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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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 your 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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 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.



I feel like I’m going insane. Five years ago me and my partner got together and it was amazing. We were so in love and he wanted to be with me all the time and we just had so much fun together we laughed and we did things together like the cinema or go for meals and weekends away at lovely places but fast forward to now and he makes me feel so alone and unhappy, I am living with him and I’ve moved away from my family and friends and it’s so far away I can’t just get to them. I haven’t really got many friends to where I’ve moved to and I’ve even lost friends because of our relationship. He just has a way of always making everything my fault and I can’t do ANYTHING right, from the way I brush my teeth to how I get dressed to how I cook and the level of control is right down to how I eat and drink and spend money. I love him so much and I don’t want to throw away everything we have (or had?) but I’m sick of feeling so alone and isolated and so so sad. I have tried everything I can to talk about this with him but he is a master of manipulation and it always ends up me in the wrong as usual and being ignored for days and walking on eggshells, wondering what I’ve done this time, how long will this last this time, when will it get better and ultimately how did I get into this situation? Who am I? Because I’m not myself anymore. I am currently being quiet downstairs and he’s up in bed getting some sleep so it’s a little bit of relief. There’s never been any physical violence or anything it’s all mind games and manipulation. My brain is so full of anxiety and confusion that at bad times like today I can’t even hold my phone or have a drink without shaking. I just don’t know what to do, I am honestly in love with him after everything and I hate the thought of not being together anymore and starting over again with someone else. We have some good times still and we have so many good memories together and we have crazy amounts of similar tastes in music, tv and movies plus the things we like to do. I honestly don’t know what to do anymore.


Kick him to the curb immediately. He will likely injure you eventually. You are too valuable to tolerate this behavior.


This is craaazzy!! This dude has SOOOO many underlying issues that he has not sorted out (probably from his childhood/adolescent years) so as an adult he is trash! He needs to seek assistance IMMEDIATELY before he hurts himself or others. Sorry you’re being subjected to this, but this would be an easy departure if I were in this situation.

Wendy H

This is abuse. Find another job and dump him. He is the worthless one, not you.


I suggest that you go to the police and report him. There are many types of abuse including financial abuse. Change your passwords at the bank. He sounds unhinged. Does he try to encourage you to NOT see your friends? If yes, he is seeking to isolate you so it is easier for him to abuse you. NEVER advise you are leaving him. It is too dangerous to advise a madman in advance. Change you change your phone number and stop using social media? What have you suffered so far?

Definitely you are currently enduring domestic violence, theft, abuse. Stop feeling that you have to “protect” the abusive bully you keep putting up with. He’s a loser. He probably needs a psychiatrist, but that is NOT your problem. It IS HIS PROBLEM to deal with.


So I had worked with these few people, and they changed the plan at the last minute. When I said that I had already planned everything according to the schedule, they asked me to cancel, and I said no, and they made it into one problem. When I tried to sort it out, they just brought in all my mistakes from last year. But the thing I’m trying to sort out is the problem that just happened. They blamed me for everything, saying I had problems with them doing the project and that I was the problematic one. So lastly, I ended up feeling guilty about it, and I agreed to whatever they said.


I’m moving to Florida, I have a friend there…she is currently mad at me because I won’t agree to everything she wants to do to help me. Isn’t it my right to pick and choose what I want help with? I feel I have to be silent around her…she goes off on these rants if she disagrees with something I’ve said. I’m under enough stress with the move as it is. What the heck do I do? She’s currently giving me the silent treatment because I nixed a heavy bedframe she wants to lend me. Gosh, I agreed to a nightstand, lots of kitchen stuff, towels…etc….this is making me crazy.


Sounds like she’s just trying to pawn off all of her unwanted stuff on you, and you’re not cooperating by taking all of her junk off her hands.

Toni T

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 4 years now. My mother is also dying of cancer and has maybe two weeks to live. So needless to say I am under a tremendous amount of stress, and my boyfriend and I fight all the time. He says it’s my fault. I’m the one that ends up apologizing and he tells me I’m the one that needs to show him that I want to fix things.

Yesterday I went to the store and when I came back he was very despondent and I asked him what the matter was. After a minute he informed me that he “accidentally” recorded me having a very private conversation with my dying mother. I said some things that I felt about him, venting I have no one to talk to you and my mom is my best friend, so we discussed things about the future and things that I feel he does to me in our relationship. He told me he heard the entire conversation and he can never forgive me or get past the things that I said about him. I know the recording was not accidental but yet I am being punished for this. I don’t know what to do. I’m at a loss and I am in desperate need of some good advice because I feel like I’m losing my mind right now. I do have a behavioral as well as a mood disorder and I know that contributes to a lot of our problems, but I’m absolutely at a loss because I can’t even be mad that he recorded me, he says. I will definitely pay the price for what he heard.


