Get free tips to make change and create your best life

8 Toxic Personalities to Avoid

Although we like to think that the people in our lives are well-adjusted, happy, healthy minded individuals, we sometimes realize that it just isn’t so.  Personally, I’ve had moments where I’ll be skipping through my day, happy as can be, thinking life is grand and BAM, I’ll be blindsided by someone who manages to knock the happy wind out of my sails.  Sometimes it is easy to write it off and other times, not so much.

Maybe you are a positive person, but when you are around a certain individual, you feel negative.  Or, maybe you have an idealistic view of the world and when you are with certain people, you are made to feel silly, unrealistic or delusional.  Or, maybe you pride yourself in being completely independent and in control of your life, but when you are around a certain family member, you regress into a state of childhood.

Some of these situations, and yes, these people, can have a tremendously negative impact on our lives.  And, although we are all human and have our ‘issues,’ some ‘issues’ are quite frankly, toxic.  They are toxic to our happiness.  They are toxic to our mental outlook.  They are toxic to our self-esteem.  And they are toxic to our lives.  They can suck the life out of us and even shorten our lifespan.

Here are the worst of the toxic personalities out there and how to spot them:

1. Manipulative Mary: These individuals are experts at manipulation tactics.  As a matter of fact, you may not even realize you have been manipulated until it is too late.  These individuals figure out what your ‘buttons’ are, and push them to get what they want.

  • Why they are toxic: These people have a way of eating away at your belief system and self-esteem.  They find ways to make you do things that you don’t necessarily want to do and before you know it, you lose your sense of identity, your personal priorities and your ability to see the reality of the situation.  The world all of a sudden becomes centered around their needs and their priorities.

2. Narcissistic Nancy: These people have an extreme sense of self-importance and believe that the world revolves around them.  They are often not as sly as the Manipulative Marys of the world, but instead, tend to be a bit overt about getting their needs met.  You often want to say to them “It isn’t always about you.”

  • Why they are toxic: They are solely focused on their needs, leaving your needs in the dust.  You are left disappointed and unfulfilled.  Further, they zap your energy by getting you to focus so much on them, that you have nothing left for yourself.

3. Debbie Downers: These people can’t appreciate the positive in life.  If you tell them that it is a beautiful day, they will tell you about the impending dreary forecast.  If you tell them you aced a mid-term, they’ll tell you about how difficult the final is going to be.

  • Why they are toxic: They take the joy out of everything.  Your rosy outlook on life continues to get squashed with negativity.  Before you know it, their negativity consumes you and you start looking at things with gray colored glasses yourself.

4. Judgmental Jims: When you see things as cute and quirky, they see things as strange and unattractive.  If you find people’s unique perspectives refreshing, they find them ‘wrong’.  If you like someone’s eclectic taste, they find it ‘disturbing’ or ‘bad’.

  • Why they are toxic: Judgmental people are much like Debbie Downers.  In a world where freedom rings, judgment is sooo over.  If the world was a homogeneous place, life would be pretty boring.  Spending a lot of time with these types can inadvertently convert you into a judgmental person as well.

5. Dream Killing Keiths: Every time you have an idea, these people tell you why you can’t do it.  As you achieve, they try to pull you down.  As you dream, they are the first to tell you it is impossible.

  • Why they are toxic: These people are stuck in what is instead of what could be.  Further, these individuals eat away at your self-esteem and your belief in yourself.  Progress and change can only occur from doing new things and innovating, dreaming the impossible and reaching for the stars.

6. Insincere Illissas: You never quite feel that these people are being sincere.  You tell a funny story, they give you a polite laugh.  You feel depressed and sad and they give you a ‘there, there’ type response.  You tell them you are excited about something and you get a very ho-hum response.

  • Why they are toxic: People who aren’t sincere or genuine build relationships on superficial criteria.  This breeds shallow, meaningless relationships.  When you are really in need of a friend, they won’t be there.  When you really need constructive criticism, they would rather tell you that you are great the way you are.  When you need support, they would rather see you fail or make a fool of yourself.

7. Disrespectful Dannys: These people will say or do things at the most inappropriate times and in the most inappropriate ways.  In essence, they are more subtle, grown up bullies.  Maybe this person is a friend who you confided in and uses your secret against you.  Maybe it is a family member who puts their busy-body nose into your affairs when it is none of their business.  Or maybe, it is a colleague who says demeaning things to you.

  • Why they are toxic: These people have no sense of boundaries and don’t respect your feelings or, for that matter, your privacy.  These people will cause you to feel frustrated and disrespected.

8. Never Enough Nellies: You can never give enough to these people to make them happy.  They take you for granted and have unrealistic expectations of you.  They find ways to continually fault you and never take responsibility for anything themselves.

  • Why they are toxic: You will spend so much time trying to please them, that you will end up losing yourself in the process.  They will require all of your time and energy, leaving you worn out and your own needs sacrificed.

All of these personalities have several things in common.  1) the more these people get away with their behavior, the more they will continue.  2) Unfortunately, most of these people don’t see that what they do is wrong and as a result, talking to them about it will fall on deaf ears, leaving you wondering if you are the crazy one.  3) Most of these people get worse with age, making their impact on you stronger with time.

Frankly, life is too short to spend your time dealing with toxicity.  If you can, avoid spending mucho time with people who are indicative of these behaviors and you’ll feel a lot happier. Have you encountered these personalities?  What have you done?  Any personalities you would add?


Share this!

Like what you see? Sign up for updates...It's FREE!

Sign up here
Posted in Brett's Blog, Mind-Body Tagged with: , ,
  • I especially love the paragraph you wrote about “dream killing”; boy, you hit it right on the head with that one! I’ve been struggling with living with a dream killer and it’s very difficult to constantly have your ideas shot down. Thank you for articulating what I couldn’t quite put into words myself!

  • David Thompson

    Uhhh….(laugh) This is..yes an accurate account of these personality types. Yes , I, in my lifetine have encountered each and every one of these types. But ya know what?..It’s all subjective. What I would add to all this is people have the power to never ALLOW such people to bring them down. ”eat away at your self esteem”???.. That says more about the writer of this article than it does the toxics spoken of. I say if a person allows such toxics to eat away at their self esteem then they never had any self esteem to begin with. But in short, its all subjective. My suggestion with such people is OBJECTIIFY. Don’t disagree. Just do it.

  • dia-vlo

    THE SEXUAL CAPRICE – the typical coquettes who likes to do xXx favors for her own bidding.

    why they are toxic: they are insanely sexually repressed that they tend to inundate your life with their own xXx world, not mentioning their maniac kind of living. it’s wicked sick!

    source: how did i fcuck your mother

  • nameless nobody

    And there are probably a dozen or more toxic types of people who aren’t in the list. You get to meet them everywhere and you just cannot avoid them because you happen to work with them, live with them or are married to her/him/it.

    The best way to avoid these toxic people is to board a plane and get lost in a deserted island. Bottom line? Learn to DEAL with these types instead of avoiding them.

  • julie

    there are toxic types ever where, you can not get away, you are right about this. but you have to walk away from them. are try saying something postive are get away from them if you can, if not, dont say a word. thank you for the infor I have learn more today about getting to know other’s. and now it makes sences.

  • ray

    by avoiding and ignoring these types, you also send them a clear and strong signal that “hey, stay away from me! Don’t want to see you in my life!”…But, the personality type that really bothers me are those who try to FORCE their way into your life, I guess because they hate to see you not intoxicated! you can call them persistent leech! why are they toxic? because they have all the 8 toxic features above plus they are very persistent! of course no worries, because they are very RARE, but I was lucky enough to encounter a few.

  • ray

    So how would you DEAL with these types if you don’t want to see them?

  • JoAna

    I think I’m dating a manipulative AND narcissistic man. How do I get out of it?

  • b martin

    this is one of the best blog articles I’ve ever read. thanks

  • Hmm. I was married to Narcissistic Nancy. Yes she was narcissistic and her name was Nancy. Didn’t know about or ignored the personality disorder until she left me. It was all about her…..

  • Mark

    I married a Manipulative Mary, with narcissistic hi-lights, They are relentless in the pursuit of what they want, whether it is a person, or item, or an idea that they don’t necessarily agree with, but want YOU to believe. I used to collect certain antique items of curiosity. One day, one was missing. Due to the fact that we HAD others around, visitors, guests, etc. I couldn’t very well place the blame on her for it being gone. But, in the years since, most of MY things, of a like nature, were volunteered to church sales, yard sales, etc. Which took me back to the first instance of missing things. It was her, she now says, BECAUSE… there is no because, because those were my things, not hers. But if I suggest she get rid of this or that, SHE comes up with, not MY things.
    enough said?

  • Mark

    To JoAna…..
    I f you’re certain this is NOT with whom you wish to share your life, GET OUT! get a restraining order, peace warrant, whatever it’s called in your area, but get it. Get your point across, that you WILL NOT be with him anymore, don’t date him one more time to tell him goodbye, tell him via the Sheriff’s Dept, or the Local Police, District Justice, whatever, but make a plan, and GET OUT!!

  • Smith

    Don’t take advantage of this statement on your life, because you want to see people the way that you want,
    I think this 8 point may cause very temporary in life of every human being. life is good and maybe you must learn how to treat them to change their behavior.
    I know there are some people that don’t change, so at least you tried.

  • toni

    what if you have some one in your life with multiple traits?

  • will

    Avoid toxic people all together, disassociate and make new friends. I had a very toxic family and now have a more refreshing life. This world is full of actors and actresses with one stage. Bad Energy is a waste of time.

  • d.anne

    wow! this was spot on target for what i needed to read. while you can conceivably leave a toxic spouse, cutting unhealthy ties with a parent or a child appears a bit more complex. if intensive psychotherapy isn’t a monetary option, atleast occasionally reading something like this and thinking ‘ok; i’m really not totally nuts’ is a great little pick-me-up and ‘thought for the day.’ thanks brett. i needed that.

  • Imzadi

    Yeah, this blog helps when you are trying to stay away from the toxic person who you’ve come to love realizing this person doesn’t love you and never will. Make a list of the character traits of the people you want to associate with. Then make of the deal breaker character traits that bring you down.

    Stick to it! It’s hard but in the long run you’re better off.

  • Ralph

    20 years with hystrionic wife, very manipulative. Sucked the life out and hen left. :ooray!). She went the extra mile and slandered me too, so cleared a1ay ALL the false friends. Sad but revealing. Hello new LIFE! Hx sweetie.

  • How about realistic Rodger? How about when someone who is 300 pounds wants to break into the MAINSTREAM modeling world, but doesn’t want to diet and exercise? Does that make you a dream killer if you say, you know you have to be a certain size in order to be a model right? If I were to say that to someone, I could be classified as most of these people on this page.

    At what point do you tell people the fact that they lack the real drive and motivation to do what they say they want to do?

    How many times do I have to listen to morons talk about one week they want to be a writer (with no experience or education), the next they want to be a DJ, and the next they want to go to be a pro football player, before I quit listening to them and say, STOP TALKING!!! EITHER DO IT OR DON’T DO IT!!! SHUT THE F*** UP ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE “GOING” TO DO!!!

    You say your going to be an actor and never go go to an audition, you say your going to get ripped for the summer and never see the inside of a gym, and you say your going to go back to school and never even sign up for a class. People never really take the time to analyze why they do things. Most people never think about what it really takes to succeed in life either. They want to be Poison or Motely Crue until they realize that living on Top Ramon, staying in a broken down apartment in the ghetto, sleeping in a van with three other guys and no shower for a week, and not being able to pay your electric bill for two or three years isn’t so fun. They forget that Margaritaville was written in 30 minutes but that he lived on stolen food for YEARS desperately trying to write that ONE song. They forget that having Ryan Reynolds’ abs means that you have to work out TWO HOURS A DAY AND DIET RELIGIOUSLY!!!

    I mean as someone who works over 80 hours a week at their dream, these people are extremely insulting to those of us who put in the time, effort, and sacrifice to achieve what we have accomplished.

    SMALL NOTE *however I will say most people who achieve a lot tend to never really feel fulfilled and tend to take it out on other people, but that doesn’t mean that they should have a negative effect on your life and you should bail on them. Don’t take what over achievers have to say negatively. Instead try using their mistakes and negative comments as ways to do what you want to do better. Some of these “toxic people” can have the best knowledge of subjects if you use them correctly.



    There are two types of people in world…Those who do things and those who talk about doing things. Do first, THEN talk…and never get ONE opinion on anything. Humans are innately flawed people and no one is a GOD, so quit letting others affect what you do. Unless they are physically standing in your way, or blatantly sabotaging something you are doing, then it’s probably more something YOU need to deal with not THEM. Don’t make the reason you didn’t achieve something be because someone told you that you couldn’t or that someone “hurt your feelings”. Be real enough with yourself to say that you just plain quit early, gave up, or didn’t try hard enough.

    I have NO CLUE why i just went off on this, but I will tell you it has a lot to do with being sick of hearing everyone talk about why they CAN’T DO SOMETHING. I watched a guy with no F***ing hands rip up Tommy Lee on the drums a few months back. NO F***ING HANDS!!! HE USED HIS NUBS AND SWEATBANDS TO HOLD THE STICKS!!!

  • Victor

    I wonder how many commentators here could be considered “toxic” in the eye’s of another? This whole excercise tells us to label and judge those around us when we don’t get what WE want. All people likely could be labeled with at least one trait above and some point in a relationship with another person. Perhaps this is why we as a culture and society continue to become more isolated and lonely. There maybe extreme examples of the above traits that would scream out but perhaps there should be an eight positive traits to seek out, beginning with “forgiveness”…

  • Mark

    All good stuff. It helps to see that others deal with these issues and how toxic they really are. Learning how to spot the traits is an important first step. You have to be fair and allow people to be human. Where to draw the line and what to do about it are the most difficult questions. A toxic person can get you down and have seriuos effect before you know it. Especialy when blinded by love. If bad times do not give way to the good times on a regular basis, I say life is too short to live like that. Get help or find your way out and move on.

  • lola

    I have a stepmonster (i mean stepmother) who has all 8 subjects above pertaining to her less-than-lovely personality. After 20 years i broke free and have NO contact with her. There is NO NICE way to deal with toxic personalities as mention in the above article, they will suck the life out of you, then they will start on your children. I am much happier with the monster out of our lives:)

  • Sam

    Due to my experience throughout a duration of 8 years, I have learned (the hard way) that people with toxic personalities WILL NEVER CHANGE. I repeat: THEY WILL NEVER CHANGE.
    The plan for my boyfriend and I all along was for us to be together some day. I let him know in so many ways…so many times…that I will not tolerate any of these destructive traits. It is destructive to our relationship–period!

