Toxic People: 12 Things They Do and How to Deal with Them

The 12 Things Toxic People Do and How to Deal With Them

We have all had toxic people dust us with their poison. Sometimes it’s more like a drenching. Difficult people are drawn to the reasonable ones and all of us have likely had (or have) at least one person in our lives who have us bending around ourselves like barbed wire in endless attempts to please them – only to never really get there.

Their damage lies in their subtlety and the way they can engender that classic response, ‘It’s not them, it’s me.’ They can have you questioning your ‘over-reactiveness’, your ‘oversensitivity’, your ‘tendency to misinterpret’. If you’re the one who’s continually hurt, or the one who is constantly adjusting your own behaviour to avoid being hurt, then chances are that it’s not you and it’s very much them.

Being able to spot their harmful behaviour is the first step to minimising their impact. You might not be able to change what they do, but you can change what you do with it, and any idea that toxic somebody in your life might have that they can get away with it.

There are plenty of things toxic people do to manipulate people and situations to their advantage. Here are 12 of them. Knowing them will help you to avoid falling under the influence:

  1. They’ll keep you guessing about which version of them you’re getting.

    They’ll be completely lovely one day and the next you’ll be wondering what you’ve done to upset them. There often isn’t anything obvious that will explain the change of attitude – you just know something isn’t right. They might be prickly, sad, cold or cranky and when you ask if there’s something wrong, the answer will likely be ‘nothing’ – but they’ll give you just enough  to let you know that there’s something. The ‘just enough’ might be a heaving sigh, a raised eyebrow, a cold shoulder. When this happens, you might find yourself making excuses for them or doing everything you can to make them happy. See why it works for them?

    Stop trying to please them. Toxic people figured out a long time ago that decent people will go to extraordinary lengths to keep the people they care about happy. If your attempts to please aren’t working or aren’t lasting for very long, maybe it’s time to stop. Walk away and come back when the mood has shifted. You are not responsible for anybody else’s feelings. If you have done something unknowingly to hurt somebody, ask, talk about it and if need be, apologise. At any rate, you shouldn’t have to guess.

  1. They’ll manipulate.

    If you feel as though you’re the only one contributing to the relationship, you’re probably right. Toxic people have a way of sending out the vibe that you owe them something. They also have a way of taking from you or doing something that hurts you, then maintaining they were doing it all for you. This is particularly common in workplaces or relationships where the balance of power is out. ‘I’ve left that six months’ worth of filing for you. I thought you’d appreciate the experience and the opportunity to learn your way around the filing cabinets.’ Or, ‘I’m having a dinner party. Why don’t you bring dinner. For 10. It’ll give you a chance to show off those kitchen skills. K?’

    You don’t owe anybody anything. If it doesn’t feel like a favour, it’s not. 

  1. They won’t own their feelings.

    Rather than owning their own feelings, they’ll act as though the feelings are yours. It’s called projection, as in projecting their feelings and thoughts onto you. For example, someone who is angry but won’t take responsibility for it might accuse you of being angry with them. It might be as subtle as, ‘Are you okay with me?’ or a bit more pointed, ‘Why are you angry at me,’ or, ‘You’ve been in a bad mood all day.’

    You’ll find yourself justifying and defending and often this will go around in circles – because it’s not about you. Be really clear on what’s yours and what’s theirs. If you feel as though you’re defending yourself too many times against accusations or questions that don’t fit, you might be being projected on to. You don’t have to explain, justify or defend yourself or deal with a misfired accusation. Remember that.

  1. They’ll make you prove yourself to them.

    They’ll regularly put you in a position where you have to choose between them and something else – and you’ll always feel obliged to choose them. Toxic people will wait until you have a commitment, then they’ll unfold the drama.  ‘If you really cared about me you’d skip your exercise class and spend time with me.’  The problem with this is that enough will never be enough. Few things are fatal – unless it’s life or death, chances are it can wait.

    [irp posts=”1195″ name=”Toxic People: 16 Practical, Powerful Ways to Deal With Them”]

     

  2. They never apologise. 

    They’ll lie before they ever apologise, so there’s no point arguing. They’ll twist the story, change the way it happened and retell it so convincingly that they’ll believe their own nonsense.

    People don’t have to apologise to be wrong. And you don’t need an apology to move forward. Just move forward – without them. Don’t surrender your truth but don’t keep the argument going. There’s just no point. Some people want to be right more than they want to be happy and you have better things to do than to provide fodder for the right-fighters.

  1. They’ll be there in a crisis but they’ll never ever share your joy.

    They’ll find reasons your good news isn’t great news. The classics: About a promotion – ‘The money isn’t that great for the amount of work you’ll be doing.’ About a holiday at the beach – ‘Well it’s going to be very hot. Are you sure you want to go?’ About being made Queen of the Universe – ‘Well the Universe isn’t that big you know and I’m pretty sure you won’t get tea breaks.’ Get the idea? Don’t let them dampen you or shrink you down to their size. You don’t need their approval anyway – or anyone else’s for that matter.

  2. They’ll leave a conversation unfinished – and then they’ll go offline.

    They won’t pick up their phone. They won’t answer texts or emails. And in between rounds of their voicemail message, you might find yourself playing the conversation or argument over and over in your head, guessing about the status of the relationship, wondering what you’ve done to upset them, or whether they’re dead, alive or just ignoring you – which can sometimes all feel the same. People who care about you won’t let you go on feeling rubbish without attempting to sort it out. That doesn’t mean you’ll sort it out of course, but at least they’ll try. Take it as a sign of their investment in the relationship if they leave you ‘out there’ for lengthy sessions.

