8 Common Elements the Most Toxic People in Your Life Share

Dr. Liza Varvogli
4 min readOct 26, 2019

Everybody deals with difficult people in their lives, to a greater or lesser extent. However, the in the end of the spectrum is a whole different psychological species, the toxic people. These are very negative, emotionally draining, unsupportive people-they are basically people who constantly bring you down. They can be close to you, family, friends, or coworkers, without you realizing it, but spending time with them makes you feel bad about yourself and the world. Maybe you wonder why this sudden change in your mood and attitude when you are with these people; after all, they are friends or family. The reason is that they are toxic. Here are eight common elements that the toxic people in your life share:

1. Toxic people are manipulative

The toxic person’s main concern is to get what they want, even at the expense of others. They don’t care about your feelings, desires, or needs. The world revolves around them. They will use you to get their needs met but you shouldn’t expect them to be there when you ask them to. For them life is a one-way street; no reciprocity, no paying-back favors, no sense of duty or camaraderie and companionship. It’s common if you start wondering what you ‘ve done wrong and the other person isn’t responding. The answer is you haven’t done anything wrong; the other person is toxic and manipulative and that’s their default behavior.

2. They consider others responsible for their feelings

Manipulative and toxic people will never acknowledge their feelings; you won’t hear them say “I’m sad” or “afraid” or anything related to emotions. Either they accuse you openly “it’s your fault that I was angry and I overreacted” (as if they don’t have control of their actions!) or they project onto you how they feel themselves: “well, you should be ashamed to be afraid!”

3. They are judgmental

Toxic people have an opinion for everyone and everything; nothing goes unnoticed, nothing goes uncriticized. They focus on the negative, on the problematic, and to them pretty much everything is “lousy,” “inferior, “unacceptable,”…

Dr. Liza Varvogli

Ph.D. in Psychology| Harvard-trained| Psychotherapist| Stress Management Professor|Parenting & Relationships Expert|Meditator|Positive thinker|Solution-oriented