    He was manipulative, judgmental, narcissistic,etc. For 8 whole years, I have not just stayed at “square one”…I have went backwards. At the beginning of my relationship, I was a very healthy, happy person, but that has deteriorated over time. Now I’m left to slowly build myself up again.

    I really hope this saves precious time for others out there.

  • Nancy

    What about the “controlers” and “the excluders”? Are they insecure or acting superior because of fear when you’re around?And what about the perpetual sympathtic,sophomoric, rah-rah acting types who underneath are incredibley ambitious and insincere?

  • w.kent

    Wow, I think I am married to one of these. I asked her several years ago when are we going to be able to have a relationship. Her response was when the children are out of high school, then it was when they are out of college, then it when they move out of the house, now it is when you get a job I like. I guess none of the ones I’ve had in the last fifteen + years were good enough. Then when I fix or make something nice this is the same person who waits days, weeks or months before acknowledging with one word once that that was nice. Yes she got jealous of our daughter when I spent time making and fixing things for her.

  • RWC

    JoAna- This is a long shot, but are you referring to a Mark? … You just got to find the strength and end it! Never settle…never.

  • Corrine Shelton

    The article is good for not only identifying the behaviors of others in your life but for determining if you have some of these characteristics as well. A good look at the man/woman in the mirror is always helpful when trying to improve on a relationship. Some of these traits enable some of the others, which is another valid reason for using the article to help you to own your own weaknesses.

  • LIARS LIARS LIARS…I think this is the most toxic person you can be around. They mess with your head, they break your heart for their own selfish reason. They will tell you anything to keep you from knowing the truth. They usually do it by telling you how important you are in their life. How much they love you and they are doing it for you!
    What they are really doing is disrespecting you, devaluing you and showing a total disregard for you as a person. Their motives are selfish and whenever you try and talk to them, again, they don’t get it and if they do, they swing it around to place the blame on you. Stay away. Stay very far away!!!

  • Pam

    I think you have to be careful before you label someone a Judgmental Jim. Some judgment is necessary and good – if the person is telling you that a person is “bad” and the person is a drug addict or perpetual liar, then their judgment is good. A real “Judgmental Jim” makes INAPPROPRIATE judgments about things that don’t really matter, or are untrue.

  • Kat

    to ray… I know exactly what your talking about… It’s like you lock your door to keep them out and they use a battering ram to get back in.


  • Heather

    It’s easy to say to avoid these people and to leave them if you are with them, but the reality is, if you are married to them, with children, there is no easy way out. I have a spouse with multiple traits here and each time I have tried to leave, he has threatened to take my children. Life is not as easy as a blog..oh that it were. I no longer know what I want or could even dream of in a life-long partener, I only know what I have now and that it is a daily struggle to keep a smile on my face for my children.

  • friendof

    don’t forget this personality that is toxic. Pathological liars. They lie so much that they either start to believe what they deem to be true as fact, or they lie so much to one person that the person can no longer tell if they are telling the truth or if they are lying to your face about things. They even go so far as to lie about events that happened with you present so that they will feel better about themselves. another personality trait, Drama creators. They feel their lives are so insignificant the way they are so they must come up with other ways to make themselves feel better, in effect lying, or blowing something out of proportion so that they look like victims when really they are just being overly dramatic.

  • Kayla

    ok, i was bored, and i randomly clicked this, and wouldn’t you know it, this describes my mother perfectly. i can’t believe my mother’s personality is all of these rolled into one. it’s like she was BORN to destroy people. of course, telling her this would only cause a war, but it is nice to know i wasn’t crazy growing up, and also why life seems so much better now that i am far away from her, and she has to play on my terms now. thanks for posting this. it was an enlightening read.

  • Kayla

    ok, i was bored, and i randomly clicked this, and wouldn’t you know it, this describes my mother perfectly. i can’t believe my mother’s personality is all of these rolled into one. it’s like she was BORN to destroy people. of course, telling her this would only cause a war, but it is nice to know i wasn’t crazy growing up, and also why life seems so much better now that i am far away from her, and she has to play on my terms now. thanks for posting this. it was an enlightening read.

  • LouLou

    This is right on target in describing these personalities and the fact that it does get worse with age. You do think you’re the crazy one, because they make you look and feel like you are crazy—that’s not love! In psychology, it’s actually called crazy-making and they waste no time doing it. They get you to question yourself and make you feel like you’re out of line for having an opinion different from theirs right from the beginning. After nine years of it, I finally got out. Best decision I made for my life and my kids! Imzadi is right too—It’s hard to stick to making necessary changes, but it’s sooo worth it in the long run. And these toxic personalities get easier to spot and deal with. By deal with, I mean walk away and don’t look back. It’s your life and life is too short to be treated with disrespect and manipulation.

  • Ange

    MAN!!! I just ditched a “friend” who still has every one of those characteristics! She’s like the WORST person to be around! She’s depressed, insecure, and wildly jealous of me. That isn’t based on speculation because I wouldn’t say she were jealous had she not said it out loud!!! She spread rumors about me when I was out of the country, told people I was dumb (even though I’m quite intelligent), told me I couldn’t do anything, told me she would ruin my relationships… Just tried everything to hurt me. And she attached herself to me to find friends. I tried for years to make our “friendship” work, but the older I got, the more tired I grew of her. I finally just told her to piss off one day, a couple months ago. It felt great.

  • taejonwill

    Good ideas and all, but if the manipulator is a superior at work or a family member, one is going to have to make sacrifices in order to become autonomous and that’s the hard part, rather than just realizing that you are being played. In essence you have to leave the person alone and have to deal without the love and money (children) that this person brings to the table.

  • Heather

    w kent, sorry to hear you are going through that as well. My husband was jealous out of the box about our daughter and could not understand why I was so focused on ‘her care’ when he needed dinner! Granted, she was a newborn and needed constant care and he was a grown up who could take care of himself if he needed to. When I explained this to him, you would have thought I was the most evil, thoughtless, uncaring person in the world. He will go without food now unless I make something, and yes, this type doesn’t notice anything that you do for them, I’m with ya there! But they want YOU to bend over backward for them. There are givers and takers and somehow they end up marrying each other, I don’t know why. 🙁 With this type, the relationship becomes more like roomates than soulmates.

  • Sharon

    I was married to a man who had all 8 traits, plus the ones others have blogged above. No wonder I sit here and worry if I am doing things correctly all the time. Having been told for years that I would be nothing without him, blah blah blah, the worry of complete failure now that he is out of my life is HUGE. Also when you have children with a person like this, the damage they do to the children when you finally have had enough and get out, it incredibly horrid. As it says, these traits get worse as the person ages, from 34 -50 it has gotten very bad.

  • bob

    life is good again! I recently realized how much of the last 4 years I missed because I was in a constant preoccupied state. Let me explain: I was married 20 years when my wife passed on.We had a ball, raised a village and were great friends. We married young and she possessed none of the above traits, so at age 45 I had zero practical experience. After my grieving period, age 46, I was introduced to the most amazing woman.I could not believe how fortunate I was to meet someone that I was immediately comfortable with. I had no interest in jumping into a relationship but there it was. She ate me alive from the introduction. I count 12 traits listed above that she is expert at. Fortunately for me, I had no clue that her treacherous intentions, behavior and actions were designed to ruin me. I couldn’t conceive it! It didn’t exist in my world. On top of that, I was trying to figure out what was happening so I could put a label on it,not 12 labels. About a yr and a half ago, I had witnessed others and been victim myself to enough Immoral, unethical and persidious behavior that went unpunished and unprosecuted. It took me a yr and a half and a whole lot of research and saving of receipts and documents which found their way to her companies legal dept. for review. Although, she should have been brought up on any number of illegal charges, I’m proud to say I put a stop to it on everyones behalf. They terminated her on the spot and escorted her out of the building. My mom taught me to stand up for myself and others and to challenge unacceptable behavior. Thanks,mom! It feels good.

  • Jill

    Wow I just got rid of two friends who have all these traits. I feel so much better, except they still text and call me and are now spreading rumors about me.

  • Jorge

    One personality trait I consider extremely toxic is pessimism. Pessimists, like dream killing Keiths take enjoyment out of life. Pessimistic people are very discouraging. If you hang out with pessimists, the dark side of life will always follow you. They see the negative side only. It’s a pain in the ass to hang out with people like these. Look at the following:

    Pessimist -> Unlucky -> Anxious -> Depressed

    I have studied these four words deeply for last few years and I can conclude that they are strongly related. One leads to the other.

    My parents are pessmists and I can assure you that they drain my energy every time I see them. I grew up a pessmist, myself. Environmental conditioning sucks, doesn’t it? I inherited pessimistic outlook. I have studied my way of interpreting life and I’m currently working on changin my personal outlook to optimism. It helps a lot being an optimist. Read the book “Learned Optimism” by Seligman, if interested in the topic.

  • Toxic people are the worst when it is your family. You have 2 choices, either avoid them completly or do your best to limit their impact. Try to disable your buttons, but if you do, be prepared for a big time attack. Then when you call them on it, you are the person with a problem. I know, and I hate to get to the point where I avoid family, but it is getting to much to take sometimes.

  • I have someone in my life that mistakes my kindness for weakness. I have been struggling about what to do. After reading this article, I am more aware that I need to end this friendship. She takes, takes, takes and never gives. I am drained and am fed up.

  • pitu

    Wow… It took me more than 3 years to realize that I was not the one at fault…This woman possessed most of the above traits and destroyed my sanity, my happy married life and put me in a complete state of depression.. i still cannot trust anybody anymore. i had to move 3000 miles to get rid of her.

  • john

    less not forget to take this advise with a grain of salt. This and other articles about peoples traits. there are reasons people come from all areas and have many different view points. With out depressives you would never know how the bright side of things are. With out night how would you know what the day is like?

    I hang a lot with so called religious people that have thier wires crossed or something as they all ways seem to think God is going to handle it. Even though the same book they are reading from reads of war after war where people died. in other words when the going gets rough they usually call on the guys that are having a bad a really rotten day for help…. people they wouldn’t even invite for dinner….

    Meditate deeper and understand what all this means and be enlightened that the Creator made all sorts of people for certain reasons. If your one of the bright sided people instead of judging the depressed try helping them see a better way through the lessons of your glasses—- each response above judged another person — yet you were the ones to be happy to get away from the same…. he who is with out sin throw the first stone…..

  • I know more people who fall into these categories than I can count! It is really hard to find positive people! – they are so rare! As a result, I sometimes become that way myself! The best “cure” is to “get away” and “meet new people,” so I don’t get “stuck in a rut.”

    Toxicity is “catching.” The only way to avoid it is to “escape it!”

    Consequently, I have become a great “escape artist!” I invest my spare time in creative activity, and ignore most people around me, unless they have something positive to say!!!! It is amazing how much energy comes from hearing other people say something nice!!!!!

  • Hinda

    Hello all, haven’t you noticed there are more traits to avoid than traits to admire and acquire in today’s world. Just a thought! but we could elaborate …

  • Kathy

    What about Drama Dons? These are the people that seem to exist in a perpetual state of ‘soap opera’. No matter what is going on with anybody else, or the world in general, they are in the middle of the worst crisis ever. Their health, finances, families, etc. are more important than anything you might want to talk about. If things are bad, their situation is the worst. If things are good, their’s is the greatest. They don’t want to change anything, they just want you to ride along on their roller coaster. They will wear you out with their constant extremes.

  • Abegail

    My M-I-L has all the traits but how can I get rid of her thk fully geographically we r apart so we go thru this 1ce a yr. during thxgiving or christmas or both.But yes initially when I had to spend my first few months of married life she ate all my confidence and my parents taught me to be gud to even the people who r bad to u & I think thats the worst advice you can give bcos some peopl have no self conscience at all ahich could make them feel guilty.

  • Suzanne

    Wow, I didn’t realize how many of the traits listed above permeated from my recent relationship. I do feel so much happier without his negative “what can I do for him, poor him attitude and selfish ways.” His own children aren’t a part of his life because he only wants them around when it’s convenient for him. I am so glad to be rid of unacceptable behavior. As I struggled with my first semester of online college trying to find time to study he would walk in a room where I was doing my homework and throw his hands up in the air with disgust while he cussed me out. But that was only the beginning. As a Loan Officer I lost a client and his happy went to immediate irate mode. He would literally start a fight with me for no reason and make me feel like a Loser. He didn’t care about his own kids so how could I expect him to care about mine. His manipulatice, selfish, negative, abusive ways are no where near me now. I feel the Happy just because. No one to take it away from me and spoil the little things in Life. Finally…

  • This article is so true, time after time people are always telling me that I am such a good friend and I am so helpful, always there when needed and dependable. I will say that, that is how I was raised but I am at a point in my life that I feel drained, no one has ever asked about me. I have a close friend that couldn’t tell you the first thing about what is going on with me, she goes on and on about herself and I deal with it, not wanting to be a bad person. Its wild a few times I have tried to talk to her about what goes on with me and I have timed how long we talk about me it never has exceeded 4 minutes. For many years I have wanted to cut her off but I feel like I would be a bad person for doing so. I wonder will anyone ever give me what I need in a friendship?

  • kahwimi

    Love seeing character openly discussed. As one recovering from abuse early in life, I can tell you it is not easy to be perfect. Everyone I came in contact with I either feared or was angry at — nothing verbalized, mind you, but everyone ‘got the message’. Once I became aware/conscious of my feelings and how my thoughts directed them, well, that was the real beginning of my education. Not many people from my past are interested in this type of learning — they don’t want to change anything. I guess I come off too strong, too excited sometimes, and they feel threatened or something. Nobody likes being forced… So I’d just like to share, that when I’m triggered by someone’s toxic behavior, I like to exercise my free will and choose to see myself — recognize my own toxic behavior — own it — then after I see where that came from (being abused) I can let it go. All I can tell you is I am not anywhere near as angry and fearful as I once was, exorcising my demons this way. I don’t know, but it seems safe to say that everyone has experienced pain growing up and has learned some kind of nasty habit as a way to survive. This is not to excuse bad behavior or offer an apology. Just kind consideration of the ‘society’ that left its mark…

  • Leah

    I realized that I was number 6 on this list. In truth I don’t know how to react to people or how to relate to people on a deeper level, that doesn’t mean that I wish for them to fail and don’t want their well-being. I do agree that this insecure behavior hides what someone is thinking, but that doesn’t mean that person is thinking bad things about you. A lot of times when I don’t have much to say, people just automatically believe that I don’t care or I think bad about them and that’s not true. I don’t automatically hold negative thoughts against people and for the most part I want their well-being.

