Why does she always have to be mean? Why can’t he understand? Why is it so hard for my boss to get it? Why does she have to always be so …. toxic!
Yes, toxic. Indeed, it is a strong word which means pertaining to, affected with, or caused by a toxin, or poison. That is the meaning attributed to the word. Sad when it is used to describe an individual’s behavior. But truth be told, there are many who act like toxins that poison our careers, dreams, goals, and aspirations. Year in year out, time and again they poison our ability to succeed. Yet why do so many choose to stick around such people? Toxic people are offensive, and people hate being around them.
So in order to succeed, we must get away from them. It is difficult when you work directly with such individuals, but when you choose them as your ‘Generous‘ friends, it’s a sure recipe for disaster.
Traits of Toxic People
Selected here are eight (8) of the characteristics described by Dr. Lillian Glass, Expert in Human Behavior. As alluded, if you see yourself in any of the traits, don’t Panic! Simply recognize the trait(s) and start the process to do something about it. But first, brace yourselves and let’s try to understand the various characteristics.
- The Cut-You-Downer is arrogant, mean, belittling, bitchy, hateful, self-righteous, condescending, threatened, superior, insecure, offensive, critical, sarcastic, disrespectful, underhanded, and fault-finding. They have little self-esteem and will find fault with you and with everyone else. They love to belittle, taunt, ridicule, others. They cut others down so they can build themselves up.
- The Self-Destroyer is victim-like, unrealistic, weak, unstable, sabotaging, rejecting, negative, threatened, selfish, lifeless, desperate, unappreciative, depressed, defiant, rebellious, and out of control. They hate themselves so much that they constantly tear themselves down and harp on what’s wrong with them, while berating themselves. They usually say things like “I’m so stupid”; “that was dumb of me”; or “I’m the worst.” In essence, self-destroyers try to cut themselves down before anyone else has a chance to do it. They hardly ever accept compliments and will negate any nice or kind words that come their way. They can be so full of self-loathing that they will become alcoholics, foodaholics, drug abusers, etc. Essentially self-destroyers don’t think they are worthy of good things or deserve anything positive in life.
- The Gossip is indiscreet, insecure, fault-finding, false, belittling, quick to place blame, brazen, hypocritical, competitive, hurtful, self-righteous, shallow, sharp-tongued, skeptical, sneaky, imposing, adversarial, conspiratorial, critical, disloyal, meddling, mean-spirited, offensive, and angry. The gossip loves to spread stories even embellish them, and may invent stories of his or her own. The gossip is usually a nosy person whose biggest pleasure is telling you about someone else’s misfortunes. He might find pleasure in telling stories about others. Gossips generally have very little going on in their own lives. So they want to be accepted and to feel important so they bring you the latest news (real or imagined).
- The Gloom and Doom Victim is masochistic, guilt-ridden, worrisome, sabotaging, resentful, rigid, selfish, rejecting, sad, negative, petty, fault-finding, paranoid, stubborn, whiny, weak, defeatist, unimaginative, self-destructive, fearful, solemn, cowardly, depressed, skeptical, unappreciative, suspicious, lifeless, lethargic, lackadaisical, defensive, and depressed. Gloom and Doom victims are depressing to be around. Their energy really zaps you as they tell you how horrible life is, has been, and will be for them. They aim to make you feel sorry for them, but they have no interest in any advice you offer. Their preference is to wallow in self-pity, certain that the world has done them in and everybody has done them wrong. Nothing ever goes right for them. Maybe it’s because their glass is always half empty rather than half full. They blame everyone but themselves when anything goes wrong in their lives.
- The opportunistic User is selfish, interfering, manipulative, back-stabbing, brown-nosing, secretive, indirect, disloyal, conspiratorial, dishonest, sneaky, unappreciative, underhanded, tenacious and seductive. Opportunistic users are out for themselves alone. They are fair weather friends who want you in their life only when it is convenient for them—when they can benefit. These people will do anything to get ahead. If they can benefit from someone or have benefited all they can, they discard the person like a used paper towel, without a second thought.
- The Me, Myself, and I Narcissist is selfish, egomaniacal, lacking in self-confidence, shallow, insecure, arrogant, boring, limited, socially inept, exhausting, obnoxious, flamboyant, self-centered, indiscreet, and a show-off. They have only one thing in mind—themselves. They are the most self-centered individuals anyone can encounter. They don’t want to talk about or do anything unless it pertains to them. They want to hear about your issues only if it affects them. Their vocabularies are filled with the words “me”, “myself”, and “I”. Trying to have a conversation with a narcissist can be the most frustrating experience you will ever have, because they speak a monologue instead of a give-and-take dialogue.
- The Competitor is provocative, fearless, fanatical, obnoxious, paranoid, offensive, pushy, aggressive, resentful, sabotaging, conniving, intense, intimated, defensive, confrontational, threatened, untrustworthy, negative, insecure, argumentative, and always looking for a fight. Competitors seek every opportunity to outwit or surpass others. Everything is a competition from getting a job to getting a boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife. Competitors tend to be show-offs and braggarts who gloat about their achievements—both past and present. They constantly try to impress you with how much better they are than you. In essence they have such low self-esteem that the only way they can relate to you is by turning everything into a contest.
- The Control Freak is invasive, sabotaging, rigid, manipulative, arrogant, aggressive, forceful, backstabbing, self-righteous, meddlesome, confrontational, inflexible, egotistical, obstinate, pushy, unreasonable, stubborn, selfish, unaware, threatened, disrespectful, uncommunicative, and stubborn. Control freaks can never let go. Like bullies, they are immobilized if not in control. However, unlike bullies, they don’t always use anger or meanness to get what they want. Control freaks often use sweet talk and manipulation. They are not team players and have difficulty delegating authority, as they try to do everything themselves. If things don’t go their way, they get angry or lose interest, for they feel they must always be in charge. Their lives are filled with frustration and disappointment and never go with the flow. Instead, they force things to happen and when things don’t go their rigid way they panic and become angry or more manipulative.
Did any of these traits remind you of someone you knew? If so what effect has it had on your success? Maybe it’s time for a change.