There are people and situations in our lives that can trigger us to feel negatively about ourselves or engage in destructive behavior. Pinpointing the toxic influences in our life and creating boundaries can improve mental and physical health over time.
Identifying common traits in toxic people is the first step:
- Controlling. One of the most dangerous traits of toxic people is controlling behavior. Restricting you from contact with your friends or family, or limiting access to transportation or money to limit your ability to connect with the world around you. If you are in a situation where someone is trying to restrict your movements or communication, this is domestic abuse and requires immediate action.
- Angry. You feel like you are walking on egg shells every time you are around someone, the littlest thing can trigger them into a fit of rage, and they say nasty, hurtful things while they are in this mental state. While they may apologize the next day, those apologies are insincere and the toxic person repeats their hurtful, angry behavior again and again.
- Manipulative. Toxic people can be very good at manipulation. At first they show what appears to be genuine interest in getting to know you, but often turn around and use that information to get you to do what they want, twisting your words to use against you.
- Passive aggressive. This indirect form of hostility can manifest in different ways, such as snarky or snide comments, doing or not doing something to intentionally to upset someone, or even sabotaging your efforts. People with this toxic trait do not have a direct conversation about what bothers them which is less obvious than angry outbursts.
- Negative. Nothing makes them happy…ever. It makes it hard for you to stay positive and enjoy yourself, they just bring you down with them. It can be hard to tell the difference between negativity and depression, so it’s a good idea to talk to them and see of they are being toxic or if they need help with depression.
- Insulting. Constantly criticizing or insulting you directly, or subtly putting you down when you are happy or proud of yourself. They might try to make you feel dumb or insignificant, that they are smarter than you and more successful.
- Self-centered. They mostly care about themselves, rarely considering how their actions impact people around them. They care about their own point of view and getting what they want without considering your opinions or needs.
Did You Know?
Toxic friends are common. 84% of women and 75% of men report having a toxic friend at some point in their life. On average, 80% of Americans have experienced some emotional abuse.
If you or someone you know is struggling with setting boundaries in a toxic relationship, the family and individual therapists at Center For Family Services are here to help. Call the Center today to learn more about our Teletherapy services at 561-616-1222. Services are affordable and some programs are even free. Many insurances are accepted including Medicare and fees are based on a sliding scale.