OMG I’m so sorry about what happened. I don’t know what to do for you but I do know something that will help: Just remember the loved one is always going to be their friend more than your boyfriend. OMG I can’t believe this. I don’t know what to say. I will be praying for you guys every step of the way.

sue c

Girl. trust me – take it from experience, you’d better run like hell the opposite direction. It won’t get better.


It is not right that he recorded your private converstation with your mother. Plus you have a right to be with her and put her first. She needs your love and attention. He has to realise that he needs to be more understanding that you need to spend time with her. He is trying to use the recording as evidence to prove that you can’t share things with your mum. I would advise helping your mum as she needs your care and support, love and attention right now as she is the most important, who gave you life and raised you. You won’t be able to get those precious time back and you’ll regret it and feel worse. He has no right to make you feel that way. Either end the relationship but communicate the above, and/or make it clear that you need to dedicate your focus and engergies on her. This is your choice but please don’t waste her precious life wasting time fighting with him

Rhonda M

Maybe this is a blessing for you. Your beloved mom can pass on in peace knowing you are going to be free of this chump. RIP that bandaid off. Dump him and spend as much time as you can with your mom. Good luck to you.


I moved in with my friend and her cousin for college. I am an introvert that likes to stay in my room to read or watch videos. I know I need to learn to be more social. In the beginning we all got along until one day they had a problem with everything I did. Eg. Not liking avocados, or I wait until my dishes are dry on the rack before I put them away instead of drying them right away.
They made up lies to tell their parents that I am the aggressor and I am the one who yells at them and belittles them. Everyone who know me knows that I am very soft spoken even when I talk about things I am passionate about.
I mustered up my courage to have the difficult talk about why they are ignoring me or giving me dirty looks. They wrote a list of all my shortcomings and how I need to change in order for me to stay friends with them. Needless to say, I was floored. Not only did they nitpicked almost every insecurity I had about myself, they told me I need to stop acting like I was the victim. I even apologized for things I didn’t do, but I apologized anyway to try to make things better. They didn’t.
My mom saw one of them on FaceTime giving me the finger behind my back when she didn’t know she was on camera. My mom got mad and called her mom. Her mom admitted her daughter can be difficult but she won’t interfere because we are now considered adults. Her mom also told my mom that she also can’t talk to her daughter because her daughter told her she’s constantly studying during her free time. That is a lie, she’s always out partying.
I cannot live like this anymore. We have another 3 years of college and if I have to keep living with them, I will go insane. I am doing well in my classes despite all that is going on. They constantly get in trouble in class because they are loud and fooling around.
I found another place to live but I will be leaving my lease early and leaving them to have to come up with my portion of the rent. I was so excited to live with them and they couldn’t find a nice affordable apartment without me. My mom paid for all the furniture and she said she will sell it or return it all if I move out. My sister said I shouldn’t feel guilty or even tell them I’m leaving, but I still feel like I’m the bad guy. Should I leave and not tell them or should I give them a month’s notice so they can find another roommate? My friends think that they will try to make my life worse if they know I’m leaving.


Wow…I had a toxic roommate once but you got the double-whammie with not one but two! I think if it were me not only would I not tell them I was moving out but I wouldn’t even wait it out another month. Look for a time when they’ll both be away, then get your furniture and other stuff out, leave a note and be gone when they get back. You could explain that you tried to make it work but they left you no choice but to do it this way.


Thank you Terry. My parents will be coming to help me move. It won’t matter if they are there or not while I move, they are scared of my parents, especially my dad. I decided not to tell them I’m moving out. I don’t want to live a month of sleeping with one eye opened!
They have now doubled down on their pettiness by not letting me use what her parents bought for the apartment. Eg. Salt and pepper. I don’t stoop down to their level by not letting them sit on the couch or watch the tv my mom bought. Those items will also be coming with me when I move. All utilities are in my name, including wifi. I will transfer those services to my new apartment too.
My mom told me they already made me a villain in their eyes, nothing I do or say will make them change their minds. It’s been 9 long months, they won’t change, and that their actions have consequences. My mom said her parents will need to step up after I move and possibly get them some psychiatric help because their behaviour is not normal, it’s darn right toxic. My mom’s word’s, not mine!
I thank god everyday I have my parents to talk to, especially my mom. Her nightly talks keep me from breaking down mentally. She should have been a therapist instead of a lawyer.


Good for you…that is truly bizzare. I think it’s hilarious that you’re taking the wifi and tv with you (does that make me toxic?). In my own experience I think part (not all) of the issue was just getting out into a larger world and learning to deal with personalities I hadn’t encountered before, but it’s good that your parents are there to offer perspective and help you sort out what is and is not acceptable behavior. And your mom is right – they’re not going to change. You need to get out for your own mental health. It sounds as if your roommates are scared of your parents because they can’t pull their (ahem) crap with them.

Best wishes, and enjoy your new life! Hopefully in the future you’ll have some perspective of your own to draw from in dealing with such people (whom you WILL meet at some point) and even help others to do so.

