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 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.

    [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 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.


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.


Hi everyone,

Its been three years I have been in a relationship. My boy friend was so loving and texted me and dated with me for one year. Since last one year, he has been so busy as he is a marketing guy. He hardly send one word msg and does no meaningful conversation. No phone calls. When i told him, he says i am needy. And becuase of that he is stone walling me. He is always online on his official whatsapp. He says he has to make so many calls to his clients and has no time. But even after his office hours he do not call me nor make time for me. He is always busy

Nancy S

I’ve been for 28 years with my husband, he put me down all the time, he says that a piece of shit is worth more than me, I don’t remember the last time we had sex


My name is Sandra and I have read all this I’m going through it now ..but after reading this I feel better..its time for me to move on

Rebecca C

Im so confused any advice would be gratefully recieved.
I come from an abusive home, at 16 years old went into an abusive 16 year relationship which I ended. I have a new partner who has been with me for 3 years, at first he was charming, charismatic etc. Now not so much, when I try to tell him things he is doing he brings up my past saying that I like playing the victim as there’s a repeating pattern, first my parents then my ex and now its him? That leaves me totally confused and really hurt. He told me that if I lost 2/3 of my weight he would fall in love with me, after 3 years I think thats an awful thing to say, then he put it down to me understanding it wrongly and not being motivated enough. When I said to him imagine if I said that to you, he told me he isnt coming onto my level, I should be going onto his. Whenever I tell him things thats happening whether it be my disability or past events he comments how im not the only one and that he went through the Balkans war and he lost his parents at 9 years old. But on the other hand he tells me about his mother when he was at university so im left even more confused!

I mean I did tell him things about my past because I thought it was the right thing to do, I dont sit and whine about it as I just like to get on with my life, but he uses it against me. I find it hard to tell him exactly my issues so I sent him information links on Google, when we speak he down plays it says my googled illnesses like i just googled them and decided to choose them. He has brought me everything I could dream of but then he says im an ungrateful person. I feel like its a catch 22 situation. Is it me, am I what he says and I cant see it, am I projecting my past events onto him to fit the mould or is he just messing with my mind?


I have been with my boyfriend 9 yrs and we both a daughter who is8 year old. From the time I met him always cheating. Specifically at work. Nightshift and work at nursing home. Each place he goes not one woman at 3 women he will be sleeping with them.


Its hard to leave but you should leave him. Once a cheater, always a cheater. Men like him think they are entitled to cheat and you will forgive it time after time. Just leave him. I know it hurts but 1) you will teach him a lesson he won’t forget 2) you will regain your self respect.

Many people think they need to stay for the kids but the kids don’t like seeing their parents miserable. Kids notice EVERYTHING everyday – they really do. If you teach your kids that husbands cheat and wives forgive, you’re setting them up for a lifetime of misery and failure because they don’t have good ethics. Kids learn by example. Stand up for yourself and be strong. That teaches your daughters that women can be strong and independent and teaches your sons to respect women because we don’t need men to be happy and raise our kids. Its hard to raise kids alone but it can be done and its better than being miserable living with a liar and cheat. He won’t change unless he wants to and he won’t want to unless you hurt him. There are better men out there who don’t cheat and you can find one. Believe me, I’ve been there.


Why are u with him. What’s the purpose. He does what he wants and has you for a door mat (convenient). Diseases out here but yet you say it so non meaningless. So what are you asking ? How to make him stop ? Only u can by walking out !!


Why are you complaining? You knew he was cheating from the beginning, and you’re with him for 9 years? That was your choice, and continues to be your choice. You chose to stay with a cheater. You must not be too bothered by it.


Help me. How do I find the strength to leave a toxic person who I LOVE but keeps making mistakes and disrespecting our trust and relationship by drinking. He’s bringing me down with him but he’s manipulative, he makes me think I owe him for the past… there’s so much more. I obviously know what to do but I’m scared. It will be a huge fight when he leaves, he says some nasty things when he’s in defensive mode. Desperate for some advise…


I’ve been in a toxic friendship for close to two years now. I’ve been trying to understand how it all started and from this article, I’ve discovered it’s jealousy. It all started when she started comparing her life to mine. And it all went downhill from there. I’ve been through so much hurt and emotional stress. I am putting an end to it real soon, by hook or crook. And funny thing is, she has been on her best behavior ever since she discovered I’m trying to separate. This just shows her attitude has been intentional all along. I hope I’m able to be finally free of her. I wish there was a therapist I could talk to.


I had a similar friend – narcissistic personality disorder (undiagnosed). I knew there was something wrong with her but it took me a long time to put it all together. We had been friends for over 20 years, many of them very bad and the others were bad off and on. She lost all her friends one by one as they realized she was toxic. You will be so much happier when you end your friendship and put distance between you and your friend. People like that are not normal and won’t change for the better. If anything, they just get worse. Save yourself while you can. Move on – there are other people out there looking for good friends who are not toxic. You’ll find some of them – have faith that things will work out.


