People who hurt you and then flip it to make you the bad guy is crazymaking at its finest. These are the people who are magnificent gaslighters who can deflect and play the victim without blinking an eye.
Here are some signs of a toxic person:
- You feel emotionally drained after interacting with them
- They try shame you or intimidate you to get their way. If that doesn’t work, they will use emotional blackmail.
- They attempt to control how you see them and the situation.
- They will exploit your weakness and attempt to control you by guilting you into doing things.
- Toxic people see themselves as victims and martyrs.
- When you ask them to be accountable for their own actions and behaviors, they feel attacked.
- They are super defensive and passive aggressive.
- You often feel manipulated, confused and that you often have to defend anything you do to a toxic person.
- They not only don’t respect your boundaries, but they are offended by you having them.
- Their everyday MO includes the dark art of gaslighting. If you point out anything they don’t like, they will convince you that it didn’t happen or that you’re imagining things.
- They perceive themselves as being the smartest person in the room or just overall superior to other people.
- Their tone is often condescending, and you are eager for the conversation with them to end.
- They have an entitled mentality and expect special treatment from others.
- A toxic person wants your compliance and for you to do exactly what they want or expect. The minute you set a limit with them; they completely lose it.
- They completely lack any kind of real empathy, although they are masters of faking it.
- They will exploit others for their personal gain.
- They speak to you in a bullying, demeaning, belittling tone and act like it’s completely normal.
- You just feel awful after interacting with them. You never feel seen or heard and there is absolutely no give and take in the relationship. Everything is one-sided and always in their favor.
So how do you handle these kinds of people? As tempting as it might be to just acquiesce and get them out of your hair as soon as possible, it is best to call out their toxic behavior immediately. Otherwise, it will just continue and get worse.
You have to set strong boundaries with these kinds of people. They have to know that you won’t tolerate their inappropriate, over the top behavior. Limit your time with these people until they change how they engage with you. As a last resort, you may need to cut these people out of your life. As heartbreaking as it can be when the toxic person is someone who you are close to, the more you tolerate their behavior, the more it will continue. And if you don’t take a stand, your self-respect will continue to suffer. Remember, they are choosing how to treat you. They can choose different. And there isn’t a single a single person on this planet who is entitled to treat you like shit.