Robin W

You don’t owe them any explanation other than good luck with your new housemate. I hope you find them easier to live with ! I know you won’t miss me ( draw a ‘F@#% You’ picture lol)


This is my husband 100% except even worse and I am trying to pull myself off his roller coaster.

Coco Chanel

It’s time to leave the relationship. She is taking you for granted. She has no respect for you or what you are feeling. Sometimes it will take walking away from an toxic or onesided relationship before a person realize what they lost.


Now I just need to rant and let off steam because woopdy dooo I’m pissed

My brother is an absolute jackass. I don’t think he is by any means Toxic, but he does share some pretty nasty qualities with people like this. He is really, really good at making anyone he does not, and for lack of a better term, “respect” feel like absolute crap. The dude won’t even let me speak when I want to talk to him, yet when he wants to talk to me, I’m all ears. Now I’m by no means a good person either. I am a very talkative and very annoying person which may stem from a personal need for attention which I am now starting to believe that I have. That being said, I still want to talk to my brother. And half the time it’s about things we both enjoy, like video games. Now I might take it too far, describing things in such detail that we can spend hours just talking about one thing, but that is just how I am. I like researching and want to tell people about what I have learned. I want to talk to a person who can keep up with me, or just listen. When I want to converse with him, he has some very popular phrases, some while greeting me. “Shut Up”, “I’m done with this conversation” “I don’t care” “why won’t you shut up” “be quiet” “This is why you don’t have friends” “this is why no one likes you”. Now while the last few eventually happen when we get in an argument, it still hurts to hear him say that. Again though, I am by no means better than him. I have also insulted him just as well, and oftentimes, it ends with us either getting into a tussle, or both of us walking away pissed. Still, I feel like I am not respected or loved by him. I feel he does not care, and while I don’t want to toot my own horn, I do care for him. Any one of my friends you can ask will tell you so. I don’t know what to do anymore. I don’t want him treating me this way. I don’t want him to act like I am the scum of his earth. I don’t want to feel like I don’t have options anymore. I don’t want to be in situations where my anger gets the better of me and I hit him, and he retaliates. I want to be his brother and I want him to be my brother, but I don’t want to hate him. I might have issues that need solving, and I should probably talk to a therapist, but that is expensive, and this is easier. I just need someone to talk to. Really someone to talk to. I am not a good person, but I hate feeling like I am losing someone I love.


This is my brother who we don’t get on whose abusive. I want absolutely zilch to do with him and his equally toxic money grabbing partner.

He’s very abusive and ticks all of the above. I have looked after my mother 16 years and when she had a heart attack and was poorly he asked me to transfer everything to him which I refused.

He then said the will was not valid it was as I was not there when it was signed and witnessed by two independent witnesses. He then pestered my mother to move in to his house to exclude me from the will and gain control whilst he and his partner moved to my mother’s house.

She refused and had heart failure at the time. My mother made a good recovery still early days thanks entirely to me and she’s seeing a new solicitor to make sure the will is watertight.

There were further incidences of not talking to my mother to make her choose which she won’t and withholding Granparents rights. He’s a nasty piece of work.

He is not getting a house I helped pay for and which I worked for as a carer. I won’t talk to him or send him a card now for his birthday or Christmas. He is judgmental saying I’m mentally ill but he has a history of violence and abusing women and anger management issues so take’s one to know one I suppose. I told him don’t abuse me. Toxic through and through. I will make sure my mother lives to be 90 plus when his health is declining rapidly.


My partner has an anxiety disorder and is also control freak and perfectionist. Her last partner was a narcissist. I think that she is using his behaviors on me the last period. We aren’t living together. It is a long distance relationship.


I started having feelings for a guy (I am in retail and wait on him daily) that comes in Monday thru Friday for a 12 pack of beer. He said he has to quit to save his marriage. Over and over said that. Than he said she is (wife) is tired of him. We started talking also on the phone and met in the park and than it got talking constantly at night. He got a burner phone so she could not find out he was talking to someone. We started having feelings He even said he could not sleep thinking of me constantly. He said there could never be an us because of his drinking I encouraged him to get help to save his marriage. He tried quitting on his own (cold turkey) and he could not do it and started drinking again. She ask him to leave. I know nothing after that. He comes in still but tells me nothing. Just he is doing him. So what do I say? should I just say hello and nothing else?


Girl if he’ll do it to her. Then he’ll do it to you. You AREN’T his therapist. This is unhealthy & you know it. Don’t walk, run & don’t look back. You owe him NOTHING. Save your time for someone whose worth it & not a cheater.


Yes he is broken, leave him alone because you can’t fix this and your feelings for a married man are toxic so work on your own boundaries before seeking attention from a married man. You need to realize that you participating in the deceptive tactics against his wife are toxic. You can’t help him because you aided in injuring his marriage. Marriage is sacred. Not fair game.

Coco Chanel

I understand you like to help. However, any man that’s marry should not be with you period. You should cut off all communications with this guy. He is married, what are you looking for being attached to a married man and another woman’s husband? What does he has to offer you other than sex?


