Tread With Caution:  Recognizing Toxic Personalities

Toxic personalities can zap the life right out of you at any given moment. They can leave you feeling overwhelmed and drained.  Despite your best efforts to resolve conflicts or live in peaceful harmony with them it never works out long term. Their behavior and antics in conflict resolutions completely defy logic. Nothing is settled fully, and they never take full ownership for their actions. Toxic people put those around them in an unhealthy cycle of emotional abuse for which their constant world wind of antics lead to their victims feeling anxiety, depression, guilty, frustrated, and even alienated in some cases. It’s important for victims to protect themselves and their loved ones in such cases by feeding toxic personalities with a long handled spoon. Toxic personalities can come in the form such as a family member, in-law, friend, co-worker, church member, and etc.  You don’t have to be mean or ugly to them. Please keep them in prayer. Just be fully aware that there are usually two choices to consider in interacting with draining and hurtful toxic personalities. You can choose to avoid them at all cost, or you can choose to tread with extreme caution!

Here are several extreme toxic personalities to have your eyes open for and to tread with caution: 

The Victim : The victim will suck you in with their need to be consoled for attention. The victim will make it appear that the world is against them, and they are on constant attack with the world surrounding them. In order to seek their attention high they constantly create situations of chaos,  confusion, and conflict. However, despite the trail of wreckage that follows them they never take ownership for their actions. The victim has to create an antagonist or a villain in every scenario that is hurting them to fill their need to be the center of attention. Don’t follow them up on their “The Boy That Cried Wolf” tales of preceived offenses or attacks. They oftentimes demonize the other party and create very believable assumptions to appear”attacked”. Most often if it’s a constant pattern with a particular person it’s someone that honestly secretly admire. If it’s a constant environment it’s a place that they feel in their minds inferior, and they are searching for anyway possible to be accepted by any means necessary. They are smart to choose those with a given heart to take the time to ” work it out” with them in their habitual conflicts. They surround themselves with enablers who are friends and family members who love them, but are to afraid to be the next target to take a stand.  Nothing is ever settled with them in conflict. The “victim” usually has created so much tension created around their targets that the person is often alienated by everyone else that at the time believes their dramatic tales of events. It’s a recurring cycle and despite the history of wreckage behind them they continue in searching for attention with a distorted view of wanting to be accepted.

The Manipulator:  Life is a façade for a manipulator. They create the perception of what they know that you like or need in order to get what they want in the end. It can be hard to recognize what they are all about because they can pretend well to look like friends or caring family members. However they usually have a hidden agenda in some form or another to obtain what they really want. They will leave you feeling used and abused. Pretty much they suck the life right out of you. On seemingly good occasions leaving them you feel like they “got one over on you”, and you never feel settled. They can be very convincing. If you call them out on their behavior the conversation is one sided, and you are left feeling like the bad guy. Rather it’s money or time it’s a constant take and take relationship with little or no giving. They will play whatever role is needed for them to get what they want, but know that they will always lack sincerity.

 The Martyr :  A martyr personality can take simple everyday courtesies or make their known responsibilities appear like the world owes them for their actions. They  make others feel like they are walking on eggshells because at anytime you will hear them rant and rave about what they have done for them. They claim to go beyond the call of duty in all their efforts to only be left hurt, used, and mistreated by the “bad people” in their lives. They place the blame game on anyone that crosses their paths as being the aggressor or the attacker. They usually tell a distorted one-sided version of any conflict to give the impression of “making the ultimate sacrifice ”  or “being the bigger person” regardless if they were the ones who initiated the conflict. In extreme cases the martyr will cause the conflict or provoke others for a response to later vent to others in playing the victim. Do not waste your energy in trying to people please them with flattery or compliments in hopes of their behavior improving. They will take your words and gestures to heart and use them later against you if you decide to pull away or call them out on their behavior.  They have away of alienating others by putting them to shame via gossiping, bullying and even social media rant. Also if they offer you something that seems to good to be true it probally is, so don’t take the bait! They have a sense  of entitlement despite the actions of their behaviors.

