Ever dealt with someone who always leaves you feeling drained?
Or perhaps a friend who constantly makes everything about themselves?
We’ve all come across ‘difficult’ people, but what if these personalities are more than just challenging – they’re toxic?
There’s a whole universe of toxic types out there, and you’d be surprised to learn how some of these characters might be closer to home than you think.
Get ready to identify the familiar faces in your life that aren’t just tough to handle but are harmful to your well-being. Here are seven types of people that are absolutely toxic to be around:
1) The Self-Absorbed Conversationalist
This is what a conversation with a self-absorbed conversationalist (SAC) looks like:
You: “I just had a terrible day at work, I feel like my boss hates me.”
SAC: “Oh, poor you! I know exactly how you feel. Work has been so tough recently. My boss treats me so badly. Even though he recently promoted me and I’m earning way more money, the responsibilities are so tough, you know? I’m totally drained.”
I thought it would be easier to show you an example of the SAC rather than try to explain it, because for sure you’ve come across someone like this before!
Put simply, no matter what you’re going through, they’re going through something worse.
They’ll interrupt conversations, hog the limelight, and leave you feeling unheard and invalided. I personally believe they just like the sound of their own voices!
2) The Restrictive Manipulator
Another type of people who are toxic to be around are the restrictive manipulators. In other words, the people who have a meltdown every time they’re not in control!
You’ve likely come across someone like this; a colleague, parent, partner, or friend who always wants things to happen their way.
Any other way is simply wrong in their eyes.
And to add injury to insult, they don’t stop there. They don’t just want to control how you do things, but they want to control your opinions, desires, and more.
I remember an aunt who would argue to death until everyone agreed with her. She’d go as far as to police your opinions or hound you over your actions.
In other words, the restrictive manipulator will make you feel suffocated until you’re in complete alignment with their views.
3) The Emotional Leech
Otherwise known as the energy vampire!
The emotional leech is incredibly toxic to be around because they leave you feeling drained and overwhelmed.
So, what does a typical encounter with someone like this look like?
You meet up with a friend. You’re excited to share some good news with them. But from the moment you sit down with your coffee, it’s all about them and their misfortune.
For three hours, you listen as they offload their feelings onto you. Every time you try to swing the conversation back around to neutral territory, they redirect it back to themselves.
You get home and flop onto the sofa, totally depleted of energy and unsure of what just happened.
With the emotional leeches of your life, it’s likely that you keep them around because you feel sorry for them. But at the same time, you dread their company. They never offer the same support you give in return.
Does anyone come to mind?
4) The Constant Center of Chaos
A.k.a the drama kings and queens of life. If you’re looking for conflict, entertainment, and general hecticness, these are your folk.
Just like the emotional leeches, these guys will drain your energy with their never-ending problems.
They’ll constantly come to you for sympathy and support, but your advice?
You can give it til you’re blue in the face. They won’t accept it. Instead, they’ll keep repeating the same mistakes and coming back to you to help pick up the pieces.
I’ve come to the conclusion that people like this thrive off of drama and chaos.
They don’t want solutions. They don’t want a peaceful life. Conflict is like an alluring drug for them.
And that would be fine if they kept it all to themselves, but unfortunately, they tend to drag everyone else into the mix too!
5) The Habitual Liar
Have you noticed how some people just can’t tell the truth?
If they’re not outright lying, they’re embellishing, exaggerating, or downplaying situations.
Over time, you feel like you can’t trust a word that comes out of their mouths.
It’s incredibly frustrating, and the reason why they’re toxic to be around.
But that’s not all – dealing with the habitual liar (HL) can leave you feeling baffled – sometimes they lie about things that aren’t even worth lying about!
Years ago, a cousin of mine went in for major surgery. She needed months to recover. Another family member (an HL almost since birth) decided to tell everyone that the cousin in question was in prison.
How did they come up with that? Who knows.
Did the habitual liar gain anything from this rumor? No!
It was completely senseless, humorous even. But jokes aside, their lies can have hurtful and harmful consequences.
6) The Overbearing Bulldozer
Ahh, the overbearing bulldozer (OB). This is the type of person who will knock you down and keep on going without looking back – they love to be right and they love to be heard.
So much so, that they don’t care who is in their path.
When they want something, they’re gonna have it. Even if it hurts those around them.
The overbearing bulldozer will use tactics such as:
That’s how they dominate. If you’ve got an opinion, the OB will fight you till the last word to get their point across.
They tend to see other people as inferior…so it’s likely the OBs in your life treat you with very little respect.
7) The Envious Critic
And finally, we move on to the envious critic. Think insecure + jealous. It’s a bad combination!
These folk love to talk about others. They love to judge. And even worse, they project their insecurities onto everyone else.
You know how you can be watching a cute video of a kitten playing with a toy, living its best life online…and there’s always that one person with something negative and sh*tty to say?
There’s your envious critic.
They’re the type of friend who’ll say your new car isn’t cool enough. Or that’ll congratulate you on your new job whilst in the same breath commenting on how it’s a shame you’re not on a higher salary.
In other words, they just can’t be happy for anyone else.
How to handle toxic people
The chances are, you know people who fall into at least 3 of the categories above.
So, how do you deal with people who are clearly so toxic to be around?
Boundaries will be your best friend. When dealing with the emotional leech, for example, you might limit the time you spend with them so you don’t suffer from exhaustion.
With the drama llamas in your life, you may set boundaries on what you’ll tolerate from them and what you don’t want to be dragged into.
Some people, especially if they’re extremely toxic, will push your boundaries no matter how firm you are. In that case, it’s best to limit the time you spend with them.
For example, I have a friend who although I care about her dearly, will never have more than an hour of my time. She is the classic SAC – everything is about her.
Practice emotional detachment
My favorite saying when dealing with the toxic people in my life is, “Not my circus, not my monkeys”.
I know that there are some people I simply can’t help, no matter how much advice I give them. So, I’ve learned to stop. I’m there for them up to a limit, but I don’t lose sleep at night over their problems!
Use assertive communication
I’m not saying this will work on everyone, but it’s always worth a try. Clearly, calmly and firmly let the toxic people you encounter on a daily basis know how you feel. Some may not even be aware of their behavior, and if they value you enough, they may try to change.
And finally, if nothing improves, it’s time to consider cutting those people out of your life for good!
Now, I know that might not always be possible, especially if it’s a colleague, boss, or family member.
In that case, limit your contact and stay well away from them and their drama!