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In life, we may come across people who are toxic. It is important to know how to avoid toxic people in your life with our recommended tips.

Man, The Social Animal

Man is a social animal and we will always need people around. Human beings have ‘social’ in their very DNA. We thrive in pairs and groups. There are people all around us in various social settings including family, office, school, university, yoga class, festivals, etc.

However, human social interactions are quite different from those of other animals. There is an exchange of opinions, there are discussions, debates, sometimes really heated ones like politicians throwing chairs at one another, or office colleagues enjoying drinks at the pub, or having an intellectual discussion with your professor about the topic of your next research paper. 

Human social interactions are as diverse as can be. We are constantly letting people into our lives, sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. Some people that we meet are simply in our social network because of our affiliation with that space or organization. For example, the security guard who guards your apartment building, or your kids’ high school teacher are not people that we have deliberately let into our lives unlike friends, partners, spouses, etc. The latter are people that we have chosen to be part of our lives because they matter to us. They hold special importance in our lives and pretty much influence our lives and the people we become. 

While some of those relationships may be great for us, unfortunately in many cases, the opposite is true and we realize it the hard way. In time, due to various reasons and circumstances, certain relationships with people become ‘toxic’. In other words, they are unconducive to our health and well-being. Let’s identify some traits of toxic people. We will then talk about how to tactfully distance them.

How To Spot Toxic People

Put simply, toxic people are those who make us feel bad about ourselves. Period. But, let’s not confuse toxic people with people who actually wish well for us but give us a piece of their mind once in a while, for example, our parents. Sometimes, their advice, no matter how hard we resist it, is actually beneficial. However, toxic people are those that make others feel bad to make themselves feel good. Here are some traits of toxic people:

Put simply, toxic people are those who make us feel bad about ourselves. Period. Click To Tweet

1. Manipulative

Toxic people only think about themselves and how they can benefit even if this means hurting someone else and causing pain. They will always put themselves first and not care about what you need. So, stay away!

2. They Are Cunning

Toxic personalities are complicated. They change their colors like the seasons to suit themselves and get what they want. One moment they are super nice when they need something from you and the other they act like they don’t know you!

3. They Hate Apologizing

Toxic people see themselves as idols of perfection and see no wrong in anything they do. Instead, they like playing the victim for the wrong they have done.

4. Judgemental

They judge you and make you feel terrible every step of the way. Constant criticism and blame is detrimental to our mental health and affects self-confidence and esteem very badly. That is no way to live so you’re better off without them!

5. They Are People Pleasers

Toxic people don’t only treat others badly but are ready to be treated badly if it serves their benefits. They like to please people that don’t like them back if they see a professional advantage for example.

6. Refuse To Take Responsibility

Toxic people often don’t take responsibility for their actions and resulting feelings. They blame you for it and are not willing to hear that they were wrong or responsible for the circumstances they find themselves in.

7. They Are Not Genuine

Toxic people wear multiple masks. They are not real or themselves with anyone. They try to please those who they can take advantage of and treat the rest badly.

8. They Turn Others Against You

Toxic people cannot bear to see others happy and will do anything and everything to prevent that. For example, badmouthing you in front of your closest friends or trying to turn you against them by filling your ears with criticism and gossip.

9. Insecure

Toxic people are deeply insecure about their looks, relationships, achievements, etc. and are constantly comparing themselves to others. They also envy others but refuse to work on themselves.

10. Disloyal

By now we know that toxic people are very selfish and will go to any extent to serve their selfish interests. Even if this means being disloyal to their best friends and trusted partners. 

Distancing From Toxic People

We understand that you have good in your heart and don’t wish to hurt anyone deliberately no matter how much that person has hurt you. However, it is important for us to take charge of our lives and if this implies cutting some people out, so be it. Self-respect and self-esteem are the most important. So put yourself first, think about what’s good for you, and then proceed.

Get Busy

Make good use of your time and get busy enough to leave very little to no space for toxic people. Learn a new hobby, join a fitness class or take a short travel break.

Feel Good About Yourself

Get a haircut and a fun color, or buy yourself that swanky new jersey. Trust us some retail therapy will do you a world of good and boost your self-confidence. It’ll bring out the real ‘you’ and make you realize how much you’re missing out on by retaining toxic people in your life.

Cut Down On Communication

If you find yourself overcommunicating with the toxic personality, you must cut down on it. Reduce the duration of phone conversations, texts, meetings, etc. gradually and distance them.


In life, we meet all kinds of people. Some last forever in our lives, others come and go for various reasons. Others may be physically away from us but are still very important to us and therefore we decide to keep them in our lives. However, we may come across people who are toxic, or people who we thought we knew really well may have toxic traits. So, spot such people and make sure you are as far away from them as possible!

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