  • JoDee

    I have dealt with a toxic person the last 6 years of my life. The thing is he wouldn’t even recognize the fact that he is toxic and has been to many people (women) in his life. Do toxic people really have no clue that they are toxic to others in their life? He has 4 of the above personalities – Manipulative Mary, Narcissistic Nancy, Dreamkilling Keith, and Neverenough Nellie. He was and is never intentionally toxic – it is just who he is and always has been. Is that possible? There were times when he let a good person shine through but it never seemed to last long. It was almost as if he was happier being toxic – it is easier that way. It is almost a defense mechanism for him not to get overly close to anyone. Thing is after 6 years he made the decision to call it off, yet over the last 3 months he has reappeared – calling me a few times to get a feel for the waters – can we start talking again. Mind you all the while (6 years included)he has been seeing another woman, but he doesn’t know where that is heading if at all, so I feel like he is keeping me in his back pocket. I have known him for 20 years, but was only in an intimate relationship for 6 years. I kind of knew of his reputation but always thought it was something that went with age – he was young, but unfortunately I have found that he is still the same at the age of 41. I had hoped for the best and kept hoping, but I think I have to stop hoping. Let him be the other woman’s problem(mind you she knows about me and has known) – I guess that is her own bad judegement to stick around him.

  • mary

    wow, in my last job, which was the most exhauting experience of my 30 year carreer, I recognize everyone of those traits in either my team mates or project team! WOW! That’s why I alwyas felt drained, sad, unhappy and started to lose my confidence – I’m lucky, lucky, lucky – i got out and will use this list to make sure it doesn’t happen again!

  • Mike

    Great list. One of my students meets five of these eight personalities, and I’ve stopped letting her spread her negativity around my classroom. She isn’t content until everyone is as miserable as she is and totally focused on her. When I realized she was a black hole and unchangeable, I decided to limit her impact on others. Whenever she tries to bring something negative into a discussion, such as 20% of all students drop out of high school, I counter with the 80% who are furthering their lives and education and contributing to society. It’s been a battle, especially when she realized what was going on. While she will never change, almost everyone else has started to look for the positive (and realistic) angles.

  • Missy

    i was friends with a woman who completely drained me. she fit almost all of the characteristics listed above. it was so tiring trying to build her up and even though she said she knew what she needed to change nothing ever did. i finally had to basically cease the friendship for my sanity. i was made to feel like a bad friend. i still care about her but i had to care about myself more at some point.

  • JoDee

    I keep reading that people say that the toxic people in their lives have drained them and I agree. The man I reference in my earlier post did just literally exhaust me. I was always on edge not sure if I was doing the right thing, was is ok to call him, was ok to ask to do something. There were many times when we were together that we could have a really good time and we liked a lot of the same things, made each other laugh, but there was that toxicity about him. It always had to be on his terms, on his time – when it was ok for him or he felt like it. I don’t think ever really once asked what I wanted and if he did it obviously wasn’t many because I can’t remember any times. As long as I did things his way, didn’t question anything – all was good! Relationships take work but they shouldn’t take every ounce of energy, pride, self esteem and self worth out of you. It feels very good to be able to put this in words. It is kind of theraputic. The last time he called was last night.

  • savannah

    I’m toxic. I don’t know how to fix it. I’m negative and insincere, but it’s not that I don’t want to be friends with people or connect with them…I just never know what to say, and nothing i say ever comes out the way i mean for it to. I also was “best friends” with a very manipulative and judgmental girl for several years…it’s almost scary how the effects listed here of such a relationship match up completely with mine. She demolished my self esteem and I constantly changed myself and my beliefs, I became too timid to show who I was. Now I have no sense of identity at all-which is why I’m insincere. I’m not hiding my thoughts or opinions, I just don’t know what they are anymore.

  • Deana

    Regarding Judgmental Jims: Everyone is entitled to their opinions and beliefs. People don’t have to the like everything and everyone. The author of this article is actually being judgmental about the types of people she considers to be Judgmental Jims.

    • Brett

      Deana- I agree that everyone is allowed to their opinion…but you shouldn’t judge people for them. There is a difference.

  • Used up and thrown away

    My ex-wife has at least 5 of these 8 characteristics. She was selfish, narcissistic, greedy, manipulative, and very insincere. She must have choked on our wedding vows, but she looked so happy in the wedding pictures. That was an Oscar-worthy performance if I ever saw one. I now refer to child support as my ex’s “beer money.” Now she can go to the club every weekend, get drunk with her sister, and the tab is on me. It’s worth it, just to have her gone.

  • I decided a few years back that I was very tired of toxic people in my life-it didn’t much matter which toxic traits they had, I just became more and more aware that I was feeling bad. People in your life shouldn’t make you feel bad-they should lift you up, you should be able to count on them, trust them, respect them.

    If you come to realize that someone(s) in your life consistently leave you feeling hurt, sad, angry, disrespected, wondering if they care about you & your feelings at all-it’s time to take care of yourself and let them keep all of their cancer-you definitely don’t need it.

    That’s what I did, I systematically stopped making excuses for people (that included friends & family) I saw them for who they were & how badly they made me feel & decided “NO MORE!!!”. Since then I have less people in my life but I am MUCH happier.

    Sure, will you miss them sometimes? Yeah but will you really miss how crappy they made you feel? If the answer is NO, cutting them from your life & keeping it that way is the right choice-especially when they blame you for things coming to an end or they don’t try to make things better.

    There’s a lot of people in the world-find good ones!

    • Cindy

      Amen. I think it was Maya Angelou that said, “When people show you who they really are, BELIEVE them”.

      • LSM

        I think of that quote often…

    • mykid3030

      “If I cut you out of my life…Chances are ‘you’ handed me the scissors.”

  • Lou

    Wow, I am all for Vanessa. She is dead on. I have done the same. I have few in my life as I walked away from the state I lived in which made it easier but it is still a painful choice to make. But I think it is the right choice and I am starting over and I am choosing who stays in my life very carefully. It is working much better.

    Used up and thrown away, I’m devastated for you that you came away from your marriage so negatively but remember, it is all about learning. You can find the lesson, the real ones, not the angry ones, and let the experience go. And you can forgive. Yes, you can. It takes time. Just do me a favor, dont make the next woman in your life pay for the last one. I have been there and it is death to a relationship. You just spin your wheels because no matter how much she cares or how good she is to you, it will never be enough cuz somebody has to pay for your hurt. Think about it. Took me over 6 years and a couple beatings in the end to get out cuz I knew I could fix it. NOT!!!! I was never going to be able to make up for what those before me had done. Never no matter how hard I tried. Go figure!

    Savannah, honey, admitting it is half the battle. Now start letting the real you develop. I am proud of you.

  • Tinkertoes

    I honestly think my mother is 8 for 8 here, and the sad thing is that she is in really bad health and needs my care almost all the time. I don’t see any way to avoid the toxicity. There isn’t a lot of joy in life.

  • JoDee

    I have already posted twice today about these toxic personalities because I am currently trying to rid myself of a very toxic man that has been in my life for 6 years. Problem is he doesn’t go away easily even when he is the one who decided in the first place to end things. He makes it so hard for me becuase he manages to make me feel responsible for everything that was wrong even when he tells me I am not to blame -in the end he just doesn’t want to take the blame. I start to actually believe that I could have been a better person to him when I know that isn’t true because I treated him like he was king of the world – I never hurt him, I bent over backwards time and time again for him. If I or we know all of these things are wrong then why is it so hard to break free from toxic people sometimes?

  • dd

    I have a neighbor who is a few of the listed. She is consumed by what pleases her and only her and hers. She has no consideration for others who live near her as long as she gets what she wants when she wants it. It is hard to deal with.

  • I think i myself in most ways is also a toxic person.I always complains in so many things that I do and what I see in others, I always judge and criticize people as if I am perfect. I am married now for 15 years and up to now i can’t control myself when i’m angry with my wife.

  • Dancing one

    The problem with toxic people is that we often don’t recognize that someone has one or more of these traits before we’ve gotten very thoroughly involved with them. I was raised not to just give up on people at the first sign of a flaw. That may be a good trait, but it has also caused me to stay with such people (ex-husband, ex-boyfriend) WAY too long for my own good.

    A good friend and I were both married to very manipulative men. I used to tell her – as long as you recognize that he’s trying to manipulate you, you’re okay. If you start to BELIEVE all the negatives he’s trying to put on you – that’s when you have a real problem. That’s when you start questioning your values, morals, and core beliefs – meaning that your self-esteem starts to die.

    Seeing this list was great. It also made me look at myself to see if I possessed any of these traits. None of us are perfect, but taking stock of ourselves from time to time has to be a good thing.

  • Sheree

    I believe that it’s good for everyone to be able to at least be able to identify these types of toxic personalities in others. Of course, it will ultimately but their decision, as to whether or not they will continue to hang around these type of people. Once you’ve started tolerating these type of people, especially those who play a major role in your life, it’s hard to stop.

  • dany

    its unfortunatly a sad world we live in.

    for several years “Vanuatu” was N°1 happiest people on earth, there was a show on NATGEO “the visit of the natives” from the of island TANA, they whent to england etc…

    I look at the show and apreciated the mentality of the people, to see how simple minded they are,(in the good way), not worried how to get there next million, are how to get even with there neighbour, are manipulating every one around them.
    its a race without stigma, totally confortable with them selves, no shame of who they are…

    the people over there care trully about family values, and love for their neighbour.

    the systeme we are living in(this world), is turning us in to monsters, people that we do not appreciate, the stress of life, money trouble, the movies-the series on TV are full of violence…

    ALL of does things are changing the once beautiful human being in something not beautiful.

  • Sharky

    I find this synopsis more disturbing than enlightened. Hard times manufacture hardened people and such is the natural order of things. A weak-spined Pollyanna is the first to go when the evil comes a rapin’. True enough- do what you want with your life as it is your only true asset, but also keep in mind that there could well come a time when you will pay a price for keeping your rose-colored glasses on for too long. And with the increase in urbanization and all things unnatural, the toxicity will likely get worse. Humans are animals first- good, bad indifferent.

  • Natalie Rogers

    This post is specifically for JoDee….I think we must have been dating the same person! I felt as if you were describing the relationship I am currently struggling to remove myself from. Except for the womanizing, we seemed to find the same person….I am also not sure why I am finding it so difficult to kick him out and keep him out of my life! But, at this point I know I must. I just wanted you to know you are not alone! My heart goes out to you….stay strong, my friend.

  • patti mcgill

    Lol , I have a stepmother who is all of these except for the first ( manipulative mary). Simply because she lacks any sense of being subtle or tactful about anything she says or does to anyone.

  • Trina

    I made a new years resolution for 2010 to not deal with toxic people. So far I’ve been good at not letting them back in. This article made me realize why I need to clear my closet of the negative nellies & debbie downers.. thank you!

  • Lynn

    I have a neighbor, X friend who is a cronic lair and a prescription drug user, who has been in and out of REHAB. She is manipulative to no end, she turns everything bad she does into an attack on otHers and feels she can hurt people. Than she says, she has done nothing wrong when they defend themselves. Of course, she plays the victim. THis is the ultimate TOXIC…..

  • Lillian

    This comment relates to the “Names” given to the various personality types: 5 of your 8 versions of toxic personalities are “female”. One could omit applying names to convey the general nature of these toxic types without “assigning” a gender. And yes, I understand that they’re demonstrative, but a clear non-gendered label would be wonderful. Thanks and keep on rockin’.

  • I read this and the first thing i noticed is how irresponsible it is to say that toxic people you need to avoid and giddy dilusional are better. Both are unrealistic. People who are to giddy build vacant foundations in life and eventually waste alot of time only to realise it all fell down. Giddy people blame others for anything that goes wrong, “how can i be the one to blame, all i do is good all the time.” They set unrealistic expectations etc.. avoid them as well for they will spend their entire life making mistake blinded by glory and rightousness that they will fail to see things clearly.

    What you really want in life is someone who doesnt dwell on good or bad but on balancing all things. These people do not over exagerate and build false hopes and they dont rant and whine all day either. They react and plan according to what is in front of them in life. They focus on the task at hand and usally are the most constructive. They dont tell you everything is gonna be ok only to tell you later sorry, and they dont tell you dont even waste your time. They look at the situation and go can anything be done and if so what. Its not about good and bad its about effectivness its about awareness its about realistic life.

    You see what it comes down to is priorities and uppers and downers I just dont have the time for either. Both make excuses both are ignorant both are dilusional both sides focus primarily on things that in the end dont do anything at all.

    Yeah avoid toxic people if you can but trust me avoid giddy people as well when an emergency happens or a movie does not dwell on happiness but a “plot” they will only talk about whether it made them happy. BORING……..

    Do you smile when an earthquake happens. Nope andwill you be happy when you see the damage, nope. Is it healthy to realease anger and frustration or sadness when this happens yep. Does it do any good to be honest with how you are feeling, yep.

    Forget the positive and negative there so out of date and boring.

  • Lilli

    I’m not kidding, I’m toxic, but I can be nice too.. so..
    By the way, you left out Annoying Anne, someone who pesters you into buying stuff THEY want for no reason and calls you constantly that you have to say that your phone is dead to make them stop calling you.
    Maybe that should be Control Freak Christy, like someone who monitors over your life and thinks they can control it whether ulike it or not…

  • John

    I know for a fact that I’m a toxic individual, and it sincerely pains me to do the stuff I do towards people, especially those I care about. I sometimes wish they’d just kick me out of their lives so they could be free from all of my bullshit. The ones I can most definitely identify with are the Manipulative Mary, Narcissistic Nancy & the Disrespectful Dannys. If there is any way to get rid of these traits, please email me & tell me how. I don’t like the things I do & I hate the fact that I can easily fool myself into thinking that I’m doing things for the right reasons yet I keep doubting myself because I know somehow, or in some way, I’m doing it for all the wrong reasons.

  • Jane

    John, I am married to a man with a toxic personality, so maybe I can give you some advice and motivation. The first step is realizing you do these toxic things. You should congratulate yourself that you are able to see it, as most people can’t. Second, I can’t tell you how much it hurts me when my husband makes a nasty comment, which is often. It feels like he’s stabbing me with a knife and twisting it. Even though the comments are usually not directed at me, they are directed at someone. He either yells at the kids over something trivial or he yells at the TV. So he’s both hurting the kids by calling them idiots, and he’s teaching them to do the same to each other. Both of those are bad. If you have a toxic personality, you need counseling, and lots of it. You need to realize how badly it makes people around you feel. If you can develop some empathy, you won’t do those toxic things. Good luck.

