Hello to this weeks’s first blog! Of course, as the title says, this blog will be all about toxic people, how to recognise them and how to set boundaries in place when dealing with them. Stay safe out there!
Trigger warning for mentions of abuse and gaslighting ❤
In our lifetimes, no matter how old we are right now, we have more than likely dealt with a toxic person. Whether we recognised the signs at the start or not, things can certainly escalate quickly when you have a toxic person in your life.
Toxic people can leave us feeling all sorts of ways from sad and confused to emotionally exhausted and nervous around them.
Let’s start off by looking at the ten types of toxic people! (Though there are more types).
1. The Excusers. These people use all sorts of excuses to dismiss their behaviour so they don’t have to apologise. Whether this is mental health, grief or something different. Now of course, grief and mental health problems can cause us to react in ways we regret, and for that, we usually apologise. However some toxic people use these as an excuse even if they aren’t suffering with grief or mental health problems. Unfortunately, there are people out there who believe that using these as an excuse will get them dismissed easily, whether they have these problems or not.
2. The victims. This has a relation to number one. These people love to play victim in any scenario, turning the situation onto you and making you question your own judgement. This is called ‘gaslighting’. Gaslighting can make us feel confused and upset at not just them, but ourselves. We believe that we are the guilty party and that we are not helping the person, but hurting them instead.
3. The maskers. Those who convince the public that they are one thing when they are in fact entirely different. Now this one usually comes along with an abuser. An abuser will try their hardest in charming the public into believing that they are a nice person when behind closed doors, their mask falls and out comes a monster. To add to this, these ‘maskers’ may also add in that it’s the real victim who is the problem, not them. This is their way of getting the public, including the person’s friends, family and work colleagues to believe that the victim is actually the problem, which then increases the victim’s isolation from others.
4. The jokers. These ‘jokers’ hide everything behind a joke. Every nasty action, every nasty word is a joke. This is their way of quickly switching the blame from themselves onto the person who questioned their actions or words. This ‘joke’ excuse gives them many gateways into saying and doing what they like and then calling others ‘sensitive’ for not understanding the joke, when in fact, this can actually be considered a part of gaslighting.
5. The hypocrites. These guys hate it when you say or do things that they don’t like and can be quick to snap in these moments which can make you feel nervous and on edge around them. However, if you tell them that you didn’t like something they said or did, they’re most likely to just laugh in your face and continue doing it despite knowing that it hurts you.
6. The braggers. These people love to rub all of their accomplishments in your face even if they know you are struggling. Now of course, it’s all okay to talk about your accomplishments and what you are proud of. Here is a more detailed explanation of this point:
A person with a physical disability is proud of themselves because they have finally been able to clean their bathroom. They tell their friend their accomplishment, but rather than the friend being happy for them, the friend then gives this person with a disability a long list of what they have achieved that day and how they’ve been able to clean more than one room. Not only is this ignorant, but this can also leave the person feeling undermined and unnapreciated.
7. The self-focused ones. They don’t care about your likes and interests but expect you to care about theirs. Now, I have personal experience with one of these people so I can explain this. I used to chat to someone daily before I distanced myself from them because of this very reason. They talked to me a lot about their interests, mainly manga. Manga was never my thing, but for them, I always listened to every word they said with interest. However, when it came to me discussing what I loved, they practically ignored me and continued talking about manga or something else they enjoyed. These conversations always left me feeling drained and upset. I felt like I didn’t matter to them, so slowly, I distanced myself and to be honest, I’ve felt a lot happier ever since.
8. The diary dumpers. People who expect you to be their dumping ground or personal journal. I have also had experience with one of these people and it can cause a lot of tension not just between you both, but in yourself as well. They barely talk to you unless they need you to listen to their problems and then they leave again. They don’t want to sit with you and figure out a solution, they just want to dump all their problems on you whether they know you quite well or not. Of course it’s okay to talk to others about their problems, but we have to remember that throwing all our problems onto someone and then leaving and ignoring them can cause a lot of heartbreak in a person and can make them feel like they’re being used.
9. The snappers. Relating to number five, ‘snappers’ are very quick to anger, even over the most smallest of issues. These people can leave us feeling like we must walk on egg shells around them so we don’t upset them. This is especially worse if the person doesn’t discuss with us what angers them. Not only does this cause nervousness or fear, but we may also face a ‘trial and error’ situation where we must figure out ourselves what makes them burst.
10. Last but not least, the guilt-trippers. This is self-explanatory, anybody who purposefully makes you feel guilty over any decision is not worth it. Whether this is making you feel guilty for befriending someone, not befriending someone, taking up a job offer or a dream career or a college/university placement or anything else, you deserve the best and don’t deserve people making you feel guilty for doing things that make you feel good.
So, now that we’ve established a few types of toxic people, let’s get into how we can manage them!
Firstly, know your own image and sense of self! This fits perfectly with the gaslighting. Trust your instincts and know that a lot of their gaslighting is to shift the blame onto you. I know that gaslighting can be hard to recognise a lot of the time, but just stay safe out there please ❤
Here’s a few examples of what gaslighting can look like:
‘I did it for you.’
‘You’re just paranoid’.
‘I never did that’.
‘You did do that!’
‘You’re being too sensitive/overdramatic.’
‘You’re acting crazy’.
‘Maybe you’re just tired. You should sleep. You might feel less confused in the morning’.
Next, recognise how they make you feel. No friend, partner, family member or whoever should make you feel sad, angry, confused, nervous, scared, embarrassed, emotionally exhausted, felt uncared about or feel untrusting of them. Once you recognise how they make you feel, you can keep a close eye on everything else.
Next is to try and limit your time with them. This can be difficult especially if it is someone we love or live with, but most of the time, we can find a way to have some peace and quiet away from them whether this is going shopping, going fishing or any other way we can get away for a little while to relax and breathe.
Don’t gossip to them about others and don’t gossip to them even about your own problems. They can quickly use this against you!
The main one which will lead to the next points is to KNOW. YOUR. BOUNDARIES. Boundaries are very important when it coms to toxic people. Not only should you know your boundaries, but you should state them too. If a toxic person keeps messaging you and irritating or upsetting you, let them know that you’re switching your phone off for a while because you need to work on something, you need to sleep etc.
Another boundary is not putting them first all of the time or at any time. You are important, whatever they say and you deserve to look after yourself and treat yourself. You are allowed to put yourself first. This is not selfish, this is self-care.
Taking care of yourself and putting yourself first can also involve counselling or therapy if you feel like you need it!
Learn when to say no or walk away from them. Of course in certain circumstances such as abuse or if the person lives near you, this can be a challenge, but it is an important challenge.
Regarding this, if you do say no to them or do walk away from them, don’t go back on your words! I know that if it’s someone we love, we can feel that temptation to give in or go back to them, however this only tells them that no matter what they say or do to us, they will charm us enough to go back to them. In cases, this can make the toxicity even worse for us and even harder for us to escape.
All done! So today we have explored the world of toxic people, what they can appear as and what actions we can take to protect ourselves against them. I do hope this was a helpful read and I hope that if you are currently dealing with a toxic person, I hope you take these steps on board and take care of yourself, because you matter so much.
Sunday’s blog will be all about my rescued animals and how I helped them to find happiness again, and next week’s blog will be about things to consider before buying a bird! (Or any other animal!)
Thanks everyone! ❤