The Dark Cloud :  Everything is wrong with everyone and everything that is around the dark cloud personality. They are always negative, and they create negativity everywhere they go. You can almost feel that negative vibe and energy when they enter a room. They see the bad in every situation , or they bring out the bad with their behavior. They have a very negative attitude, and despite how friendly you are or good  the situation they will turn the brightest day in overcasting a cloud. If you dare to ask them about anyone they will tell you all the bad things they heard or  the past about person. They have nothing good to say about anyone or anything. The “dark cloud” doesn’t always look miserable and gloomy. They can appear to be friendly, perky, and smiling but when they open their mouth you have to catch your breath from feeling hit with the negativity that is coming out of their mouths.

The Hot Head : The hot head can be fun, adventures, and exciting. However, they can go from zero to one hundred at anytime and at any moment. You never know what will set them off. They are a firecracker! They will lash out at anytime to anyone they suspect offended them.  They can be loud and aggressive or they can be distant and cold. You never really know with a hot head. They can also be petty in their actions to inflict their pain rather it’s real or perceived on others. They will set it off or cut you off without warning . They can be charming, but they also have a huge bite if they feel you are going against them. Their behavior is a defense mechanism of protection from unresolved issues of hurt and pain. The extreme cases of this personality can produce acts of violent outburst in fits or rage or emotional abuse. They can leave you feeling unworthy , on the edge, or even inferior.

The Narcissist: A narcissist is a master manipulator. They can pretends very well. They can act in the emotions of what looks like they care, but sadly that lack the natural human empathy to care. They put those around them in an imagery puppet show while they are tugging on the strings. They are very smart and charming. They are very talented and can multitask very well.  They will lock you in with their charm and talents at first , yet later they will use that to dominate you or a situation.  They have an strong sense of self and a huge ego that needs to be stroked daily. They will hurt others to make sure their inflated sense of importance will never be compromised.  If you are ever a target watch your back. They don’t like anyone who they feel is a threat, and they don’t care for those who are in their way of their agenda.  The narcissist will play mind games with you, and they will also turn others against you through their various manipulating tactics. They are very judgmental, and they are very vocal in their critiques of others. They actually get a high off of making others feel inferior by spot lighting their flaws and magnifying them in front of others. They love to compete in areas and situations where competition is not needed. Save your breath in comforting them on their behavior or even telling others about what you have observed. It will only make it worse within the situation with a narresstic. They are the kings and queens of chess, and they have already laid the foundation to cover their tracks. They are equally intelligent as they are manipulating. Most of those who are caught up in their “puppet play” won’t catch  or see the damage until the façade is over. It’s best to walk away and count your losses with a narresstic. Life is like a video game with a narresstic personality with them holding the controller.

The Dramatic : The dramatic personality lives in constant conflict with others or chaos. If they tell you about a situation please take it down several notches . They live in their own reality of what they believe happened in their minds rather it’s true or false. Life is an exaggeration.  You don’t want to have an argument or any type of heated discussion with them because they will turn their daggers on you to make even the slightest offense over the top. They actual believe their own lies and perceptions. There is nothing you can do to change that. They believe in their own truth, and it’s best that you leave them to it.

The Moocher:  They have the most dramatic stories to suck you in to their dubious woes. Opposites attract with a Moocher, and they can spot those who are natural givers a mile away! Some situations they won’t waste the energy to tell a story to get what they want. They will simply not make an effort in various situations knowing that a kind hearted person will take up the slack of their weight or responsibilities. If the waiter drops the check on the table they will simply ignore it as if it’s your responsibility.  They may come up an excuse that they lost their wallet. They know who to tell a sobbing story to when it’s time to pay bills. The bill will always be near cut off for disconnection when they call or ” ask for prayer” yet they never give you the actual bill statement. It’s best to go with them to pay the bill or pay online. Never take their word because they may have told several people about the same bill in the hopes of receiving some overage! They can live rent free without guilt. They have no shame in you forking the bill for every outing.  If you dare call them out they will go into defensive mode. They have live their lives in taking advantage of the kindness other others, and they won’t change unless you do.

It’s important to recognize when we’re in an unhealthy relationship or to prevent them if possible. It may be harder to fully avoid if it’s a close relative, longtime  friend, or someone you have to see everyday.  Pray for guidance in handling the situation. Have a heart to heart if you need to in telling how their behavior is impacting them and those that’s around them. If you have done everything you know to do don’t allow yourself to suffer. Move forward if you need to by letting them go, but if you have to be involved tread with caution.

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