  • Midori

    To Jane,
    So how do you or did you make someone (in your case, your husband) realize that they have a toxic personality and what they do/say hurt people around him/her? I agree with you on the first step, realizing the toxic personality, but it is the most difficult part of getting rid of the toxin in people’s personality because they’ve lived with it all of their lives. It is hard to change something that you’ve become accustomed to for so long.

  • Cindee

    To John, your self-recognition is most admirable!! That is the 1st step to any healing process or steps to self-improvement…much like any addiction. I’ve dealt with so many toxic individuals throughout my life and each was unique, some improved and some stayed in denial. Most people, at some point can have or will display these behaviors because we are all human and “no one is perfect” applies here. However, when these behaviors become habitual and/or leave you with a feeling of guilt, remorse, sadness or cause you anxiety, it’s time they be addressed. Counseling of course would help you unveil the reasons why these behaviors are surfacing, but considering you are NOT in denial and expressed your admission to such; I believe you can overcome your demons with some perseverance and consistency with some new ideas.

    Now that you know and have admitted to yourself your flaws, perhaps it is time you share your thoughts with those you tend to hurt. By telling someone, “I was wrong to say/do that,” or “I’m sorry for…” If you manipulate someone, try saying something to the effect of, “I just took advantage of you and I didn’t mean to; here, take back the (examples) money you gave me,” or “Here, I’ll take care of it, I was just being lazy and was trying to get out of it.” I think by expressing your thoughts aloud and to the person it affects, it would be humbling for you and give you a dose of humility needed to work on the new and improved you. By doing so, others would also be aware that you “do” and “are capable” of such negative behaviors and they would be more in tune with you and recognize these. More importantly, YOU now know that THEY are on to you, so-to-speak. Eventually, you just might begin to hesitate to proceed with negative behaviors.

    Also, try expressing yourself and ask for forgiveness. I really believe once you open the lines of communication, you will become more self-conscious of the things you say or do and also more compassionate to the needs, desires and feelings of others.

    Ask others to correct you and politely express themselves to you too if they have negative feelings because of something you’ve said or done.

    In any case, you will both will have a greater appreciation of each other and hopefully it will induce more positive emotions in you and in return a desire to continue with positive behaviors.

    As for the “narcissistic” side, try practicing giving a GENUINE compliment to people, even strangers! Learn to tell the people stuck in your narcissistic manipulative webs, “NO, this it not about me. This is your moment to shine, “ or “I made you this gift because I wanted to show my appreciation for all you do for me.” It is a glorious feeling making others feel good; it will make you feel good too knowing you made someone happy or made them smile. Learn to appreciate those things.

    Remember, it is a process, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t change overnight. Best of luck to you!!!

  • JoDee

    To Natalie Rogers – Thank you! It is so difficult to pull away from this man, but I am doing my best, trying to stay strong and relying on my family and friends to remind me that he is just not good for me. However, I constantly go back to the good times we had and then of course start to wonder if I would have just stayed quiet and did everything his way – everything would be fine, but I know this is the wrong way to think.

    I am not sure and cannot speak about all toxic individuals, but I don’t know that is necessarily true that they can change. Typically they have been this way their whole entire lives and it isn’t easy to change. The funny thing about the man I was involved with and keep referencing knows he is a “bad” man as he always says, sometimes he even finds it funny that he is a “bad” man. Aside from finding it funny, he does know how he treats people is wrong, he knows what he does is wrong, but he never changes, he just keep repeating his actions. He will fess up to being wrong and says he regrets how badly he treated me and should never have done that but within days he is right back to that same toxic individual. I don’t think there is anything or anyone that will really make him want to change and become a better person. Several times I have tried to discuss, yell, lecture, etc him about how his behavior hurts people and like the article says – I believe it truly falls on deaf ears. I desparately wish this man would and could change because there is a part of him I truly and dearly love and I have been witness to the good man he can be, unfortunately for whatever reason by choice or not, he always returns to being that toxic individual.

  • Lisa

    What an eye opener! I can see both my husband of 31 years and my mother in every one of these. It’s pure hell having to live with such a toxic person for so long. Even worse, to have a narcissistic, insincere, dream killing, judgemental mother you can’t confide in. I have to agree that surrounding yourself with fun loving positive people is the best thing you can do for yourself. (I hope I don’t sound too much like a narcissistic Nancy). Being exposed to such types for so long, has caused me to become a toxic individual myself. Fortunately, I’m able to see this and try and improve. As for my husband and mother, in their minds, they’re right and the rest of the world is wrong.

  • Stacy


  • Ronni

    I have been living with three people that embody five of these traits. I recently moved in with them because they assured me that they would help me get back on my feet while going through the break-up of my marriage. To my surprise, I was taken for granted and manipulated in such a way that I felt like I was wrong for wanting my own identity. Everything I did was done for them and when I asked for the same treatment I was looked at as selfish. I know from experience how difficult it is to live in such a way that nothing you do is never enough. It is exhausting and you feel hopeless. Unfortunately, sometimes there is nothing you can do but walk away and never return; and yes, it makes it that much harder when it is supposedly your family that is doing the manipulating.

  • Disappointed Daisy

    This is very true. I am guilty of being a Manipulative Mary, Narcisstic Nancy, Debbie Downer, Judgemental Jim, and Never Enough Nellie. I agree with John. Whether it be a nature or nurture effect It’s harder than people think to change a way you’ve been all your life. I recognize when I’m wrong, and why I’m wrong, but can’t seem to control my reaction to a given situation. I can make up another two I’m guilty of, Sarcastic Sally, and Annoyed Anne. I have a boyfriend who I believe I was drawn to because of his optimistic personality, calm nature, and high self-esteem and confidence. The last thing I would want to do is change his outlook in life, and feelings about himself. He is truly great the way he is. In a previous relationship I had, I realized how terrible it is to be with another person with a toxic personality like myself. I don’t want to ruin my current relationship. 🙁 This is very sad. I really feel like I can’t control my emotions when I’m faced with any given situation. It really makes me feel like an ugly person and not someone I would want to be with. I’ve read the response given to John and I am very expressive, my boyfriend and family know how I feel about how I act, but what is the point in expressing it when I don’t seem to have the power to do anything about it?

    • Brett

      Disappointed Daisy…change is hard! The fact that you RECOGNIZE this behavior in yourself is a major step. Don’t be so hard on yourself…you may want to seek some professional counseling to deal with some of these behaviors. Don’t give up and be proud of yourself for recognizing the way you are and feeling badly about how you impact others…many people can’t do that.

  • I wished I had read this article years ago. I was friends with a woman for over 30 years that was negative to the point of being toxic. Her little slips, where she would share a confidence, only she had to put her personal twist on it so that it was ugly.

    I am not sure why I hung onto the friendship. Looking back, I cant see anyone being that desperate for a friend………lol But for whatever reasons, this year when she came to visit, when she left in one of her drama exits, I made sure she understood she would not be welcome in my life any longer.

    I got about 8 emails each one more venomous than the one before. I was ready to fire off a responce when I decided instead of answering her groundless and hateful accusations, I would validate them for her.

    I wrote,

    I have nothing but well wishes and hopes for you and your future. I look forward to your success and happiness.

    So why not take the time that it took you to write this 8 page email and go outside and enjoy your life.
    Emma Mae

    She never wrote me another email. Wish them WELL and GONE. (Keep the gone to yourself.) Arguing over who is right or wrong, pointing out the truth is wasting your time with a Toxic Freind or Family Member. We have such little time on this earth to do great things, why waste any of it on something that is NOT going to put anything back into your life.

    Great Article, Thanks for posting it
    Emma Mae/Ameikins

  • margaux

    I lived and worked in art world in gallery. one person more than others was a dising danny . usually gay. there was alot going on and i do not fit any ofthe traits of any of those people. i always wondered like who do these people have friends. doesnt any one care to swat them. i did. iw as not afraid to stand up to toxic people. and it wa the one person who wanted people to get rid of me. probably because i was not afraid and i saw more than deaf dumb blind around me who pandered to them out of insecurity. for my burden in life from a toxic family o got rid of full of toxic bullies and others . i should have been the weak fence that these people felt i was . instead ihad strong hold on my life an dgod and kept up my life despite. that made me the winner. so i was always in threat of someone doing me in.
    about some few years ago another sick person got into my life. i felthe was a satans send from some of the people who did not want me torise. he was the worst case example of jerks ego , toxic. negators nad someoen who wanted his friend to see him as a big shot.
    he also wanted to kill me to shut me up. he did things to me to make me sick .
    even when i got rid of him the fear of what i knew this person held below surface was just like my family. and he was still able to get access to me. he also developed like most of these people do, psychic interest to invade invalidate and cripple others and not be seen. it is a game..
    i had medical issues and these people used my medical issues i was growing out of as a means to try to take me down. they could not do that unless my doctor ignored me. and he did. to my death. i was left a weak target to a mass of these kinds of people until despite my brave fight i was left alone , vulnerable and then taken down fighthing to end and became sick. the person who came out of the battering breaking down of my mind brain washing and twisting into madness , became a sick toxic cocktail of all of these people.
    i had gotten to a doctor suffering exahustion in june. this man began to act as if he cared. i noticed also he moved to fast. and i had seen enough toxic doctors to.i heard this voice come over me and tell this man to aske me wehre my art was in a abusive manner. an attackthat could damge me and make me lose my fight.
    instead of caring that i was in extreme negelct. he got a mad look in his eye, a gleam and like he was being told what to say the words came out of his mouth. in a hostile assault where was my art?? hu hu..
    ????? i was sent into shock and my brain and body felt under assault and then not safe in this mans commpany. He was hearing voices i heard coming or channeled to him and he did not act to care for me but listen to his master voice and abuse me.
    i did not go back. my body soon became exhausted and suffered break down from lack of medical care. if thsi man had acted to treat me then instead of listen to voices.i wouldnt have fallen to the games of bullies marys dannies susans and others who through my life had an aim to kill me. their aim came from Jelousy. Jelousy of my humble life i worked for they refused to. these people like to take others down to look up.. being strong and standing up to them is key . they do not rule.. they want to feel they can..

  • Laura

    What about Sarcastic Sara? I know it may be a bit of Insincere Illisas but constant sarcasm about your dreams, goals or even crazy ideas gets old quick. My husband and I each identified ourselves as one of these toxic personalities and vowed to change. Or at least point out to each other each time we begin to act as such. We also wanted to add Unreliable Ursula. When you put your trust into someone that they are going to come thorugh, you put a lot of emotion into that person. When they fail to come through, time after time, and you feel hurt, time after time, it takes a toll on your emotional well-being. Great article!

  • meile

    as soon as i read some of these “toxic” personalities i realized that almost all of them reflected on some of my best friends.
    it made me think about that maybe i should start to find friends who won’t make me feel “worthless” nor “depressed”.
    i don’t need friends who never think about my opinions on things and never realize when they are wrong.

  • mollymorgan

    My husband is all 8 of these people, rolled into one miserable person. He is constantly complaining about everything and everyone in his life and constantly dissatisfied. Not surprisingly, he is not healthy, becoming more physically ill over the past couple of years as (I believe), the negativity has taken a physical toll. I have tried everything I possibly can to help him (except counseling which he desperately needs but refuses to even consider). My next step is divorce, since I obviously cannot make him happy. I’m sure my departure will just reinforce all the negative thoughts he ever has had, but I am worried about my own state of mental health.

  • I was raised by a mother with a number of toxic traits & have worked to avoid “waiting for the other shoe to drop” but still have spent countless years with other toxic people trying to change them. Now at age 50 I can only hope that these emotional vampires get what they “deserve” & thankfully generally they do. By continuing to spend time rehashing the wrongs we have been done we also continue to allow them to “drain” our happiness. I have a ongoing battle avoiding this type of person since I “want to help” but toxic people don’t want help they love their miserable exsistence & aren’t satisified being miserable alone their misery tends to be the ONE thing they don’t mind sharing!!! Run, Run, Run from these people, life is too short!

  • I would like to share with you the things that helped me overcome my toxic traits. I grew up with toxic parents and not knowing any better became just like them. When I reached my 40’s I began to realize that this behaviour was not normal. I then tried everything to help me change. Sure all the self help stuff worked for a while, but the old toxins would always resurface. Then I had a godly revelation: make it my daily goal to JUST OUT NICE evey person in my life. I was cured!!!! It was such a freeing feeling!!! All my toxic traits slowly left me for good. It’s sounds crazy but putting others first joyfully everyday gas made my life soooo much better and peaceful

  • Miranda

    I was married to a man who embodied most, if not all, of these toxic qualities. I’ve always been sunny and optimistic, yet it began to take such a toll. When I finally looked up, I no longer recognized myself. It’s embarrasing for me to admit, and I chided myself for feeling like someone else was responsible for MY unhappiness. Aren’t we taught that no one can make you unhappy? Then I realized that he wasn’t the reason, my choice to be around him in spite of it, and allowing the behavior to continue was my own fault. Once I realized my own roll in perpetuating it, it was liberating. I couldn’t change him…but I could change me. It took much more stregnth than I thought I was capable of, but I finally left him. We are still in contact, due to our children; however, I don’t allow or accept toxicity from him. I’ve found peace and freedom, and I regained my IDENTITY. I simply wished him well, and moved on, with a huge weight lifted.

  • janie

    Thanks for this eye opener,it just really made me realize that there are such people or so called friends or even family members that can suffocate you or even kill you on what you believe in like what is Good and Happiness.Living in a different country, I’ve met a lot of manipulative marys, incensere Illisas, debbie downers, etc,and as much as possible avoided this kind of people.And lately thinking that people might think I’m weird or snob for being by myself, in actual sense being alone helps me knowing myself better. Of what can make me happy,of how to be good on others and then meeting new friends worthy than being stuck with those kind of people. I have peace and quiet within myself which is important to make me focuse to face the reality of life. thanks again.

  • Britt

    Another personality is definitely “Better than you Betty”. Everything of theirs is better than anything you could possibly have or do. Sort of a “Disrespectful Danny” with a twist. Unfortunately, these people are very insecure and oftentimes a bully too. Its all image, even at the sacrifice of others on their own team.

    I really like the more positive take on the world and life and try to remember that all these personalities are really people who have issues. Remember though, these are their issues and not yours. Once you take on responsibility for others’ actions and issues like those described above, your life will become toxic. Mine was for a while. I am getting better at cutting the web that they try and wrap you up with – its a much healthier outlook. Good luck and one love to you all.

  • Older and Wiser

    How about Can’t Trust You Trudy. I have a mother in-law who I can never tell if she is being honest or if she is just manipulating things to gain my confidences. I hate it when I can’t tell who they really are. There is also someone I work with who says she is my friend, but she is so worried about looking good in front of our boss that I have had many opportunities to distrust her. However, she always says she is “there for me.” Hmmm not so sure. I just can’t trust you Trudy.

