For some reason, it feels like it’s harder and harder to find decent people to befriend or be in a romantic relationship with.
At a first glance, they seem nice, reasonable and interesting to hang out with. Still, the same person we’ve decided to invite into our lives because we thought they mean well, suddenly turn into these toxic, energy draining human beings.
How can anyone change so much and how did we not see any red flags? Well, that’s because they haven’t changed — most of them can be master manipulators. Their kindness is superficial.
Most of us can relate to the feeling of drowning because of a relationship we still have with a toxic individual. So who exactly are these people and how do we recognize them in order to remove them from our life?
Here are the 5 types of people you should avoid or cut ties with:
1. The gossiper
It’s easy to recognize a gossip lover from afar, but when it comes to a good old friend, we tend to be more subjective. If you’re the type of person who does their best to keep a friendship healthy, it’s only natural to expect your friend to do the same.
It’s hard to imagine that someone with whom you’ve shared all your secrets and with whom you’ve never had an argument, can just go around gossiping about you. They have no reason, right? Yet a lot of people have this bad habit.
A gossiper needs everyone’s attention and they’ll do anything to get it, even if that means to practically invent stories. They can genuinely care for you, but that won’t stop them from telling someone else everything they know about you. They can’t help it even when their own doings are far worse than yours. You know what they say – “the pot calls the kettle black.”
If you have a friend that tells you someone else’s secrets without even blinking, they’re probably sharing yours with the same ease. Trustworthy people simply refrain themselves from talking more than they should.
Still, you may think that walking away from them is a bad idea since they know so much about you. What if they start telling everything? Well, this might sound harsh, but chances are they already did.
2. The passive aggressor
Passive-aggression is the passive expression of hostility or anger. It is not always intentional, but that doesn’t make it a less toxic behavior.
Some people are not able to be straightforward about what they really feel, but if you confront them, they’ll eventually tell you. This doesn’t happen with a passive-aggressive person. They use mixed messages to confuse and manipulate you and if you insist on the matter, they’ll just become defensive, find excuses or deny everything.
You can usually see all the signs in their body language. Think of a partner who is visibly mad at you, but when you ask them “what’s wrong”, they’ll answer with “nothing, I’m fine”. The same can happen with a friend. They say everything’s ok, yet they’re still withdrawing from you or send hidden messages that’ll make your brain run in circles.
3. The stonewaller
Stonewalling means when someone is being evasive, refuses to communicate or cooperate.
The stonewaller refuses to engage in a conversation, or just “bails” on your efforts at communication. To them you might be someone boring or someone who doesn’t know when to stop talking.
Their behavior will make you feel negated as a person, humiliated, guilty, hopeless and even angry. It’s impossible to have a healthy relationship with someone who is so cold and can’t even admit that there is a problem to discuss about.
Stonewallers are destructive people and it’s better to remove them from your life. If they’re not willing to change, you need to stop banging your head against the “wall”. Most of them are not reachable and they disown responsibility for the suffering their behavior causes you.
4. The critic
We all need someone who is able to offer well-reasoned opinions about our behavior or work, even if they’re negative. That’s constructive criticism. However, if a person constantly criticizes you no matter what you do, it becomes a big problem.
When a partner or a friend makes you feel like you can’t do anything right, it will definitely lower your self-esteem, especially if you value their opinions.
The critic will automatically insult you whenever they’re not satisfied with something. And the truth is, nothing you do will ever satisfy them…
They will criticize the person, instead of the behavior. See if some of the following sound familiar: “What did you do now?”; “You always mess things up!”; “You’re not capable of …” If yes, you should immediately do something about it. People who really care about you won’t take any opportunity to belittle you just so they can feel better about themselves.
5. The antisocial
A lot of people would call an introvert an antisocial, but the first is just a personality trait, while the second is a personality disorder.
An antisocial individual has no regard for what is right or what is wrong and will ignore the feelings and rights of others. This happens because they have traits of sociopathy or psychopathy. Some of them are capable of feeling empathy and remorse, while others train themselves to fake emotions.
These individuals are the hardest to identify because they are psychological chameleons. They will fool you by faking the required emotional part to get whatever they’re after: adulation, money or power.
A violent behavior, impulsiveness, arrogance and irresponsibility are common traits of the antisocial. If you happen to know anything about their past relationships and you realize that they were all poor or abusive, get rid of them before it’s too late!
To sum up…
No matter how good you are at judging characters, you may still stumble upon toxic people. It’s frustrating because they’re so good at disguising themselves in good people. And when they finally reveal their true colors, we’re the ones left in the grey zone of confusion, not knowing if this is just a phase or we really had no idea who we were dealing with in the first place.
Don’t blame yourself for sometimes choosing a wrong friend or partner, it’s not your fault they can be so deceiving. But when the red flags start to appear, make sure to remove them from your life before things get any worse.
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