How To Avoid Toxic People

How To Avoid Toxic People

Last update: 21 January, 2016

In our daily lives, we may cross paths with a host of jealous, immature, paranoid, childish and selfish personalities. In short, they are what we commonly know as toxic people. Such people can vary by type, keeping one thing in common: they do not provide or generate anything positive to a relationship or friendship.

They are characterized by destroying any attempt to create healthy and mutually respectful relationships. They attract and facilitate bad vibes because nothing satisfies them. And most importantly, as a whole, everything bothers them.

“It is not the weeds that choke the good seed,  but rather the negligence of the farmer”



The psychologist Albert J. Bernstein, author of Emotional Vampires, warns us that the most complicated thing when interacting with these people is that they steal energy without even giving us time to breathe and be aware of this situation. It is difficult to identify them with the naked eye without being aware of the complexity of their personality until, after spending time with them, we end up noticing the same constant negative feelings when we’re around them: apathy, exhaustion, frustration, stress.

Even when we talk about these situations, we can “blame”  ourselves for unconsciously indulging the situation and thinking “maybe it’s me or “it may be my fault;” thoughts that only lead us to maintain and revive a relationship that is toxic and unhealthy. Tolerating such discomfort will only cause others to lose respect for you, know that they can take advantage of you and abuse your trust.

Several social studies, highlighting the work of the French psychoanalyst Dominique Barbier’s “La Fabrique de l’homme pervers” provide us with a scientific explanation as to why we live as a society which seems to promote such toxic personalities.

“Toxic personalities are also contagious and contribute to a kind of widespread social paranoia,” Barbier said. On the other hand, the psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Marie-France Hirigoyen confirmed a social theory in an interview with El Confidencial where “in order to succeed in life one must be a good manipulator.”

All this leads us to end up using each other as mere instruments; when we stop being useful to achieve certain personal goals we’re ignored.

It is important to consider the following signs that may reflect that you are facing an “emotional vampire” on a social and psychological level:

  1. They have a high psychological ability to detect the fears and ghosts of those people who claim themselves to be victims. They can make you believe that anything is possible, and thus it is easier for them to manipulate you. In this way, they know how to perfectly adapt their behavior depending on the victim in question.
  2. They can turn a situation around with great skill, perfectly creating a false victimization: making you feel that you are the abuser and he/her the victim.
  3. They are skilled in transforming reality by using lies and by talking from both sides of their mouth. They can combine the use of insults and kind flattery in the same sentence. Thus controlling the speech and thought of the listener.
  4. They do not respect the autonomy of others.
  5. They usually do not feel guilt at any point in time.
  6. These are people with a great capacity for mental strategy. They are not very creative but constant in achieving their goals and resources.
  7. They usually have some inconsistency between their behavior and “what they say” or verbalize. They probably emit judgmental and altruistic values, but when put into action, their gestures are selfish and only focus on their personal interest.

I won’t end before reminding you that when we interact with such people, we need to be aware of the importance of empathizing and trying to understand what surrounds us at all times, providing unconditional love, and bearing in mind that we are all human beings with different, unique lives, which leads us to act in one way or another.

The responsibility of trying to live and feel healthy and satisfied with yourself and the world is in your hands

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.