  • JoDee

    It is JoDee again from back on 2/12. I blogged quite a bit a little over a month ago trying to stay away from a toxic individual I had been involved with for over 6 years. Well I got momentarily weak again recently for all of 3 days and furtunately I was lucky enough to catch myself this time before it went too far. The unfortunate part is I had to do something that could have potentially hurt this man or cause him to lose the “other” woman in his life, but I was left with no choice. One I didn’t know any other way to make him go away. He would be gone for a month or so and then call me again, all the while still seeing this other woman. Then came my birthday and that is when I got weak. I called her and left her a message that he was still contacting me against her wishes while he is telling her he wants to work out their relationship. He was angry with me, asked my why I did it and actually had the nerve to ask me What did he do to me?? I thought I was going pee my pants laughing. This was the only way I knew to get him to permanently leave me alone.He actually had me feeling bad for what I did. I had to make him hate me. I hope it worked. I don’t know if they will stay together or what will be their outcome. He actually told me not to call him again! Can you believe that one! There is a bit more to the story but it would take forever to type and take up way too much space. I have also now taken ther precautions to block his phone numbers on my home phone and cell. I can’t block at work, but let’s hope nothing else needs done. I need to move on with my life and make this toxic man a part of my history.

    • Brett

      JoDee, you are right. Toxic people breed toxicity. Get rid of it so you, yourself, don’t become toxic in the process.

  • Could you please give more specific instinces of these violations.
    Thank you.

    • Brett

      Maria, everyone has different experiences with toxic people. If you have any questions feel free to go to our contact page and ask your question.

  • Mr P O Sitive

    What about Phoney Freddy? These people are basically fake. They will laugh with you, be your friend, Listen to your problems and try to help with them, tell you their problems etc, They will seem like a genuine person. To spot an phoney freddy you must look out for a individual who is: two-faced, hypocritical, attention seeking and manipulative. After laughing with one person they will tell the other person how stupid that was, after being your friend they will have a moan about you with another friend, after listening to your problems they may use them against you in the future. People like this can pretty much adapt to any situation but will be very inconsistent in the long run. A very tricky person to spot at first and is a danger person to be in a relationship with.

    • Brett

      Very true Mr P O Sitive. Although for alliteration purposes, how about Fake Freddy 🙂

    • bryn

      This sounds exactly like my ex

  • Deeplyme

    God help us in discerning people so that we don’t point a finger too quickly! It takes wisdom to apply knowledge. Strength uses commonsense to apply it.

  • Collegemom

    I just got out of a toxic almost 8 year relationship. Im having a hard time because I was in love and was told I was the love of his life, the most important woman in his life, yet he never made the commitment. It was hard to accept that someone that said he loved me so much could hurt me in these ways. Told me I am the reason for the relationship problems. He has MANY different email addresses and emotionally cheats online. He constantly throws the pity party and then he acts like he is the greatest person alive because i got a text from him. He refuses to talk on the phone and thinks texting is an appropriate form of communication. He lives with his mother for the last 4 years bc he moved back bc financially he couldnt handle living on his own, bills, etc. He doesnt have any children and he wont save money and all he wants to do is buy expensive phones, video games, travel. He traveled to my state and didnt even tell me he would be there and lied and said he was someplace else. I could continue but as I type I realize how blind I was. Thanks for reading.

    • Brett

      Sometimes we are just too close to the fire…aren’t we? It is never too late to make positive change in your life and to learn from past situations. Knowledge and awareness are power!

  • James McCloskey

    Projecting Peter: These are the people who constantly point out what’s wrong with you, when it’s patently obvious the same thing is wrong with them. It’s toxic because you end up constantly arguing with these people (or trying to please them), and your self-esteem takes a beating because you think you’re the one who has issues.

    Both projected their own anger management issues onto me. One projected their mental health issues, and the other projected a closed-minded attitude.

    My stress level and anxiety dropped drastically when the two projecting relationships in question ended.

    • Brett

      Great addition James!

  • JDP

    I live with at least 5 of these personalities, and it’s nearly impossible to avoid any one of them for very long. It’s a challenge, let me tell ya!
    I live in a house full of women and young children. So there’s bound to be some personality conflict quite often.
    I just try to keep busy with my job search or spend some free time reading or being on this computer, or watching my favorite detective shows on primetime TV.
    I also just graduated from a Citizen’s Police Academy, which was an 18-week course, one night each week. This was like a mini-police academy. Not to be a sworn in officer, but to understand better what their jobs are and how I can work with them. So that got me out of the house for a few hours and taught me some important job skills. Plus, I now have an official certification handy…something important for my arsenal!

  • Carl

    Hi all,

    What a goldmine this post! I live with all of them, in family and friends.

    Now I know why I’m late in life, what waste of time! But I’ll prevail, and thanks for this kind of information.

    God bless you all.

    Best Regards,


  • Syl Sidewinder

    Excellent post! I’m sure EVERYONE, at some point or another, has encountered the “JOY” of dealing with several, if not all of the toxic people mentioned in this article! Ain’t it the truth.

    Perhaps the author of this blog assumed the reader to know this, which
    would explain why there was no mention of it. Granted, it this is the case, it’s an accurate assumption. In fact, the writer refered to it, several times, and in one instance, repeated it almost verbatim!
    While it’s true each has his/her “unique”, if you will,”modis operansdi”. However, there’s ONE CRUCIAL ELEMENT ALL “Toxic Tommys”
    share, everywhere and, unfortunately, with everyone!

    When we like someone, anyone; be it a favorite cousin, an aunt or uncle, a classmate, a colleague, a partner in an relationship), why, do we, as humans tend to LIKE or even LOVE certain people?

    There are many reasons why we may like or even, love certain people. However, it’s NOT so much the OTHER person, but the EFFECT THAT person has on US! We enjoy THE WAY he/she makes us feel. For example, we could like someone because we sense they genuinely care about us, and other people.(Thoughtful of others= EMPATHY,COMPASSION)feelings) Or, because they inspire, motivate and encourage us. (Provide ENCOURAGEMENT= BUILD SELF-WORTH)Perhaps we enjoy a person’s company because they truly listen without judgement, to what we have to say.(ACCEPTANCE w/no” conditions”)It’s possible we have a lot in common with someone else. (COMMRADERY, SUPPORT) Or,it could be simply because they make us laugh and are just plain fun and full of good humor on a regular basis, thus, they have the opposite effect of “Debbie Downers”.(FUN!)
    Most people, feel good being around those with empathy, and compassion. We gravitate towards folks who are genuine, warm and encouraging towards others. It’s ALWAYS a lot more fun to smile and laugh than to cry, worry and fret!
    Toxic Tommys tend to eat away at your belief system, chip away self-esteem” and show you no respect and could, for all practical purposes, care less whether you live or die (until, after you’ve served “their purpose”). Let’s say you arrived 3 minutes late for work, due to a massive snowstorm which caused a lot of accidents. Rather than thanking you for braving the weather or showing any concern for your well-being, Instead, he ‘rips you up one-side and down the other because you were 3 minuites late ! If he just did his little Power Play Pat, to show you “who’s boss”, and was over it shortly thereafter, that would be a welcome relief . But does he? HAA-EL NO! Instead, he uses that as an excuse to be Duddley Diaper-boy” for the remainmder of the shift! (Duddley Diaper boy”- or twin sister Prunella Pull-ups-, is a boss who’s full of $HIT and constantly on your A$$. They WANT you to screw up, in fact they may try to sabbotage so that you do. This way, they have an excuse to disspelled their vile ugly venom on you–kind of like a whipping boy/girl! Again, the author mentioned how these individuals eat away at your self-esteem and your belief in yourself These people will cause you to feel frustrated and disrespected. In short, they make you feel horrible and the commonality is, you end up feeling horrible about who you are, what you do, because THEY ERODE YOUR SENSE OF SELF WORTH AND SELF RESPECT!
    MY mother has been dead for 5+1/2 years now. I miss her to this very day, but I’m fortunate that during our time together she taught me a many wonderful things. However, I think the most important was SELF-RESPECT and the fact that without it, how can anyone else can respect you? Without self-respect, you’re as good as dead!—
    THESE PEOPLE ARE TOXIC, and the biggest favor you can do for yourself is to GET THESE people out of your life ASAP. If you’re in a situation which won’t allow it, only deal with them when absolutely necessary!
    Unless you ENJOY feeling disrespected, getting blamed for EVERYONE else’s mistakes, with anything less than perfection with robotic consistency as unacceptable, and having your self-esteem beaten to a bloody pulp on a regulasr basis, GET AWAY FROM THEM…they’re called toxic people because they’re POISON!

  • R.

    I had a toxic manager. We started out on friendly terms; she helped me learn everything I needed to know, gave me boy advice, that sort of thing. We became friends, so to speak. Then, around the beginning of summer, she started taking my job duties away and treating me in a passive-aggressive manner, different than what she’d treat my now former colleagues. I felt as if my job was on the line, but when I’d talk to her about it, she’d either say everything was fine or not speak to me at all. It’s not until the end of the summer that she tells me what problems she has with me, all the while saying that she “cares deeply” about me. I call her bluff, and she says that I should find another career because she wasn’t going to let me “manipulate” her anymore. I found another career and got rid of her faster than a bad habit, and boy am I glad I did.

    What do you call THIS toxic personality? Manipulative Mary with a blend of Insincere Illissas and Disrespectful Danny (or “Danielle,” in this case)?

  • Cynthia

    I am recently going through a period in my life where I am distancing myself from people who have “toxic” personalities. However, I have been debating whether it is right, because I am unsure if I am being judgmental by having expectations of how they should be vs accepting them for who they are. Any input advice would be greatly appreciated. I have had relationships w/ these people for most of my life and I just feel like I am heading in a different direction of awareness mentally and spiritually.
    I am a bit confused :/

    • Rick

      Everyone has SOMETHING wrong with them! Guess it’s a matter of degrees. You know the saying “water finds its own level”? It means eventually people who aren’t right for you move on (or you move them on). You’re left with people you want to be around. It can be painful during the process though…

    • A Lee

      If they’re not able to change, don’t feel bad about. Some people just can’t be accepted without it having a toll on you mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Do what’s right for you!

  • Michael

    I hope someone has already stated what I’m about to – I have not read all the comments. Here is my viewpoint on this article: Everyone of us has these traits at some level..would it not be better to work on our own character flaws instead of avoiding others? I’m reminded of this statement – “if you spot it: you got it.” And “be the change you want the world to be.” To pretend that you do not have these flaws would be foolish imo….ONE

    • Jim

      This is a wise point, and I often meditate on that quote…

      But the point is: everyone has to work on themselves…nobody can fix another person. And another point is, if more people worked on themselves, less of this would occur. Also, why is anyone obligated to be around anyone that makes them feel BAD? It doesn’t matter why, what the reason…

    • A Lee

      Not necessarily. There are many people who don’t have any of these toxic traits. One can recognize them in other people without having any themselves.

  • Ren

    How do you know if it is them or you? I started of in a very toxic relationship with a narcissist who displayed almost all of the above toxic personality types… we have been through alot together and I see some healing but now I wonder if I have become some of the toxic things myself..I am angry alot at boundary violations etc…but now I am so confused as to what is mine to own, or a projection etc.. I can’t seem to get over the anger and resentment of past behaviour and worry this is contaminating our I now overreacting to boundary violations…?

    • Brett

      Hi Ren,
      Thanks for your comment. Toxicity is in all of us. Whether we want to believe it or not, but being aware of it is what is important in moving towards healthier habits and behaviors. If you feel especially confused, you might want to speak to a counselor or professional who can help you sort out the confused feelings your having. Gaining a little objective perspective can help. That said, if you have a reaction that afterwards you feel funny about, that may be a sign. Listen to your instincts and gut. We often (unless we are totally bats or delusional), can detect when we’ve done something or said something that isn’t Kosher.
      Hope that helps!


      Sad thing is…it’s a sort of virus. You spend enough time with these vampires and believe me…YOU WILL BECOME INFECTED.

  • Lindy

    I love what I’ve just read and I think everyone can relate in some way. All of us can or have been any or all of the above personalities at some point in time. It’s hard to see these traits in yourself but so easy to see in others. I especially love this reply –

    “Projecting Peter: These are the people who constantly point out what’s wrong with you, when it’s patently obvious the same thing is wrong with them. It’s toxic because you end up constantly arguing with these people (or trying to please them), and your self-esteem takes a beating because you think you’re the one who has issues.”

    A good friend of mine recently told me about a seminar called “You are What You Eat”, and not meaning food, but who you surround yourself with. It is so incredibly true. I am finding that I just don’t have the energy anymore to be around people who judge me or are just completely deficient in the sympathy gene. I have some great friends who I hold dear to my heart and will cherish to the day I die. In the meantime, i’m going to try to be that same friend back to them….hopefully I already am, but i’m going to work really hard to be sure of that.

  • Josie

    Good posts-I have gotten rid of several toxic friend over the years. When every encounter is an ordeal, it is time to move on. Now, however, I am dealing with my elderly mother, who hops from one negative topic to the next-reports bad weather forecasts for next week, etc. Her mind is always in the future, not with the people she is sitting with in the present. I visited yesterday, and left after one hour as she started to bring up negative topic, after negative, culminating in the most recent drop in the stock market. (This was on a Sunday-stock market is not open.) I try bringing up positive topics, but it does not seem to help. I feel anxious and depressed after talking to her. But she is my mother, and I cannot drop her. Any suggestions?

    • Brett

      Hi Josie,
      It is especially challenging to navigate negative family members…especially when they are so close to you. Have you ever tried telling her how you feel about her negativity and how it impacts you? She may not realize how depressing and energy-sapping her negativity can be to others. You might also want to be honest with her about how it impacts her health. Studies have shown that negative personalities can actually cause health issues. In my upcoming book: 52 Small Changes – One Year to a Happier, Healthier You, I discuss this very topic. It might be time to have an honest conversation.
      Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

      • Karen Califano

        Hello. It’s very hard to “change” one’s outlook and behavior. My boyfriends mother is the same. Totally negative, dramatic, controlling, lies to her children and tries to “turn one against the other”, is also very stubborn and “thick headed” and tells “stories” like you wouldn’t believe. Then, if you do try and talk to her about her negativity, etc. she becomes highly defensive and gets angry and upset at the person (my boyfriend has tried to talk to her about her negative, defensive attitude and how it just hurts others, causes more drama and chaos in the family, etc. MANY times over the years but it does not help at all. She just gets defensive, says to him Leave me alone, I don’t want to talk about it, and sometimes starts crying, etc. She is in her early 70’s but he said she has ALWAYS been this way as far back as he can remember. He talks to her on the phone as she lives in Puerto Rico now for the past 7 years or so, but she has been back to visit a few times, and every time he talks to her he is upset, depressed, stressed out and emotionally damaged after he hangs up the phone. It really is tough to deal with.

