You ever had that person in your life you felt was poisoning your day on a regular basis? This is someone who has a real talent for bringing you down spiritually, emotionally or socially and takes more away from your life than they ever contribute. Some people are just flat out toxic in certain stages of their own life. Not necessarily bad people, but just people who have more potential to harm you than help you. I know if you’re in recovery, it’s pretty easy to assume you know plenty of these people, or have even been that person once or twice in active addiction.
8 ways to identify toxic people (and how to set health boundaries once you do)- With the help of my favorite bad mouth robot, Bender (aka The Greatest) of Futurama!
1. They hate it when you’re happy
Jealousy is toxic, and toxic people cannot stand it when you are in a good place.
The best thing to do when facing someone who is upset just because you’re not, make sure not to let them say or do things that will diminish your smile.
2. They love it when you’re unhappy
Toxic people tend to be in a better mood when you are at your worst.
If you find yourself in a bad state, and someone is more than happy to make matters worse, then you should make sure to let them know in moments of weakness you cannot be influenced by negative energy.
3. They are openly judgmental
Some people just want others to know exactly what they think of them all the time. Toxic people usually make comments consistently about the faults in others and quite often want to influence you to do the same.
Set your boundaries by not feeding into gossip and promoting humility.
4. They value violence or intimidation
Being a verbal or physical bully is a character trait of a toxic person. They typically try to make themselves a reputation with threats or assaults.
The best boundary you can set with this type is to speak out against their intimidation tactics, or avoid them altogether. Pick your battles.
5. They are more than a little selfish
Self-seeking and inconsiderate people often don’t see how toxic they are because they are so self-centered the effects they have on others are in their blind spot. They will ignore the needs and concerns of others, and expect more than their share of consideration.
You can set your boundaries with these people by emphasizing your self-worth and do your best not to let them rent space in your head.
6. They take emotional hostages
Misery loves company, and toxic people usually don’t know how to deal with their emotions. When they are in a fit they will abuse the emotions of others or force their own issues onto you in order to spread their grief or negative energy.
You can support others emotionally, but make sure to always keep your emotions protected from those who would use them against you.
7. They blame everything on everyone else
A toxic person will do something that hurts them or others and then give any reason to put the blame on you or anyone else to avoid responsibility.
Setting healthy boundaries with these people means doing your best to keep them accountable, and don’t let them use you as a scapegoat for their problems.
8. They have a disturbing lack of faith
Believing in themselves or others is something that a toxic person has an intensely difficult time doing. They are the ‘no you can’t’ or the ‘I give up’ types who drain all hope and optimism out of every situation.
The best way to set a boundary here is to keep your aspirations alive and express to them that the only criticism you can accept has to be constructive.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135