Everyone will inevitably encounter toxic people in their lives, but the trick is knowing who they are and minimizing the amount of damage they are able to cause. But, knowing what to look for can give you a big advantage. Here is how to spot a toxic person:
A toxic person doesn’t value the needs of other people, and manipulates others to get their emotional needs met. Toxic people will destroy relationships, families, or teams without remorse. Typically toxic people try to hide their damaging impact, or blame other people for their behavior.
Toxic people are very good at hiding their behavior, and even be able to convince you or other people that you are the one at fault. Read on for more details on what makes a person toxic, and how to deal with it.
12 Signs of a Toxic Person
Toxic people come in so many different varieties that it is difficult to only list a few behaviors, but here are twelve sure signs that you have a toxic person on you hands —
- Toxic people will not acknowledge, accept, or act on valid criticisms
- Toxic people have little or no remorse for their bad behavior
- Toxic people are constantly weaving stories and falsehoods
- Toxic people will lie to get their way
- Toxic people will always find someone else to blame if they feel threatened
- Toxic people constantly create and stir up drama
- Toxic people seem to blow up in anger constantly and for no reason
- Toxic people demand control of other people’s lives
- Toxic people expect the best of everything
- Toxic people seem to always have some agenda
- Toxic people use up and throw away other people
- Toxic people are not committed to anything beyond themselves
Think you might have a toxic person in your life? Not sure what to do? Check out our resources pages for dealing with toxic people:
Are Psychopaths Toxic People?
Psychopaths are certainly very toxic people. While they typically come across as likable, capable, and confident, psychopaths are internally detached from humanity, driving by agenda, and highly dangerous. They tend to destroy relationships, families, and businesses. And, do so without any remorse.
Are Sociopaths Toxic People?
Yes, sociopaths are toxic people. Sociopaths suffer from a reduced sense of what it means to do right by other people, which usually leads them to toxic behavior. They tend to be lost individuals, without any clear drive or motivation. The most worrying part about having a sociopath in your life is you never know what they might do next.
Read more about characteristics of sociopaths —
Are Narcissists Toxic People?
Narcissists are toxic people. They are self-centered people who failed to develop an adequate sense of self-worth. They will do many unethical things in search of praise and avoiding criticism in service to their ego. This leads them to psychological manipulation, lying, and eventually discarding other people as unimportant.
Read more about identifying narcissists —
What are the signs of a toxic person?
Toxic people don’t recognize the needs of others, and will cause all manner of harm in the pursuit of their own agenda. They constantly use emotional manipulation and lies to try to get their way. Generally they have little or no remorse for their behavior.
Can a toxic person change?
While possible, it is rare for a truly toxic person to meaningfully change. Generally, any outward attempt at improvement is really a front to manipulate their friends and family, or to redirect criticism. Individuals impacted by toxic loved-ones or coworkers need to take step first to protect themselves, and work under the assumption that the toxic person will not change.