    • Yomna

      The same as my mother
      As if they are afraid to feel happy or optimistic!!!
      But I think it can be an inner problem related to old age.they feel depressed all the way. They like to feel tortured and always complaining
      The question now is do they really need a psychiatrist..?!!!

  • Misty

    I had a neighbor once who befriended me after my divorce. She was always bringing me pies. She pretended to be my friend and the whole time she was exchanging information about me to others, including my ex-husband. She tried to keep up with my comings and goings. When I started dating again after my divorce, she got furious. It was crazy. My date and I were having a barbecue on the patio and she came stomping up to my door, uninvited, and tried to hang around. I finally asked her to leave. She got mad and told me that I should stay away from all men because they were no good. I told her to get lost and never come near me again. She called me like 18 times that week trying to apologize and I told her that I was going to call the police if she called me or came near my house again. That got rid of her. I don’t know what her problem was but she definitely needed psychiatric help. I call her the Psycho Sally.

    • Josie

      Sounds familiar. I briefly dated a separated man, filing for a supposed amicable divorce. Met the ex, kids, family…etc. The ex, under the guise of my “new friend” tried to infuse nothing but poison into my brain about her former husband (whom she left, by the way) and the neurotic kids served as spies for “Mom”. Because, secretly, the ex was blaming ME for her failed marriage, even though he met me 2 YEARS after their separation?!!!

      Was SHOCKED and the last straw for me was when I found out my supposed “boyfriend” was ALSO a sick part of this game-playing gang and filtering all kinds of our personal info. back to them…everything from our meals, vacations, dates, to our sex life. Embarrassing? YES. Mad? HELL YES. Told the whole lot to get help and get lives! Never looked back and NEVER WILL. GOOD RIDDANCE.

      • Chloe Meadows

        What a nightmare…I’m glad your post is now from 3 years ago!

  • Ayumi

    There’s another type we all have to avoid.

    Jealous Jennies–

    They are constantly unhappy with what they have and desire what you have instead. This toxic breed is, as you could probably say, a mutt breed; a breed that is mixed with three or more types. They have a bit of Debbie Downer blood in them and always try to disregard what good you have in your life. Sometimes they are part Narcisstic Nancy and leer at you and the good stuff with a self-important eye. Their most subtle personality is the Manipulative Mary–they’ll try to manipulate you into giving some of your good luck to them.

    Why they’re toxic: They NEVER leave you alone especially when you have something they want. They ALWAYS lament that you are so much luckier than them and will try to pull you down to their level so they can get a bite at you, or your precious belongings. Sometimes they will spread rumours behind your back to do this very thing. They are especially annoying when they are also in love with your significant other.

    How do I know this?

    I’ve had some experience with Jealous Jennies as early as elementary school. Now, I still have some at my back, but it isn’t much of a problem because I always make sure to keep myself at a higher distance than them and know some good harsh, yet subtley courteous, comebacks at my disposal.

    There are so many toxic people out there it’s astounding. Of course, even the best people have a bit of toxin in themselves, but the good thing to counter it with is to admit and accept it, then fix it and become stronger.

    There’s this boy I know who is entering adolescence and still loves buying toys. At first I thought it was just his fetish with Legos–and boy, was I wrong. It was with EVERYTHING, as long as it wasn’t morbidly childish. He has a bit of Manipulative Mary (or Mark) in his veins and sometimes tries to squeeze out a bit of profit for himself everytime we enter a toystore. It’s especially unforgivable because he is a guest in our family, and you’d think his parents would have taught him better. Try putting me or my siblings into another family’s house for a day; not even a PENNY would be spent on our behalf.

  • Cherry

    Is there a way to reverse the toxicity?

    My best friend used to be incredibly amazing and supportive, but changed. He got extremely critical of everything I did and nothing was ever enough. Another friend told him we were toxic, but I believe it was made out that I was the toxic person. I told him about my problems because he’d offered to help me find ways to break bad habits. When he got critical, I started questioning everything I was doing, since he made it seem like I was always wrong. He said he didn’t like yelling at me. I told him I hated it when he yelled at me. It seems like every time there was an issue between us, he would either get mad or tell me we weren’t friends anymore. He knew it killed me when he’d do that. When someone constantly threatens to leave, you start questioning what you’re doing to bring out that reaction in the first place… I was always nice to him and didn’t say hurtful things.

    I fell for him early on and told him as much. He seemed like he was interested in me at first, then started talking about his exes, and it seemed like he’d get mad at me for things they used to do…but I’d never met them.

    We’ve been part of a tight group of friends for almost a decade. Things took a turn for the horrific at our New Years Eve party. He yelled at me in front of our friends, and it made me cry. There was more, but it turned into a hugely embarrassing evening…mostly for me.

    He blocked me everywhere and emailed that we were done as friends permanently. There were two phone calls where he yelled that I was toxic and he was never speaking to me again (even though both phone calls were almost two hours long).

    My friends have barely spoken to me after what happened. They’re all still friends with him. I don’t know what he told them, but he’s extroverted while I’m introverted, so I think he might have spun everything to where I’m the “bad guy” through all of this.

    This is all killing me. I want my friend back. I miss him. I don’t understand why he just lashed out at me. He’s a teddy bear to all of our other friends. I don’t have anyone now. If I could go back and change NYE, I would. Do you think time will heal things and he may go back to being nice again? He wasn’t always mean to me. When he was nice, we’d have so much fun. I hate this.

  • Lovely Lucy

    Hello, all!!! :)Well, I think that, in essence, all of us need to be less toxic. It’s a crazy world. Take, for example, the instance of, “Manipulative Mary’s” I think we all know people like that, especially in this day and age of “Facebook.” Now that friendship has become sooo thoroughly cheap, we’ve all been made to believe that we should put up with all this toxicity, and, thus, modern frienship has awhooole lotta toxicity. It almost doesn’t even exist. I think the best way to be friends with people is to know what you stand for, don’t compromise for people who are not “right” for you (and when they’re not, you’ll feel it), and also, be there for the other person. Try to let your friendships grow, don’t be afraid.

    Good luckk!!!!!! 🙂


  • I have to add the ever popular flip-flopper Fred and flip-flopper Francine
    Flip-flopper Fred goes through a whole bunch of stuff and decide to take it out on those around them, “boo-hoo” he whole world is unfair to him and
    All of a sudden, you’re too good enough to give them advice and borrow stuff from them without them catching an attitude, they can get hit with a
    Cane by their own grandmother; by being lied on by the younger brother and
    Cousin, then get a kiss from a girl at age 9, get jumped on and have a gun
    Put to their head by a robber and all of a sudden they think they are tough, they can’t be kind to you. Flip-flopper Francine is the mother of
    Flip-Flopper Fred; she takes up for you when you were young, but when you
    Turned 8 and 9 it stopped because of you and Flip-Flopper Fred’s older
    Brother starting something, Shaun wants more attention, so now you’re
    Wrong and are the “villain.” Anyway, Flip-Flopper Francine doesn’t see
    That her constant nepotism is ruining the next generation and your
    Lifespan, but she doesn’t care, I detest flip-floppers with flip-flopper
    Personalities,one minute they let you in, they next they encounter the
    Peer pressure and “popular-opinion,” and then they turn right on you;
    Like a heel or a face in professional wrestling.

  • Murt

    Hi Brett, Thanks for this wonderful and truthful article. Yes, I am struggling with one person who has all of these negativeness. The sad part is that I am stuck with that person in work and everyday affairs day and night.He is one single drain source of all energy. I tried my level best to be a good friend and change him. But nothing working out. Everything is just drama and manipulation.
    I tried to keep completely quiet and start ignoring it, but Everyday that person comes up with false obligations against me for no reason in sending false opinions to people around me. If I do something to help someone in work, He would tell ‘ You are setting a wrong example, Because of you, others grade/ranking are coming down’. Don’t help like that. I am just praying for either 1. Give me the power to change the negativeness of this person. or 2. Being away from these people, But still I wish good luck to him as a friend.

    Not sure when the Day will break and shadows flee away.

  • Tom

    Interesting article. I have a daughter who fits about half of these personalities herself. My other two children are nothing like her.

    She is 21 lives at home and can barely function in the world. I am going crazy. I can’t live with her; she is a constant source of anxiety, anguish and demands–emotional, psychological and financial, but I can’t turn her out–she would never survive.

    Her toxic personality is source of conflict within my marriage and my life.

    I have no joy in life, and no hope that the future will change. Day to day life is always waiting for the other shoe to drop. If anything a major life crisis that demands all my energy and resources happen at least three times a year, and each one is usually worse than the previous.

    She sucks the life out of me.

    • Anon

      Why the hell haven’t you kicked her out of home?!!! She’s an adult now!

  • LA

    Greetings! I bring the toxic people into my life because I see my self ( old toxic traits ) in people and think that I can fix them or it (the problem)
    I don’t need to fix anyone but my self, I will always removed my self, from the toxic traits when needed, it’s everywhere all around us, TV,Faceboook, Internet, Churches, Schools, Gov, etc. But!!! Choosing to love unconditional to the point of laughing Your ass off at people! And most denfinitely your self. We as a society of humans need to understand that theres a solution and an answer to the problem, so completing is not the answer to the problem or the solution, I feel that we need love in and out of everything that we see and do, as a people we are reflecting one another… We are mirrors of each other.
    Love will always bring peace!
    Blessing to all

  • Tuesday

    Hey Tom,
    I can identify with your situation with your daughter. I too have a 21 yr old daughter who was every bit of a terror in so many ways from the time she was 14. By the time she was 18, she was telling me I had no legal rights to put her out of the house. I decided not to play into her games any longer and made a tough love choice. I put her out of the house.
    By doing this, and sticking to it to this day, I not only saved my sanity but also impowered her to take responsibility for her own life, choices, behavior and all the splendor and magic that she creates as a result.
    It’s been very hard for her at times and heartbreaking for me too. Especially because she now has my beautiful 2 year old grandson. But the very best I could do for her as a parent was to continue to encourage her that ” she can do this thing called life, and she will make it.”
    Because when we open the door up and shelter our scared adult children, we are giving them the direct message that they can not do it on their own. And the longer we give them this message by “helping them”, the better the chances are that they will never make it on their own.
    Now really, it’s not as if their very life will be revoked as a result of them not applying themselves. And that is something we, as parents, have to realize too. There are always struggles in life. They are harder at the beginning of being out on your own. And really they are only harder because you haven’t figured out what to do to find solutions yet. But if parents provide solutions for adult children’s life struggles, they will never find solutions.
    The momma eagle drops her young from high up, in mid flight. Because the young have to learn to fly on their own, or they will not survive. They must learn to fly by figuring it out on their own, without a cushion to land on. Knowing that there is no cushion creates a healthy amount of fear that then leads young adults to learn from mistakes, over come fears, create solutions, become independent, and build self confidence. Even if they have to sleep on friends couches (NOT YOURS), work for minimum wage at a job they hate, go without a car, and even experience people that are not going to treat them nicely.
    Only in hard times do we really know what good times are. And only when we have faced our own struggles do we appreciate the struggles others face. And only when we never give up telling our kids not to give up, will we be able to experience enjoyable relationships with our adult kids. All it takes is faith. And a big dose of tough love without any guilt residue.
    This is the time for you to enjoy the job you have done as a parent. And completed!
    Best of luck. You can do this!

  • Karen

    The abusive and horrible woman who adopted me is just like all these types. She pretty much ruined my life before I realized what she had been up to. I find most adoptive mothers like 2 or 3 of these personality types because they can not accept their infertility, they hate fertile women and are control freaks like no other. This is one of the reasons the adoption system HAS to go. I don’t think the general public is full aware of how adoption really destroys a person.

    • A Lee

      Sorry to hear that. What can be done instead?

    • What would you suggest,
      group homes? I don’t think a mother can love the same if she has not
      given birth to a child. I say this because I struggle to love my step
      children equally as I do my birth children. Perhaps this is what you sense.
      Also at $20-$50,000 thousand dollars for each adoption you’re sure to
      have an adoptive parent who is financially stable and probably values money,
      structure and control. After all that is how they get so rich in the
      first place! I could never be rich because I’d give it all away, it’s both a
      curse and a blessing! I see a lot of step parent or adoptive parent hate
      in the world today but you must understand it is not personal, its nature. The hormones designed to help baby and mother
      bond and the 9 months in Utero are not little things, they drive the bond
      between mother and child, and both adoptive parents and step parents cannot
      replicate what nature has designed, all they can do is try to love you as best
      as they can, which I hope they do!- Lauren


      Well I got news for ya honey…biological mothers can be just as bad. You want mine? LOL. Sorry to hear about your shi**y upbringing. I assure you…just because someone gives birth to you AND KEEPS YOU…doesn’t mean they love you. I know!

  • Pay

    This is a really great read. I for myself is dealing with these kind of people right now. I found all these characteristic on one person- my bestfriend! And right now he’s been dating an insincere manipulative person and his other close friend is a real dream-killing backstabbing bully. At first I had this gut feeling that they’ve been backstabbing me to some of our friends (who apparently hated me so I turned back from the group) but I gave the friendship another shot until a time someone hacked his facebook and sent me their conversations. I am a christian and it is so hard not to forgive people esp if you love them so I gave him the second chance but recently, it happened again. His close friend who befriended me, stabbed me on the back again and his manipulative partner asked him to turn his back on me again and he did on the moment I needed him the most, he was gone. Just like that. So I figured, I should be done too and move on. It is hard and I’m still on the process of coping and moving forward but I really think this is for the better coz the relationship is already exhausting! And besides, I already lost my trust on my bestfriend now and I’m tired trying to fit in with them. I cannot be someone I hate! Ill move on!

  • hermanita

    I have a sister who is bipolar and everything else and it was sucking the life out of me. What I did for her was never enough. A few years back, I was very ill and was trying to get together with her. I agreed to drive to her place, because she doesn’t drive or have a car. I was so ill I could barely stand but wanted to honor our time. The day off I was so ill I called her and said if she could come to my place instead and perhaps take the bus. She flatly refused. After that I was done and we haven’t spoken in two years. People wonder why we don’t speak and I later found out she was telling other people that I ‘disowned’ her and ‘put her on the back burner’ She got that one right! I needed to put myself first after all these years and place the energy back to me instead of on a “Never Enough Nellie”

    • Marti

      Sorry to generalize, but I really don’t care what people think. Bipolars are selfish, self centered, and beyond toxic. I know, my mother was Bipolar. Not a “genuine” bone in her body. They are Masters of Manipulation, & Deception.

