Characteristics Of Toxic People

Happiness is what we look for as it is a key to positive emotions. Our minds, emotions and thinking patterns are altered with experiences we go through, both positive and negative. As much as we analyze people, situations, we also need to keep our thoughts and emotions in perspective. We enjoy happiness through positive associations as it instills optimism in our lives. It is not easy to recognize a toxic person as most of their negative traits are not apparent, especially, if you share a close relationship with them. Here are some traits to look for and save yourself the trouble of being in a bad relationship personally and professionally and deal with them in a way that does not ripple the negativity. 

They never take responsibility

A typical trait of a toxic person is someone who does not take responsibility for their feelings, emotions, and actions. They are always on the defense and turn it back onto you when you point out a mistake or give a sound perspective. It’s never their fault as they enjoy playing the victim card, regularly making you feel sorry for them. Their reality is skewed as it could be the result of feeling superior, grandiose, or the victim. Either way, no matter which direction their self-esteem sways, they do not take responsibility for their emotions as well as other’s emotions. 


Dealing with a toxic person can be challenging and emotionally draining. They deny their manipulative behavior and become dismissive of the facts and perspectives presented by you. They condition your mind to believe that it is your fault, creating doubts about your perception, reality, emotional states, and more. It could do long term damage to your emotions and well being as you will start questioning your sanity by the gaslighter. 

Lacking empathy

Empathy is the crux of building healthy relations and emotional well being. A toxic person lacks empathy and fails to put themselves in other’s shoes. When you try to make them understand how you made them feel, they might as well give a blank stare. It could encourage you to cut down your communication with the person, gradually due to their lack of compassion and disregard for your feelings. 


They expect a lot from others but never give back. For instance, they could idealize fidelity, responsibility, respect, but fail to give it to you by lying, cheating, and manipulating you into believing you are at fault. They, however, expect you to be perfect, idealistic, or whatever suits their imagination. Excuses, pathological lies, blaming, rationalizing are traits to spot on. They are critical and fault finding, ignoring their own mistakes. 

Attention Seeking

Narcissism takes a spotlight with a toxic person. Selfishness with no consideration or regard for others and how they make others feel gets a checkmark. Their need for attention is insatiable. Admiration and attention-seeking behavior to fill the void they feel from inside can drain your energy. 

Superficial relationships

They have a fan club who cheer for them. They are not accustomed to maintaining genuine relations with people. They use people for resources, money, or emotional needs. In a relationship with a toxic person, communication becomes difficult as you could fear it could jeopardize the relationship. They have no respect for your boundaries making you feel resentful. 


They are wearing a mask that falls off when the phase of idealizations wears off and they start showing their true colors. They could make you feel like you are on cloud nine with flattery, attention, and promises. Over a period, you start to see a side of them that is a total contrast to the loving and kind people they have been. They turn to be cold, callous, and manipulative which could hurt you as it does not add up to what you had seen in them initially. 

Need for stimulation

They get easily bored and need constant attention from people. They prefer to be surrounded by people as they are uncomfortable being alone for a long period. They do not take attention to what interests you and act bored and disinterested. This could make them be in touch with their exes, people they denounced before only to get the attention they seek. 

The hot and cold cycle

One day they could shower you with love and adulation, the next day they would want to break up. They could treat you differently in private than in public. They could be sweet in private and treat you with disrespect publicly or vise versa. It makes you spend your entire time thinking about them and not have a life of your own. You are the one making a lot of sacrifices and receive nothing from them in return. 

Sweet to superior

Humility is only a phase with a toxic person that fizzles out and turns into bouts of arrogance. They put you down, make you feel bad, inferior, or instill negative emotions that could as well handicap your self-esteem. The best of them fades after the initial stage, and you start to see red flags as you get to know them deeper. 

You feel anxious

A toxic person could make you feel anxious around them. You could end up apologizing to them, cry, or feel it’s all your fault. You cannot be fun, easy-going, or your natural self around them. You pretty much have to walk on eggshells talking to them. They make you feel drained, empty, emotionally, and mentally exhausted. 

Love gossiping

Backstabbing, gossiping, putting others down is a common trait of toxic people. They are more interested in other people’s lives than their own. They suffer from low self-esteem but let people in their group participate in their rumor-mongering with little or no concern for how it could affect the individual or their family. 


You find toxic people in every phase of life. Knowing how they subtly alter the way you feel about yourself and impact your mind can save you from the negative experience. Do away with self-doubt, feeling bad, and negative feelings that arouse knowing the characteristics of a toxic person.