  3. They’ll use non-toxic words with a toxic tone.

    The message might be innocent enough but the tone conveys so much more. Something like, ‘What did you do today?’ can mean different things depending on the way it’s said. It could mean anything from ‘So I bet you did nothing – as usual,’ to ‘I’m sure your day was better than mine. Mine was awful. Just awful. And you didn’t even notice enough to ask.’ When you question the tone, they’ll come back with, ‘All I said was what did you do today,’ which is true, kind of, not really.

  4. They’ll bring irrelevant detail into a conversation.

    When you’re trying to resolve something important to you, toxic people will bring in irrelevant detail from five arguments ago. The problem with this is that before you know it, you’re arguing about something you did six months ago, still defending yourself, rather than dealing with the issue at hand. Somehow, it just always seems to end up about what you’ve done to them. 

  5. They’ll make it about the way you’re talking, rather than what you’re talking about.

    You might be trying to resolve an issue or get clarification and before you know it, the conversation/ argument has moved away from the issue that was important to you and on to the manner in which you talked about it – whether there is any issue with your manner or not. You’ll find yourself defending your tone, your gestures, your choice of words or the way you belly moves when you breathe – it doesn’t even need to make sense. Meanwhile, your initial need is well gone on the pile of unfinished conversations that seems to grow bigger by the day.

    [irp posts=”1762″ name=”When Someone You Love is Toxic: How to Let Go of Toxic People, Without Guilt”]

     

  6. They exaggerate.

    ‘You always …’ ‘You never …’ It’s hard to defend yourself against this form of manipulation. Toxic people have a way of drawing on the one time you didn’t or the one time you did as evidence of your shortcomings. Don’t buy into the argument. You won’t win. And you don’t need to.

  7. They are judgemental.

    We all get it wrong sometimes but toxic people will make sure you know it. They’ll judge you and take a swipe at your self-esteem suggesting that you’re less than because you made a mistake. We’re all allowed to get it wrong now and then, but unless we’ve done something that affects them nobody has the right to stand in judgement.

Knowing the favourite go-to’s for toxic people will sharpen your radar, making the manipulations easier to spot and easier to name. More importantly, if you know the characteristic signs of a toxic person, you’ll have a better chance of catching yourself before you tie yourself in double knots trying to please them.

Some people can’t be pleased and some people won’t be good for you – and many times that will have nothing to do with you. You can always say no to unnecessary crazy. Be confident and own your own faults, your quirks and the things that make you shine. You don’t need anyone’s approval but remember if someone is working hard to manipulate, it’s because probably because they need yours. You don’t always have to give it but if you do, don’t let the cost be too high. 

1,943 Comments

Emmanuel

I met this lady who offered me a lift, the following day she called for me to join her and it became regular.I noticed from her body language she was positioning herself as my partner from conversations we had.I never proposed to her , then one day she put up this moody look and like toxic people do she said nothing, i pressed further and she accused me of blocking her texts line and begun to recounts things i did 4 weeks earlier which she never complained about and even that she called once and i told her i was out of town, meanwhile she knows i travel every weekend.I noticed she sometimes refused to pick up my calls or return text messages.Sometimes she responds with what you see are cooked up lies but i dont point it out.I sent her a text telling her i liked her 4 weeks earlier and she never even raised a whimper about it.This particular day i mentioned above that she put up that emotional out burst, she referred to that text and wanted explanation.I told her the fine print was explanatory and i told her i loved her to which she agreed and said we should take it slow since it was early and even asked why i did not tell her earlier.A few days ago she raised this issue of that text message that i liked her again, after we had arguments over nothing and i called off this friendship since i did not see it as a relationship.She came back a few days after blaming me for hitting on her and we should talk instead of texting,i joined her car the following day and she begun demanding meaning of ” i like you”,.I remained resolute that the fine print was enough,she said my refusal to tell her the real meaning makes her see me in a certain light, i said we had already had this discussion so no need to go into it.I realized she wanted me to say something she was expecting to hear so i refused because i may be making a commitment pre maturely.I am coming from a divorce after 12 years of marriage to a very toxic person so i am very careful.this lady started accusing me of trying to take advantage of her like certain men did to her in the past,i was very angry .She said also if i am not interested in such games i should not send her such text messages, but i kept my cool.I thought i should walk away because she is equating me to the men that took advantage of her and by that comment she exposed herself as a person who in the past lost her guard anytime men hit on her, she has come to that realization and she is being very defensive but her interest in that harmless message means she still expects me to behave like the previous guys in her life and she would end up blaming me for taking advantage of her, thats what she is used to , not entirely her fault..I realized she just cant understand how this guy would send a hit on message and not follow it up.My amazement was with how in a second she forgot our earlier discussion we agreed to take it slow.I sent her a text message i did not want to hang around characters such as this and we should end whatever friendship we have because i respect myself and i have never taken advantage of any woman in my life.

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Mel

What do I do when I’ve been abused and I feel deeply hurt by a toxic person I still care about. They send me texts first but still ignore me when I respond.

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Anthony Nonymous

I met the love of my life about 3 years ago. After 6 months, she fell pregnant (accident).

We had a mis-carraige but it made us actually want to have children.,

A year later, another mi-scarraige. I was busy buying a bigger house for our future family. Finally, last year in June, we had the start of a successful pregnancy.

After buying the bigger house (+£1000 extra mortgage a month…) obviously the first thing that had to be done was to knock walls down and get a new kitchen fitted (+£40,000). I was reluctant to get into £40,000 of debt, but I thought it would keep her happy.

The baby finally arrived in March and then we had lockdown.

