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Are You Toxic?

Updated on May 22, 2009
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Rebecca Graf is a seasoned writer with nearly a decade of experience and degrees in accounting, history, and creative writing.

What is Toxic?

When you hear the word “toxic”, visions of sewage or radioactive material comes to mind that seeps into the ground and into our water and food. It is not good for us, therefore we call it “toxic”. Something toxic destroys parts of us if not outright kills us. It behaves like a cancer in that it spreads and shares all the misery it can bring with it. Toxic is used to describe chemicals, by-products, and poisons. But have you ever thought to apply that description to people?

Using toxic to describe a person had not entered my mind until I saw a video called “Luggage”. It was talking about forgiveness and mentioned how people can be toxic in our lives. That was a novel concept. But the more I thought about it, the more I saw how much toxicity there was in my life just from people.

When someone is toxic, they tend to bring out the worst in people. They tend to cause you to want to scream and tear at your hair instead of skip down a wooded path singing a tune. They are the ones that bring depression instead of joy. They are the ones that seem to be constantly in your life.

Let’s meet some of the toxic people that walk this planet (names have been changed and generalized to protect the guilty – anyone with these names, I apologize.):

Amy – This is the woman in your life who never says anything positive. You never wear the right clothes according to her. The new job is a mistake. Having a baby is the worst thing at this time in your life. Why did you have to go and paint the room this color (the same color in her house)? She is one of those people that if St. Paul himself did something, she would find something to complain about.

Brian – This man has to find out all the latest gossip in your life and let everyone else know about it. He asks more and more questions and then tends to change it to make it more dramatic. You dread him coming around and want to crawl under the desk when he walks in the room.

Cindy – This woman calls fifteen times a day. She is lonely and you feel for her. But every time she sees a bird perch on her window or sneezes she has to call you and let you know. It gets to where you dread hearing the phone ring and you get irritated hearing her voice.

Daniel – This man cannot seem to get his love life straight and likes to keep dragging you down into it. Every time he has a fight with his other half, you get a phone call at two in the morning and cannot seem to get off the phone for another two hours.

Evelyn – The whole world is against her and she has to tell you about it every time she sees you. The reason the check bounced was someone else’s fault. The reason she lost her job is someone else’s fault. She is the victim and everyone needs to recognize it. When you are already depressed, you dread being near her.

Fred – This man itches for a fight. You can mention how the sun is shining and you will have started a fight on what the sun is actually doing and that with a certain percentage of clouds it cannot be considered sunny. Nothing you say is correct and an argument will ensue in which you cannot win.

Ginger – This woman knows that you are trying to quit smoking and doesn’t care. She blows smoke in your face and keeps offering you a cigarette. You cannot keep your commitment to quit with her around.

Harold – This man always makes you want to scream. It never fails that as soon as you focus on something, he walks up and begins talking about things totally not related. Politeness does not work. Only visions of a deserted island makes you relax.

Irene – Politics and religion are required topics and have to be heated with this woman. You cannot ask how she has been doing without a complaint about the government and what should really be done. Even when you agree with her she raises her voice and gets red in the face.

Jack – This man has to be the best in everything. If he even thinks you are good at something, he will initiate a debate or a contest to prove otherwise. He is the champion of it all. And you need to remember that.

Kelly – This woman has to correct everything you say. You will not pronounce any word correctly. You will not get the facts right. Be prepared

Larry – This man is walking depression. Every word out of his mouth is dire and dreadful. There is no hope for his health, his finances, or his life in general. You really crave being near him.

Mary – You dread conversations with her. She still brings up issues from twenty years ago and chews on them as though it happened yesterday. You never know which event or who the culprit will be.

Nathan – A man of means who works around those that life paycheck to paycheck. He knows that and will still wear his gold jewelry and talk about his newest purchase where everyone can hear.

Personalizing It

This only scratches the tip of the iceberg with describing toxic people. We have them everywhere in our lives. They are in the workplace and make us dread going in at eight in the morning. They are in the family and make us dread family gatherings. They are the ones that depress us, hurt our feelings, and make us wish things were different. In fact, we would be wise to rid ourselves of the toxic influences in our life.


Are you one of the toxic people? Are you the toxic garbage in someone’s life that they might need to let loose and get out of their lives? Are you one of these people mentioned above that drag others down and bring depression into room?

Toxicity is not terminal. It can be corrected though it takes time, patience, and determination. It has to come with an honest look in the mirror of your soul and a determination to change the ugliness before you. It has to come with honesty, strength, and humility.

As you go through life ridding yourself of toxic material in your life, evaluate where you stand and begin the personal toxic cleanup so others won’t have to.


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    • profile image

      EYES CHAMbERS 8 years ago

      We have a Nathan in our family...never know what to say to him to we dont. Kinda sad...but you can't help those who don't want to help themselves.

    • shamelabboush profile image

      shamelabboush 8 years ago

      The hell yeah, this is very funny but strange my name is not included :)