I’m in a 21 year relationship and we argue every day. I have always done everything that I thought would please him or make him happy . This has been so severe that even the color of my hair was done to his liking. I am a very well rounded person- very optimistic. I always say ,” I can dig in the dirt or go to the ball”. I have from day one done everything for him possible and he liked that until approx. 10 years into the relationship and then it became ,” you need to act like a lady & still expecting me to do all the things that a tomboy would do- man stuff. He cut me down for being ann by le to do the things he ask of me. Nothing I have done has ever been good enough or has made him love me as I love him. He married and was used and abused by his ex wife 3 times and he still loves her I believe . I am a good person , was raised with hood morals and values and know how to run a household and take care of my man . I feel that is why I’m still around because I feel like I’m a maid that puts out. Excuse that but it’s the truth. He never touched me or has anything to do with me physically unless he needs something! We are around each other all the time 24/7 mostly. But it’s always an argument because he is a very competitive person and I think he thinks I’m a challenge to him instead of his companion. So sad.


Leave him . The one who truly loves for that person your feelings should be important not his own sturbboness.
Good luck !

Finally Free

It’s funny. Someone sent ONLY portions of this to me and called me toxic yesterday. I read it and was like OMG! It described to a T, the individual that sent it to me. So I googled it and read the rest. After 2 years I finally feel FREE. I struggled for so long to try and please him. To wait while he sorted his feelings and apologized for the horrible things he did. Instead he would just dig deeper holes and expect to “move on” without addressing problems, bringing up irrelevant issues and fighting over semantics and context. I often wondered if I was being a narcissist for giving up. Near the end I had started to get angry, yes resorted to name calling (after he did) and after being hurt repeatedly and then sucked back in again with sweetness…only to be hurt again. After reading this I see now that it hasn’t been my fault all along and not only am I NOT a narcissist, I am NOT the toxic one! Thank you for giving me hope and clarity. Thank you for helping me keep some semblance of SANITY. I really thought I was losing my mind for a bit.


Similar story.
As soon as I TXT the number he gave me, he blew up my phone for days and wouldn’t stop calling and txting even while I was at work and without my phone which he knew.
He sent flowers to my work which made me really uncomfortable, as I had already asked that he remain a “customer” and not make a show of the relationship too soon because it would cause issues of comfort for me.
I discovered very quickly he was calculative, angry and really obsessive.

He convinced himself I was into my co-workers and forced me to quit my job because of it then insisted I open a duel bank account with him saying he was so wealthy ect, I said no.
He tried to buddy up with all my friends at work and boss, then said if I didnt quit my job to be dependant on him, he would tell my boss all my gripes with the job.
Right there, cant be trusted.
He told me i could talk to him about anything, tell him if i thought he was being an “asshole” but when i did confront him about anything he gaslit me, laughed in my face and repeatedly followed me from room to room screaming at me calling me names and making accusations and diversional throwbacks to other fights that had been resolved. He told me he would never pressure me for sex, he raped me twice.
He wouldn’t let me spend any of my own money but kept getting speeding fines and quitting jobs. He was so vindictive that instead of formally quitting one, he just parked the truck somewhere random and walked off leaving the keys in the ignition.
He ran out of money then started treating his closest like crap including me while maintaining a facade of wealth outside. He didn’t even actually own the forks in the draws.
I couldnt get out .. he kept stalking and harassing me and love bombing me only to repeat the same horrific BS again and again and now 2 years later I am primary custodial of our son with mounting evidence against him poised. I am so sick of this person. He forced me to have the baby (long story) and he kicked me out in the middle of the night in a dangeous town pregnant. I ended up alone in a homeless shelter with no support and gave birth alone during lockdown.
He has done so much awful stuff to me and still after the IVO and all to this day, he is horrible and lazy father who has all but abandoned our son who his nephew told me, he planned for, so that I wouldn’t leave because he was insecure.
All this in 3 months.

2 years later… He controls my life through use of his son. He is so bitter towards his son, he calls him “mummys boy” and tries to pick fights with em at every turn.
He’s scored a new girlfriend and lied about it for 6 months, if only she knew that this man is a rare kind of psychotic. He plans to knock her up then use their offspring as leverage against me as the primary care giver. He wont win, i still have the footage and all the messages to prove what he was and even though he apologised and begged for me back again and again, he still denies ever doing any of it to my face.


