10 Types of Toxic People and How to Spot Them

Do you have toxic people in your life?

I know quite a few of them. Just a few days ago, I met this friend who truly ruined my day with her miserable, judgmental  and negative talk. I shared a happy development with her and she poked holes in it and questioned my perception of reality which seriously made me doubt myself. A few minutes with her left me sick to my stomach. She certainly has toxic personality traits. People like her are energy sucking vampires who have the ability to ruin your peace of mind with their words, attitude and behaviour. These are the people who leave no opportunity to put you down and hold you back from moving ahead. They add negativity, stress, distress and disgust in your life.

“People inspire you, or they drain you—pick them wisely.” – Hans F. Hansen

People around us influence our views, mind-set, productivity, how we treat others, and even how we see ourselves. We cant distance ourselves from toxic people until we first know who they are. So, it is important that we assess the signs and personality traits of toxic people and try to stay away from them. This isn’t about judging people but about identifying the toxic types and finding out what we can do to protect ourselves from their use and abuse. Here is a list of 10 types of toxic people and how to spot them…

1. Victims

These people take no responsibility for their own life. They feel life is unfair and unjust, just for them and they are constantly cheated by it. They are great at pointing fingers at others and never accepting that they have made a mistake. It’s only a matter of time until they pull us into their own blame game, which is detrimental to our peace of mind.

2. Gossipers

These people are adept at twisting facts and distorting information. They want to be accepted and recognized and tearing down the lives of other people is their way to get the attention they want.

3. Jealous

These green-eyed monsters, believe in minimizing our strengths and accomplishments to make themselves feel better. They are envious of our success, good fortune, or positive attributes. They can even make us feel guilty for sharing our happiness.

4. The Leaches

These people expect us to support them always and tend to suck the life from us in the areas of time, finances and emotional support. However when we need their support, they aren’t available.

5. Liars

Whether they tell small lies or exaggerate, trusting them in a relationship can be exhausting. Their dishonesty can be draining and distracting.

6. Manipulators

They use other people to accomplish their goals. They are only focused on getting what they want and will go to any stretch to get it. They extract all the information and then throw it back at us when it benefits them.

7. Critics

They never have anything positive to say and criticize and judge all our actions and beliefs. Their negativity can be contagious and can seriously hit our self esteem.

8. Narcissist

This person thinks he or she is God’s gift to mankind and we can never measure up to their standards. So they look down upon us and do not compromise and lack compassion and empathy. They are willing to destroy everything and everyone around them, when they feel hurt or rejected.

9. Pretentious

These types only act as friends on comfortable terms. When we need their help and support they tend to do the vanishing act.

10. Dismissers

These people put us down, often subtly but sometimes straight-up, in order to make them feel better about themselves. Since they think they are the smartest person in the room, so, they see every conversation and person as a challenge that must be won over.

We all deserve to be happy and staying away from the drama of these toxic people is mandatory for our well being. Read more about Toxic People here.

Can you spot any toxic person in your circle of friends and relatives from this list? What are your experiences with toxic people?  How do you cope with their behavior?

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  1. My Goodness Shilpa what bad luck to meet a person like that – one who sucks the happiness out of you and fills you with self-doubt. Best thing to do is to ignore them and get on with life. Most of all they don’t deserve to be called ‘friends’.

  2. A pretty exhaustive list very accurately analyzed and cumulated, Shilpa! We encounter almost all of them through our lives but it is only with time and age that we realize their impact on us. I consciously avoid people who make me uncomfortable, you can understand people through the vibes they send out. I still can’t decide who I hate more, the leeches, the manipulators, the victims….gosh, real “dementors” these people are!

  3. Avoiding toxic people who are friends is much easier than the ones in the family. Their toxicity can ruin days together. I could only sigh while reading this, Shilpa. I try to concentrate on other activities to divert my focus when faced with toxic people.

    • Oooh I’m thinking of people now seeing thjs article. Jealousy is such an awful thing to have and alsk gossiping. I don’t like it. Unfortunately I have someone close to me that does some of these things. I however try to be the better person so that it doesn’t get me under.

  4. Yes, I have come across a lot of people belonging to the categories you’ve mentioned above. These toxic friendships/acquaintances can really drain us mentally and emotionally. I try not to give much thought to what they say or do. But it is difficult.

  5. It’s hard when a person has some toxic qualities, but some good qualities, too. I’ve learned to limit my time with these people, though I’m not ready to cut them out of my life completely as we have common social groups and activities. When the toxic behaviors start, I leave abruptly. Then there are people who I have cut out of my life completely because the toxicity is too pervasive. It’s a big relief and makes more space for healthy relationships and activities.

  6. Feel terrible for your Shilpa and sending you a big hug. You are one of the nicest persons I have met and I cant imagine people being so manipulative with you.

    I was reminded of this trio of nasty bloggers I had met during my initial years of blogging and joining a community of bloggers.They all had these traits and it took me a while to get them out of my life and system. It didnt feel nice to be used and kicked around just so these women could feed their egos.

    I guess spotting them early and then distancing oneself from them at the earliest is the best way to handle them. Talking to them is a fail as they are highly deluded and insane.

  7. I can never spot a toxic person, but reading your post I now can gauge some what. Recollecting certain instances that have occurred in my life, makes it easier for me now.

  8. Toxic people are everywhere and it is upon us to find a way to exist without having them affect us. I ignore and move on. May they get some sense soon.

  9. Kaise pehchanna Shilpa, I mean so right. Now with a lot of effort I am able to identify the ones whom I must stay from. Since them there is so much peace in my life

  10. Man your post really opened my eyes. I didn’t know there were that many kinds of toxic people and reading your post made me realize there are lots of toxic people in my life. Most are my family but I already knew that lol but most of them have more than one of the traits mentioned above. I try to stay away from people all together because I’m just not a people person. I have realized the older I get the less people there are in my life because of this. Thank you for this eye opening post

  11. With friends like that, who needs enemies? Energy suckers. Sorry you had to go through that especially when you were excited about something happy that happened to you, Shilpa.
    I wrote a similar post back in April 2019 about ten people with whom to sign the zero tolerance contract. It takes all sorts to make the world and it is up to us to choose whom we want to keep, whom to stay away from! It’s a good thing we can pick our friends, right?

  12. My recent run in with a victim manipulator really made me step back and realise that I will never tolerate that sort of toxic person being in my space every again. The distruction that they cause is certainly not a person I want in my life.

    Great post!

  13. Great analysis Shilpa and you had shared an exhaustive list of toxic people, with proper explanation. well, personally I had observed so many kinds of toxic people in social circle. some of the them are jealous and some are critics. being a quite and introvert person, I always have a close circle of friends, so it is always easier for me to stay away from these kind of toxic people. I agree that these kind of toxic people ruin away your peace of mind by their words, attitude and behaviour.

  14. I call them Soul Suckers because it feels like they suck everything out of my soul.

    One of the best things I did for myself was to start cutting these Soul Suckers out of my life. I was so often feeling down with low energy levels. Now that I surround myself only with awesome people I find that when I spend time with people I feel energized.

    It really is so important to be choosy with who spend our time and energy with.