3. You are verbally abusive
You use your words strategically to shame, blame and abuse others. “It is pejorative and creates a power dynamic that causes others to pull back and not trust you,” writes Erica Bonham, a licensed professional counselor. Verbally abusing and shaming people, calling them names just to make them feel inferior to you is a prominent sign of toxicity. Even if your excuse is to motivate them, shaming someone is still a crippling behavior.
4. You talk, but you don’t listen
Toxic people tend to dominate all interactions and conversations. If you find yourself in a one-sided conversation more often than not, then it’s a red flag. When toxic people engage in conversations with others, then it is primarily dominated by their own interests and issues. Toxic people are bad listeners and they often get frustrated when the conversation is not about them. Jeanne writes “It’s inconsiderate, selfish, and sends the message that you aren’t interested in anyone else’s life but your own.”
5. You shift blame on others
Everytime you face a problem, you instantly shift the blame on everyone else. You can never see, admit or accept your own fault. Irrespective of what obstacles we face, we always have a role to play in it, even if it’s minor. But when you fail to see how you might be responsible for your problems and blame others instead, then it’s a clear red flag. “If nothing is ever your fault, or you have difficulty taking responsibility or apologizing when you make a mistake, this may be something to reconsider or get support around,” explains Erica Bonham, LPC.
Even when the problem is not your fault, as a toxic individual, you will refuse to get out of the difficult situation and love playing the victim. “It’s a convenient way to blame everyone for all of your problems without having to address anything. A healthy-minded individual, however, will make every effort to get into a better position so that they can find peace and happiness,” writes Jeanne.
6. You love to gossip
Talking behind others’ backs is something you are really good at. Toxic people thrive in gossip about people and love spreading rumors to make themselves look better. Of course, most of us engage in harmless gossip from time to time. But when you are more concerned about what your coworkers and friends are doing instead of focusing on your own life, then it can be a serious problem. If you are a toxic person, then you will love to associate yourself with negativity through trash talks and rumors.
Erica explains “If you are the one doing the gossiping, it won’t take long before people begin to question whether you talk about them that way as well, and again, damaged relationships may be the result.”
7. You are an attention-seeker
Attention-seeking behavior is one of the most prominent signs of toxicity. When we have low self-esteem and a low sense of self-worth, we desperately seek external validation from our parents, partners, friends, coworkers, and even social media. If you feel like you constantly seek attention from others and not getting it enough is making you toxic then make sure to talk to a loved one or a therapist.
8. You are a taker, not a giver
You are always upfront about asking for help or taking support from others. But when it’s your turn to lend a helping hand you rarely return the favor. Toxic people inherently take from others more than they actually give back. “Do you find yourself hiding when you know people are asking for help? Do you make excuses for why you can’t lend a hand or offer assistance?”, asks Jeanne Croteau. If your answer is yes, then you are likely a toxic person.
“If you tend to be the taker of favors, emotional energy, talking time, or even physical space, think about the impact of that. The people in your life are eventually going to feel like they are being taken advantage of and distance themselves from you,” adds Erica.