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How to Tell If You Are Dealing With a Toxic Person

Updated on January 27, 2019
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This person may blame you for their own unacceptable behavior and definitely difficult to deal with.

How do you know if this person is just difficult or is actually toxic. If there is someone in your life that you dread seeing, who always talks about themselves but never listens to you, or may make you feel sorry for them, most likely you need to separate yourself from them because you are dealing with a toxic person. Sometimes this isn’t easy because this toxic person can be someone that may be hard to avoid, a relative or a boss, or maybe just a so-called friend. You need to know whether or not you should prepare yourself for minimal contact. Here are the characteristics and behaviors to identify that this person really is toxic.


1. Toxic people are annoying and seem to never listen to anything anyone else says. They create drama and chaos, and seem to be the victim in every circumstance. Often defensive, they wouldn’t take your advice anyway. Their problems are more important than yours. Even when they are proven wrong, they never apologize when and always want you to prove yourself. They want someone else to be responsible for their problems.

2. They play the victim and have no sympathy for others but often make you feel sorry for for them with ongoing sympathy and support. This is very easy to fall into. Toxic people are self-centered and downright selfish. Even if their story is not true at all times, they bring up things in their life and play that victim card as if the entire world is against them. Since they tend to feel like the victim, they are more focused on what is meaningful to them, and they don’t care about anything else.

3. They are we mean and nasty to other people. You will often see this in a situation when you are in public and there are people in service positions; such as waitress, cashier, and sales associates. Toxic people get off on treating those who are not in the position to fight back. This is a real problem and one that only tends to get worse in the long term. At the end of the day, being nice can create meaningful relationships, and it also shows your true human nature. If you see that someone is continually rude, you might want to consider what they bring to your life and avoid them as much as possible.

4. Toxic people will talk over you. Notice when something goes wrong for you, they tend to twist the story around so they are the victim in your story. Oh did you have an interesting point to make? Were you going to share your thoughts on the conversation at hand? Save your breath. The toxic person will maybe let you get a few words in before they interrupt and swing the spotlight back on themselves.

5. They straight up lie. Toxic people will shift blame and will lie on the spot. Even if you are present for the event they are talking about, they will still lie to others and say that it went down a whole different way.

6. Toxic people lack empathy with ego issues. A normal, functioning, human being has empathy- it is a characteristic of a healthy personality. Toxic people have no empathy, and they do not understand the concept of “feeling” something someone else is going through. This relates to their selfishness and ego. It’s all about them. They think the world of themselves, high atop a pedestal above everyone else. No one can be more attractive, have more sense, better at what they do, and of course they know everything.

7. They never apologize. Why would they apologize if it’s never their fault? This is what goes through their mind, and it becomes impossible to have a coherent conversation with a person in such a state of mind. They will refuse to acknowledge their mistakes, and if you bring them up, they will blame you for wasting their time or are going to accuse you for the problems.It will never get to the point where an apology is made.

8. They are judgemental and constantly criticizing. It’s one thing when someone who cares about you shoots you straight and gives you advice when it’s needed but it’s a completely different ball game when someone is constantly criticizing you, your choices and your lifestyle. If there is someone in your life that is constantly criticizing you, judging you and giving you unasked for advice, it is probably not you, but them. Toxic people are also insecure people who try to make themselves feel better by talking badly about others when they’re not around. You can be sure that someone who talks about others behind their backs, will also talk about you behind yours.

This is the kind of person that you may want to limit your exposure to. Afterall, eventually they will suck the soul out of you and leave you feeling dead. You might find yourself using unhealthy coping mechanisms just to have to be around this individual. It’s important that you set healthy boundaries with a toxic person or elimiNate this negative person if you can. See if you can now tell if that person you dread to be around is toxic. Only then you can decide how you will distance yourself from them.


© 2019 Stephanie Billon

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