      • Marla

        Wow. So many years later and I find this article, and your post 3 months ago. It’s perfect because instead of becoming insulted, I laughed at the prejudice and ignorance. I feel sorry for people who mistreat the mentally ill. It’s like beating up a child or the elderly, pathetic and cruel. Both of you fit the descriptions above to a T. You’re both wannabe cyber-bullies.


        They are very sick, sick people. I understand it is partly biochemical blah blah blah, but I am so over hearing about this bipolar sh**. They should just take their meds and shut the fu** up. Harsh? Maybe. The damage these individuals thrust upon people, however, justifies my harshness.

      • Gina

        How wrong you are! A member of my family is bipolar and he is the most loving and caring individual I know. A professional with two college degrees and a job that I’m sure many people would aspire to hold. Not all toxic people are mentally ill and not all mentally ill people are toxic. You and those who share your thoughts need to educate yourselves and have more empathy before you make such insensitive comments.

        • Kathy Cummins

          True Gina. Thank you.

      • Kathy Cummins

        That’s not true.

    • Kathy Cummins

      I’m bipolar and its the opposite. I get all these traits above trying to the right thing. Tired of people and cruel people. I’ve just cut everyone out and have my dog. I’m 50, and its not true when you give, be compassionate, self less, living, share, sacrifice your self it comes back, it isn’t true. You turn out to be a door mat well before they wipe their feet I’m either in a flight remove the door mat or fight had a freaking enough of people. People seriously are fake well majority. It’s all about status, keeping up w the jones. My Mom passed I was the only one in those 3 in half years who gave up everything to help my Dad who has lots of these traits. My siblings educated, money, big homes…never did a damn thing. Mom was passing away they all stepped out it was just us. She was married for 62 years you know who she trusted to pass away with the person who was trying to be honest, sincere, loyal, imperfect but trying like hell to get it right. After her passing they all took over. Her service was not her, after they had a Celebration of life of her life hell in three years no one visited her. I went to each person watched my vocabulary n asked them why? Busy my brother no time, you volunteered to help Mom so she had you another brother, my older sister it was too dysfunctional. All bulls@#t. Well, I’ve forgiven but I really do not care for those people. I used to look up to two. No more. They were not the folks I thought they were my Dad even sucks. Hmm, I’m bipolar, it doesn’t make a person these traits it helps you see people thoroughly clearer. All these people traits above were around me as a kid to growing up augh and yes they are in me also I’m very aware. Forgive, let go, pick yourself up alone, and keep striving for good. Looking everywhere. It’s in all of us I think we all battle but I’m not perfect. Everyday I learn a life lesson about others, myself, and the hard one how to change more for the better. This is a very good article. It keeps me in perspective and learning. Guess everyone has faults.

      • Kathy Cummins

        Thinking out loud. I did time in the military hmm do people really care seriously if I had sacrificed my life for them. Since I’ve been out its been nothing but cruel people majority of the time, gossipy, judgemental before they learn who you are geese, judged, extremely fed with the bureaucracy. It’s nuts…no one likes you when your poor but wow when you make money or have stuff they luv yah. Tired of the sherades….

  • disqus_k0EwDOgQCg

    Both of my parents are both judgmental Jims. My father is a narcissistic nancy. I moved away from them and right in and married a woman who was a manipulative mary, a narcissistic nancy, a debbie downer, a judgmental jim, a disrespectful danny and a never enough nelly. I had never dated anyone before her and she was my first everything. She saw my codependent self coming a mile away and latched on. I was 23 and she was 34. I stayed with her for 7 years until I couldn’t take anymore. Now it’s 8 months later and I am STILL a mess. If you see these people coming RUN. they will suck the life out of you.

  • Smokin Bear

    Excellent article addressing a very real social problem. THANK YOU! I was raised in an exceedingly toxic home – Parental and sibling narcissism including manipulation followed by intense physical beatings if I ever dared say ‘no’ – I became a fearful ‘people pleaser,’ always giving the best of myself for the sake of others and expecting a stomping at every turn.
    A byproduct of my upbringing is that I was imprinted with the belief that I was nothing and deserved only crumbs in life and therefore sought out people who fit the family roles that I thought were ‘normal’ – people I now understand are Toxic Friends. I’ve since reached a point of clarity after turning 50 and have been removing the ‘crumbs’ from my life – people who mistreated me and took advantage of my good will on a regular basis – every one of them fit the definitions in your article to a T.
    Through years of counseling, I’ve learned to say no and emotionally detach from these sick people. My brother and sister are pushing 60 and still enmeshed in their jealousy, hyper-criticism, bullying, lying and abuse. Mom, as the supreme Narcissistic Manipulator, at 80 is still trying to hold court over the lives of her adult children. I’ve successfully set real boundaries but it is ongoing work and exhausting at times.
    As I’m embracing the notion of filtering, recognizing that I do have good healthy people in my life, each day holds promise for growth.

    • brettblumenthal

      Toxicity is insidious…for sure. And unfortunately, many of us don’t even see it when it is there. I’m glad to hear that you’ve found ways to combat it and create a more healthy, happy life!

    • mykid3030

      I read extreme wisdom in your comment, Smokin’ Bear. Thank you for sharing the growth so evident in your journey.

  • subhankar

    My ex girlfriend shared many of these traits. We were in long distance relationship for a long time. She would often complain about my appearance and then say she loved me in spite of my deficiencies. I used to get really depressed every time I heard that. I used to do everything in my capacity to meet her, please her and so (including booking several flight tickets to see her) . She was penniless and always complaining why I couldn’t be with her. Her complaints often affected my mental peace and studies. Still I, being a co dependent person stayed on. Then last month she dumped me saying I am too selfish. I initially felt rather depressed. Then I realised a few days back, my life was totally depressing because of her, I was always tense and I simply stopped being myself. I feel liberated now and thank heavens that she left me. I want to get myself back on track and be more confident before getting into another relationship 🙂

    • Mark

      Werd! Right on. I just parted company with two “friends” who routinely undermine my self-esteem and confidence in my discernment and intuition, apparently to keep me manipulable. It happens that these two are women, which I find interesting because I have a particular vulnerability to manipulation by women, my kryptonite. I have this vulnerability because I grew up believing that the measure of a man is in the heart of a woman. (Neko Case) She says I’m worthless and so I believe her and do what she says would make me more worthy. Fuck that.

  • Revenge

    just got rid of two toxic people in my life and it feels great!!! Both of them are selfish, time-wasters, and are not interested in building genuine friendships with me so I just dumped them just like that! Good riddance to bad rubbish. And I wasn’t even nice about it, I just told them off just like that. That’s what you should tell toxic ppl, don’t play mrs. nice, rub it back in their faces! let them taste a bit of their own medicine for a change.

  • Mary

    I was an alcoholic for years and dated and lived with another one (can anyone say “disaster”?) I finally got sober and well…him, not so much. After leaving, growing, changing and finding happiness with myself and somewhat normal (non-dysfunctional) people, the difference is amazing. While I take full responsibility for my past and actions, these people never do, and their only joy is blame, control, chaos, and anger. This man still is trying to contact me after 2 years perplexed about why I want nothing to do with him or his even sicker family. My stance: your first obligation is to YOURSELF. Stay away from toxic people: weed them out of your life, and be cautious about who you let in. Be selective, like a club. You cannot fix or change anyone, period. It is amazing how once you get away from them, you can spot these personalities immediately and it becomes a natural aversion to stay away…almost like a noxious chemical that irritates your eyes and nose and makes you queasy.

    Do yourself a favor: don’t walk away…RUN. They don’t get it, and probably never will. Don’t waste your time and energy…life is full of better things. Period.

    • Marti

      Excellent advice! !

  • Mary

    Try something really interesting if you are unlucky enough to still have one of the above types in your life, a type of psychological experiment: mirror back EXACTLY what they project onto you and others BACK TO THEM.

    The interesting thing is, they will go away and LEAVE YOU ALONE, because they no longer have anything to FEED off of emotionally, spiritually, psychologically. It’s like shining a 100,000 mega-watt bulb on a vampire…and that’s what these people are, emotional and psychological VAMPIRES~

    • fool me once

      I hatevto admit it, but this comment is basically right Toma at least in my current situation. I got involved with a coworker, big mistake I know, who he is manipulative to almost exactly how it is defined here. The difference was that I couldn’t lose face at work when he would play his mind games… Which involved him gazing at me intensely saying he missed me and why have I been MIA… I held this disillusioned image of what our relationship was, or could be for that matter, resulting in liking the strength to hold on to boundaries that would have prevented need from ignoring my values and believe about what a real relationship entails

  • Andrei

    I just read your response to the article about toxic relationships. I’m like you, about the same age too. Maybe it’s a stage in our human development where we outgrow and rise above the downtrodders. We only live once, it’s our life so we’re taking back what’s left of it. I’ve also stopped drinking, (self-medicating), and feel so in control it’s scary. I’m ready to take on the world!

  • Mary B.

    My sister is all of the above–she is 75 now and I put up with her for six decades. Taking all the characteristics into consideration, she is just plain creepy. Now she’s using all her toxic tactics on our other sister, who is a kind and sweet person. I’ve tried to warn this sister that she’s in for a tough time. (She has MS and is not very well.) So happy I got rid of the toxicity of toxic sister. I love her, but as my sister, not the mentally-ill woman she has become.

  • Susie


    I just found this blog and commentary early this morning, after spending NYE with my three sisters and brother, at the annual party. It dawned on me, just prior to leaving that event, that I cannot continue to accept the toxic comments and manipulation that is practiced by two sisters.

    My older sister constantly compares us to deceased relatives and makes her own judgement on who we are like. Most passed on prior to our achieving adulthood, so this is based on her ideas and what she believes our mother told her about them. At one point, after she had been gushing on and on about how much my younger sister is most like our mother, that younger sister then turned to me and said that I was most like our most profane(and abused) aunt, who was actually the hardest working and most entreprenuerial of all five aunts on that side of the family. She wasn’t the easiest person to deal with, but she fought back and achieved many things; our mother was quite fond of her. I am overly polite and very non-profane, so it didn’t make sense to me at all. It was the javelin of the night and part of what caused be to eventually get up and walk toward the coat closet.

    She meant it as an insult but I then responded that I take after our mother in the areas of adventure and social service, like sky diving, flying, volunteering and public speaking, none of which they do. Okay then. It’s the Momsters (with children) versus the Tomboys (without children) in our family; they never stop criticizing our youngest sister so I’m not really surprised that she has so many issues.

    I confided once (only!) with my older sister about a difficult time in my life and within one day her daughter in law unfriended me on Facebook! I knew she had told her my confidential story as I rarely ever see that woman, much less confide in her; it was the realization that whatever I say becomes immediate gossip. That was very enlightening, to say the least. I’ve been too trusting and naive; now I’m only on FB with my aviation buddies.

    Both Momsters have a very unusual relationship and attachment to each other and I’ve wondered for some time if there is more to that than meets the eye. They think we will all end up together in old age but no, I will not go there. I would easily become the abused Cinderella in that situation, starting the cycle all over again.

    After moving back to my home state four years ago and being gone for about 40 years, I have been trying to rebuild relationships with all of my sisters. This has had a boomerang effect, where I get sucked in and realize I’ve become just like them, followed by an about-face, where I flee that situation, go into avoidance mode and move back to who I am. Then they are really nice to me and I get sucked in again, ending up in the same cycle. Having grown up in the same toxic family, I’ve tried for decades to change my behaviour for the better and was a bit shocked to find out they never changed a bit, just became more so.

    I’ve continued to work on having more emotional intelligence when dealing with them, but last night I found myself feeling sad again and just wanting to flee the party. When I first arrived here in my home state, I went through some family counseling regarding their behaviour and that person advised that I should stay away from them. But they are family, right? After struggling with it for years now, I’m ready to start 2013 anew. Last night was the defining moment for me.

    Going forward it will mean limited exposure on major holidays and always planning my early departure; unless I schedule trips to see friends on those dates! We are all now in our 60s and they will not change these patterns because they see nothing wrong with these javelins being thrown. The insecurity and jealousy is held very deep in their personalities and nothing I do will change that. I vow not to be manipulated or take any of this nonsense seriously, I have my own life to live and there is much to be done to leave my mark for a better society.

    I was alone too long with strong self-esteem to accept this treatment any longer; my friends view me with honor, respect and love. Now that I realize my siblings won’t ever accept me for who I really am, it’s time to follow my vision and live my life however I want. Freedom at last from that mental trap!

    Thank you Brett for this insightful article and best wishes for a blessed and happy new year!

    • brettblumenthal

      Thank you so much for your comment and for sharing your story. Realization and seeing the light is what is most important! Good luck and happy New year!

  • ormando

    what about the peter pan patricks, the man or woman thats still a boy or girl drinking partying most nights, who needs constant validation from others and might occationally talk like an adult at times but actions speak louder than words. They have unrealistic ideas of ‘settling down’ and deal with most issues by finding another concert or party to go to instead of facing the challenges required. Perhaps they have been in serious relationships in the past but at the time of true commitment they have left a string of confused faces.

    They are unrealisic and rigid in their ways and cannot maintain the adult side for more than a day with their view on life being all about fun.

    People often mention how cool and fun they are to you and as a friend they are but for a relationship of intimacy and connection they are toxic.

    -Ive gotta stick to my values next time.

  • Donesha

    I live with judgmental jim!! lol

  • Robert in Toronto

    You obviously were skirting around “Feminist Freda”. She possesses each & every one of these Cluster-B character traits, all in a single 500 gallon waste drum-barrel-shaped morphology. She should be shunned, silenced (with a scold’s bridal), & left to abuse her hoard of cats.

  • ANA


  • James

    Very interesting reading,at the moment I’m dealing with an individual in the workplace who covers nearly all aspects of the above.I feel the problem with this person is that everything that I’ve achieved in a short time is he finds the negativity in it saying “why him why does he get this why why why and so on,he places undo manipulation on people and a toxicity through the workplace not only amongst us but also a strain on other work crews when we work with them.Hes extremely cunning and extremely ecotastical person who can push the boundaries to the limit but is always quick to back step when it comes to laying all the cards on the table when theirs issues.I feel management are to blame in someway for this for not nipping it in the bum so it hasn’t snowballed to the situation we are all in at the moment but then again that’s what these people are good at what they do.

