How to Identify Toxic People

Negativity is mentally crippling and may not even realize it’s happening until it is too late. 

Toxic individuals can mentally cripple us by planting seeds of doubt and fear in our minds that can cause depression and instills anxiety.

Having negative individuals can make it harder to physically and mentally get through the day. 

According to the article, Why Toxic People are so Harmful by Psychology Today, “toxic people drain others’ energy by constantly demanding attention, sympathy, or validation.”

Therefore, it is essential to ensure that if you have toxic people in your life, you set appropriate boundaries to protect your energy and mental well-being. 

Below we have the different signs to identify toxic people.

Amora V Lifestyle features an article on the different Habits of Toxic People

1. Complaining

You may be in the company of a harmful and toxic person if you are around someone who complains about everything

The problem with complaining is that nothing is ever good enough. Regardless of how great the person’s life may be, all they see is the bad.

Furthermore, they may downplay or highlight the negatives in any favorable situation within your life. 

Thus, making you feel like your outstanding accomplishments or milestones are not essential or significant. 

Being around someone who constantly complains may drain your energy or make you feel awful about great things happening in your life.

When leaving someone’s company who often complains, analyze how it makes you think and feel. 

  • Do I feel anxious? 
  • Am I tired? 
  • Do I have doubts when before I was confident? 
  • Am I feeling sad? 

If answering yes to any of the above, then setting boundaries is appropriate for this person.

2. Gossip

You are surrounded by good people if they do not speak ill about you behind your back. However, those who do speak ill behind your back and judge you are likely individuals to avoid as they are toxic people

Gossiping is horrible as it creates a close bond between two or more people at the expense of another. 

It is also a toxic trait as it can cause harm to the person being gossiped about.

Furthermore, if you are around someone who feels comfortable gossiping and spreading information about others’ lives, what will stop them from doing the same to you when you are not around? 

Therefore, the friend speaking ill of others may talk poorly about you when you are not around. [Read also: What to do if you Find Out Someone is Gossiping About You]

Do you want to be around someone who may speak ill about you?

Speaking ill about others rarely brings any positivity into anyone’s life

It usually causes a lot of drama, hurts feelings, and destroys relationships. Therefore, it may be best to avoid gossiping at all costs possible. 

3. Lies Often

How can you ever believe anything someone says when they lie constantly? 

You spend most of your time listening to their conversation, wondering whether they’re telling the truth or not.

Being friends with a liar is an exhausting relationship; you must take everything they communicate with a grain of salt. Therefore, it is impossible to create an authentic friendship. 

How can you build trust when doubt presents itself throughout every conversation due to being unsure if what is spoken is truth or a lie? 

Therefore being someone around who lies all the time is a toxic trait and one that you probably should avoid.

4. Overreacts

Yelling is another red flag to look out for in a relationship. You may be in a toxic relationship or around toxic people if your partner or friends are always yelling. Furthermore, what kind of home environment does this create for your children.

Overreacting is a toxic trait as it causes a lot of unnecessary drama. 

Overreacting can include screaming, throwing a fit, or crying over something insignificant. 

Usually, when someone is overreacting, they are looking for attention. This is a toxic trait as it can cause much stress.

Another way this trait is toxic is it causes the victim to constantly divert attention onto themselves. By having someone who needs constant attention causes you to focus on them all the time. 

Spending your time consulting a friend in need does not allow you to focus on your goals, dreams, and desires.

Therefore, taking away time, you need to focus on yourself to achieve what you want in life. 

For this reason, creating boundaries for this type of person is especially important.

5. Never Happy

Those who are always the victim is another sign of a negative character trait. Furthermore, people who is never happy are super toxic to be around.

Being around someone who is never happy and always has a negative attitude is exhausting

Someone who is never pleased always looks at the worst in life and is never delighted. An unhappy person is almost always a glass-half-empty type of person

Things are never going as planned, nothing in life is ever good enough. 

The worst part is that regardless of how privileged, they can only see the worse in every situation.

"Like arsenic, toxic people will slowly kill you. They kill your positive spirit and play with your mind and emotions. The only cure is to let them go."
~ Denisse Lisseth

Be cautious around this type of person because, in due time, they will impact your overall happiness. 

Analyze how you feel after every encounter with them and, if needed, set appropriate boundaries around them.

6. Only See Them When They Need Something

Another sign of toxic people to avoid are those who only uses others to get to an end goal.

It is crucial to be mindful of people who only approach you when they need something.

