No one is exempt from dealing with toxic people in life. You’ve probably had your share of dodging poison darts from them. Often times, these toxic personalities project anger onto others and make you feel like you’re in a war zone.
For some strange reason, people who have difficult personalities they are often attracted to more sensible people. While it may not be their intention, they are often looking for people who are kind, patient, and a bit passive. Have you ever had someone in your life who kept you nervous all the time and you were never able to please them?
The classic blame game
At some point, difficult personalities have learned which personality types will yield to their tyranny. According to an article published by StatPearlsNarcissistic personalities often exploit others for their own benefit. They lack empathy and often try to put the blame on other people.
If you are in a toxic relationship with a friend, relative, or lover, does it project anger on you? Instead of acknowledging their mistakes and shortcomings, they mask their feelings and blame you. You may hear “You’re the one with the problem” or “I can’t say anything because you always take it badly.”
Consequently, you are constantly walking on eggshells and repressing your feelings to avoid further abuse. When you discover how these toxic people work, you realize that “they” are the problem, not you. You are not “taking it the wrong way” when you confront them for using abusive words and actions.
Seven ways to recognize toxic behaviors
The first step in disarming a toxic personality is to acknowledge his abusive behavior. This troublesome person may never change the way they act, but you can decide not to be part of their toxicity. They will see that you will not be another knot in their long chain of abusive relationships.
Narcissistic personalities have many subtle tactics that they use to manipulate and project anger onto the people they supposedly love. Knowing your game plan beforehand can minimize the risk of becoming entangled in your network and being abused. Here are seven red flags for you to observe.
1. They are master manipulators
The old saying is that it takes two to tango, but why would you want to dance alone? Maybe your toxic partner acts like he’s doing you a favor just by being with you. They abuse you and take advantage of you all the time, but they want you to believe that they have your best interest at heart.
Is your partner or one of your coworkers constantly pressuring you? For example: “I decided to put the checking account in my name just because I know you hate books” or “The boss asked me if I wanted to work this weekend, but I suggested that you may need the extra money.”
See how the subtle wording makes them look like the generous ones? It’s as if he owes them his twisted kindness. Regardless, whether it is a personal or professional relationship, you don’t owe anyone your selfishness.
2. Will the royal partner stand up?
We all have those horrible days where you wish you had stayed in bed. Illness, tiredness, or frustration can quickly weaken your mood and you may insult your partner. However, most people acknowledge his bad mood and apologize.
You have general expectations that the personality of your partner or coworker will be leveled from day to day. If you never know what personality you will encounter, your relationship can be toxic. It is stressful to be around someone on an emotional roller coaster, who loves one moment and hates the next.
These “guess who I am today” games are another way to manipulate people. Toxic people often have pent-up emotions, so they often project anger onto others. Anger is one of the easiest emotions to display and can mask fear and self-loathing.
3. They will not apologize
Since narcissistic personalities they often have biased perceptions, they will not be held responsible for their mistakes and shortcomings. Not only is apologizing inferior to their dignity, they chronically blame others for problems in their life. If you have one of these people in your life, you will always see the finger pointing in your direction.
Someone who loves you and cares about your well-being will admit their faults and apologize. They are abusive when they constantly throw you under the bus. You don’t have to be anyone’s scapegoat.
4. What they say and what they want to say are opposite.
How do you say, something is so important in what you say. Your brain learns at an early age how to pick up subtle signals and nuances in spoken words. The words in your partner’s sentences may be benign, but the way it is said may indicate a darker undertone.
For example, “Did you have fun going to the movies with your friends?” It sounds innocent enough. However, the facial expressions and sarcasm in the voice mean, “I don’t like you hanging out with your friends and you should never have fun without me.”
These thinly veiled comments often project anger and are a sign of passive aggression. According to an article published by the Mayo ClinicPassive-aggressive people often mask their true feelings by being hostile, cynical, or surly.
Every once in a while, these difficult personalities may offer you a compliment, but it will only be the ones that aren’t. “Your hair looks great today! Those gray roots were probably driving you crazy,” or “You did an amazing job on that report. I didn’t think you could do it.” What may have started as a compliment ended as a verbal slap in the face.
They can also play the martyr and twist your words as if you are insulting them. For example, you can say, “You look good today” and you might get a “What are you saying that I don’t normally look good?” Response. They are using their insecurities against you.
If a personal or professional relationship is healthy, both people can express happiness for the other. They will not be mean, jealous or hostile, as those are the attributes of a toxic relationship.
You may hear this phrase too often in conversations with a toxic person: “Yes, but …” No matter the good news or how excited you are, they throw the wet blanket at you. Here are some examples:
• “I passed my exams!” “Yes, but you have more to go through.”
• “I got a raise at work today!” “Yes, but you still don’t make enough money.”
It’s hard to be positive when someone always has a negative answer. If your person can’t share your joy, it may be time to get out. Better to be happily single than to be in a miserable relationship.
6. They are a classic gas lighter
In a classic Hollywood movie, an abusive husband tried to make his wife doubt her sanity. He turned on the gas lights in the house to make him believe he had forgotten them. So the whole twisted tactic of manipulating someone into doubting themselves is named after the movie “Gaslight.”
Your toxic persona may not go to those extremes, but making you doubt yourself is still silly. After they blame you for something, do they pretend to care about your mindset and abilities? They may do it in front of people to make them seem like the loving partner and you are the unstable one.
Anyone who says they love you would try to build you up instead of making you feel inadequate. They should be the rock that you lean on, not the rock that flattens your self-esteem. This narcissistic personality can project anger and his own insecurities onto you.
7. They keep score
Since no one is perfect, they are likely to make their share of mistakes. They may be things you did or should have done. Sometimes you will make mistakes that you didn’t realize until someone calls your attention.
Either way, everyone gets it wrong sometimes and needs to apologize. A narcissistic personality thrives on hearing you say you’re sorry, even if it’s not your fault. They may pretend to forgive, but they keep score and store these incidents as ammunition.
Remember that anything can and will be held against you at the abuser’s convenience. They especially like to bring up past transgressions when you spot theirs. Often they will exaggerate one of your mistakes so much that you will end up apologizing again.
After this clever change, your toxic partner is out of the woods and you are still the guilty party. This emotional blackmail is not only unfair, but abuse. Keeping track is just another way narcissistic personalities abuse the people in their lives.
The fact that you are in a relationship does not give your partner the right to use you as a dart board. Verbal and emotional abuse is as serious and painful as physical cruelty. When you are familiar with these red flags, you can identify these people before starting a abusive relationship.