame us for their mistakes. Dealing with toxic individuals can be complicated, but seeing the warning signs can give us an advantage that we would not typically have.



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