I am now working full time (she gave up work for the child, which was OK by me) at home. I am also doing the following:

1. All the cooking (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
2. All the tidying up after cooking
3. All the nappy changing (half way through a meeting at work, I get a “text” saying the nappy needs changing and if I don’t drop everything instantly to do this, she gets angry)
4. Sometimes, she would want a cup of tea or some water and will text me while I’m working telling me to get it for her.
5. Most of the laundry (she’ll put things in the machine then have a go at me if I don’t hang the washing out)
6. I spend between 2-4 hours a day with our child to give her a break.

Today, the cleaner is coming, so I have to “pre-clean” the house. This caused an argument. I made a comment like “it would be nice if you cooked the lunch for once as I am working full time”. BIG mistake.

I then get emotional bullying about “well, you can’t feed the baby so you’ll have to do everything”.

She then basically said that I do “fuck all” and I am lazy.

It would be nice if just once she said something nice, but there is always something else I’ve got to do or have got to buy. If I sit down for 5 minutes, she will also yell at me.

I feel totally unappreciated and a bit like her personal slave.

I can’t wait until our daughter has grown up a bit so we can split up.

Anyone else been in a relationship lik this? How did it work out?

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Rose

What happens when the toxic person is daughter and you love her and want to reach her. Almost every day ends in a fight, even if it’s been a relatively good day. She has such empathy for so many others but none for me. I had hoped that therapy would help her but all it did was teach her not to back down. I cry so much. It’s like I’m never good enough.

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Insecure Bella

I welcome any comments or advice..

A little back history my husband and I have been together for 12 years. At the beginning I had my red flags. He lied about having Facebook. He lied about female friends. He broke up with me over other women over and over again when I gave him ultimatums. Now let me also add that at the beginning of our relationship (early 20s) when he would do something to hurt me or betray me I would do things in return to make him jealous as well. (I have never slept with any other man but him) Once I realized it was a pattern for him. I stopped altogether trying to make him jealous and simply told him that if he wanted these women they could have him. He is very manipulative and gaslights me often. For example I found out he was looking at his ex girlfriend up on Facebook. To me it was weird and I confronted him. He in return told me I was being insecure, jealous and invading his privacy. He broke up with me and refused to speak to me for weeks. (Mind you it was the day before my birthday) Before being with him I was always confident in myself!! Recently I notice that I don’t feel as pretty (because of the other women I know him to be attracted towards) He belittles me so much so that I blow up on him. He ignores me. Im always feeling alone in the relationship. I express to him how I feel and he ignores me. Fast forward to this year (2020) we live together!! He has been acting very moody and distant so I decided to go through his phone. Found out he has dating profiles, visits hook up sites and tried to meet some random woman he saw at a gas station?? When I confronted him he acted as if it was no big deal. Told me to get over it. That he was just doing it for fun and NEVER hooked up or slept with anyone but me.!?? For me it was and is a deal breaker. As all of this was going on behind my back without my knowledge. I have no idea if he has had sex with any of these people (he was looking at women and trans women)!! I am at a loss and truly know I deserve better. I feel trapped and don’t know what to do.? I feel he is torturing me emotionally and mentally. I’ve told him to leave me since he is so unhappy. But he refuses!! Did I bring this on myself due to how I handled his infidelities at the beginning of the relationship.?? I know he will never tell me the truth.

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Samantha A J

my family disowned me and this is how they act it has affected my mental health a lot to where I have low self-esteem and made me feel not relevant. was always there at there becking call. when I started dating my boyfriend a year and a half ago they have been degrading my boyfriend and i and when i would not help my aunt and she disowned me then got the rest of my family to do and my family says they disowned me because of my boyfriend and my attitude.

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reubin

So was dating this girl, and it ended for a year or so and now we are just friends.

I know she manipulated and lied her way into a lot of things, and I could c it done to other people and me but I never called her on it cuz I didn’t care, and the relationship wasn’t that serious at the time…. But there is one particular habit that she does that I don’t quite get!!!!

Long story short, she was getting divorced when we started seeing each other (or so I was told) and it turned out she was still with her husband or working things out with him.

Back then, when she flaked, id message her and she would call after an hour or so always in a hurry (lol) come up with some random excuse like walking into a store, ordering food saying she would call again then hanging up…

Now she reconnected again… we agreed on being just friends, but she still does that same stupid shit. I mean if she did this before cuz she were messing around and was trying to play smart with the lame ass excuses so I won’t end it.. i don’t get it now as there is nothing on the table what so ever.

Am I mad?

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Hazel

Hey reubin! I’m Hazel. Just wanted to let you know my thoughts. First of all, I think that if she is not actually going through a divorce or anything and is still married, maybe she was cheating on her husband with you and that might be for various reasons but the point is that in a normal situation it would have been better for you to make it clear that you weren’t on the wrong side and didn’t know what she was doing. But in your current situation, I think it would be best to simply leave and cut contact with her and anybody related to her (hoping there aren’t many). And whatever she is dealing with and whatever she did with you, it seems wrong to me from what I read. But still, you know better! So listen to your heart in this one but along with that, use some logic to try to figure it out. I personally would have simply left and cut contact, as I told you. But it’s not your fault! You should know that. Hope u figure it out!

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babylaby

“” I mean if she did this before cuz she were messing around and was trying to play smart with the lame ass excuses so I won’t end it.. i don’t get it now as there is nothing on the table what so ever. “”

To you, there is nothing on the table. But, for her, stuff still is.

“” Am I mad? “”
To me, no. I think you’re experiencing what happens when you interact with someone who doesn’t mean what they say. Since they don’t mean what they say, they also think you don’t mean what you say. So, “… nothing on the table what so ever” is code to her for maybe things will change in a bit, or he’s just playing hard to get, or some other bologna.

