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4 Types of Toxic People and How to Deal With Them

This article was last updated on March 14, 2022

As vulnerable creatures, toxins are always something we strive to distance your bodies from. The same can be said about people toxic people, who have similar negative affects on our minds. According to a recent  study, a toxic person is one who is  “deeply wounded and for whatever reason, they are not yet able to take responsibility for their wounding, their feelings, their needs and their subsequent problems in life.”  Toxic people  are difficult to identify in everyday life, however.  They have usually integrated into your lifestyle so well, that you have become accustomed to their presence. However, you have certainly not become accustomed to their behavior. That is why the best way to identify such individuals is through their behavior and direct communication with you.

Here are 4 types of toxic people and how to properly deal with their presence in your life:

1. The one who plays the victim card

Toxicity is often not very evident with these types of people. Since they are usually sweet and respectful, it is difficult to pinpoint them as a toxin in one’s life.  Therefore, it is very difficult to remove them. The easiest way to identify the victims is through their inability to take responsibility for any of their actions.  They often feel powerless and blame others for their misfortunes. Due to this tendency to avoid their faults, they do not trust others. The finger pointing technique is their way out of any situation that does not satisfy them.

Their ability to constantly pity themselves is their strongest weapon. In their own eyes, they are the constant victims of life and they always need the help of those more fortunate around them.  In doing so, they are attract caring and compassionate people from whom to recharge their negativity.  If you happen to be a person of compassion, you can easily fall in their web of self-pity.

How to deal with them: The first step to fixing a relationship with a toxic person is to acknowledge their behavior. Look out for people who use constant excuses and who beg you for help on a regular basis. Pinpoint that one friend that complains about you spending too much money a clothing item, while THEY do not have enough money to pay their bills. To elaborate the sense of pity, they will often include the fact that they are unemployed because are a minority, or simply mistreated by their former boss.

Essentially look out for repetitive patterns of complaining and avoid helping them out in any way.  This is the only way to help them break the habit, and more importantly, help relieve yourself of their negative presence. Here a few other reasons to avoid toxic friends.

2. The retrograde

These people have trouble being assertive in their lives. Making bold decisions is definitely not their strong point and they despise others who are capable of doing it.  Growing up and moving forward is not their idea of a good life. Thus, they often seem immature and acts irresponsible.  They are the friend who makes fun of you for committing to a serious relationship while they are still living on their parents couch dreaming of having random hookups every night.

These people want to freeze the present and ignore the future. The difficulty with identifying these people, is that they are usually someone from your past who has always had a place in your  life.

How to deal with them: Once you recognize the manipulation, you need to relinquish it. If they are close friends from your past, you need to be blunt about your intentions for the future. Assure them that no matter what the changing circumstances, they will always have a place in your life. Do remind them, however, that life is about change and progress and try to aid them on their path to success.

If they continue to manipulate you through nostalgia for the past or through critical comments, simply let go. You do need to surround yourself with similar personalities. If they tug at your heartstrings, remind yourself that they are using these manipulative tactics in order to bring toxicity to your life.

3. The envious fake one

These are the most obvious toxin to identify. Often times their jealousy exceeds their ability to fake their presence. Therefore, they hand out dead giveaways to their true personality.  They will judge or ridicule your success and soak in your failures.  It is pointless to explain how these people damage your confidence and success. Therefore, all you need to truly know about these people is that they are energy vampires. Meaning that  they live off of your energy. The more you allow them to emotionally drain you, the worse you will feel about yourself and the better they will feel.

How to deal with them: Avoid sharing your secrets or successes with envious people. Have a tight group of people who you trust and avoid sharing anything personal with anyone outside of the group.  If you share your success with a jealous person they will bring negativity to the situation and possibly ruin your experience. Meanwhile, if you share something negative that has happened to you, they will rejoice in it.

They may gossip about it to other people or even ridicule you straight to your face in a passive-aggressive manner. These people are never an asset to anyone’s life. Try to remind them that their inability to succeed is not the consequence of your success.  If they understand you, good for them. Chances are, however, they will only become greener with envy. That is the moment you need to cut them lose! If you, yourself, want to be  the opposite of a toxic friend, read this!

4 . The Egotist

In other words- the attention seeker. The one who truly believes the world revolves around them.  You can recognize their toxic levels by the amount of attention they try to steal from other people. Because of their dire need to be the center of attention, they will often resort to unappealing acts of immaturity.

They start out small with mediocre acts of attention seeking. Interrupting during a conversation or acting pompous is one example. They might also come dressed in all white at a wedding, or break their job promotion news right at someone else’s birthday.

How to deal with them: Ignore them! No other way to put it nicely. If they crave all of the attention and make an entire group of people feel uncomfortable, they are certainly an egoist. The egoist will drain you emotionally and make you feel vulnerable. They will spur instantaneous anger in you with their toxic behavior. That is why the best solution is to simply let go of them.


Toxic people will always exist and try to interfere in our lives. That’s why it’s our own responsibility to manage and prevent them from taking over our lives. Do you have similar people in your life? How do you manage to deal with them calmly? Have a read through this article to find out how to deal with energy vampires!


photo credit: Eleazar via flickr

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