RED FLAGS OF TOXIC PEOPLE
Not all toxic people are narcissists but we still need to keep these people at arm’s length and not be drawn into their toxicity.
There are often red flags that we should never ignore which can tell us a lot about a person. How many times do we see something at the start of a relationship and ignore it thinking it was a ‘one off?’ By the time we see the next one, we’ve almost forgotten about the first! Please keep them logged in your head. One or two instances may not indicate that someone is truly toxic but when these little red flags are waved in front of you time and time again, they become a massive warning sign of a treacherous path ahead.
- This person makes you feel on edge. You can’t really put your finger on the reason but you’ve no doubt there’s something not quite right.
- They are rude or talk down to the waiter.
- They get too close far too soon. Love doesn’t normally work that way. It takes time for bonds to form and love to grow.
- They are charming to the point of being beyond the realms of normality. Trust that old saying, ‘If something appears too good to be true, it probably is.’
- They tell you of how their previous partners cheated, lied, were crazy etc. They play the victim and have got you feeling sorry for them. It wasn’t their fault. Yes, you’ve got it… They are the common denominator. They are likely to be the one with the problem.
- They have a short supply of genuine friends. Friends don’t usually hang around toxic people for lengthy periods of time.
- You do most of the talking. They do the listening, figuring you out, knowing your likes and dislikes so they can pretend to be the person you want them to be. However, once the relationship is established, they switch to talking about themselves which of course is a much more interesting subject!
- They criticise your friends and family hoping to create the division that will eventually lead to your isolation from everyone you once held dear.
- Although critical of others, they can’t stand a taste of their own medicine, being extremely sensitive to any form of criticism.
- You find yourself being compared to ex friends, ex partners and family.
- They rarely have anything good to say about anyone.
- You feel you have to walk on eggshells around this person.
- They demand most of your time.
- They hate to be alone. They need people to provide them with their much needed narcissistic supply. Perhaps being alone allows too much time for self – reflection.
- They don’t respect your boundaries.
- They use passive aggressive behaviour, such as the cold shoulder, stonewalling and the silent treatment for some perceived slight.
- They have an uncontrollable rage / anger.
- Pathological lying. They lie even when there’s absolutely no need to and truth would be a better option.
- They never accept responsibility for their faults or accept blame for anything untoward. Nothing is ever their fault.
- This person causes chaos where there was once peace and calm. (Divide and conquer).
- They lack morals yet expects yours to be high.
- They insult you and if you are offended, they tell you that you’re being much too sensitive.
- They suggest what you should wear, how you should do your hair… Once again, this is all about control.
- They show their true colours to you whilst maintaining their ‘charm’ to the outside world.
- They lack empathy and are either unable or unwilling to put themselves in someone else’s shoes.
- They are constantly seeking compliments.
- This person has a grandiose view of themselves. However, underneath their grandiosity, may lie a low self-esteem.
- They think that they have the ability to know what you are thinking. Only you know that.
- They are envious of others’ possessions and / or accomplishments.
- They like to be the centre of attention, expecting your praise for minor achievements; expecting their needs to be met, after all, they are much more important than yours.
- This person is a serial flirter.
- They show no remorse.
- If they treat you badly, you must have done something to deserve it!
- They have a strong sense of entitlement.
- They are jealous of close relationships that you may have.
- This person possesses the most fragile of egos.
- They acts like they are above the law, rules don’t apply to them.
- They rarely apologise, and if they do, it’s either insincere or in their best interests to do so.
- They believe they can only be understood by high achieving important people, like themselves.
- They are in good form one minute and in bad form the next.
- They hold grudges / hatred for a lifetime against those who they believe have wronged them in some way.
- They are preoccupied with their image, always wanting to look good in front of others.
- They don’t express genuine emotion.
In order to preserve your health and your sanity, keep your distance from toxic people and their flying monkeys as far as humanly possible. There are generally two sides to every story. There is the truth and then there is the toxic person’s version. Their version rarely comes close when it comes to the truth and their flying monkeys or enablers pass judgement without listening to both sides of the story. Be patient. No one can hide from the truth for ever.
(From Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse, Shattering the Illusion, now available on Amazon)