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La

ASK YOURSELF WHY YOU WOULD LET HER BACK INTO YOUR LIFE?
IF SHE MANIPULATED YOU ON MANY OCCASSIONS AND LIED TO YOU, HER TRACK RECORD REALLY SPEAKS AGAINST HER.
(oops sorry for caps lock). And then ask herself why did she reconnect? And how did she do it? Did she show remorse and was apologetic of her past behaviours or did she pretend as if nothing had happened?
I would strongly advise against being in contact with her. She will mess with you and you have nothing to gain but a lot to lose. It’s very easy to get sucked into drama by a manipulator or a toxic person, but getting out will be much more diffuclt.
Be careful!

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Andrea R

I would like to receive an outsiders opinion on this. Recently a long time friend and I got drunk and I let it slip out that a guy who liked her had confessed to liking me, about a year ago. However I also did mention that I didn’t feel the same as he felt towards me and that I knew my friend liked him so there was no way I would ever date him because I cared about her too much. At the time I was also dating my friend’s cousin. Another important detail is that my friend‘a cousin knew about the guy liking me because the guy would constantly mention wanting to ask me out on a date. Her cousin also knew she liked the guy but he never mentioned what the guy had said to him ever. Now my friend is putting all the blame on me and saying that all I do is hide stuff from her, when in reality this is the only thing I’ve ever kept from her. She even told me that it wasn’t fair because “I was pretty and she had nothing.” I do admit that I should have told her about this incident when it happened but at the time I felt that it was best if I didn’t because in a way I thought I was going to protect her. She has now blocked me on everything, and I almost feel as if she wants me to say something that’s not true just so she can feel at peace.

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anonymous

“I would like to receive an outsiders opinion on this.”
Ok, here’s one:

Maybe it better to ask yourself: “would I want to know if the person that liked me, also liked my friend a year ago?”

And also ask yourself “And would I be comfortable being around them together knowing that the only reason my friend said they didn’t like this person that liked me now, was because we were friends, and not because they weren’t interested in the person”

Or better, “would I want to know the truth even if it hurt”

As far as the other things in your post,

“She even told me that it wasn’t fair because “I was pretty and she had nothing.”

That sucks, it sounds like your friend thinks her only value in a relationship is her beauty. She doesn’t think she brings other things to the table in a relationship or that they matter. This is really hard to get over. A toxic culture has embedded the beauty belief into us.

“She has now blocked me on everything, and I almost feel as if she wants me to say something that’s not true just so she can feel at peace.”

Well, you originally told her something not true to make her feel at peace in the first place. You told her *silence* about the entire situation when it first happened. You’ve seen how that has played out, do you want to go down that path again?

I wouldn’t be hard on yourself if you are. You are not a bad person. No one teaches this stuff when we are growing up.

I think your friend feels betrayed. The trust was broken. And I think that’s why she blocked you. Maybe she expects that friends don’t keep secrets from each other, even if it means to protect them. Because if you do keep secrets then you’re doing what you think is best for her, and not what she thinks is best for her. But then there are other friends who don’t want any truth. Instead, they want to feel good around each other even if it’s in a cloud of lies. It’s what type of friend do you want to be around? What do you value?

So with everything that has happened, do you now want to value Truth over pain? Because the truth still came out. It tends to do that

Regardless of your answer, there are times when you tell someone the truth and they don’t want to hear it. And, they don’t hear it. They can’t hear it. The pain would be too much. They hear something else and instead to block out the pain. They hear something that was never said and something that is not true.

When talking with friends, maybe it’s better to tell the truth. That’s my opinion and it comes from spending the first part of my life in the company of friends who preferred the cloud of lies. Needless to say, I don’t have those friends anymore because of that cloud of lies. Now I don’t have any friends to test my tell the truth even if may hurt theory, but right now that is the conclusion I have come too.

Is one way better than the other? I don’t know. Maybe it’s just wherever you’re at in life; and at some points in life there is just too much pain going on all around you and all you want is to just feel good – lies and all. And then maybe at some points in life there is just too much pain going on all around you and you want the truth so you can deal with it and move on with your life.

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La

Dear Andrea,

It does indeed sound like your friend is manipulating you.
The ‘incident’ does not seem to warrant such a strong response from your friend. A more appropriate response from her to would be to express her feelings, which you should acknowledge and try to understand without defending your point.
It does however seem like she now has no desire to be speaking to you if she has blocked you.
Blocking someone is a clear message which says: “I do not care what you have to say”.
If you care a lot about her, write her a letter which she can choose to read or not to read. Lay out how you feel, explain that you are open to a conversation (if you are) and that you hope that you both can grow stronger through this experience.
If she continues to manipulate you if any way, I would distance myself from her.

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Flora

They are still active in their twilight years. Nothing stops them, the more power they have the more people they control.
But not me, so I’ve become a target and all narcissist traits being used against me.
A lifetime………

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James

I don’t know what to do ifeel completely and utterly broken I got married to what I believed was my dream girl at 18 we’ve been together since we we were 15 I’m going to be 21 in a week things have not been the same since we’ve been married I feel like I’m a different person she countuisly fucks with other guys and then by the the end of the argument she will make me feel like I’m in the wrong I’ve had multiple friends tell me stuff and she denys it for the longest I’ve been the one holding us together giveing her my everything and finally I’m realizing everything is not my fault when I am with her and giveing her everything I have she didn’t want anything to do with me but now I finally wanting to start a new chapter of my like and stop making my self feel insane she reels me in and as soon as I’m back she starts it all over again I love her to death we have two children together I need help

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Please leave a solution

Turns out my girl has all these toxic qualities but I am unable to leave her because she gave me her virginity , she wants to be with me forever .. and also I have so much love for her even though she is like this..
Is there any way to make her change??
Please please help me out ..
I really love her and want her to experience a healthy relationship with Me
Because I know that her being toxic has no benefit to her and people around her
I just want to help her change

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been there

you can not help her change. she needs to change on her own. If you want an honest advice, believe it or not you are not responsible for her.

move on, find someone who doesn’t drain your energy and appreciate you without manipulation. don’t hold on to an image of what you want things to be and judge them for what they are.

