1. They very quickly want to enter into a friendship/relationship with you-
Most relationships grow over time before they turn into a friendship or romantic relationship. It takes time to get to know someone. With toxic people they tend to lay on the charm, they may compliment you, invite you to lunch or dinner, within a day or two of meeting you and may refer to you as a friend, or boyfriend/girlfriend within the first week or two of meeting. It’s like a relationship on overdrive. Sometimes it happens so quickly you don’t even know what happened. Toxic people want to get their claws into you quickly before you see their true colors.
Whether it’s a co-worker trash talking the boss, fellow co-workers, or someone trash talking their friends they never seem to have anything nice to say about anyone. They may even tear apart or bad mouth mutual friends, their spouse and even their own children or step children. Please know that if they are gossiping and talking trash about other people to you, they are trash talking you to others as well.
3. They monopolize conversations and it’s all about them-
They may throw you a bone or ask about you once in a while, but the conversation will always lead back to them. In fact it will most likely be the same conversation you have already listened to for hours about whatever latest thing they have going on in their life. Same story, different day and it’s always about them and their life.
4. They are always asking you to do things for them-
The relationship feels one sided. They will constantly be asking for favors or things you can do for them. It’s never reciprocated. They have no problem asking for what they want or expecting you to automatically comply. You end up feeling used and like the person isn’t actually interested in you, but instead what they think they can get from you.
5. They exhibit toxic behaviors with no shame-
They complain or our rude to the wait staff, their family members or others in public. They may treat people like they are there to serve their every wish. They may fight with or display inappropriate behaviors with their loved ones in front of you, with no regard to how uncomfortable it is for you or others to witness. They are verbally, emotionally, psychologically, or physically abusive.
6. They manipulate and guilt trip others-
They don’t ask people if they would like to do something. Instead they tell them. If the other person doesn’t agree to do whatever it is they are wanting they will then turn to guilt trips to try and get their way. They will not take no for an answer and do not respect boundaries. They expect you and your time to be at their disposal and to agree to their every wish.
7. They are control freaks-
They will try and control everything including where people sit, what they drink out of, what they eat and what everyone is doing. If you question or wish to decide something for yourself like what you’d like to drink out of they will insist you do what they wish and are relentless about it until you submit. They may try to control others with gifts and money. Or suck you back in with gifts or money. They may even attack people or create a smear campaign against them if they feel they have lost control over them. They must feel they have control over others at all costs.
8. They are overbearing-
They enjoy feeling in control and will try to control everyone and everything to the point of making those around them absolutely miserable. Their main pursuit is to control other people, and they pursue this in an annoying or unwanted ways. They don’t care that it is unwanted, because they have no regard for what others want. They push their wishes on others and expect no questions asked.
9. They have no boundaries-
They will show up at someone’s house unannounced, grab food off someone’s plate without asking, take their drink, etc. They lack the ability to accept others right to say “no.” They feel they have the right to treat others anyway they wish. They say, “jump” and others are expected to say “how high?”
10. They repel people with their behaviors-
Their negativity or complaining about others can repel people. They may drink excessively and try to push drinking on others. They will shove a drink in your hand that you haven’t asked for because they feel you should drink with them. They may have had lots of people come and go in their life. Their grown children may want little or nothing to do with them because of their toxic need to try to control others or their inappropriate behaviors.
These are some of the red flag warnings I have seen exhibited over the years having survived a severely toxic, alcoholic, Narcissistic abusive childhood and 10 year marriage.
If you can see these red flags early on, you can save yourself a tremendous amount of pain and sadness, as well as stress and drama.
If something feels off it is. If you do end up in a toxic situation with a person, workplace or relationships please try not to beat yourself up for not seeing the signs sooner.
Just do your best to remove yourself as quickly as possible from the toxic situation and move toward a healthier one. Toxic people don’t respect boundaries or confrontation about what they are doing that is toxic. Trying to end things in a healthy way with unhealthy people is very unlikely to happen no matter how you approach it. After all if they were healthy none of the above behaviors would be happening, nor would you feel the need to end the situation or relationship.
The best way to deal with these people is to ignore them and move on to healthier people and places. You can’t change them, but you can control whether or not you react or respond and what you are willing to accept from others. You do not have to accept unacceptable behaviors and you do not have to apologize or feel guilty about that. Removing toxic people and situations from your life is an important step in practicing self-love and self-care.
I’m wishing you well on your healing journey.