Wow, I’m
So happy to read this, my husband of 15 years is all of the above, I left him
For 5 years he stalked and harrassed me the whole time, then stupidly he faked the niceness and I thought let’s try again because he was being the man I fell
In love with, only to be trapped in the cycle of mind games, belittling, confusion, doubting my own sanity, thoughts, feelings, perceptions. Being told that what I felt was wrong, what I believed was wrong, and telling me how I should really feel and believe?! He’d dig and dig and dig at me any opportunity he had to the point I stayed out of his way as much as I can in the bedroom, to be called lazy and none idle for being in my bedroom all day, I’d reach my limits and stand up for myself and my way is shouting because I’m at that level I can’t hold it in, to be told I’m a narcissist I’m toxic and I’m abusive! Along with telling others that know us the same and he was an abused victim!!! He is so clever and manipulative and I know what he’s doing but still he manages to avoid conversations and turn them about a wrong word said or something that happened last month to completely change the direction of the conversation to something we have gone over and over and over again so many times?! I’d end up having to give him a itemised list of what I bought from the shop with the £20 He left me? And then he’d tell me I was lying about what I spent it on!!! It is debilitating and the illness it brings on mentally and physically is monumental!!! And you end up feeling your the one in the wrong?!!!! He’s told me nobody would put up with my shit and he’s the only one who would have me?!!! When all I’ve done is try try and try?! He is a hoarder and the house is crammed with old junk, not just from him
But from customers houses, old boilers, lamp shades, cable, old plug sockets light switches he’s changed at customers house, old fuse boards and showers!!! So when I attempt to clear anything he goes ballistic and tells me I’m over stepping my boundaries! It’s horrendous!! Anyway new house coming up soon for me for my escape! Cos I wouldn’t wish that on anybody!


I have a boyfriend but nobody but my closest friends believe me. I have been asked many times for photos of him to prove his existence but he wasn’t comfortable sending them and I respected that. I honestly felt like I was being peer pressured to send them. I decided to find a picture online to send to that person and they sent it round to everyone and people didn’t believe me so they started to look online for a matching picture. After I realised they were doing that I told them I sent a fake picture because I knew it would be sent round and he didn’t feel comfortable with that, they ignored me and started spreading rumours. My once best friend, was sat behind me in a lesson and I could hear their conversation loud and clear. She was saying things like “I was never HER best friend!” And when one of my friends asked her, “why did you say that she was your best friend and always hang out with her?” She replied, “I’m just an amazing actor.”
I felt really hurt by this but I didn’t say owt because I knew that my ex best friend and one of the most toxic person in our year weren’t going to let this go. I tried telling them but they just don’t listen. I really don’t know what to do now.

O. Debby

How does a person says they love you and still yell they hate you. Calling you names because i insisted why his phone was always off while he is not close to me .

When he is with me his phone is always on silence .When i insisted on him giving me a reasonable explanation he always brought past events and calls me names.

To the extent he starts to bring my paste experiences into play. He calls me a selfish person and a terrible person .He only apologies when i tell him am sorry .Then he begins to preach love again.
To be honest with you am scared and want to leave .I love him very much but the insults he rains down at me woooow .


Sounds trouble I think your institution is telling you already he isn’t for you Love is supposed to feel great don’t allowed him to take your happiness away.

Samuel T

I have an issue my sister doesn’t like me sitting with a female friend at a movie theater and we see each other once a week, we are just friends, but you know shes toxic that’s y I’m here, what can I do to make her change her mind or to leave me alone.


My husband never lets me have an opinion about current events, politics, or other people. He won’t fully listen to what I have to say and then loudly/aggressively argues with me. There’s no love or respect on his end. He doesn’t need to agree with me, but he should let me talk and be respectful towards me. When I try to reconnect later to resolve the disagreement, he won’t answer his phone or texts. If I accuse him of being disrespectful of me, he calls me names and says he doesn’t care. I’m so fucking sick of him.

K ryan

Its concerning how many of us have dealt with this by the amount of comments. Heres mine. So I have I thouggt was a friend. I was invested in her life. Listening to her complain and talk about others then I’d try and console her. One day she thought to judge me and said she dudnt want my gift because something negative could be attached to it. I thought we were friends enough to express our feelings and I told her my gift was an expression of my love and I felt her and my gift devalued. I told her I forgive her, I understand her concerns ( because someone in my home is pagan) but the gift was from me. I told herbi needed time to get over it. It was literally one day w j.g en I woke to her saying I thought bgg you vfc were a strong woman and I was like her mom who guilt tripped her. She said I was strange because it hurt me ect…Now I’m pissed. All the texts I sent reaffirmed my friendship, that I did not fault her and I needed to deal vf with my own emotions but I wake up to texts from her hurling insults and diminishing my feelings?! Why have I not blocked her yet?! Always holding on to hoping for the best in someone even though that person couldn’t honestly care less. I should create boundaries and care enough about myself to say if you verbally abuse me you are out of my life