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Bev

If you really want to make something out of your relationship, it is going to be an uphill climb. I would not recommend being in a relationship with a toxic person, as it will eat away at your substance as a man. In time, you will be under her thumb and suffering because of her abuse. Is that what you really want?

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Kmac

A relationship is between 2 people both giving to each other. I was with a toxic person from being 14. Eventually, we had children and the abuse got worse. 30 years later he is fighting me in court and it’s costing thousands of dollars and the children are stuck in the middle. All the time, people warned me that he would get worse and he did. I hope you can be strong and do what is best for both of you. You deserve to be in a healthy relationship. It is nice to be loved and appreciated for who you are.

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La

I am very sorry that you recognise your girlfriend in this article. It must be difficult to see that the person we love exhibits very negative and potentially harming behaviours.
In your post you write a lot about your gf, but very little about you and how you feel, or what outcome you’d like to see FOR THE SITUATION.
Is there a way to make her change? It’s very hard to force someone to change, if they themselves don’t want to change.
You say you’d like HER to experience a healthy relationship with you. But what about you? Would you like to experience a healthy relationship with her?
From your post, I get a sense that you put your girl first: her wants, her needs. Then you put your wishes for her life, and only then, at the end comes what it is that you want for yourself.
The best gift you can give yourself is more self-care and self-love.
Take a moment and ask yourself if you yourself are behaving in your own best interest. Ask yourself this: if you were giving advice to your best friend who is in your situation, what would it be? Remember, the goal is to give advice, which will be in your friend’s best interest.

It’s difficult to say anything about your girl’s behaviours without any concrete examples, however virginity should not be used as a bargaining chip by either of the partners. I recignise, that this may be different if you both come from conservative or highly religious backgrounds.

You certainly seem to be in a challenging situation and there isn’t a magic bullet for your problem, but my advice to you is, put yourself first. Not in a selfish way, but in a kind and compassionate way. Ask yourself if the person you are with is helping you grow as a human and would be willing to put so much thought about your well-being as you are about hers.

One practical tip I would suggest is to look up and practice non-violent communication technique. Familiarise yourself with it and practice it when speaking to your girl. Hopefully, by becoming better communicator yourself, you will be able to shape a kinder communication path for each other and you will find a way to express to her when her behaviour is crossing a line.

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Ralph

More than likely she will not change. It’s sad to hear, but trust me when I say I’ve been thru the ringer with an ex girlfriend who is toxic. I thought I could change my ex over time and ended up staying with her for seven more months than I should have. The lying, manipulation, deceitfulness, and narcissistic traits she had never changed. I even got told “you are trying to change me because you think you now have all this knowledge that you’ve read about, but I am never going to change”. “If you can’t love me for my faults then this isn’t going to work”. Needless to say I stayed about a month after that was said then we broke up for good. It’s been about 8 months now and looking back on all the shady stuff she did throughout I’m mad at myself for not leaving earlier. Just cause the sex may be great is no reason to stay. Really look at the red flags and determine if you believe deep down in your soul that she could eventually be a better person to you.

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The Apathetical Man

Everyone has a purpose in life. Each and every person is born into this world for a certain reason. Some people can easily find their purpose early on in their lives, while others might have to spend half of their lifetimes trying to figure out the reason why they are here. Nonetheless, regardless of time, everyone has the capacity to find meaning in life.

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Donald

Hey I read this great article and i do have a question and some tips. I have a toxic person I believe as a step brother (though I don’t call him one at all) and he was a boss that I had and if I can explain right he was always getting angry at me trying to stand up against him and he would always judge me and try to make me look dumb at work and he also would try to be slick with changing subjects and talk about logic even though he didn’t seen like the person to be logical. He had my sister call me and tell me I was hiding from him at my home and he seems to focus so much on me. And I even quite during fussing, but he keeps trying to make me work with him again but I dont and he also showed he would start begging or trying to make me work with him…so is this a toxic person? And how do I stay far away from this guy?

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CornersOfMyMind

At the end of the day, all toxic people are emotionally detached. They build a sense of entitlement based on detailed expectations formed without consultation so they can be thankless if they are met, or angry and resentful if they are not. They build their own Catch-22 scenarios and blame others for their constant frustrations and victim mentality.

I choose life… a whole, open, honest imperfect but good enough life. A life where I’m prepared to be a safety net but not a hammock. A life which I choose to explore despite the certainty of setbacks. A life of responsibility and productivity. A life where I’m in the arena and I’ve experienced every bit of it and enjoyed most of it. A good enough life for anyone.

Deselect the people with a toxic sense of entitlement early and come join me!

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Alexei

Im trans ftm and I recently came out to my mother and she completely ignored it, acted like nothing happened, and when asked by my sister if she would call me by my name my mom said ‘Im going to call her by her name, K.’ Along with that shes ignored me or said Im making it all about me. Before this Ive explained to her my struggle and how I attempted one time and she just asked the method I used, and then said that it wouldnt do anything. I feel really horrible for so many reasons because she doesnt have a lot of money for a good lawyer, she has still cared for my physically, she is my mother, and other reasons. I know I would suffer if I continued to live with her but I just care too much about people and I feel bad. I dont know if anyone will respond but I hope someone can give me some motivation or insight.

