17 Ways to Spot a Toxic Person In Your Life

Toxicity is never a good thing. Why else would all those warning signs be around toxic barrels? Coming into contact with toxic substances can make you sick and could even ultimately kill you. It’s no different with toxic people.

Toxic individuals are some of the most difficult kind of people to be around. They can drain your motivation, inspiration and all around emotional wellbeing. These relationships can result in self-esteem issues and real life problems.

Because we are all part of a connected society (even more now that we are online most of the time) so there is no way to avoid running into or meeting these toxic people BUT there are some surefire warning signs that you can look out for to help be aware.

Knowing these 17 signs can help you reveal that toxic person(s) in your life!

Note: Keep in mind that toxic people will not always show all 18 characteristics, but rather a few combined traits to reveal that they are toxic. The signs are all indicators to look out for.

Further Note: If there are toxic people in your life, be sure to evaluate the best way for you to handle the relationship. Sometimes it may mean ending the relationship, other times it may mean counseling is necessary and other times it may mean finding a solution in some other form. Either way, take the appropriate steps to care for yourself, protect yourself and stay safe.

Here are 17 Ways to Spot a Toxic Person In Your Life

17 Ways to Spot a Toxic Person In Your Life ~1. Negativity

One of the biggest signs that a toxic person can reveal is constant negativity and a negative attitude. This is not to be confused with realism as many realists have been labeled negative people. Here negativity includes many factors such as being overly sarcastic, constantly complaining, whining, and most of all, judging people and situations as well as victimhood.

2. Always Right, Never Wrong

If someone can simply not accept the fact that they are not right all of the time, no matter how much evidence or proof is present, then this is a sign they might be a toxic person. Keep in mind that many people who are insecure or deeply hurt may behave this way as well, but if it is becoming a theme in the relationship, it may be time to look at this through a different lens.

Toxic people feel the need to be right every time, at all times. Often cutting you off or interrupting others, toxic people try to prove they are right and when they can’t, they will resort to closing off any new information and stop the conversation, usually with an insult.

3. The Drama Never Ceases

When you’re involved with a toxic person, there is always drama. Whether it is a crisis or conflict, it is always something. Toxic people are usually the instigators of these situations and this is why they are always seemingly involved in them. Note that toxic people thrive on confrontation and drama though play the victim afterwards (see below).

Note also that if the person is always stressed, this is another sign they may be toxic to you. Life is stressful for everyone, but some people have a way of magnifying their stress and compounding it through poor choices.

4. Take up Too Much of Your Time

Toxic people tend to show up (oftentimes unannounced) and suck up  your time without regard to you or what you have going on.

5. Lack of Compassion

One of the telltale signs of a toxic person is their lack of empathy or compassion towards other people and the plight of what others are going through. Toxic people make negative assumptions about others and are unable to demonstrate empathy and compassion to others.

6. Constantly Criticizing

It’s one thing when someone who cares about you shoots you straight and gives you advice when it’s needed but it’s a completely different ball game when someone is constantly criticizing you, your choices and your lifestyle. If there is someone in your life that is constantly criticizing you, judging you and giving you unasked for advice, it is probably not you, but them.

7. Talk More Than They Listen

A major indication that someone is toxic is that they are unable to hold a normal conversation. If someone talks and hardly listens or, even worse, doesn’t listen at all, they may be toxic to you.

8. Lying to You

Toxic people not only lie blatantly, but they also make up stories, create variations from the truth and they also make a habit of omitting critical facts as well. If you are left scratching your head after you talk to someone because what they say just doesn’t ever seem to add up, it is a good idea to evaluate whether they are someone you can trust.

9. Hurtful

Consistently expressing hurtful words and engaging in hurtful actions towards you is a sign of a toxic person. Physical abuse should never be tolerated and is something to remove yourself from immediately, but aside from that if someone regularly disregards your feelings, they are probably not good for you.

Recommended Book: Stop Walking On Eggshells

10. Talking Badly About Others

Does someone you know constantly talk or gossip about others behind their back? Warning bells should immediately go off in your head if this is the case. Toxic people are also insecure people who try to make themselves feel better by talking badly about others when they’re not around. You can be sure that someone who talks about others behind their backs, will also talk about you behind yours.

11. Self-Absorbed

Does this person always talk about their own stuff and put themselves ahead of you? Do they even care what is happening in your life? If they are all about themselves with little regard for you, consider this a sign that the relationship is toxic.

12. Controlling

Telling you what to do and how to feel all the time can certainly get dull. So can someone who intentionally manipulates the situations you’re in. Look for these red flags if you feel like this person is using you and if so, cut them off!

13. Playing the Victim

Accountability is a sign of a healthy person, but frequent blame and the inability to take responsibility is a sign of a toxic person. Take note whether this person blames their problems on other people or some situation. Likewise, do they seem to always blame their own mistakes on others or the situation? If so, they may be toxic.

14. Treating Others Poorly

Toxic people have a way of treating others poorly. They may be kind to you and people within your inner circle, but then when you’re out around other people in a “lesser” position, they treat them poorly. This would include hospitality workers and service people. If they get unnecessarily upset with the waiter or the grocery store clerk, take heed.

15. Unresolved Addiction Issues

People with unresolved addiction issues can be very difficult to be around and at times can even be dangerous. A relationship with someone with an addiction issue can be painful and very rocky. People who are actively in the throws of addiction will often demonstrate many of the characteristics listen in this article. Addiction is a very serious issue and you should likewise seriously evaluate the extent to which you are involved with someone with addiction issues.

16. Frequent Loss of Temper

Do you feel like you are constantly walking on eggshells around someone? If this person seems like they might need anger management, they very well might be toxic to you. Save yourself the stress and pain of being around someone that frequently loses their temper.

17. Your Gut Tells You So

One of the biggest and easiest ways to tell if someone is toxic is simply by listening to your instincts. If your gut tells you that someone is not good for you, your gut is right. If you get a feeling that a person is ‘off’ then listen to that feeling, trust it and make a choice whether you need to avoid that person.