  • xSassySusiex

    A lot of Debbie Downers have been raised by Manipulative Mary/Narcissitic Nancy combos. It can be a hard outlook to change but not impossible with proper therapy and a willingness to be realistic, among other things.

  • sue

    yes I also had to get rid of three women whom I had done a lot for over the years presents and helping them with their computer problems. one was very bossy with me and her friend ridiculed me over weight at a xmas party, waited til she had a safe audience and humiliated me. … the next one criticised my home decorating skills, her hubby is a wallpaperer and painter and if he did some work here she would come over and look it up and down… also criticised my boy who had his car on the front lawn.. her own children were smoking pot and she used to do a quick scan when she came in my house to see what I had done to it, the other one ran down everyone I knew and her friends and family ..her family gave up on her too..I went on a weeks holiday with this one never again. and then I found out two other women had been away with her and had the same carry on as I had over diet etc. she is diabetic and didn’t seem to want to pay half for our breakfast stuff.. strange lady she was a very big lady… I have had a hard time in my life with bi polar hubby who is epileptic as well. my handicapped son is now in care due to my health problems.. I have a new hobby and new friends now and I can never get over why women do this to other women… each xmas I gather four ladies together all age groups we have a coffee together at my home and we discuss our year and what we want to achieve next year they request I do this as they only see each other once a year here.. I had to love myself after 7 trips to hospital with my son and then I found out he was getting bullied where he lived.. made my life hell… he had to move house and is now improving in health…he can’t tell me anything as he is handicapped and doesn’t speak.

  • Diane

    Thanks, Brett, for your well written articles on as dealing with toxic boundary-breakers can be challenging. I pride myself on being positive and willing to listen, yet their issues are always ‘more important’. Standing my ground and stating my boundaries doesn’t work with the controlling, manipulative, narcisscistic types, and they tend to exhibit disrespectful tendencies. No matter the approach, whether it be compassionate concern nor simply stated boundaries, work with these types as they continue their disillusioned behaviours toward myself and others in their life. It’s amazing how many people tend to put up with it! I am finding that the best thing for me is to step away from them and let them go. I’d like to believe that people can change and I know they can, yet most don’t seem to feel they need to, an unconscious awareness on their part. As for me, I continue do my best to learn and practice how to offer healthiness in relationship. This makes for a happier life!

    • brettblumenthal

      This is so true Diane. There are people who just don’t get it. And if you do your best to set boundaries respectfully, and they never seem to adhere, cutting them out of your life is maybe the best solution. Sometimes, it is difficult…if the person is family for instance. However, I believe you need to take care of yourself first and foremost, and if cutting time out from seeing them helps, then so be it!

  • cannon shelly

    Good day,Compliments of the season to you all out there.. I am so full with joy as i write this post right now.. i really have had an en counted with a real spell caster who is so true with is word and he does what he says he will do. He is the realest of all spell casters out there.. so genuine and true. I want to thank High priest ozigididon for all he had done for me within the short time i met him.. he has really made my end of year a memorable one and has made me know that there is still hope.Thank you once again for bring back my lost love and making my life sweet and better.. I am so happy for the divine turn around he brought to my life. friends out there.. search no further for fake and scam spell caster, the real one is and his name is High priest ozigididon, Contact him today and share your problems with him and i am so optimistic there will be a solution to that problem when been brought to High priest ozigididon. Am so grateful.

  • cannon shelly

    Good day.Compliments of the season to you all out there.. I am so full with joy as i write this post right now.. i really have had an en counted with a real spell caster who is so true with is word and he does what he says he will do. He is the realest of all spell casters out there.. so genuine and true. I want to thank High priest ozigididon for all he had done for me within the short time i met him.. he has really made my end of year a memorable one and has made me know that there is still hope. Thank you once again for bring back my lost love and making my life sweet and better.. I am so happy for the divine turn around he brought to my life. friends out there.. search no further for fake and scam spell caster, the real one is and his name is High priest ozigididon, Contact him today and share your problems with him and i am so optimistic there will be a solution to that problem when been brought to High priest ozigididon. thanks

  • Dr Uwa

    My name is Rosie Smith. To cut the long story short I tried about 3 different spell casters over a period of 3 months and all they wanted was more & more money and kept coming up with excuses that why the spell wasn’t working. Just when I was about to give up I came across several good testimonies of Dr. Aluda over the internet. I contacted him and he promised to restore my faith back into spell casters, that there are real and love spells that do actually work. I was very skeptical after several scam spell casters. Mine wasn’t a simple spell but Dr. Aluda went above & beyond his way to look for extra money when extra work was required. Always called & txt on time. Replied to emails on time. Only asked for half the spell money as initial payment. My partner had walked out on me one day with no explanation …. I was devastated. When I was about to give up hope, Dr. Aluda Spell guided and encouraged me, and then he was back 3 days after the spell was casted. I recommend Dr. Aluda extremely highly. Dr.Aluda you are a gifted man and I will not stop recommending him because he is a wonderful man. If you have a problem and you are looking for a real and genuine spell caster, Try him anytime, he is the answer to your problems. You can contact him on : He is the best caster that can help you with your problems. He restored my faith and I AM FINALLY HAPPY
    From Usa

  • Angela Felix

    thank you for the time you have given me to help make me a better person and make much more and see much more in my life. I know I had personal problems. I guess I did not want to see what the truth was about my direction in life and why I was doing certain things. Your insight and genuine ability to be able to see what the real situation is with me is helping me overcome the boundaries I have right now. I know it will not be easy the path I have chosen but at least now I do know what path I want to be on., Thanks to you I know a little bit about myself enough to help me make changes within. Thank- you once again.It really is a big big help to have you in my life and on my side. I will forever be grateful to you Dr Eziza I had already tried three different internet spell caster’s services, Then my friend told me about Dr Eziza. I wasn’t sure anything would come of it, but I thought, why not take a chance? I cast a Love Spell, and the very next week a gorgeous guy came up to me at a party and asked me to dance. He is caring, kind, romantic – everything I always wanted. We’ve been together for six months, and we’re about getting married. I’m a believer!” If you requires any assistance, you can contact him through and his contact number is +2347054206121

  • Nancy Austin

    I thoroughly dislike insincere people who ask about you (How are you doing? Any plans for the weekend? and so on) and then they not-so-subtly signal that they don’t really give a good goddam. This one guy at work is *always* doing this. He’ll ask, “How was your weekend?” as though he cares. But before you’ve had a chance to say anything substantive, he’s chucking “Nice!” at you as though it’s a grenade and he wants to short-circuit your response…probably so he doesn’t want to listen you at all. As though he can jump right over the experience that you want to relate.

    Jim: “So how was your weekend?”
    Me: “Well, Jim, I went to the zoo with my niece…”,
    Jim (cutting in):”Nice!!”
    Me: “…and on the way home we got sideswiped by a semi. My niece is in the ICU.”

    And it’s always “Nice!!” that he says, every frigging time. How can someone not realize that they say THE SAME THING every time?!? And that saying the same thing every time really underlines what a moron/robot they are?

  • Pando

    Lets not forget the busy-body personality type that looks to report people for “breaking rules”. Often community gossipers, these unforgiving souls will report for any “infringement” on society such as your car road tax going out of date. They say to themselves “well I don’t see why THEY shouldn’t have to pay when I do!” rather than “well its not affecting my life, or perhaps they haven’t gotten round to it yet.”
    These people, conditioned by a lifetime of safe choices often resent others for living freely, or being young, or simply chasing goals higher than simply playing the perfect community member. They are an Orwellian dream, the perfect example of people policing one another. They are suspicious by nature and will go out of their way to make you have a bad day if they can.

    You might have guessed that I have a personal investment against this type! You’d be right if so, as when I returned 5 days later than originally planned from holiday abroad I found that my car had been crushed. One of these busybodies apparently believed that I was costing society by having my road tax a week out of date.
    It’s hard to take a passive stance and tell yourself karma will deal with such people when you return from a relaxing holiday to a crushed car!
    I just think it’s a damn shame that society tends to breed such characters in the first place

  • Okay I understand how these
    personality types are toxic but if you don’t think that you have at least a few
    of these not so great personality quirks than you are probably a narcissist
    yourself, I’ve come to learn that no one is perfect we all have personality
    faults and unless the behavior is abusive is something you can learn to be
    around and simply accept as one negative, hopefully out of many other
    positives – Lauren

  • Tam A

    Ive encountered the first one , it took me YEARS to realise i was manipulated as i was’ best friends ‘with this girl since childhood. I realised what she was towards the end of high school and ive completely cut her offf. It was the best thing i ever did.

  • joey

    Great post. Always take care of number one first. It’s ok to be a little selfish for our own well being. When we sacrifice or make accommodations for people who don’t deserve it or take us for granted we are doing a grave diservice to ourselves and make ourselves vulnerable. be careful out there. there’s many §H!+ heads soulless humans in world.


    I knew someone who embodied ALL of these traits. Don’t know her anymore!


    The sad part of this is…if you continue to ALLOW YOURSELF…Yes, you ALLOW IT…then you begin to resent yourself and feel guilty. Each time you subject yourself to the toxic, or malefic person…your self esteem diminishes more and more each time. What happens then is that you start resenting yourself and turn the anger inward and begin doing some quite self destructive things to yourself as a form of “punishment”, because YOU KNOW DEEP INSIDE YOURSELF YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO STAY AWAY FROM THIS PERSON, OR PEOPLE. It is quite scary the situations we can get ourselves into. Quite scary! I send each and every one of you positive healing energy that are dealing or have dealt with toxic individuals. If you are still dealing with these a**holes and you want to know how to break free…you just DO IT! Do not do it subtly. It will not work. Believe me! You block their number. Change your number. Don’t answer or return their calls. Hell…even MOVE if you have to. You do WHATEVER it takes…with no apologies AT ALL…to get yourself free.

  • Joseph Frederick

    I wonder when it started for them? Were they always like this. Did someone manipulate them to the point of being in question of themselves.
    Turning it around and facing the truth as their anger or frustrating behavior takes from the aspect of the person they once were. Choice and change rather than the excuses of finding truth or reason. Leave it and go on from what you know only will take the person you really are. Im trying to understand it myself how everyone around me has affected me and how it has caused trust issue’s. I Notice it. The Toxic personalities all around and then those looking for an answer. To be or ignore those or save yourself as you wonder if its already to late.

    Just knowing helps but i won’t talk bad about others as it may be true that toxic substances of being was passed on from someone they trusted maybe raised them and didnt realize it in time. Now forever unaware..finding happiness just cant exist.

  • dazedandconfused

    I have an aunt who embodies ALL of the above, and when I was young, I had no where to live so she took me in. I came to her as as happy, fun-loving, open-minded person and walked away three years later a depressed, self-loathing, judgemental person. I’m still trying to undo the mental and emotional damage she caused. She was also one of those super conservative right wing religious nuts and that certainly did not help.

  • Victoria

    It took me many years to see through my father’s lies. We were close at one time. He is a very positive, charismatic person and very outgoing. People love him, if they don’t really know them. I WANT to believe that he is capable of a real relationship with me, but he just isn’t, and it’s been hard to accept that. I got angry with him many times because of the lies and manipulation. He got much worse as he got older. He has taken advantage of me and many other family members and friends for money. I know that he is a narcissist, but I have tried to set the past aside, and set a fresh foundation for a relationship with him. Each time I tried, he ended up trying to take advantage of me. I had to accept that, at this point, I’ve done everything I can to try to have a good relationship with him. And it is not my fault that it failed. It is just impossible to have a real relationship with someone who won’t be real with who they are or what’s going on in their life. I invite him over twice a year, for my son’s birthday and for Christmas. I actually do it for his benefit, and my son’s, not mine. If I didn’t have a son, I would cut him off completely. Twice a year is about all I can take of him. He is absolutely a toxic person and completely self-delusional narcissist. Even so I STILL wish I could have a closer relationship with him,, because I do still love him. Unfortunately that will only cause me more frustration and pain and I just have to accept that,, as much as it hurts. God has been with me on this journey, and brought me great comfort despite the disappointment. He knows how much I have hurt because of this. In fact, I have so many wonderful things going on in my life, and it is my father’s loss that he is not a part of it, but it is 100% his own fault. I’ve learned I don’t have to feel guilty or ashamed of his choices and mistakes. I am a successful person in spite of who he is because of God’s grace and faithfulness to me.

  • Meggie

    Nobody is more toxic than those who call anybody who disagrees with them “toxic”……if I hear anybody use that word about a friend behind that friend’s back, I immediately see that person as a weasel.

  • ninawina

    I work with two different women who are nice enough, but when I am enjoying life and feeling very happy, they will take almost any topic that comes up and bring up some sad, depressing memory associated with it. For instance, very recently I was ‘complaining’ at about 10 am to one of these people in a humorous way about putting up our Christmas tree, and we were both talking about mundane Christmas topics, when without warning she brought up the fact that when her father was dying, he wanted a little tree in his room and she brought him one, and then he died not long afterwards. And even though he was so very ill at the time, this made his last days happier ones. And how sometimes when people are dying, around Christmas time, she is reminded of this memory (that happened over 30 years ago). Well, I walked away shortly afterward completely deflated and sad. Thinking about my own relatives who had died, etc. When ten minutes earlier, I was happy. 10 am, death wasn’t really on my mind.

    Now this might not seem like much, except the woman does it fairlyoften. Not the same story, obviously. Especially when we seem to be smiling about something or other. She will bring up some bittersweet memory of someone’s death or fatal illness.

    I find myself totally blindsided, and unprepared for such a downbeat turn in the conversation. I find myself avoiding speaking to her for longer than a minute or two. Even if she seems to be reminiscing about a happy memory, she will reverse at some point and the memory becomes sad/bittersweet. The smiles are replaced by sympathetic frowns and sympathy.

    The other woman I work with doesn’t do it as often. Her conversation is more about people in her family, or her orbit, or her children’s orbits, who died young. Again, it comes without warning and you daren’t mention the flu for fear she will talk for minutes on end about young people who have died from it. If you mention a high school play, she will tell you about how five years ago, the girl who starred in the high school play died a couple years later. If you say the local college is winning the championship, she’ll say it’s too bad that last year the guy who was the team captain dropped dead. Etc. I don’t get it. People will be having a fun time and all of a sudden, she wants to talk about a tragedy.

    There’s a time and a place for these things. I’m not a shallow person, but I don’t want to be brought down when I’m in a good mood, when the topics are not even recent events (which of course would be quite different, and should be given their due in conversation). Just curious if anyone else has had this experience.

    It’s the not the usual experience of people being deliberately “downers” but they are downers nonetheless.

  • B. Nicholas Graham

    By the same judgements shall ye be judged. Shame on all of you. Unto the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.