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Aly

I have a friend. We’re not dating, though she claims to love me(but not date) and I used, again, used to like her. However, she rarely texts back. I have to send a handful of texts a day just to get a couple responses. We’re both in a group chat that she made, and she never responds to me. I’m the only one active usually too, but then she almost always responds to others the rare times they actually day something. At the same time, she claims she’s scared of vulnerability, to defend these actions: she never shares anything about her life, tries to not reveal much about herself, never ever vents or always denies being upset. She constantly teases me for ‘overthinking’ and now it’s making me think that perhaps I’m overthinking all this about her? Because while she’s vague af, she has also listened to me whenever I need to vent, and even offered to open her house to me if I ever need a place to go(my family is another confirmed can of toxicness). But then doesn’t that also sound suspicious? She never reveals anything abbot herself, to the point of turning of read receipts and not letting phones show her ‘typing…’ As well as making sure she is set to incognito in the group chat so you can never see if she’s on, but then she’d apparently be okay with me living with her in her house? Help

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Pamela D

I am work and wanted to show so loud because this article was on point. This describes my on an off again ex boyfriend. We just ended for the thousandth time 2weeks ago. What got me this time was this is my 2nd being enrolled in school. The first was beauty school and I had withdrawed before I flunked out because he was a major discraction. He would drink and argue with me assuming cause my attention was else where but I didn’t mind withdrawing b/c I realized beauty school was not my calling. Speeding up to 6yrs (2020) I am now enrolled again in school for photography and at first I chose a 4year plan then he was like ” won’t that be to long for your age” (39) even though I switched to a 2yr plan for me he didn’t have to say that, just support me and I would want to go out and take pictures and he would try to semi nicely distract me. I am just glad we are over with. I have learn a lot. Even after the loss of my late sister and his now late brother he still treated me like shit but now I am at peace and happy as ever without him. He text a few days ago and I sent a long message saying how happy I was without him, he asked “do you not want me to contact you anymore”? lol…keep in mind our last argument he told me ” I don’t care if I ever don’t talk to you again” what so sad is him and his brother was not speaking at the time he was killed…that says a lot to me and now he regrets it.

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Valerie l

Hey guys,I am in a dilemma and I need advice…I recently told my boyfriend that I think he’s toxic and he’s ghosted me ever since,I am so confused that maybe my judgement was wrong ,but my instincts tell me different.I am afraid I might be wrong because his toxic traits aren’t really all over the place,and he loves me so much and would never cheat on me.He keeps on bringing up past issues in arguments whenever he feels like he’s on the wrong just so that he can leaverage the argument,whenever he’s mad at me and I ask,he won’t tell me ,he’ll just drop hints till I ask him again and again,I always feel like I am walking on eggshells with him,he thinks I am so beautiful,and that makes him overly jealous and I don’t think that’s normal,he always thinks I am cheating on him,he thinks I am not over my ex and his moods really switch quickly and he gets all moody for nothing,he says I don’t put him as a priority ie when I decide to go out with my friends and not go for a sleepover at his place,And he’s always trying to prove he’s smarter than me…Il

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Ally

This article got me so bad! This is exactly what i am experiencing right now. I am currently in a relationship for 4 years now with my boyfriend. During our 1st-2nd year, i can say that our relationship is good and smooth maybe because we are still starting. But then when we were on our 3rd year, everything has changed. He started to show his true colors. In an argument, he would always say words which are disrespectful to me ex., you’re an idiot, you’re stupid, you’re a flirt! He would also swear a lot to me and say fck u! He would also suspect me that i am with another guy and would always think that i’m cheating on him. When we are on video call and i am with my male workmate, he would always ask me to show him to my workmate and he’d get mad if i didn’t. He wanted me to always show him to everyone for them to be aware that i’m already taken. He’s manipulating and controlling me at the same time. I can’t go out wihout his permission. Even just going out to buy my needs, i still need to get permission from him. I feel like he’s choking me. I can’t breathe. But he would always feel guilty after our argument and he will still say sorry. But then, i am emotionally damaged now. Sometimes i don’t feel any pain anymore. It’s paralyzing. I still love him but it’s really draining. Sooner or later i feel like i will get totally tired of this and maybe ill get out of this situation too. ????

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Tristan

I am 24 and one year into a relationship with a woman who’s ten years older than me and I honestly find that she does most of these things pretty regularly. IT ACTUALLY CAN BE DONE KNOWINGLY… WHICH IS A SICK NESS IN ITSELF I THINK.
She makes me feel small, constantly snaps at me for little things I do differently from her not even necessarily wrong but mistakes are even worse to handle….
Sometimes I’m scared to ask what’s wrong….. I’m pretty much never entirely comfortable anymore with her because of all the times she’s warped the past and refused to consider how it made me feel or did it specifically to make me feel shit I just know !!!

I wish I had a voice. I wish she knew how much I love her and how hard difficult it can be to keep looking past it and looking past it. When it really damn well hurts me and I want to cry but I have no idea how anymore

