Each person has their own personality as well as a different type of mentality. This means that throughout an individual’s life, particular mental characteristics develop, together they create a complex mental structure made up of emotions, feelings and even memories . But in addition, ideas, opinions and even wishes must be taken into account.

This is how each person shows different facets of themselves that correspond not only to the context, but also to their motivations or goals that they want to achieve. To achieve these objectives it is likely that some of them do not show the best of themselves, or that they even have to negatively influence their environment to achieve benefits in their favor.

Toxic people often cause various types of conflicts in their family circles, friends or even within the work and academic area. They are characterized by not having limits when carrying out any action that allows them to fulfill their objective. This is regardless of the damage that may be caused and without thinking of all the possible consequences.

This topic is explored in depth below, addressing it from the point of view of psychology . Its characteristics and symptoms are explained, but also examples are used that help to have a clearer notion of its influence.

Concept and characteristics of toxic people

The term toxic (a) in popular slang is used, when it comes to individuals, to refer to a particular way of being. Undoubtedly, the word refers to the harmful characteristics (metaphor of poisonous substances) of a person, which is expressed in his character, personality, temperament and way of conceiving his life. There are many other adjectives that conceptualize toxic individuals. The toxicity of people is regularly expressed in:

    • A negative temperament towards oneself and others. Although they hide it behind pride.
    • latent condition of irascibility when cornered.
    • They are identified by their inner bitterness, although they can be friendly and sociable when it suits them, with the purpose of attracting wills to their interests.
    • They move between extremes, there are obsessively ordered as well as disordered in their lifestyles (a question that brings them closer to pathological behaviors).
    • They like to disqualify others because they always believe they are right. This trait identifies them with narcissistic behaviors. They never accept that they are wrong.
    • They are selfish ; the nature of their actions tends to watch over only what they consider to be theirs.
    • They are manipulative or tend to distort reality in favor of their emotional, economic, work or social interests. In addition, the common denominator is the ease they have to generate conflicts between people where in reality there are none. That is to say, they are generators of intrigue.
    • They are the eternal misunderstood. It seems that they never got past the adolescent period. They are skilled at playing the victim. When exposed, they appeal to the expression “nobody understands me.”

Examples of toxic people

Some examples of a toxic person are listed below by category. But it also describes what its most important characteristics are. They are as follows:

Examples of a toxic relative

  • It can become recurrent that among large families there is a misunderstood brother or sister, at least for him or her. They are the eternal adolescents who end up being separated, although as good manipulators they always have their fans.
  • Envy also has manifestations in the family. Family members do not necessarily have to be distant to feel dismayed by the professional and / or financial achievements of their peers. Envious family members will always relativize their achievements, even if they are obvious.

Examples of a toxic friend

  • True friends will always be very important people, but the human condition of toxic people hides behind appearances that, when you least expect it, end up hurting you. It has probably happened to you that one of your friends stopped talking to you because a third (who also considered a friend), behind your back, invented a whole hoax of lies. It is the typical response and behavior of toxic people.
  • It often happens between friends that the confidences and secrets that they once shared, someone (the toxic person) ends up using them against them, in order to damage a love relationship or other friendship .

Examples of a toxic partner

  • The virtuous couple, to highlight one of their characteristics, is the one who knows that true love starts from the principle of recognizing the freedom of the other and of living together without usurping the spaces of individual independence. A toxic couple is unaware of the existence of that individuality; in reality, the only freedom you recognize is yours to decide for both of you.
  • Based on the previous example, it is worth insisting and expanding on this matter. Male partners can manifest a dominant emotional dependence . It is a toxic and unhealthy manifestation typical of male couples that can lead to a tragic end.
  • The essential behavior with the partner is domination , contempt and plunder. Although it seems contradictory, at the same time that this type of person feels emotional dependence, they despise their partner. Ambiguity is a typical feature of this toxic typology. They are proud, narcissistic and egomaniacal beings.
  • As a mechanism to avoid marital breakdown, they use possession or domination. These toxic individuals obtain their emotional quota by subjugating their partner, cutting off their life and preventing them from leading a normal life.
  • It is typical that they resort to blackmail so that the couple renounce their friends or that they do not visit their relatives. The couple is thus confined in a bubble shape, in a small world made up of only two people and loaded with aggression.

Importance of identifying a toxic person

In a world of appearances and masks, where almost everyone plays social and personal cross-dressing, in digital and physical social networks and groups, it is very difficult to separate reality from what is not. For this reason, deciphering the true personality of individuals is an arduous task, which can only be apprehended with the passing of the years and there is still that space to ensure, after the years, “I thought I knew him or her, but I was blind. .

Human nature is undoubtedly very complex. The substance of interpersonal links is based on subjective appraisals and perspectives that, regularly, are more psychic projections of one’s own desires than realities. In other words: you see what you want to see. The toxicity of a person can be wrapped with many flowers, to put it with a flowery verb.

But there is no doubt that, knowing that you are free from the characteristics described above, it is not a matter of minor importance, to detect those toxic subjects that, if allowed, can ruin your existence, in the different roles that you assume in your life. Toxic people can seriously affect your inner peace , vital balance, mental and physical health.

Given the characteristics of toxic people, which are not all perceptible at the same time and many are hidden by other traits that could seem seductive at a given moment, it is important to identify the human environment in which they live (home, work , etc.), the various communities in which life is lived together, in order to take the necessary precautions.

The best alternative you have in front of toxic individuals, even if they are familiar, is to get away from them as soon as possible . The exercise of separating from toxic people sometimes costs a lot of effort and time, because they are relatives, husbands, wives, childhood friends, people who, although it is difficult to accept, have been and are important in the lives of each one.

Emotional dependence on toxic husbands or toxic wives is traumatizing; For this reason, although there are times of a supposed coexistence in harmony, the conflictive episodes (caused by insecurities, jealousy, desire for manipulation and control) return.

When wondering what kind of individuals would support a bond like the one described? It is not strange that there are people who are caught in vicious circles of this type, because they are regularly emotionally dependent at the same time. Therefore, the problem worsens when a woman with low self-esteem and emotional problems becomes entangled for long years in an emotional relationship with a manipulative and dominant partner (essentially toxic).

The aforementioned reflection is valid for any type of gender or affective bonding , but in couple relationships it is more common than one would like. If the relationship ends because everything has a limit, the dominant person, in the face of his own shortcomings, will show off his histrionics and, in a tone of repentance, will apologize to his victim.

To the amazement of the person and their surroundings, the subject’s plea to return to the relationship will seem real. In a situation where the woman is emotionally dependent, it is very likely that she agrees to resume the relationship, following a succession of toxic episodes that further complicate the future. It is up to toxic people to seek the help of a psychotherapist. For now, his life is only one to let it pass in the middle of situations like those described above.

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Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

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