Why do you have to “hope”? Just be “too busy” every time she calls or wants to meet. Then block her number. Block every single means of contact she has with you-phone, social media, etc. If you run into her, politely say “Hi, hope you’re well, I’ve got to get to (make up whatever you want).” You can’t discuss things with these people, it is never a two-way street for them. You owe them nothing, and don’t expect to get anything from them. Do not try to explain why the relationship is hurting you, unless you want drama and to be emotionally attacked. Just pull away, and stay away.

Targeted and Confused

how do I get through my best friend leaving me because of some toxic fake plastic girl and her best friend who just hates me and tells lies about me? I can’t do this anymore. I’m thinkung about ending it. My life. I never get anything I want (or need) and I know it sounds like i’m being dramatic. I just can’t do this anymore. I never did anything to deserve this. PLEASE HELP

K. L

Please Please DON’T consider ending your life. Life changes constantly and theres a very good possibility you can change things if you hang in there and change your thinking. Our minds and attitude are very powerful. Please do this:
1) Pray for good things to come your way. 2). Envision the good things you want and have faith that they will come. I’m not talking about religion or spirituality. Our minds and imaginations are powerful. What we believe will happen will actually happen. Fill yourself with positive and happy ideas. I also highly recommend you learn some form of meditation. Eastern forms of meditation have been helping people for eons. Please don’t give up. There are people in your life who love you.

Hope A

I’m praying for you. No one is worth ending your life. I was the break up queen in my twenties. Yes it was sad & depressing but now I’m married 27 years. Just keep going. That’s what life is. Good things, bad things & we keep going getting stronger & better along the way. I’m so grateful for all my breakups because it made me stronger to handle all the good & bad in the last 27 years. Remember you are not alone. You are strong!


Hi, if your in trouble, go back to your parents or a close relative. Never never take your life. The fallout to others is extreme.

Daniel G

Seeing how many posts on this shows we’re not alone- I’ve been in the most toxic relationship with a well-versed narcissist.I’m 32, shes abouts the same age, literally can never believe a word she’s saying regarding her wherabouts! it’s like always some weird misleading story- always answers the phone and has to walk away from ppl, would take a while to respond, said she lives in a different place now, comes back to visit on weekends, the thing is, her WORDS, love bombs, tell’s me how much she wants me in her life, wants to make it work, fix herself, all of that, but as we all know- actions always speak louder! I’m finally coming to grips with the fact I was another source of supply for her- I’ve been discarded, I was used. It was only about sex with her- getting her needs met. I think she’s been living a double life, running around with who knows how many other men.. she has a lot of addictive traits, well, I think she’s an addict- I know she does things like smokes, does DMT, prescribed to adderal for years, and I have no clue what kind of other substances she uses. But her personality is so hot and cold- I feel immense abondment now, cause she always is making it out to be my fault. Like I’m untrusting, don’t beleive her, controlling- when meanwhile, soo many of her stories just dont add up.. if she cared for me the way she said she did- she would be spending her time with me, not some wild random story and runaround of when she’s availablle.. It hurts to be treated like this. I guess I’m stepping back and really seeing how co-dependent I was to let it get to this point. Shouldve cut it off months ago, but always take her back. It’s wild how some ppl can bold face LIE to you to your face, tell you YOUR the crazy one, and let you suffer in pain while they ride off some emotional high they’re getting from whoever else their hanging with. No more will I play the game.


I’m old. Been through many relationships. There are abusers. Lots of them.

But most people are just unaware, and many problems in a relationship can be solved by acknowledging that the person in the mirror is making drama because they feel afraid, lost, inauthentic, angry, whatever.

If you afraid, call for help to leave. If you are not afraid, look for the toxic in the mirror first before pointing it out, or ghosting it, in someone else.

You’ll be a lot happier when you’re old if you clean up your energy before blaming others.


I am in a relationship with a man who just seems to want to keep me outside the door of his life. He will tell me things like, having a bad day, had a bad dream, well this sucks, this guys gonna piss me off, etc, but when I ask for more details, he says things like, oh it’s nothing, Or I will tell you later, (and never does) or it’s was just stupid, I feel baited sometimes. He won’t show his true feelings, and keeps his life very private, But says he loves me wholeheartedly. If this is true, then why does he not let me into his life 100%? But I love this man, but don’t know how much more I can take


Leave a Reply

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

Follow Hey Sigmund on Instagram

Lead with warmth and confidence: ‘Yes I know this feels big, and yes I know you can handle it.’ 

We’re not saying they’ll handle it well, and we’re not dismissing their anxiety. What we’re saying is ‘I know you can handle the discomfort of anxiety.’ 

It’s not our job to relive this discomfort. We’ll want to, but we don’t have to. Our job is to give them the experiences they need (when it’s safe) to let them see that they can handle the discomfort of anxiety. 