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Hopeless Case

Id love an opinion on this situation please as it seems to be the only place I can turn really. I have been in a relationship for almost 2 years. We met online and it was a blind date. I have always gone for personality so looks was not the be all and end all. We started out being so in love- but it was all a game I see that clearly now. I was very independent, career woman own house own car and always was sensible in my life choices with the exception of Relationships- it has been one disaster after another abuse, violence, alcoholism, cheating I could go on forever. So this guy was all I ever needed. Kind, generous, great heart, successful business, flowers and little gifts every week- so I though yes finally ill walk up the isle with this fantastic man. At the beginning i was at his place most nights (we both wanted this) and i started to have issues in the house i was renting (as i had to move for a job opportunity ) he asked me loads of times to move in – I did and now I see it was far to soon and I completely regret it. He convinced me to leave the job and made it look like he was being supportive and i was way too good for the place and id find another one really soon so i took the first summer off in my whole career and literally spent all my savings on supplies etc for his home as i felt i should and still do. It was that summer I saw a change, the very first time was I text him to see was he okay as it was late, he works with machinery and livestock so i was concerned something had happened to him. When he cam through the door I saw a new person I did not recognise, he screamed at me and said what are you texting me for when I am so busy. I was gobsmacked as I’d never seen this side before. I fell silent and couldn’t believe it. So I let it go and figured he had a day from hell. Nothing happened for a while next, i was helping him with his work and i did something wrong and he exploded with me when I was only trying to help- he goes from 0-explosion in 2.5 seconds normally this time I burst into tears. He has slammed doors in my face in front of the staff, He has made a fool of me in front of his friend. He always has a Drama when I’d like to do something or go somewhere. He expects me to stand by his side in his family gatherings ye he wont go to any of mine. He asked me for some help another evening this is where the temper was extreme. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do as he didn’t explain it. But it didn’t work and he went nuts with me it was all my fault, but I saw a side that scared me this time again silence in the house for about a week. This all started to get worse and worse. Another bad experience happened me where i got let go from my job and this was first time it ever happened me. He was incredible and was so supportive caring, yet again I was so happy to have him. He even gave me a job in his company again I forgot all the bad stuff. But now we are in the middle of a Pandemic I cant go back to my own house as I have no job as he employs me, my independence has completely been diminished. The arguments are becoming so bad he throws my past in my face makes me feel about 10cm tall everytime he loses it. He is so insulting and i feel so low and think of his words for days. Less than a day later he has forgotten how nasty he has been and cuddles up looking sex (as we had agreed to try have a baby as we have both getting older and want a child) When I refuse he gets angry with me again. He never apologises and he flies off the handle when I do something nice for him, he flies off the handle when he doesn’t get his own way (only child syndrome) when things are going wrong outside etc etc it can happen any time any place completely unexpectedly. I was sitting in the car one evening and we were having a nice few hrs out of the house (pre Pandemic) and out of no where will you ever shut the f**k up you never shut up . I wanted to curl up and die He had trauma a few year before Im sure he is still grieving (his Fiance was tragically taken) I came on the scene and his last relationship didn’t work out either. He works 7 days a week there is no time for me nor am I any sort of a priority. I do all the cooking cleaning shopping (which i struggle to afford) He has no house skills and leaves a mess no matter where he is in the house. I feel trapped, Useless unmotivated, and most days exceptionally unhappy. I cannot go through another terrible breakup as i just don’t have it in me to start again from scratch. My dreams of a child and a happy marriage is yet again crushed. In my head i keep saying he will change and it’ll get better but its getting more personal with ever row – last one was my ex had the measure of me and was right to cheat. Before that it was he was right to hit you- you drove him to it. No wonder you got sacked your so stupid. You absolutely F**k up every thing you do. And that is outside of what happens during work hours. I don’t leave the house much and when i do he doesn’t like it i can tell. Every week i think of how i can take my own life as this would be better than starting all over again- I’ve been picking myself up since i was 16 and I dont have the strength this time. I’d appreciate some advise if you could spare some time. The language is not ment to offend apologies if it does.

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Vaishnavi s

First thanks to the Author to write this novel, cause it’s related to me .Now i know that why my friend has many people when she was in trouble. I used to help her with many things and when it was my turn she didn’t even try to help me out. In short the one I trusted was never capable to this relationship.Well,now I have many things to say but I can’t express it for now. But nowadays i have learnt that people will only use you for something and when you need help they will give some kind of fake reason’s.For these type of toxic people we should only stay away from them .

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Anthony

This sounds a lot like my fiancée. When we talk she gets easily offended by something that wasn’t even offensive and then it becomes an argument. We live together with her mom and grandma and then she tells her mom “her version” of the story and she leaves out almost everything she said and twist the story and then I end up being the bad guy. Then the only way to solve the issue is by her asking to buy her food and she literally tells me what to apologize for and exactly what words to say. She even made me post something just to please her. Her mom is always on her side because it’s her daughter, and the grandma just tries to calm the situation by saying just tell her what she wants so this can all be done. In the end I’m always the bad guy and she’s Ms. Perfect. I hate it and am sick of it. Any ideas on what to do?

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Ayushi

I am in a toxic relationship with my boyfriend and it has been a year now. I love him and I am not able to let him go. I have no friends and he is the only person that I talk to . I don’t know what to do but I swear my life is hell right now. Help

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Sometimes we all just need space to talk to someone who will listen without giving advice, or problem solving, or lecturing. Someone who will let us talk, and who can handle our experiences and words and feelings without having to smooth out the wrinkles or tidy the frayed edges. 

Our kids need this too, but as their important adults, it can be hard to hush without needing to fix things, or gather up their experience and bundle it into a learning that will grow them. We do this because we love them, but it can also mean that they choose not to let us in for the wrong reasons. 

We can’t help them if we don’t know what’s happening in their world, and entry will be on their terms - even more as they get older. As they grow, they won’t trust us with the big things if we don’t give them the opportunity to learn that we can handle the little things (which might feel seismic to them). They won’t let us in to their world unless we make it safe for them to.

When my own kids were small, we had a rule that when I picked them up from school they could tell me anything, and when we drove into the driveway, the conversation would be finished if they wanted it to be. They only put this rule into play a few times, but it was enough for them to learn that it was safe to talk about anything, and for me to hear what was happening in that part of their world that happened without me. My gosh though, there were times that the end of the conversation would be jarring and breathtaking and so unfinished for me, but every time they would come back when they were ready and we would finish the chat. As it turned out, I had to trust them as much as I wanted them to trust me. But that’s how parenting is really isn’t it.