On Christmas Eve, I met up with my brother, sister in law and niece, mum at mum’s house.
At the time both niece and sister in law both had persistent coughs. My sister in law was complaining she couldn’t breathe properly.
My brother and sister in law believe being fully vaccinated means one cannot get Covid-19.
My niece is 4 years old, tearing round the house coughing continuously.
Two days later I developed cold like symptoms.
I decided to book a PCR test before going back to work on 29th December.
The results came back as negative.
Come the 29th, I attended work, come lunchtime I get dizzy spells, headaches.
I decided to try to obtain a lateral flow test from a chemist, all out of stock, big shortage in uk.
I tried to book a PCR none available.
In the end I ordered a PCR to be delivered to my home address.
I emailed my sister in law to inform her that I had not been in contact with anybody else during the Xmas period.
I have since gone down with Covid-19, my symptoms matched the ones for Covid. Even though I couldn’t get a positive test I felt that I should self isolate.
My sister in law informed me she had no Covid-19 symptoms, therefore she didn’t need to do a PCR test.
Niece did a PCR test the Monday before Xmas eve.
She and my brother did LFT both tested negative.
So they came over to my mum’s with their coughs and difficulties breathing-my niece and sister in law.
At the end of the evening my sister in law blamed her cough on air conditioning at work.
In an email to me she blamed it on the room being so hot it caused her to cough.
I emailed her to inform her they were the only people I met during the Xmas period. My symptoms of breathlessness and cold like symptoms began on Boxing Day.
Since then my symptoms got worse, on the 29th in the evening my symptoms got worse, dizziness, headaches, coughing , sneezing, fever, severe fatigue.
Even though I can’t get a positive test, I decided it best to self isolate.
As I suspect it’s Covid-19.
My sister in law takes no responsibility for her actions on visiting mum and I on Xmas Eve.
She asked me whether my test results came back from my previous PCR.
Now it makes no difference, as it says on the email I received from the results that I was negative at the time of the results.
However, if I become unwell I should self isolate as I could be contagious to others.
On Christmas Eve anger came over me, I was angry that they didn’t have the common decency to call off their visit , even though both had Covid symptoms.
I was in every ones bad book even though two people came with symptoms, most likely a positive Covid result if both did a PCR test.
I suspect sister in law refuses to do PCR test as it means she can’t attend work, would have to self isolate. Like me.
There was no such apology from her from giving me Covid.
I have apologised to all of them for their my behaviour, why can’t any of them take further responsibility for the well-being of others? By staying away from others if they feel unwell, as we’re currently going through a pandemic.
Sadly neither acknowledges this.
I work as a dental nurse, if we get Covid symptoms we have to self isolate.


This sounds like the relationship I am in right now. I know he’s toxic. I’ve always known. It’s hard to leave. But I am working on getting out right now. I can’t stand it anymore. I can’t stand always being hurt and the same routines. It hurts so much. But I need to seek help myself for me because I’m having a hard time within myself changing the fact I always feel the need to defend or explain myself or get an apology or even comfort from the toxic abuser. Like why do I even want hugs or cuddling from someone who just caused me harm? And even if I walk away and wait until later to discuss things, why do I feel like I need to explain anything or whatever I’m doing when I “need” to talk it out? Idk why im like that. 🙁 I hate it and I’m having a hard time changing it.


Because you have not yet completely reached your breaking point with your abuser. You are coming out of your denial. You are finally beginning to realize that all of this time you have been running on a hamster wheel. You are now becoming to realize that your relationship has an unrewarding pattern. It’s always up and then cold. Stop doubting yourself and start to make the necessary changes to better yourself and to reserve your sanity. Most likely they will never change so it’s completely up to you. Do your research on toxic people and learn how to deal with them. Much luck on your journey to happiness.

Anonymous girlfriend

My boyfriend is kind of psychopath. I was the giver in our relationship while he just received. He never apologized Or felt tiny bit of guilt rather blamed me for everything and made compensate that. We were together for four years where only adjusted to his tastes and wishes. And on the other hand, he never did anything to make me happy. At the end, he left me earlier this year. I was devastated at first, but now I rethink everything and see this as the best thing. Staying away from him has brought me peace.


I can relate to this article on so many levels. I think sometimes it’s me, but most of the times it’s my husband. He can be downright mean with his words and tones and get angry, but the second I do this it’s WW3. He never apologies genuinely and it’s always my fault. The morning after, it’s always about me and my fault. If I’ve drunk too much the night before, I genuinely believe him. He sends me into an anxiety spin, then when I can’t talk about it he rants and raves and tells me I’m trying to reproduce bad feelings between us and it’s all about the blame for me.

Lost, confused and just dunno what to do.

Want to be better

Conflicted am I the Narcissist?! I can’t forgive my sister for something that happened 15 years ago, because I just found out about it…

She told our entire family I was stalking her child…when I was watching them while she was in Kawait!!! I never knew about this. Found out recently when I was trying to get her to apologize for another lie she told everyone. Am I supposed to forgive and forget constant huge lies that have left me estranged from the rest of the family!!


