How to Spot a Toxic Person?

A toxic person is one who adds stress and negativity to your daily life. It is someone that makes you upset which ultimately leads to emotional damage and poor mental health. A toxic person will dent your self-esteem and is not a safe place to be in. 

Toxic behavior is especially bad for you because of the amount of unpleasantness it adds to one’s life, it results in emotional but also physical pain, given the interrelation between emotional and physical well-being. In fact, a study by the American Medical Association concluded that such negativity increases your chances of having heart disease, diabetes, and many other health issues.

Because of this, it is important to clear your personal space and remove toxic persons to live a life that is healthy and free of any emotional trauma. In this post, we are going to list down some signs to look for spotting a toxic person so that you can deal with them and maintain good emotional and physical health.

Is Always Surrounded By Drama

Two Male Colleagues Fighting In Office
Stressed Businesspeople Sitting In Front Of Two Colleagues Fighting In Office

Toxic persons are always surrounded by drama. These types of people tend to stir up conflicts and enjoy watching others in strife. They will light a fire by inflaming people’s emotions causing dramas. Such people do not wish to have stable relationships and are a threat to one’s emotional well-being.

Doesn’t Respect Your Boundaries

Toxic persons will completely disregard your personal boundaries. They will continue to violate any boundaries you have set in the past and ignore any requests you have made against any of their behavior. Such people will high expectations from you to support them even if you are going through something taxing or during any time of the day but are not there for any support in return.

Your personal boundaries are very important as they allow you to live in a bubble that is safe from the world around you, it helps to fence off people who are disrespectful or hurtful to you. If someone violates such boundaries and holds no respect for them, it is a clear-cut sign that such person is toxic.

Doesn’t Listen or Accept Mistakes

Toxic people will never accept their mistakes. You will always be wrong and toxic people will go to drastic lengths to change facts or your memories to prove that they are right. They will be unwilling to admit that they may have been wrong in some certain situations and will not listen to you at all. It is practically impossible to change their views about something because they will always engage in a debate with you with the only aim to prove that they are right and have the correct stance in every topic. This is a major sign of a toxic person.

Never Apologizes

Tired african wife ignoring angry black husband blaming of problems
Tired frustrated african wife ignoring angry black despot husband arguing blaming upset woman of problems, jealous man shouting at sad girlfriend, family fight and controlling boyfriend, disrespect

In addition to the sign above, toxic people will never apologize and admit they have been in the wrong. Instead, they will change up the facts or mess with your memories to put the blame on you. Even if such people do apologize which is once in a blue moon incident, it is usually with ulterior motives. They will never apologize truly from their heart.

Looks Down on Others

Toxic people will be critical of others and judge them for any superficial negative thing they see in others. This is something they do regularly and if they speak such negative points about others, it is quite possible that they do the same to you in front of others.

They tend to point out others’ weak points to boost their own self-esteem and ego. They will be reluctant to speak about a good aspect in someone and will always call out the negatives in them. This is another sign of toxicity.

Questions Your Decisions

Another major red flag is that a toxic person will make you defensive about the decisions you make. Whatever you do or say is faced with criticism and debates which will damage your self-esteem and you will begin to question your intelligence as well. They will taunt you and be habitually sarcastic at everything you do. It will become a task to be yourself around such people because of the expected criticism lashed out at you if you do something that is not in compliance with their beliefs or point of view. 

Manipulates Others to Get What They Want

Toxic people will do whatever it takes to push people towards something that they want or towards a certain action that they would like to see you taking. They will lie, distort facts and information, and exaggerating to achieve this. They will take advantage of you and others and manipulate them towards something that they want. They do not care about others’ emotions and don’t mind hurting them at all in pursuit of their wishes and in self-interest.

Behave Inconsistently

A toxic person will have a behavior that is very inconsistent. They will say something one day and say another thing the second day. Their opinions, points, plans, and preferences change quite often and cause confusion in others about their behavior.

If they are asked if everything’s alright, they will come up with a cold “yes”, but it is clear on their face and through their behavior that something is not alright. They seek this attention and being chased after so that others around them try to make their mood better and feel happier. This is where they will take advantage of good people who will want to ensure that these types of toxic people are doing good and are happy.

They will keep on changing their versions. But you should never be expected to deal with different versions of a person; after all, it is not common and not what a normal healthy person would behave like. This is a tell-tale sign of a toxic person, and you must be wary. 

Pretend to Care about You

A toxic person will never care about you and will have no interest in you. They will pretend to care about to lure you back into relationships and this behavior may even seem genuine but remember that they have no concern for your welfare.

They will taunt you whenever something good happens in your life. For example, if you plan a trip, they will come up with reasons not to go, or if you receive a promotion, they will come up with negative aspects about the new role and responsibilities at work. They truly don’t care about you your welfare and have no interest in you.

All they want is attention and support from you; it is never a two-way street as they expect that you do everything and go out of the way to ensure that they are doing well, but they would never do the same for you in return. 

Are Always a Victim

Another sign of a toxic person is that they will always be a victim. They will blame others for something bad that has happened in their life. They didn’t wake up for an exam; blame is on you for not waking them up. They missed a flight; blame is on you for not telling them about the exact time of the flight. They will never accept that they made a mistake and are suffering the consequences for it; they will blame others for it and play as a victim.

How to Deal With Toxic People 

Happy girl greeting waving hand and friend ignoring her
Unwanted encounter. Happy girl greeting waving hand and friend ignoring her in park

Once you spot toxic people around you, it is time to give them a taste of their own medicine. Toxic people cannot bother you if you know how to tackle them. Consider the following points as helpful in dealing with toxic people in your life. 

  • Stop Buying Their Lies 

As mentioned above, toxic people love playing the victim card. Whenever they come across a challenging situation or find themselves in a fix, they might shift the blame on someone else. Your slight nod or some words of agreement might encourage them. 

So, the best way to stop them from being like this is to disagree with them respectfully. Convey what you think happened and how you disagree with them being the victim. Doing this might upset them, but it will save you from being dragged into this kind of a mess again. 

  • Do Not Get Drawn In Their Complaining Behavior 

Toxic people love to complain all the time, which can be exhausting for people who have to sit and listen to them. If you are surrounded by a toxic person who is nonstop complaining of one thing or the other, stop falling into the trap of agreeing with them. Your agreement might encourage them or validate their thoughts. 

The best way to cope with this situation is to respond with an empathetic but not very involving apology and back out. You can say, “I am sorry you feel that way,” and just stop being drawn into one of their complaining rants again. 

  • Prioritize Your Mental Well-Being 

Toxic people not only ruin your life and relationships but also have a damaging impact on your mental well-being. It is so tiring to keep up with toxic people that it is best to realize how your mental well-being and peace come first.  

You think that helping others is a noble thing to do, and it might be true in numerous cases. However, you have to pause and think before offering emotional support to a toxic person as they risk damaging your mental peace.  


In conclusion, toxic people have many signs that you can use to spot such people. Many of these signs are interrelated and overlap, which suggests it is a complete personality that someone has which is toxic. However, it is important you deal with these people effectively. Whether you have a toxic marriage/relationship or you have so much toxicity around you, it is important to remove and deal with toxic people so that you can live a healthy life—both emotionally and physically.