This is important, because there will  always be anxiety when they do something brave, new, important, growthful. 

They can feel anxious and do brave. Leading with warmth and confidence is about, ‘Yes, I believe you that this feels bad, and yes, I believe in you.’ When we believe in them, they will follow. So often though, it will start with us.♥️
There are things we do because we love them, but that doesn’t mean they’ll feel loved because of those things.

Of course our kids know we love them, and we know they love us. But sometimes, they might feel disconnected from that feeling of being ‘loved by’. As parents, we might feel disconnected from the feeling of being ‘appreciated by’.

It’s no coincidence that sometimes their need to feel loved, and our need to feel appreciated collide. This collision won’t sound like crashing metal or breaking concrete. It will sound like anger, frustration, demanding, nagging. 

It will feel like not mattering, resentment, disconnection. It can burst through us like meteors of anger, frustration, irritation, defiance. It can be this way for us and our young ones. (And our adult relationships too.)

We humans have funny ways of saying, ‘I miss you.’

Our ‘I miss you’ might sound like nagging, annoyance, anger. It might feel like resentment, rage, being taken for granted, sadness, loneliness. It might look like being less playful, less delighting in their presence.

Their ‘I miss you’ might look like tantrums, aggression, tears, ignoring, defiant indifference, attention-seeking (attention-needing). It might sound like demands, anger, frustration.

The point is, there are things we do because we love them - cleaning, the laundry, the groceries, cooking. And yes, we want them to be grateful, but feeling grateful and feeling loved are different things. 

Sometimes the things that make them feel loved are so surprising and simple and unexpected - seeking them out for play, micro-connections, the way you touch their hair at bedtime, the sound of your laugh at their jokes, when you delight in their presence (‘Gosh I’ve missed you today!’ Or, ‘I love being your mum so much. I love it better than everything. Even chips. If someone said you can be queen of the universe or Molly’s mum, I’d say ‘Pfft don’t annoy me with your offers of a crown. I’m Molly’s mum and I’ll never love being anything more.’’)

So ask them, ‘What do I do that makes you feel loved?’ If they say ‘When you buy me Lego’, gently guide them away from bought things, and towards what you do for them or with them.♥️
We don’t have to protect them from the discomfort of anxiety. We’ll want to, but we don’t have to.

OAnxiety often feels bigger than them, but it isn’t. This is a wisdom that only comes from experience. The more they sit with their anxiety, the more they will see that they can feel anxious and do brave anyway. Sometimes brave means moving forward. Sometimes it means standing still while the feeling washes away. 

It’s about sharing the space, not getting pushed out of it.

Our job as their adults isn’t to fix the discomfort of anxiety, but to help them recognise that they can handle that discomfort - because it’s going to be there whenever they do something brave, hard , important. When we move them to avoid anxiety, we potentially, inadvertently, also move them to avoid brave, hard, growthful things. 

‘Brave’ rarely feels brave. It will feel jagged and raw. Sometimes fragile and threadbare. Sometimes it will as though it’s breathing fire. But that’s how brave feels sometimes. 

The more they sit with the discomfort of anxiety, the more they will see that anxiety isn’t an enemy. They don’t have to be scared of it. It’s a faithful ally, a protector, and it’s telling them, ‘Brave lives here. Stay with me. Let me show you.’♥️
#parenting #childanxiety #anxietyinkids #teenanxiety
We have to stop treating anxiety as a disorder. Even for kids who have seismic levels of anxiety, pathologising anxiety will not serve them at all. All it will do is add to their need to avoid the thing that’s driving anxiety, which will most often be something brave, hard, important. (Of course if they are in front of an actual danger, we help anxiety do its job and get them out of the way of that danger, but that’s not the anxiety we’re talking about here.)

The key to anxiety isn’t in the ‘getting rid of’ anxiety, but in the ‘moving with’ anxiety. 

The story they (or we) put to their anxiety will determine their response. ‘You have anxiety. We need to fix it or avoid the thing that’s causing it,’ will drive a different response to, ‘Of course you have anxiety. You’re about to do something brave. What’s one little step you can take towards it?’

This doesn’t mean they will be able to ‘move with’ their anxiety straight away. The point is, the way we talk to them about anxiety matters. 

We don’t want them to be scared of anxiety, because we don’t want them to be scared of the brave, important, new, hard things that drive anxiety. Instead, we want to validate and normalise their anxiety, and attach it to a story that opens the way for brave: 

‘Yes you feel anxious - that’s because you’re about to do something brave. Sometimes it feels like it happens for no reason at all. That’s because we don’t always know what your brain is thinking. Maybe it’s thinking about doing something brave. Maybe it’s thinking about something that happened last week or last year. We don’t always know, and that’s okay. It can feel scary, and you’re safe. I would never let you do something unsafe, or something I didn’t think you could handle. Yes you feel anxious, and yes you can do this. You mightn’t feel brave, but you can do brave. What can I do to help you be brave right now?’♥️

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This