You’re not the narcissist-you’re sister is. Of course, you’re going to have to fight long and hard to learn to protect yourself. You’re already self-blaming, which is what a narcissist gets naive people to do. You’re going to keep trying to “make the relationship work” because she’s your sister, your “family”, and it usually takes people years or decades before they realize no one is your family who will manipulate you, lie about you and stab you in the back. Family is not blood, contrary to what we’ve all been brainwashed to believe. Family are those who love you, truly. If they happen to be related to you, great, if not, its just as great. But you will spend so long suffering, trying to keep that family connection, and it will break you. You said she’s already alienated you from other family members-this means they are what are called “flying monkeys”, those people that a narcissist shows their “good side” to, so that when they lie about the victim they’ve chosen, the flying monkeys will not believe the victim and will believe the flying monkeys. I feel bad for you-its so hard to be the target of a narcissist. I would say move on-it will hurt but not as bad as what’s in store for you as you keep trying to “keep the relationships” and “show your sister that your love her”, etc. But I know you will take years not believing this, not letting go, and having your life made hell. I know because I and others I know have been on the same journey-when we finally broke away, our lives changed for the better dramatically, but all those old wounds we receive by sticking around hoping leave lasting scars. Its better if you can avoid those as much as you can, but most people don’t because they refuse their are evil people in the world, and sometimes those evil people are related to you.


Get the strength now while you still have a stomach left.Its hard, but there are many more people out there to enjoy and laugh with who will not poison your personality e true TU you.


I have been the same way, but now I’ve had enough. So it’s time to think of yourself.Just do it and your gut and yu will feel better, plus you’ll start to get respect.

Frank D

WOW!!!! I wished I had come across this 29 years ago. I would have run the other direction. My wife is a good person, yet this article describes her to a tee.. We had an issue today that she dropped something outside and I ran out to help her with it. I noticed she was abrasive, and curt with her responses. I asked her is she was upset and she accused me of laughing at her from inside the house…(I had no idea there was a problem until I looked out the window and saw her collecting items from the bag that spilled on the ground, and so I ran out to help). Anyhow, this has been our life story since we met. I had very low self esteem and she was real, affectionate, loving, willing to share in everything when I first met her. Since then it has progressively gotten worse. Her sister has gone through 2 divorces and her current relationship is heading that way now. My wife and I have always worked things out, but now I see how similar her and her sister are. Her dad has always been an enabler to her sisters issues by always stepping in to assist when she complains about her husband (and ex-husbands). I am being medically released form the military and so I have lived with her this long and when the good days are good, they are very good. I just feel lately like I am a medieval servant rather than her partner, always walking on egg shells and trying not to set her off. Time for a sit down and let her know how I have been feeling all this time. Not sure how it will work out, but I am done being a door mat!!


I have the same issues feeling like it’s always my fault trying to figure out what I did to them having false accusations or even s sarcastic ‘thanx for coming with us’ and the pettiness cuz you did something they didn’t like and they think it’s the rite way what do I do? And the always saying bad things about you too others just so your not liked or so others would hate you


I have a neighbor who friended me and it became overwhelming. I am someone who is helping by nature and I think she thought she hit the jackpot. Using my pool anytime she wanted, calling me multiple times a day, getting me to drive her and her family everywhere, help with stuff around her house, helping her kids with projects and basically calling me for anything she didn’t want to do. Then came the day I asked to have a few tree branches trimmed and all hell broke loose. Phoning me and calling me names, when I hung up she posted stuff on FB about me, contacting people on my friends list, standing outside hollering and trashing me to other neighbors, slowing down when driving by my house. Selfish people lose their minds when you turn off the giving tap and stop being manipulated.

Krisenda A

I am currently trying to break away from a 10yr toxic relationship. It has been off and on 2yrs now. I love him to death but he literally does everything you listed. I catch it but he still finds a way to get under my skin. He can fake it for about 2 weeks tops.

One day I will have the strength to never contact him again.


You don’t “love him to death”-you are addicted to him because of issues in yourself you have never dealt with. Narcissists are good at sniffing our your needs and vulnerabilities, making you feel so “special” for long enough to get hooked on it, and when they start showing their true colors, you keep hanging on, waiting for that wonderful person who gave you the “love high” to come back. Sometimes they do, from time to time, just enough to keep you hooked. It really is like a drug addiction, and until you wake up and realize what you experience is not “love” but your own addiction, you’ll keep letting yourself be abused in hopes of getting another “hit” from your narcissist pusher. Hope you can give up your addiction sooner rather than later.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join our newsletter

We would love you to follow us on Social Media to stay up to date with the latest Hey Sigmund news and upcoming events.

Follow Hey Sigmund on Instagram

The need to feel connected to, and seen by our people is instinctive. 

THE FIX: Add in micro-connections to let them feel you seeing them, loving them, connecting with them, enjoying them:

‘I love being your mum.’
‘I love being your dad.’
‘I missed you today.’
‘I can’t wait to hang out with you at bedtime 
and read a story together.’

Or smiling at them, playing with them, 
sharing something funny, noticing something about them, ‘remembering when...’ with them.

And our adult loves need the same, as we need the same from them.♥️
Our kids need the same thing we do: to feel safe and loved through all feelings not just the convenient ones.

Gosh it’s hard though. I’ve never lost my (thinking) mind as much at anyone as I have with the people I love most in this world.