Of course there will always be lessons in their experiences we will want to hear straight up, but we also need them to learn that we are safe to come to.  We need them to know that there isn’t anything about them or their life we can’t handle, and when the world feels hard or uncertain, it’s safe here. By building safety, we build our connection and influence. It’s just how it seems to work.♥️
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#parenting #parenthood #mindfulparenting
Words can be hard sometimes. The right words can be orbital and unconquerable and hard to grab hold of. Feelings though - they’ll always make themselves known, with or without the ‘why’. 

Kids and teens are no different to the rest of us. Their feelings can feel bigger than words - unfathomable and messy and too much to be lassoed into language. If we tap into our own experience, we can sometimes (not all the time) get an idea of what they might need. 

It’s completely understandable that new things or hard things (such as going back to school) might drive thoughts of falls and fails and missteps. When this happens, it’s not so much the hard thing or the new thing that drives avoidance, but thoughts of failing or not being good enough. The more meaningful the ‘thing’ is, the more this is likely to happen. If you can look behind the words, and through to the intention - to avoid failure more than the new or difficult experience, it can be easier to give them what they need. 

Often, ‘I can’t’ means, ‘What if I can’t?’ or, ‘Do you think I can?’, or, ‘Will you still think I’m brave, strong, and capable of I fail?’ They need to know that the outcome won’t make any difference at all to how much you adore them, and how capable and exceptional you think they are. By focusing on process, (the courage to give it a go), we clear the runway so they can feel safer to crawl, then walk, then run, then fly. 

It takes time to reach full flight in anything, but in the meantime the stumbling can make even the strongest of hearts feel vulnerable. The more we focus on process over outcome (their courage to try over the result), and who they are over what they do (their courage, tenacity, curiosity over the outcome), the safer they will feel to try new things or hard things. We know they can do hard things, and the beauty and expansion comes first in the willingness to try. 
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#parenting #mindfulparenting #positiveparenting #mindfulparent
Never in the history of forever has there been such a  lavish opportunity for a year to be better than the last. Not to be grabby, but you know what I’d love this year? Less opportunities that come in the name of ‘resilience’. I’m ready for joy, or adventure, or connection, or gratitude, or courage - anything else but resilience really. Opportunities for resilience have a place, but 2020 has been relentless with its servings, and it’s time for an out breath. Here’s hoping 2021 will be a year that wraps its loving arms around us. I’m ready for that. x
The holidays are a wonderland of everything that can lead to hyped up, exhausted, cranky, excited, happy kids (and adults). Sometimes they’ll cycle through all of these within ten minutes. Sugar will constantly pry their little mouths wide open and jump inside, routines will laugh at you from a distance, there will be gatherings and parties, and everything will feel a little bit different to usual. And a bit like magic. 

Know that whatever happens, it’s all part of what the holidays are meant to look like. They aren’t meant to be pristine and orderly and exactly as planned. They were never meant to be that. Christmas is about people, your favourite ones, not tasks. If focusing on the people means some of the tasks fall down, let that be okay, because that’s what Christmas is. It’s about you and your people. It’s not about proving your parenting stamina, or that you’ve raised perfectly well-behaved humans, or that your family can polish up like the catalog ones any day of the week, or that you can create restaurant quality meals and decorate the table like you were born doing it. Christmas is messy and ridiculous and exhausting and there will be plenty of frayed edges. And plenty of magic. The magic will happen the way it always happens. Not with the decorations or the trimmings or the food or the polish, but by being with the ones you love, and the ones who love you right back.

When it all starts to feel too important, too necessary and too ‘un-let-go-able’, be guided by the bigger truth, which is that more than anything, you will all remember how you all felt – as in how happy they felt, how loved they felt were, how noticed they felt. They won’t care about the instagram-worthy meals on the table, the cleanliness of the floors, how many relatives they visited, or how impressed other grown-ups were with their clean faces and darling smiles. It’s easy to forget sometimes, that what matters most at Christmas isn’t the tasks, but the people – the ones who would give up pretty much anything just to have the day with you.
Some days are great days. We want to squeeze every delicious moment out of them and keep them forever somewhere safe and reachable where our loved days and precious things are kept. Then there are days that are truly awful - the days we want to fold in half, and then in half again and again and again until those days are too small to hurt us any more. But days are like that aren’t they. For better or worse they will come and they will go. Sometimes the effects of them will stay – the glow, the growth, the joy, the bruises – long after those days have gone. And despite what I know to be true - that these are the days that will make us braver, stronger, kinder and wiser, sometimes I don’t feel any of that for a while. I just see the stretch marks. But that’s the way life is, isn’t it. It can be hard and beautiful all in sequence and all at once.
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One of the tough things about being human is that to live wholeheartedly means to open ourselves to both - the parts that are plump with happiness, and the parts that hurt. We don’t have to choose which one can stay. They can exist together. Not always in equal measure, and not always enough of the beautiful to make the awful feel tolerable, or to give it permission to be, but they can exist together - love through loss, hope through heartache. The big memory-making times that fatten life to full enough, and the ones that come with breakage or loss. The loss matters and the joy matters. The existence of either doesn't make the other matter any less. 
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What I also know to be true is that eventually, the space taken up by loss or heartache changes space for enough of the beautiful to exist with it. This is when we can start to move with. Sadness still, perhaps, but with hope, with courage, with strength and softness, with openness to what comes next. Because living bravely and wholeheartedly doesn't mean getting over loss or denying the feelings that take our breath away sometimes. It means honouring both, and in time, moving with.♥️

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