With literally billions of people on the planet, it is no wonder that we can run into people from time to time that are hard to get along with.
But every now and then we run into someone who is so abrasive and rubs us the wrong way that we can’t stand it.
Sometimes it’s us, and we need to take a long, hard look at our own personalities, but sometimes it is them.
Toxic people have a knack for making the rest of us look and feel crazy, so it’s important to keep an eye out for these people because, believe me, they are the bad apples in this pie.
The biggest give away that someone is toxic? If you think they are, they probably are.
Here’s how to tell if someone is toxic within the first 5 minutes of meeting them. Yes, first impressions really do count.
1) They Badmouth Other People
If you find yourself in the presence of someone who badmouthed someone else, turn on your heel and walk away.
People who would talk shit to perfect strangers are terrible people, and you better believe they’ll have a thing or two to say about you in short order, so just keep your distance.
2) They Complain…Nonstop
Toxic people are so negative it’s hard to believe they can even function in life. They complain about everything: the car is too cold, the car is too hot, the meal isn’t any good, the meal is too expensive, their job sucks, their house is too small, their boss is an asshole, their kids are annoying, their mother-in-law is nosey.
Wow. Being around negative people can suck the life out of you so make sure you steer clear of these people.
(Buddhism has an incredible amount to teach us about how to deal with negativity. In our new eBook, we use iconic Buddhist teachings to provide no-nonsense suggestions for living a better life. Check it out here).
3) They Expect Special Treatment
Toxic people think that everyone should be falling all over them to make them feel special. They will ask for time off when it’s not convenient, and they’ll expect to get it.
They’ll see their own lives as much more important than everyone else’s and cannot be convinced otherwise.
4) They Boast About Their Accomplishments
While it’s perfectly fine to go on and on about yourself during a job interview, it’s not very fun when you meet someone for the first time to hear about how amazing they are.
People who do this are compensating for their shortcomings and want to make sure you don’t discover those.
These people will take every story and turn it into a story about themselves. They’ll constantly use examples from their own life, which are usually embellished to death, to teach you lessons about how to do things. They are the worst.
5) They Make you Feel Defensive About Your Own Life or Work
They’ll say things in passing about things you do or like, and that will make you feel bad about yourself.
First, ignore everything this person says because they are hopeless, and second, you do you. Forget about them. They are going to continue to complain about everything under the sun anyway so why should you waste your valuable time trying to convince them that your work is valuable?
(Do you want to increase your resilience? Check out our popular eBook on developing mental toughness here).
6) They Expect You to Please Them
Toxic people are miserable, and they think everyone should bow down to them and work to make them happy.
They will trick people or manipulate people into doing things for them because they can’t do things for themselves. But they would never admit that was the reason.
7) They Have No Interest in Your Concerns or Worries
Oh, they’ll engage in a conversation with you, but they will never ask you about yourself.
They won’t care when you need time off to care for your sick kid and they sure as hell aren’t going to go out of their way to help you when you are struggling with someone in your work or life.
8) They Don’t Make You Feel Good
Toxic people are exhausting to be around, and they can make another decent human being feel shitty about themselves.
If you find yourself in the presence of someone who is putting you down, either directly or indirectly, find another person to talk to. These people don’t change, and you better believe they aren’t going to apologize for their actions.
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