Dealing with toxic people is highly unpleasant, but sadly a likely part of life. Today I’m going to explain what makes someone toxic and how to identify them. Tomorrow I will explain how to deal with them.
A toxic person will be someone who you might identify as draining. They will always be central to a drama, but always as the victim or perhaps as a rescuer who then becomes a victim. They will never take responsibility for their mistakes, and they will always need to be right. Usually they will only have unkind things to say about others, but it will be shrouded in a cloak of positivity; ‘Oh Celia is SO clever, I’ve no idea why she’s still single’ or ‘Gosh, doesn’t Celia work hard, shame her poor kids never see her’.
A toxic person won’t let things go, they will be evasive, lying, twisting and manipulating the truth to suit their agenda. Overwhelmingly however, they will be selfish. It will always be their needs that are met above and beyond anyone else’s and they won’t understand why yours even matter.
Remember those boundaries I talked about? They will ignore them completely. It is toxic people who will be most upset when you start enforcing them. The difficult thing about identifying a toxic person is that at the beginning they will make you feel like you’re the best thing that ever happened to them. They will be all over you like a rash, eager to be with you and push their way into your life.
You might feel flattered, but I can bet you feel one of those ‘tugs’ I’ve talked about. Again, listen to your gut, if something tells you something doesn’t seem right, you’re probably right, don’t ignore it based on visual evidence, think about it. What seems off? Why have you got that feeling? What do they do that seems unusual? Do they talk about other people in a bitchy way? Do they have a long string of ex friends? Do they talk about themselves a lot? Do they want to know private information about you?
If you answer yes to those questions, you will need to look carefully at the situation and maybe distance yourself. Tomorrow I will talk about how to use the grey rock method to deal with toxic people. (It was meant to be today, but understanding toxicity seemed an important step!!)