Signs of a toxic person
How are you? I hope all is well and a lot of you are staying healthy and safe. So this blog post was coming for a long time. Originally, I wanted to talk about this on my youtube channel from April 17th, but whenever I rewatched the video it was painful so I didn't upload it.
As I am writing this, there have been many sexual assault stories coming out as well. Not only from people from my former High school but just in general, many people have spoken out. I said this on Twitter and I will say it again: My heart goes out for the people who shared their story. It was very brave of them to do so. My prayers go out to people who haven't told their story yet. It takes a lot of courage and their time will come. I hope when it does, they get their peace.
While I haven't been sexually assaulted, I have been in a complex "friendship" where the person abused me emotionally and mentally. While I do feel still hesitant to speak on this right now because the wound is still there from what he did, I hope to be able to have the strength to tell that story someday. He did many terrible things that many of them are listed as apart of signs of an abuser. I will link the article I am referencing to at the end of the post but his action included:
Trying to come between me and my friends
Shutting down communication
Denying something I know is true (Gaslighting)
Blaming me for their problems
Derogatory “pet names”
Actively working to turn others against me
I am not ready to tell that story until I hear other perspectives to it (since his abusive actions were more than just me and probably more people than I know) because all I want to know is the truth but I am learning to live without closure of it.
However, I did want to make this post because there are so many red flags to a person and I hope people who notice the signs will cut off the person before they end up hurting mentally or physically. So here is a generalized list based on my own experience with an emotional abuser/ manipulator and what I researched.
1. They make everything seem like it’s someone else's fault and never take responsibility for the part they play
A toxic person will always have someone to blame for their actions. It can be you. It can be their upbringing (their parents). It can be their friends. The responsibility will always be on anyone but them. This is a deflection tactic that never holds them accountable for the wrong they do. They will apologize but say that it something else that caused them to do something. Most likely even after they say sorry they continue to do poor actions and use the same excuse to get sympathy.
2. They dismiss how you feel
If you feel hurt in a situation, they will make it seem like you are wrong for you to feel that way. Or even worse, they would make it seem like the reason you feel that way is no one's fault but your own. Everyone's emotions are valid but a toxic person will manipulate you to believe your thoughts, feelings or opinions don't matter as a way to dehumanize you. It is also their way of controlling you because by telling someone how to feel and when to feel it, it's giving them power over your emotions. You are entitled to think and feel for yourself.
3. Everyone in their past is in the wrong
Have you ever talked to someone and for some reason, every single person in their past has done them wrong? It's always their friend's fault they are no longer talking? Or their ex was the one who is crazy or insane or delusional? Well, that's a huge sign because toxic people never put themselves in the wrong. They victimize themselves and make their next victim feel sorry for them to cover-up what they have in store for you. People who can't take responsibility for their role in the situation and acknowledge how they may have hurt a person in a situation, it speaks volumes and is warning sign they will do that to you someday once you are no longer useful to them.
4. They have a mean/ sweet cycle
Is there a person in your life that always seems to do something that hurts you, whether it is yelling at you for something small, insults you, belittles you, hits you, or just makes you feel ashamed/ less than human? They always seem to do something damaging but then when you're close to being done they do something sweet or kind to make up for it. This is a tactic to draw attention away from there terrible behavior. Most likely they continue to do the same actions but believe as long as they do one nice thing after doing multiple mean ones, that their behavior is okay (it's not). A person shouldn't have an alternative motive for doing something kind.
5. They are pathological liars
This is difficult for me to explain because a pathological liar can cross into traits of someone with a mental disorder (from what I read while I was researching). So I would rather link articles related. I feel like that can better and more professionally explain what exactly are pathological liars, the difference between a pathological and compulsive liar, and how it can sometimes connect to mental issues. You can check them out after going through this list.
Article 1 - Compulsive lying
Article 2- Pathological liars
6. They were abusive
This one is self-explanatory but here's a link listing different forms of abuse. Again, I would rather provide links to topics that are from official websites or that go medically reviewed for information on serious subjects.
7. They are controlling
While being controlling is also apart of abusive behavior, it can come in many forms. While reading this article, it gave a few examples. Controlling behavior can be treating someone in your life as a child (telling them how to act, how to dress, what to eat, who to hang out with etc). I also think clingy could fall under controlling behavior because a toxic person won't allow their victims to have their own life away from them. After all, then others can try to open their victim's eyes to their toxic behavior. They want others to have as little access to their victim (including friends and family).
8. They exploit you
To exploit someone means to use someone. Toxic people always need something from the victim whether it's something materialistically (money or things that cost money), physically (sexual acts), or mentally (for the victim to give them attention and validation). All the giving is usually a one- way street and victims usually get nothing from the relationship (besides negativity in their lives and possibly debt).
9. They have a superiority complex
Toxic people are usually very egotistical. They think they are better than their victim. They usually say stuff like " I don't need you because there are many other people who want to date me.", "No one else would want you or tolerate you so I'm all you got", "Your opinion doesn't matter because I am smarter than you" etc. They say degrading things, they make you feel bad about yourself, they actually overestimate their qualities, they try to play god and they often don't have any self-awareness of their bad traits.
10. They judge you, belittle you and do anything possible to make people turn against you (ruins your reputation)
This one is very self-explanatory. I did an article on reputation to speak about the differences between it and someone's identity. I also share a story about my reputation. The blog post is called "Thoughts on: Identity and Reputation". Remember, reputation is a representation of how people interpret you (it is not who you are), so a toxic person will try to shift sympathy their way by doing what I said in the 1st and 3rd point.
So that's all for today.
This was a very emotional post to write. In my own experience, I had blamed myself for everything that went wrong with my relationship with that person. It took me a long time to accept that I was just being used for someone else's selfish purposes regardless of my friends telling me I did nothing wrong with that person. All I did was be honest with him how I felt and they tried to tell me that even if he didn't feel the same, his actions after were inexcusably wrong. From just cutting off communication out of the blue to blaming me for something I had no part to even trashing my reputation to point where I hated being downstairs and around my grade because I had no idea what lies he was spreading to other people back then (I know some now). This took a while for me to process and in some ways, I am still processing. While I know I made mistakes with other people, this is one time I know that what he did wasn't right after a year of defending him for causing my pain and isolation.
I hope people can learn from this and learn from my mistakes. No one deserves to feel worthless, especially from someone you truly cared about.
Don't forget to like and share this with friends and family. If you know someone who may be struggling with a toxic person be there for them as much as possible. If any of the points sound familiar to how you act, please re-evaluate yourself and try to do better as a person. While we can't change our mistakes in the past, we can hold ourselves accountable by saying we know what we did was wrong and not doing them again and just being better to people who have proven to care about you. Anyways, I know my story is completely vague but I am hoping to be able to open up about it on youtube (which is why you should subscribe). Have a good day, evening, or night. I hope you are all happy, healthy, safe, and just surrounded by love.
Until next time,
xoxo Lay 💋
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