Having someone take advantage of you is a negative trait that should not be taken lightly. Individuals who view you solely as a means to an end can harm your mental and emotional health.

They do not consider your well-being and will continue taking advantage of you, leaving you empty and drained.

Genuine friends do not see you as a mere resource to accomplish their goals.

It’s important to acknowledge when someone is taking advantage of you and to distance yourself from them. 

Distancing yourself from others can be difficult, but it’s necessary to protect yourself from getting hurt. 

It’s okay to prioritize your own well-being and set boundaries to prevent others from exploiting your kindness. 

Afterall, you deserve to be treated with respect and kindness just as much as anyone else.

7. Wish Bad on Others

Wishing bad for others is likely from a place of competitiveness or jealousy. 

However, someone who hopes others fail or wishes bad upon someone else is a person to avoid.

The problem is that those wishing evil on others may intentionally go out of their way to jeopardize or harm them. 

Be careful of this type of personality trait. You may be a victim of this person and not even realize it until it is too late.

8. One Sided Conversation

It may be time to end a friendship if they are no longer making contact. Furtermore, friendship who only talk about themselves is a sign that you may be surrounding yourself with toxic people.

A person who only speaks about themselves cares only about themselves.

If you are friends with someone and the entire relationship is completely 100% around them, they likely do not care much for you.

A true friend wants to engage, learn and understand more about you. 

If you find that when meeting with a friend, it has become the norm that the entire focus of the conversation is on them, you likely have a one-sided friendship.

9. Controlling

Controlling comes in a variety of different forms. 

One way someone tries to control is by saying who you can and cannot hang out with and speak with. This may include family, friends, or individuals of the opposite sex.

Controlling can also steam from someone who wants you to behave in a particular mannerTrying to regulate emotion is a form of control and one that is highly toxic.

For example, a boss wants you only to be motivated and on fire, filled with passion within the workplace. Thus, not allowing for anything other than over-the-top excitement in the workplace. 

Another form of controlling can come from someone who tries to manipulate you to get you to do something you are uncomfortable with. 

Manipulation can come in verbal aggression, flattery, lying, gossiping, or even bullying.

Someone who is controlling is not concerned about your feelings.

The worst type of relationship is someone who thinks they can control you. 

Someone who is controlling will go to a great extent to get you to behave in a particular manner or do something they desire because it is what they want.

10. Plays the Victim Card

Playing the victim card is another sign of being around toxic people.

Playing the victim card is toxic because rather than taking responsibility for oneself, they would rather blame others

Placing blame on others is a form of scapegoating the problem.

Another benefit of those playing the victim is it often causes others to help them do things they don’t want to do. 

The problem with helping someone who’s always playing the victim is regardless of how much you do for them; they will always need more help. 

They will consume all your time and energy to fill their needs.

When in a relationship where you are constantly playing the savior, make sure it is not consuming the time you need to get your tasks complete to achieve what you want in life. 

If finding that constantly helping someone else is causing you to fall behind in your personal life, then setting boundaries may be appropriate.

"It's rare for a toxic person to change their behavior. More often, the only thing that varies is their target and the blame they place. Because some toxic people are difficult to identify, keep in mind that a victim mindset is sometimes a red flag. So, listen when someone talks about their life and circumstances. If the list of people they blame is long… it's probably only a matter of time before you're on that list."
~ Steve Maraboli

Do not be surprised when setting boundaries in the relationship with someone who plays the victim that you end up on their list of individuals who have done them wrong. 

That is OK, as long as you leave the relationship gracefully, tactfully, and with dignity. Taking the higher road will allow you to feel better about yourself and without regrets.

11. Doesn't Ever Apologize

Not owning up to mistakes and failures is a toxic trait. 

Not apologizing is not taking responsibility for any actions that may have hurt others. Therefore, they may continue repeating the same behaviors and actions that previously hurt others.

12. Manipulates

A Manipulative person uses a variety of different deceitful tactics for personal gain

Manipulative tactics can be used for monetary gain, avoiding responsibility, controlling someone, or protecting their egos.

Tactics used to manipulate may be altering the truth, bullying, isolation, gaslighting, or trying to control the victim. 

Manipulation can have a long-term negative mental impact on its victims. 

Take any form of manipulation seriously.

13. Belittles or Talks Down

Be careful of those who belittle you, it is a sign you are surrounded by toxic people.

How individuals talk to us is essential to how they feel about us. 

Those who speak poorly to you may be intimidated, jealous, threatened, or insecure. However, being talked down to constantly is not healthy for anyone. 