We’re human, not bricks, and even though we’re parents we still feel it big sometimes. Sometimes these feelings make it hard for us to be the people we want to be for our loves.

That’s the truth of it, and that’s the duality of being a parent. We love and we fury. We want to connect and we want to pull away. We hold it all together and sometimes we can’t.

None of this is about perfection. It’s about being human, and the best humans feel, argue, fight, reconnect, own our ‘stuff’. We keep working on growing and being more of our everythingness, just in kinder ways.

If we get it wrong, which we will, that’s okay. What’s important is the repair - as soon as we can and not selling it as their fault. Our reaction is our responsibility, not theirs. This might sound like, ‘I’m really sorry I yelled. You didn’t deserve that. I really want to hear what you have to say. Can we try again?’

Of course, none of this means ‘no boundaries’. What it means is adding warmth to the boundary. One without the other will feel unsafe - for them, us, and others.

This means making sure that we’ve claimed responsibility- the ability to respond to what’s happening. It doesn’t mean blame. It means recognising that when a young person is feeling big, they don’t have the resources to lead out of the turmoil, so we have to lead them out - not push them out.

Rather than focusing on what we want them to do, shift the focus to what we can do to bring felt safety and calm back into the space.

THEN when they’re calm talk about what’s happened, the repair, and what to do next time.

Discipline means ‘to teach’, not to punish. They will learn best when they are connected to you. Maybe there is a need for consequences, but these must be about repair and restoration. Punishment is pointless, harmful, and outdated.

Hold the boundary, add warmth. Don’t ask them to do WHEN they can’t do. Wait until they can hear you and work on what’s needed. There’s no hurry.♥️
Recently I chatted with @rebeccasparrow72 , host of ABC Listen’s brilliant podcast, ‘Parental as Anything: Teens’. I loved this chat. Bec asked all the questions that let us crack the topic right open. Our conversation was in response to a listener’s question, that I expect will be familiar to many parents in many homes. Have a listen here:
School refusal is escalating. Something that’s troubling me is the use of the word ‘school can’t’ when talking about kids.

Stay with me.

First, let’s be clear: school refusal isn’t about won’t. It’s about can’t. Not truly can’t but felt can’t. It’s about anxiety making school feel so unsafe for a child, avoidance feels like the only option.

Here’s the problem. Language is powerful, and when we put ‘can’t’ onto a child, it tells a deficiency story about the child.

But school refusal isn’t about the child.
It’s about the environment not feeling safe enough right now, or separation from a parent not feeling safe enough right now. The ‘can’t’ isn’t about the child. It’s about an environment that can’t support the need for felt safety - yet.

This can happen in even the most loving, supportive schools. All schools are full of anxiety triggers. They need to be because anything new, hard, brave, growthful will always come with potential threats - maybe failure, judgement, shame. Even if these are so unlikely, the brain won’t care. All it will read is ‘danger’.

Of course sometimes school actually isn’t safe. Maybe peer relationships are tricky. Maybe teachers are shouty and still using outdated ways to manage behaviour. Maybe sensory needs aren’t met.

Most of the time though it’s not actual threat but ’felt threat’.

The deficiency isn’t with the child. It’s with the environment. The question isn’t how do we get rid of their anxiety. It’s how do we make the environment feel safe enough so they can feel supported enough to handle the discomfort of their anxiety.

We can throw all the resources we want at the child, but:

- if the parent doesn’t believe the child is safe enough, cared for enough, capable enough; or

- if school can’t provide enough felt safety for the child (sensory accommodations, safe peer relationships, at least one predictable adult the child feels safe with and cared for by),

that child will not feel safe enough.

To help kids feel safe and happy at school, we have to recognise that it’s the environment that needs changing, not the child. This doesn’t mean the environment is wrong. It’s about making it feel more right for this child.♥️
Such a beautiful 60 second wrap of my night with parents and carers in Hastings, New Zealand talking about building courage and resilience in young people. Because that’s how courage happens - it builds, little bit by little bit, and never feeling like ‘brave’ but as anxiety. Thank you @healhealthandwellbeing for bringing us together happen.♥️


Original post by @healhealthandwellbeing:
🌟 Thank You for Your Support! 🌟

A huge thank you to everyone who joined us for the "Building Courage and Resilience" talk with the amazing  Karen Young - Hey Sigmund. Your support for Heal, our new charity focused on community health and wellbeing, means the world to us!

It was incredible to see so many of you come together while at the same time being able to support this cause and help us build a stronger, more resilient community.

A special shoutout to Anna Catley from Anna Cudby Videography for creating some fantastic footage Your work has captured the essence of this event perfectly ! To the team Toitoi - Hawke's Bay Arts & Events Centre thank you for always making things so easy ❤️ 

Follow @healhealthandwellbeing for updates and news of events. Much more to come!

#Heal #CommunityHealth #CourageAndResilience #KarenYoung #ThankYou

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This