10 Differences Between Good Friends and Toxic Friends [Video from BRIGHT SIDE]
Human relationships are a complex field to navigate. With friends, coworkers, and family members all occupying different social fields, the human brain has to learn to work well with others. We’re constantly shifting gears to adapt to different social settings, and for the most part, we strive to maintain healthy relationships. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, these relationships are necessary for our health. But every now and then, there’s a toxic person in our lives.
Toxic people are usually members of our social group that have unhealthy behaviors and interactions. There’s plenty of ways to be toxic, and all of them have different effects on your social experience. When you identify a toxic person in your life, it’s important to take action to get them out of your social circle, or to remove yourself from theirs. Dealing with toxic people is an inevitable part of life, but you can learn to mitigate their toxicity.
Toxic People That Are Wasting Your Time and Draining Your Energy
Whether it’s a coworker or a friend of a friend, toxic people can be a strain on your life. From uncomfortable interactions at work to ruined social outings, a bad social link will make you stressed, unhappy, and tired. Humans are naturally social creatures, so we’re especially susceptible to bad relationships. Learning to identify these common types of toxic people can be one of the first steps to getting them out of your life and making you social circle healthy again.
1. The Judgmental
This person notices all of your flaws and makes sure to tell you. They’re judgmental, critical, and hard to be around. The Judge is often trying to cover up their own insecurities by pointing out everyone else’s, creating a camouflage of confidence. They are the worst person to have as a coworker or to take
2. The Narcissist
The Narcissist is self absorbed and not interested in anyone else. They talk over other people, and only talk about themselves and their accomplishments. Often, the Narcissist is either unaware of the accomplishments of those around them, or they’re insecure about their accomplishments, and feel like they have to constantly bring them up. This toxic person has a knack for steering the conversation towards themselves.
3. The Victim
The Victim is one of those toxic people that is always being attacked. They make things into too big of a deal, or they take everything too personally. If you didn’t invite them out, or if you didn’t accept their invitation, you’re the aggressor. They try to garner pity from those around them by playing the victim and making you look like that bad guy.
4. The Naysayer
Naysayers are pessimistic and try to bring everyone’s mood down. When you set a new weight-loss goal, they say you’ll gain it all back. When you have an ambitious sales target, they say you’ll miss it. Often, naysayers are trying to set low expectations for themselves to avoid hard work, while other times they’re jealous of you for your accomplishments, and want to discourage you. This toxic person is hard to handle, since they’re often part of your team at work. Don’t let them discourage you.
5. The Jealous Type
Just like the Naysayer, the Jealous type wants to take responsibility away from themselves and demonize you for your success. While jealousy is a pretty common emotion according to Psychology Today, they can be a hard person to deal with in a social context. They’ll often tell you don’t deserve your accomplishments, or that you somehow cheated to get where you are. This toxic person is insecure about their inabilities, and want to take it out on you. These people are common, so be careful when you notice someone trying to take credit away from you.
6. The Exaggerator
This toxic person has a knack for tall-tales. We all like to exaggerate things a little to make them more interesting, but these people stretch the truth a little too much. They make their accomplishments seem like a big deal, and make our failures look catastrophic. This one is hard to spot, since you might start out believing their exaggerations, but make sure to learn to tell when they’re telling the truth or not.
7. The One-Upper (or One-Downer)
The One-upper can’t handle defeat, and always have to have the last word. If you finished your project a day early, they finished it a week early, and if you cleaned your room over the weekend, they cleaned their whole house. Similarly, the One-downer wants to push your achievements down to prop theirs up. This toxic person is very competitive, and often want to make sure people know about their success. This can hurt your self-esteem, or make you feel insufficient, but don’t take what they say to heart. They’re trying to push you down to bring themselves up.
8. The Moocher
Of all of the types of toxic people, the Moocher has the potential to drain you the most. Moochers try to get things out of you with no return, and it can apply to clothes, attention, work, money, and more. Moochers in the workplace will have you help them with their work, or even just get you to complete their projects, with nothing in exchange, while social moochers might borrow too much money or too many clothes. This one-way relationship is
9. The Drama Queen
The Drama Queen is attracted to gossip, petty arguments, and drama. This toxic person loves to orchestrate high-tension situations and can make everyone’s relationships worse. The drama queen is often bored with day-to-day situations, and so is attracted to dramatic interactions. They’ll often spread gossip and rumors in order to heat things up, and someone gets hurt in the end. Fight the gossip and rumors by avoiding them, and you can help slow the drama down.
10. The Slacker
This person wants to do no work and still be a part of the team. They don’t get their reports done on time, or they don’t respond to messages, and they never want to help clean up after a party. This toxic person might seem like they’re just trying to get out of work, but they can really drain your energy after a while. Instead of letting them get away with cutting out of work, find the things they do well and get them to do that. This way, you find the best compromise for both you and them.
11. The Smartest Person in the Room
Sometimes you have a witty observation that makes you feel smart, but you don’t let it get to your head. This person constantly thinks that they know more, that you know less, and so you should always listen to them. They correct you all the time, they start half their sentences with “Actually…” and they try to belittle you. This person often underestimates the resilience of those around them, and overestimates their own smarts. When you run into this person, it’s too easy to just let them get away with it, but don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself.
12. The Manipulator
The Manipulator wants their way but doesn’t want to get their hands dirty. Instead, this toxic person wants to control those around them, often ruining friendships and social dynamics in the process. Even Psychology Today warns about social manipulators
13. The Unpredictable Outburst
Some people have anger management issues, but this person takes it too far. Adults shouldn’t have tantrums, but this person has them without notice. An unpredictable outburst can have severe effects on your mental health, and can even become borderline abusive. When a person in your social sphere has an outburst like this, make sure to hold them accountable. Adults shouldn’t get a free pass for outbursts like this, so at the very least, make sure they understand what was wrong with their behavior.
14. The Control Freak
The Control Freak wants everything their
15. The One That’s Always Right
Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone should say sorry when that happens. Some toxic people will never acknowledge their own blunders, and
How to Protect Yourself from Toxic People
Toxic people often project their insecurities and issues onto those around them, wounding the other person in a relationship, according to Psychology Today. They may be going through a rough patch, or they never learned how to handle adult relationships. Either way, they’re going to bring you down with them. The best way to protect yourself from them is to remove them from your life, but if you can’t do this, you have a few options to minimize their damage.
The most important thing to do is to remember that what they say isn’t true. When toxic people around you are trying to point out your flaws or pull down your triumphs, remember that they’re trying to cover up their own insecurities. Always try to keep your distance from them, even if it may seem rude. Not inviting them to a social gathering may seem mean-spirited, but if they’ll bring everyone down, it’s not worth sacrificing everyone for them. Of course, always try to have smooth social interactions with them, especially in work settings, since that will keep them from becoming agitated.
By minimizing your interactions with a toxic person, or at least making the experience as smooth as possible, you can at least have a healthier social life. Removing yourself from the situation is the healthiest option, but prioritize having a healthy social life. Eventually, they may mature, or remove themselves from your life.
Surround Yourself with People that Build You Up, Not Break You Down
Healthy relationships are supportive, thoughtful, and loving. Your friends, family, and even coworkers should want the best for you and should be vocal about it. By communicating with each other, we can help each other grow and achieve bigger and better things. Those around you should praise you for
While toxic people can be a downer, it’s important to constantly make an active effort to create a positive social environment. Even if you can’t get away from a toxic person, minimizing your time with them or even just being polite with them can help you keep a healthy social life. Taking the high road isn’t always easy, but it can pay off, and your real friends will benefit from a healthier social sphere.