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3 Red Flags A Toxic Person Is Manipulating You (And How To Deal With It)


Toxic people…We all have dealt with them at some point in our life. They’re highly negative, self-centered, controlling people that use a myriad of manipulation techniques to take advantage of you.

They come in all shapes and sizes. They’re the caring and dedicated family member; the lovely and generous friend; the supportive co-worker; the affectionate and loyal partner – they’re everywhere around you. Yet, due to the fact that these people are very good at hiding their true colors and manipulating others in subtle ways, most people fail to realize they’re dealing with them until it’s too late. Until a considerable emotional damage is done.

How to spot a toxic person.

Dr. Nancy Irwin and author and therapist Shannon Thomas explain how you can spot toxic people and handle them effectively. They say you know you’re dealing with a toxic person if they make you feel emotionally drained and negative when you interact with them. What all toxic people have in common is that they’re constantly judgmental and needy, and they enjoy bringing you down and downplaying the importance of what you do.

They can affect your emotions, opinions, and the way you see yourself and your worth. They can make you believe their lies and coerce you into doing something you wouldn’t normally do. They can even make you question your own logic and sanity.

In order to avoid their toxic grip and never fall prey to their devious mind games, you need to be able to identify the signs that show a toxic person is trying to manipulate you.

These are the 3 most important ones:

1. They’re consistently blaming you.

They can make a thousand mistakes and make you feel uncomfortable and hurt your feelings, but they’ll never take responsibility for that, let alone apologize to you. Instead, they’ll always shift the blame onto you. For example, if they have a bad day or make a mistake at work, they’ll tell you that it’s your fault because you annoyed and stressed them out the other day.

One thing you should remember is that there’s no use confronting them about something they did, they will never admit it. They’ll pretend to be kind and innocent whereas you’ll always be the bad one.

2. They demand your full attention.

Yeah, it’s all about them. A toxic person will demand you give them all of yourself and if you refuse to do that, they’ll criticize and make you feel bad.

They expect you to spend the most of your time with them and to distance yourself from other people, be that family members or friends. In fact, they can be quite controlling when it comes to that.

For example, if you have a toxic partner, they’ll try to make you avoid your friends, but of course, they’ll do this in a subtle way. Their typical comment would be: “I feel like you’re neglecting me and don’t care about me anymore while you always make time for your buddies.”

And if you agree to make them the center of your attention, it’s very likely you’ll end up isolated from your friends and others who truly care about you. And that’s what a toxic person wants the most.

3. You never know what version of them you’re getting.

A toxic person will make you feel like you’re walking on eggshells. You can never tell what type of mood they’ll be in, and you have to be careful about what you say around them for fear of repercussions.

For example, if you say something (unintentionally or deliberately) that annoys or doesn’t suit them, let alone complain about something they did, get prepared to endure their negative and harsh comments about how much terrible you are.

It’ll be hard for you to tell what version of them you’re getting – the good one or the bad one. They can be kind, friendly, and supportive one moment and start making an emotional scene and blaming you for something that’s not your fault the next.

How you can effectively steer clear from their toxicity.

Limit your contact with them.

You should try limiting your contact with them until there’s none. Start by gradually reducing your interactions with them and set boundaries.

For example, when a person who you know is toxic calls or texts you, don’t respond to them right away. Instead, wait for a half an hour to pass and then call them back. In this way, you’ll show them you’ve become detached and that you can’t be always available to them.

Of course, limiting your contact with a toxic person can be difficult, especially if they’re a family member or your partner. But, by giving yourself some distance and setting clear boundaries, you’ll pull this through more easily.

Give yourself time to heal.

Even if you succeed in removing a toxic person from your life, you’ll still have to deal with the emotional damage they’ve caused you. The healing process might not be as easy as you expect because it can’t happen overnight. You need to give yourself time to heal.

Use your experience as a valuable lesson and don’t blame yourself for falling into their harmful trap.  Be patient and surround yourself with people who honestly love and respect you and have a positive influence on you.

Image source: Benjamin Thomes