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Chantel Brink
Chantel Brink
January 9, 2024 ·  4 min read

Are You Friends With a Toxic Person? 7 Traits to Look Out For

We’ve all encountered the detrimental influence of toxic people at some point. At times, we find ourselves entangled in their insidious mind games, where our patience and trust are misconstrued as weaknesses. Despite the distress caused by such experiences, they serve as lessons, reminding us to be cautious about sharing our vulnerabilities.

So, What are some of these toxic traits?

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After navigating the challenges posed by toxic people, common toxic traits begin to emerge. Here are seven of them:

Read: The Only Way To Win With A Toxic Person Is Not To Play

Manipulative Nature:

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Toxic individuals employ cunning mind games to achieve their desires, manipulating emotions and thoughts until they grow bored and move on. Whether a family member or romantic partner, all toxic individuals are adept at manipulation. The key to escaping their deceitful schemes is to refuse to engage.

Lack of Apology – one of the most common toxic traits

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Skilled manipulators rarely apologize, using their prowess to portray innocence even when at the center of wrongdoing. They adeptly play the victim card, charming those around them until someone with higher emotional intelligence exposes their deception.

Judgmental Behavior

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Toxic criticism is their tool, wherein they criticize without knowledge of your experiences. They pass judgment without understanding, fabricating faults just to undermine you. Bringing others down serves as a means for these individuals to derive a distorted sense of self-satisfaction.

Avoidance of Responsibility

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Toxic individuals refuse to take responsibility for their actions or emotions. Instead, they project their feelings onto others, attempting to convince them they provoked the toxicity. Inexperienced individuals may fall victim to believing it was their fault, further enabling control.

Read: 8 Signs You Have A Toxic Relationship With Yourself

A Constant Need for Attention is a Common Toxic Trait

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Insecurity drives toxic individuals to demand 100% of your attention. Treating others as toys, they fear being insufficient and feel threatened when attention is divided. This need for undivided attention stems from their insecurity and the fear of exposure.

Self-Interest in Relationships

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Toxic individuals display a lack of genuine care or compassion. While they may feign interest in your concerns, there is always a self-serving motive behind their actions. Despite appearances, their benevolence often conceals ulterior motives.

Inconsistency in Behavior

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Being around a toxic person is akin to interacting with multiple personalities. Their attitude shifts rapidly based on their goals or desires. One moment, they may appear kind to fulfill a need, and the next, they act as if you don’t exist. Their inconsistency reflects their ability to manipulate their reality.

There is something you can do

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Regrettably, it is a rare occurrence for toxic individuals to admit mistakes or express a willingness to change. More often, they aim to deplete your energy until you no longer serve their purpose. Refusing to play by their rules is the most effective strategy—by rejecting manipulation, you regain control over your narrative. Addressing toxic individuals can be challenging, but adopting strategic approaches can help you navigate these difficult situations.

Read: Why Do So Many People Stay In Toxic Relationships?

Here are some strategies to consider:

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As soon as you detect toxic behaviors, confront the person. Challenge them on any lies or inconsistencies, and express your displeasure with their behavior. This approach not only shows that you are observant but also provides them an opportunity to explain themselves or offer an apology.

Establish Clear Boundaries

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If you find it necessary to keep a toxic person in your life, establish clearer boundaries. For instance, if substance abuse is causing harm, inform them that you will only engage with them when they are sober. Clearly communicate that you won’t tolerate dramatic behavior or the spreading of rumors. Limit your time with them until positive changes occur.

Sever Ties

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If the aforementioned strategies prove ineffective and the toxic person continues to cause pain, abuse, or dishonesty, it may be time to sever ties. Recognize when the situation is beyond repair and prioritize your well-being. Standing up for yourself and choosing to move on can be the best course of action in certain circumstances. Dealing with toxic individuals requires a careful balance between setting boundaries and prioritizing your own mental and emotional health. Remember that it’s okay to prioritize yourself and create a space free from toxicity.

Keep Reading: 4 Toxic Phrases You’ll Recognize If You Grew Up With An Unloving Mother


  1. 7 Traits Most Toxic People Have In Common.” I Heart Intelligence. Kristina Ivanova
  2. Signs of a Toxic Person.” Web MD. WebMD Editorial Contributors.