You may have heard that psychologists believe that the top 5 associates you hang out with will influence your thoughts, feelings and your behavior. Choosing to associate with people who are self-confident, empowered and speak and behave in optimistic ways, enriches our lives. Those who are pessimistic, easily angered, unstable, or possess a victim mentality, can negatively impact our holistic (whole) health.
Understanding characteristics of toxic people is important to choosing friends. Learn how to walk away from people who threaten your peace of mind, self-respect, or self-worth. Below is a list of common characteristics of toxic individuals. Learn ways to set boundaries and stop them from infringing on your happiness.
Characteristics of Toxic People:
- Les Miserables. They always seem to be depressed and down on themselves. They focus their thoughts and conversation on what’s wrong in their lives. They may have physical symptoms such as low energy, weak posture, and dis-empowered speech and passive demeanor.
- The Self–Absorbed. These individuals believe that the world revolves around them. They believe that their needs, wants and feelings justify their rudeness, insensitivity and lack of empathy.
- The Victim. They are always making excuses. They either blaming other people, circumstances or life for their inability to get what they desire. Whatever their situation, they are the victim and refuse to learn anything new.
- Know-it-Alls. Inflexible, narrow and close-minded people who can only accept you if you agree with their beliefs
- The Hot-Head. Anger prone people and people who are quick to anger.
- Drama Queens & Kings. People who always have something dramatic going on…they thrive in a turbulent, dramatic life-style…
- Criminals. Don’t surround yourself with people who think they are above the law (entitled) or those who believe their needs are more important than others. Good relationships require equality, reciprocity and fairness.
- Addicts. People with addictions to drugs, alcohol, gambling or sex can be toxic as they may not be able to control their words, impulses or behavior due to intoxication.
- Power Players & Manipulators: Bosses, Co-workers, Friends and Family who consistently disrespect, belittle, dismiss, criticize, shame or manipulate you, are toxic! Their need to feel superior often includes deliberately failing to acknowledge your skills, talents, strengths and accomplishments.
When to Set Boundaries:
You’ll know it is time to set a boundary when:
- Someone is repeatedly insensitive to your needs, wants or feelings.
- You feel hurt, disrespected or insulted by the way they treat you.
- You feel bullied or threatened.
- You feel someone is pushing their ideas, beliefs and ideology on you without regard or respect for your individuality.
- You feel you’re being lied to and/or manipulated.
- Someone exhibits menacing and/or irrational behavior.
- You feel taken advantage of by someone.
- Your space, privacy or belongings are being infringed upon.
- You’re being blamed for things you didn’t do.
- You’re being cursed at or raged at; it’s not OK to scream at and/or call people names.
- You’re being guilted or shamed for asserting your individual ideas, rights and/or preferences.
Strategies for Setting boundaries:
- With Friends or Family. You’ll need to…Have the ‘Talk’. Start by sitting down, preferably face to face with the person with whom you’ve had a boundary issue and clearly and concisely state your boundaries. IE: No one is allowed to yell or rage at me, bully me, lie to me, steal from me, try to shame or guilt me, ….etc.
- Discuss Consequences of Boundary Violation. Be sure to explain the consequences you will impose for failing to respect your boundaries. This may be that you will leave, restrict communications, or adopt a strategy of no contact.
- Stop Contact! If you’ve shared your boundaries and they continue to violate them, it is time for them to go! You may find it necessary to stop responding to them, or even block their calls, texts or e-mails and go “no-contact”.
- Your Neighbors / Neighborhood. Consider relocating to an environment that makes you feel happy and joyful.
- Your Significant Other – Break up with the abuser. If you’re married, get a divorce.
- In business, don’t enter into contracts with negative clients, they’re not worth their business.
- At work, try to change departments, jobs or find another job elsewhere.
- Socially, Raise the number of positively influential people in your life. Add people, high-quality books, and ‘virtual associates’ such as interesting seminars, uplifting social media, ie: Ted Talks, etc.
Toxic individuals often demonstrate a sense of entitlement, are self-absorbed, and demonstrate little empathy for others. As adults, they will likely already have a pattern of hurting or manipulating others to get what they want. If you choose to enter into a relationship with them, expect your boundaries to be violated as it’s unlikely they will ever change.
Established in 1992, Healing Hands School of Holistic Health boasts two Certification Programs and 80+ Massage and related Holistic Health classes. To date, we’ve prepared more than 7,000 Graduates for rewarding careers as Professional Massage Therapists and can do the same for you. Find out more online at www.HealingHandsSchool.com or call us at (959) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills, (760) 746-9364 in Escondido, or (858) 505-1100 in San Diego.