Healthy Mind

How to identify toxic people?

The attempt to identify toxic people has become very popular in recent years, but do we really know how to recognize these individuals when we come across them? Although it may not seem like it, it is common to interact with harmful people and go unnoticed.

Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the ways of communicating, thus avoiding the negative consequences that arise when establishing unhealthy relationships. The primary trait of toxic people is the harm they do to others . Here we present the most common behaviors of these individuals and how we can prevent their effects.

Characteristics to identify toxic people

There is no single way to harm the other. Depending on personal characteristics, toxic behaviors can manifest in one way or another. The most common are the following:

  • Awakening guilt in the other in an intentional way: toxic people can be identified because they place themselves in the role of victims, generating pity and pain in others. In this case, the other will be forced to help and support. Bernardo Stamateas presents this illustrative example: “with everything I did for you, now, will you pay me like this?”.
  • Being envious of others:  they do not tolerate the success of others.
  • Disqualify the actions of the other: Toxic people devalue others to feel good about themselves. The goal is to awaken feelings of mistrust and insecurity in the other person and to have power over them. It is common for disqualifiers to praise their victim at first and then humiliate her.
  • Express hurtful and offensive comments: Your goal is to generate fear and intimidate the other.
  • Not apologizing after mistreating: even malicious action is justified, representing a kick to identify the toxic person.
  • Manipulate with deception: it is intended to have control over the other. To do this, they first identify a vulnerable aspect of the other person, seduce and use it. They look for individuals who have a hard time saying no  and who fear conflict.
  • Just thinking about their own well-being: they have an exaggerated self-esteem, which leads them to think that there is no one better than them. Therefore, they consider that the rest of the people are deserving of their abuse.
  • Complain most of the time: we identify toxic people because they always find a reason to think that life is against them and that no one can understand them. Therefore, lamenting becomes a habit.
Woman with a feeling of inferiority.
Toxic people can be identified by their tendency to feel superior to others.

Discover:  7 toxic people you must drive away to be happy

Consequences of getting involved with a toxic person

Associating with a toxic person deteriorates physical and mental health , especially if there is aggressiveness within the relationship. They are not healthy ways of bonding and, in the short or long, the body manifests symptoms that stem from abuse.

Among the most common mental conditions that develop in the midst of toxic relationships are chronic stress, depression, low self-esteem, irritability, insomnia, and anxiety. For their part, they have also been associated with alterations in the immune system and premature aging.

How to prevent toxic people from affecting your life

Since toxic people negatively affect each other’s physical and mental health, it is important to know how to avoid them. The first step, of course, is to identify it and acknowledge the thoughts and feelings it awakens.

They must not be allowed to control us. To do this, we must avoid contacting them and, if this is not possible, prevent them from having access to our privacy. It is important to always keep in mind that you yourself are the one in control of your own life.

We have the power to decide what value or what effect the comments of others will have on us. In this way, emotional well-being is no longer subordinate to the other.

When your purpose is to hurt through hurtful comments, maintain a calm posture when identifying the toxic person . You have to avoid anger and annoyance. This will neutralize his behavior, noticing that he is not causing the desired effect.

If there are toxic individuals in contexts that cannot be avoided, such as home or work, it is helpful to establish rules for coexistence and make the problem person understand the consequences of their actions. Questioning and reviewing our own attitudes with others is essential, since it may happen that we are the toxic ones and we have not realized it.

Man yells at woman with megaphone.
A review of our behaviors is essential to cope with toxic relationships.

Also read:  Put these 7 strategies in motion and get rid of toxic people

The Difficulty of Identifying Toxic People

Not all toxic people manifest themselves in the same way . However, its most general characteristic is the ability to exercise control over others, causing them significant discomfort with their actions or opinions.

It is important to emphasize that toxic attitudes can appear consciously or unconsciously. And, in many cases, those affected do not always perceive them as something harmful. On the other hand, there is also a reflection of a number of unsolved problems. In other words, harmful people are linked to traumatic experiences and conflicts that need to be worked on.

Likewise, the people who are under their control are generally insecure , not very assertive and with low self-esteem. Therefore, it is important to question and identify what role we play in our relationships and work on those aspects that cause us discomfort.

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