It’s important to recognize the early symptoms of toxic behavior – you don’t want it to get to the point where your own energy suffers as a result. Someone close to you may be slowly chipping away at you or your life if they exhibit any of these behaviors. (This article is the experience of the writer. You may agree with some or all of the points, or have an entirely different experience).
You feel on edge whenever you’re around them
The difference between how this person makes you feel in comparison to how your friends make you feel is alarming. You feel anxious and stressed with them, even during shared moments of silence. You feel like they could lose their cool about something at any moment – and you can’t ever fully relax.
And whenever they want to meet with you, they throw it all on you to set it up. When you do try to keep your distance with them, they blame you for not checking up on them, even though the phone works both ways.
They never have anything positive to say
Whenever they speak, nothing that comes out of their mouths is said out of love or appreciation. It always seems like it’s “another day, another complaint” with them.
You’re hesitant to speak about your achievements
When you achieve a milestone or experience a major win, it’s easy for you to boast about it with your tribe – the people who will support you and celebrate your victories. It’s not so easy to share the good news with this person. You’d feel guilty about it, knowing they’d return a backhanded compliment or even worse, act like it’s no big deal (simply because they’re unsatisfied with their own situation).
They put strangers or well-meaning people down
Not only do they belittle the people who care about them, they also “attack” the people they don’t even know – and for no reason. It seems like they’re envious of others and wish they could live in someone else’s shoes. They feel bad about themselves but will never admit it.
They don’t have solid friendships
You notice that this person doesn’t have any real support system – people who reach out to them. No one wants to be around someone who makes them feel undervalued or unloved, especially when all they talk about is themselves.
They make excuses for their actions
Rather than coming up with solutions to their problems, they always play the victim. They rarely take responsibility (or take control) for their situation. They rely on others to make them feel whole again rather than looking within.