So, how do you identify a “toxic person”? Here are some of the signs?
- They talk more than they listen.
- they have difficulty on focusing on things that don’t directly affect them.
- they listen half-heartedly rather than trying to engage in two-way conversations.
2. They are never wrong.
- They externalise responsibility when things go wrong.
3. Drama follows wherever they go.
- There is always something wrong.
- They expect extreme sympathy.
- They exhibit victim mentality.
4. They force relationships.
5. Their experience is the standard by which everything should be judged.
- They judge your actions on their past experiences as if identical, e.g. if they found a particular co-worker difficult to get on with so should you, if they didn’t enjoy a particular book nor would you.
6. They often lie.
- They see their happiness as more important than that of others and if they have to lie to make that happen then so be it.
7. They lack tact and general courtesy.
- Brutal honesty and stark humour indicate a lack of empathy towards others.
- They often boast about their “honesty” or that they “call it as they see it”.
- They usually become defensive if a similar “truth” is given to them.
8. They exhibit controlling behaviour.
9. They love to talk about other people.
- Constantly talk negatively about others.
- Enjoy engaging in gossip.
- Have difficulty acknowledging the accomplishments of other people.
So now that you know how to identify toxic people for sure how do you go about removing them from your life?
- Accept that it might be a process – Distancing yourself may be a gradual person and the individual may need to be asked to leave several times before they do so.
- Don’t feel that you owe the person an explanation – how much (or indeed how little) you tell them is entirely up to you.
- Talk to them in public – If you choose to talk to the person to tell them that you no longer wish to see them or to have them in your life then you may be best to do so in public – they may react badly and you need to be safe and somewhere that you can leave easily.
- Block them on social media – Shutting down email and other forms of communication may be necessary.
- Don’t argue or entertain discussion with them – Restate your boundaries and then end communication.
Cutting toxic people out of your life sends an important message to yourself – you are affirming that you have value and that your happiness is more important than someone else’s dysfunction.