13 Signs of a Toxic Personality

Hey Optimist Minds!

Have you ever noticed that some people tend to attract drama? It’s pretty eventful to be around them, but it can also have long-lasting adverse effects. 

Toxic personalities feature habits and behaviours that add negativity to the lives of others. Usually, people with these toxic tendencies are dealing with their own stresses and traumas, but ineffectively. Instead of handling their challenges in helpful ways, they end up upsetting others.

This video will outline some of the signs of a toxic personality. You can use this information to safeguard yourself and better understand why a person’s behaviour is upsetting you.

However, keep in mind that the toxic behaviours indicate unresolved issues. So, only use this video for educational purposes and not to label or shame anyone.

Now, here are thirteen signs of a toxic personality.


They are quick to criticise.

Does this person always manage to find flaws, no matter what the subject of discussion? Do they tend to focus more on people’s shortcomings than their strengths?

It can be hard to be around someone who’s constantly seeking faults. For instance, you might be excited about something happening, but as soon as they’ve heard about it, they start listing everything that’s wrong with it. Soon enough, you’ve lost your excitement, and now you feel disappointed.


They don’t take feedback very well.

Ironically, they can’t take criticism as well as they can give it. Sensitivity to feedback generally reflects self-esteem issues. Perhaps this person gets angry and defensive when they are shown their mistakes. Alternatively, they might have an emotional outburst, making it hard for people to work with them.


They focus on envy.

Toxic behaviours typically revolve around ideas of superiority and inferiority. An individual with a toxic personality will be highly concerned with proving themselves better than others. They’ll envy others for having things they don’t have and hope to be the one being envied.


They always play the victim.

People with toxic personalities have endless grievances. If they are dissatisfied with something, they look at themselves as disadvantaged or being wronged. Even if their actions, or lack thereof, are the cause of their problems, they’ll find external factors to blame.


You feel emotionally drained around them.

Do you feel tired or unsettled after interacting with this person? Do you tend to worry about how they will react?

If so, you probably feel this way because they’re not good at two-way communication, or they’re inconsiderate of your needs and emotions. But, remember, even if this person is suffering, their negative impact on others like you makes their personality toxic. 


They don’t take accountability for their actions.

Let’s say this person knowingly or unknowingly hurts you. But, then, when you address what they did, they’re evasive, dismissive, or trying to make you look like the bad guy. When someone is toxic, it’s unlikely that they will accept their mistakes, acknowledge your feelings, and try to make amends.


They enjoy hurting other people.

Have you ever seen or heard this person purposely do something to embarrass another person? Maybe they like to gossip and damage people’s reputations. Willfully hurting people is as toxic as one can get. It shows a lack of empathy and compassion, a clear red flag for a toxic personality.


They give backhanded compliments.

If you’ve ever been confused whether you were praised or insulted, you’ve experienced a backhand compliment. These are sly digs that people make to sound polite when they’re selling you short. For example, “I bet you were in great shape when you were younger”.


They make everything about themselves.

Toxic individuals often seem quite conceited and self-centred. You could be sharing something that you recently learned. Before you’re done talking about it, they’ve jumped in with their opinion and then changed the topic to something irrelevant concerning them.


They gaslight.

Gaslighting is a specific kind of manipulation meant to make someone doubt their own version of what happened. For example, they might lie that they didn’t do what you’re sure they did. Or, they’ll try to convince you that it’s you who should be feeling guilty. This is a big warning sign that this person’s toxic personality is dangerous for you.


They idealise a lot.

Another sign of a toxic personality is when the person holds unrealistic expectations of people and situations. They may see it as something perfect or divine, meant to make their lives a lot better. Then, when reality kicks in and the idealised object cannot meet these expectations, they start resenting it.


They’re selfish.

You’ll know someone is toxic for you when you consistently see that their needs matter more than yours. If they have an obstacle, it’s bigger than yours. If they have an urgency, it’s more important than yours. Seldom do they ever consider your requirements.


They try to control others.

Finally, trying to control people’s behaviour and reactions can be pretty toxic and almost abusive. For example, this person might first gain your trust and find out sensitive details about you. Then, they might use your secrets and insecurities as ammunition and blackmail you into doing things you don’t want to. 

Did any of these signs remind you of someone? Do they have more than one of these traits? Let us know in the comments if you think this video was helpful.

A link for further reading and the studies & references used in the making of this video are mentioned in the description below.

Thanks for visiting optimist minds, take care. Until next time.