If you’re around toxic people a lot, you may feel like your life is filled with drama. They’re always complaining about something, have a new crisis to spin, or are experts at playing the victim. They crave your empathy, sympathy and pity, but you don’t have to play along. Instead, teach them that you will not be a part of their pity party and will only help if they’re ready to take action to solve their own problems.
Another red flag to look out for is people who never apologize for their rude or hurtful words. They don’t see the impact their actions have on you and they will often use past transgressions to justify their behavior. Most people have bad days and sometimes say things they don’t mean, but if put-downs, insults, and verbal abuse are the norm in your relationship, it’s time to reassess your situation.
People who love to complain, play the victim card, manipulate others, or lie compulsively may also have an inability to accept that they’re in a toxic relationship. They will continue to blame everyone else and themselves for their problems, and they will often use threats, emotional blackmail, guilt trips or manipulation tactics in an attempt to get what they want.
Learning how to recognize and understand these toxic behaviors can help you make healthier decisions in the future. Bohemond recommends having what he calls a “clear conversation” with someone when they are not in a mood to talk, explaining that their behavior is not acceptable and that you will set boundaries that will be enforced.