The hardest part of being talked down to by those closest to you is that it can be easy to miss. It can come as a backhanded comment, through comparison, an ‘encouraging word’, or a joke.

Here are a few examples of how someone may talk down to you:

  • When you get a real job
  • If you can get the job done right
  • Since you are not doing anything (knowing you are working)
  • Only certain people can achieve that
  • Maybe you should try to be more realistic
  • Your taste in music is awful

These are just a few endless ways remarks can tear someone down without being apparent. They are remarks that are not uplifting.

What and how it is said is everything in a conversation. Make sure you are around people whose words lift you up and not tear you down.

Amora V Lifestyle features a list of Habits of Toxic People.

Essentially, everyone has some form of toxic trade. 

However, tread cautiously when recognizing harmful traits in a relationship. 

Determine if it is something that will mentally or physically hinder you throughout life.

How Do You Feel When You Leave Their Presence? 

Analyze how you feel after being with them for an extended period. 

  • Do you feel happy, uplifted, and motivated or exhausted, sad, and depressed? 
  • Does this person hinder your self worth? 
  • Do you feel confused?

If you find yourself mentally and physically drained after leaving someone’s presence, assess and determine if and when to set boundaries.

Furthermore, determine how to appropriately set boundaries so distancing yourself can be graceful and tactful, without drama or causing an issue. 

Distancing yourself without drama will allow you to keep the relationship open if you ever want to give the relationship a second chance.

Sometimes people go through things in life that are very dramatic that can offset their personality for a short period of time. 

However, if their behavior changes them entirely and is overall negative, then it may be time to either distance yourself are stepped back from the friendship for a while.

Complete List of How to Identify Toxic People

  1. Complaining
  2. Gossip
  3. Lies Often 
  4. Overreacts 
  5. Never Happy 
  6.  Only See Them When They Need Something 
  7. Wish Bad on Others 
  8. One Sided Conversation 
  9. Controlling 
  10. Plays the Victim Card 
  11. Doesn’t Ever Apologize 
  12. Manipulates 
  13. Belittles or Talks Downs 

In conclusion, being in the presence of toxic individuals is mentally crippling as they can plant seeds of doubt and fear in our minds that cause depression and anxiety.

It is crucial to set appropriate boundaries to protect our mental well-being if we have toxic people in our lives.

It’s important to be able to recognize toxic people and their behavior. 

Some signs to look out for include:

  • Constant complaining 
  • Spreading gossip 
  • Frequently Lying
  • Overreacting  
  • Never satisfied
  • Talking down to others
  • Belittling 

It’s important to pay attention to your emotions after spending time with them for a while to get a clear sense of whether someone is toxic. 

It may be time to set some boundaries if you feel drained, upset, or generally negative. To maintain a healthy and strong mental well-being, we must surround ourselves with people who support and uplift us.

Get Featured in Our Next Article by Telling Your Story!

Comment Below to Get Featured

Let us know in the comment section if you left a toxic relationship and how it changed your life. 

Sara Elizabeth

About Author, Sara Elizabeth
Writer, Amora V Lifestyle
Co-Owner of Elizabeth Besich Boutique

Sara is a writer for Amora V Lifestyle and is Co-Owner of Elizabeth Besich. Sara previously worked as a Marketing Manager and has her Master’s from Lindenwood University.

Sara studies everything of interest, from psychology, recipes, finances, mental health, and travel, thriving to find happiness and to live a good life.

When not learning, Sara loves all things outdoors, food, and hanging around great company. Furthermore, Sara loves spending time with family, who she is blessed to have in her life.

Note from the author: Through my articles, I hope to bring you joy and peace and that you enjoy it!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified mental healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog. The authors of this blog are not liable for any errors or omissions in the information provided, nor for any losses, injuries, or damages arising from the use of the information provided. I am not a professional relationship counselor, and my advice should not be considered as a substitute for professional help. It is important to communicate openly and honestly with your partner, friend or co-worker and seek guidance from a qualified professional if needed. Remember, every relationship is unique and requires individual attention and care.Any reviews or comments written are the subjective opinion of an Amora V Lifestyle member and not Amora V Lifestyle. Amora V Lifestyle performs occasional checks on commentary left by users. It’s worth mentioning that we may also use comments in our articles. By posting a comment, you are giving us permission to use it in our content. Please check out Privacy Policy and Terms of Use for full disclosure. Source for quote,

Leave a reply