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8 Signs of a Toxic Person You Shouldn't Ignore

by Danielle Wright

The information age is dominated by articles and details on just about every topic you can think of, but lots of paraphrasing and a hunger for validation or a TikTok check have led many to downright tell lies.

The lie is more entertaining than the truth after all. It seems for most of us we’ve become desensitized to relationships—whether platonic or romantic. Many of us no longer find it suitable to fight for relationships or put effort into anyone, with the motto M.O.E. (money over everything) taking on a new form and a life of its own. Sure, having more money can’t hurt, but what about love? What about finding that special someone to share it with and create memories? Without that, is life worth living at all?

Of course, the response is subjective because lots of people have found solace in their own solitude, no longer seeking outside validation or approval from the people around them. But it’s safe to say that for a good majority of us, we’ve taken the information that others have dished out without them having any proper certification or proof behind their theories, and we’ve labeled it truth, oftentimes misjudging people and pushing them away due to our own lack of knowledge. I always say empathy will get you far, further than any degree ever will.

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When you have empathy for the people around you, then you understand that our environment plays a key role in our upbringing and how we choose to interact with the people around us. I always think back to the New York socialite, Anna Delvey, or Anna Sorokin, and the fact that she was able to defraud the wealthy elites of NYC simply because she “looked and acted the part.”

Born on January 23rd in a working-class satellite town south of Moscow, Russia, Anna’s father was a truck driver while her mother owned a small convenience store—needless to say she was not a rich socialite. But once she migrated to the United States and began emulating the women and men around her—those of them who were wealthy—she was able to pass as one of them. Her hair uncombed, her clothes luxury designers, and her attitude…rude.

But all this made her believable. It matters where you’re from and where you’re going and who you surround yourself with; your proximity is going to determine your circle of friends and options for love.

When we label everyone around us toxic, narcissistic, destitute, or if those are the only people we seem to attract, then it’s time to take a long hard look in the mirror and do some self-reflecting. Your circle is determined by who you are first. Signs of toxic people you shouldn’t ignore and how you can be attracting these people are explained below:


Toxic individuals often criticize others incessantly, focusing on their flaws rather than their positive attributes. You could be attracting these types of individuals because you, too, are critical of others. Perhaps you don’t always say what you’re thinking, but your facial expressions can give away your thoughts. Work on being less critical of others because you never know what someone else is going through.


People who spend their free time reading books like ‘The 48 Laws of Power’ and gloat about it via social media worry me. They are skilled manipulators, using tactics like guilt-tripping, gaslighting, or having a victim complex.

You could be attracting these types of individuals because you are not learning what these terms are and how they’re used in day-to-day interactions. Knowledge is power, and when you surround yourself with people who are obsessed with the thought of controlling others, it’s not cute nor attractive—run.


A toxic person may show a consistent lack of empathy, disregarding others’ feelings and/or experiences. You don’t have to like someone to feel empathy for them. We all want the best for ourselves, our family, freedom, and the achievement of self-actualization. This looks like partner acquisition, pursuing goals, utilizing, and developing talents and abilities.

You could be attracting these types of individuals when you brag about your own achievements and lack humility. We should all be proud of our accomplishments; we’ve worked for them, but there’s a time and place, and this is why 'reading the room' is so important. Anna was heavily disliked by her peers, and in the end, they got the last laugh as she was thrown in prison. Needless to say, she got a hefty paycheck from Netflix, but all of it went back into restitution and legal fees.


They may exhibit envy and resentment towards others’ success or happiness, leading to a toxic environment.

You could be attracting these types of individuals because your heart is not clean towards the people around you. Perhaps you’ve let some negative thoughts slip, and there is a reason why misery loves company—we know it’s bad to judge, but if others are doing it too, then it makes it okay somehow for those of us who indulge. However, it’s never okay to be jealous of others; not only will you block your own blessings, but you’ll only attract negative thoughts and energy into your space.


Toxic people seek control, dictating choices, isolating others, and micromanaging aspects of their lives. Something I’ve learned is a form of being controlling is expecting reciprocation from others. In other words, expecting people to treat you how you treat them and getting upset when they don’t. We cannot control the actions of others, only that of ourselves. Leave.

You could be attracting these types of individuals because you don’t like to admit defeat, or you don’t like the idea of losing a battle somehow. You want to feel justified in your actions when you choose to stay or continue to deal with someone who has shown you time and time again they do not have your best interest at heart. You can think you’re a good person, but you can’t be if you’re expecting the people around you to give you the same love and devotion that you give them.


A toxic person tends to thrive on drama, creating chaos and turmoil in their relationships. It’s easy to spot these people because they’re usually the so-called 'people pleasers' of the group, and I say that because these people lack boundaries but have a strong victim complex. They allow people to take advantage of them and then complain when it happens. They thrive in chaos on the low and should be avoided at all costs.

You could be attracting these types of individuals because maybe you like the fact that they give and "expect nothing in return," but rest assured, they’re keeping score, and once they realize that their grand gestures are not being reciprocated, then the tables will be flipped. You can’t blame them alone; you have to take some accountability for choosing to befriend or be around a person who does not have boundaries. This means that you could possibly be someone who does not respect boundaries, so you’re happy to take advantage of a person who doesn’t display having any.

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Toxic individuals disregard personal boundaries, invading personal space or using sensitive information against others. This is a big one because it’s circumstantial, and this goes back to my earlier thoughts where we’ve all become so desensitized to our emotions that many of us are downright mean. It’s okay to fall in love, it’s okay to care, it’s okay to pursue, and it’s okay to want your partner back after you’ve realized you’ve messed up.

We have to properly distinguish what it means to have a boundary and what it means to have our boundary violated or not respected. A person proclaiming their love for you after you’ve blocked them when you’ve spent years in a committed relationship with that person is not a boundary violation. It’s a form of empathy and an action that very much indicates care. We should not demonize that.

On the other hand, if you’ve met someone and have maybe only been on one date or had a few drinks, then they are not an addition to your life. If you decide to let this person go, then that should be respected, and your boundary enforced.

You could be attracting these types of individuals when you fail to stick to your boundaries or you enjoy it when people chase you, which gives you an opportunity to ignore them, mistreat them, or have little to no empathy for them. This is a form of low self-esteem. You should never want a person you’re not interested in to pursue you; this is a waste of their time and yours. Deliberately choosing to waste your time is a form of self-hate.

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Toxic individuals drain the emotional energy of those around them, leaving others feeling exhausted and depleted. When you get around these men and women, it’s almost as though your energy is completely gone after dealing with them or being around them for extended periods of time. It’s abnormal to allow anyone to drain you this way.

I think of friends who get angry or annoyed when their friend won’t spend a night out taking hundreds of pictures of them. It’s literally an inconvenience when you have a friend, and she’s upset with you for not taking her photos or not allowing you to indulge in the food you’re purchasing at a restaurant because the followers on her social media account—who are complete strangers and have no care to be in her physical presence as you do—are more important.

You could be attracting these types of individuals because you lack boundaries and are bad at choosing your friends. You don’t know what you want for yourself, so you accept anything that’s handed to you. You don’t think you deserve to have friends or family who will prioritize you because maybe you think that you’re being overly sensitive or demanding for wanting better for yourself. Learn to be more selfish and love your company.

Recognizing these signs can empower individuals to lead more fulfilling lives and prioritize their well-being, and if necessary, distance themselves from toxic relationships.


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