Toxic People

Turning30 (1)I would love to be able to say that most of us will never encounter bad people.  The longer you live, the more you will understand that not every person that you call friend actually treats you like a friend.  Some people are very toxic.  The definition of toxic is a simple one word answer.  It means poisonous.  It also means risky in the finance world as it pertains to debt.  There are are few things that you need to know about toxic people.  Toxic people have certain characteristics that make them toxic.  Toxic people also come with a purpose.  Although toxic people are not good for your well being, they can prove to be good for your value but that will depend on you.

Characteristics of a Toxic Person

Toxic people will almost always be manipulative.  They will be very skilled at using their emotions as well as yours to manipulate you and how you relate to the people in your life.  Toxic people will be quite divisive.  They will usually be the ones at the engine of discord.  If ever you have an issue with someone else in your life, a toxic person will exacerbate whatever frustrations you have with this other person rather than showing you ways to mend the relationship with this person.  Toxic people are self-serving.  They will never consider your feelings before they see how it will play out for them.  Toxic people are great liars.  They will know how to fabricate stories on a whim and they are able to do so without notice.  Though they can be very manipulative, they come with the ability to charm and befriend people in order to gain their trust.

These characteristics show just how dangerous a toxic person can be.   Toxic people come to rob your life of its purity.  When around these type of people, you will find yourself displaying characteristics that you normally would not display such as gross gossip.  I call it gross to point out a very real truth.  The truth is that most of us are guilty of some level of gossip.  It is in our nature to discuss topics whether they are our business or not.  However, gross gossip is the put down of people who have done absolutely nothing to you in order to feel empowered.   Toxic people will have you engaging in this type of gossip which usually lasts for hours in a single conversation.  One thing you have to always remember is that people who engage you in these types of discussion are definitely engaging others in the same types of discussion about you.  Toxic people will also usually be the one to “bring you a bone”.  Somehow, they always know what has been said about you.  They will then manipulate that bone by saying they felt they needed to tell you because “you’re their friend”.  You should always ask such a person, “well, it seems like you two had a lengthy conversation for you to be able to get all of that out of them; what did you say to make them that comfortable with sharing those things with you?”  Everything is cause and effect and no one enters a conversation and begins to talk about something unless another conversation or intent lead up to it.  Toxic people have tons of bad characteristics.   What are some other characteristics that you can think of?

Toxic People Come with a Purpose

Toxic people are like leeches.  They come and attach to you and they suck the necessity out of you.  You cannot feel a leech attach to you.  It will be the same with toxic people.  At first you will not recognize that they are attached to you only to suck you dry.  Toxic people will almost always place themselves in a position where they are benefiting off you in some type of way.  A toxic person will use their ‘friendship’ with you to keep this symbiotic relationship going.  The ironic part about that is though there should be an even exchange, they get way more from the relationship than you do.  Some toxic encounters may not have a strategic purpose but usually there is some type of broad purpose.  That purpose can be to simply unnerve you or to uproot long term friendships and relationships that you already had before they came around.  Toxic people will develop jealousy towards you over time.  This is because they have developed a level of obsession with you and they will not readily celebrate any good thing you do.  While they pretend to be happy for you in your accomplishments, you will notice little ways that they are not supportive.  Toxic people do not have a genuine purpose in your life.  Whatever purpose they do have is fabricated and it will end up not being beneficial to you.

There are certain things that must happen when you are dealing with a toxic person.  One of those things is discord and disagreements.  A toxic person will like to take you into arguments and disagreements where they get to debate things with you for no reason at all.  I like a good debate from time to time, but that can be good if the two people are willing to be learners of each other in that moment.  A toxic person will just want to engage in arguments just to ruffle you up and manipulate your emotions.  If you are always arguing with someone, that is a toxic relationship.  Always recognize the signs.

Toxic People Can Teach You Value

We have spent a great deal talking about how bad toxic people can be, but do you know that there is good that can come if you happen to connect with a toxic person?  Toxic people teach you character and integrity.  I have learned that this comes with time.  What that does is sharpen your ability to respond with grace to people who are being difficult with you.  Toxic people  can also teach you a whole new level of forgiveness and compassion.  Toxic people are in the habit or repeating the same bad behaviors over and over again.  No matter how many times they apologize, they will do the same thing again.  This type of pattern will eventually teach you how to let things go and not hold on to resentment.  These types of responses to toxic people will depend on you and how you allow their toxicity to shape your character.

The fact is the world is filled with toxic people.  People who hold racist and bigoted thoughts are toxic people.  You will likely not go a day without being exposed to some level of a person’s toxicity.  It is everywhere in our daily lives and our online social lives.  You can determine how you allow them to shape who you are as a person.  It is very hard not to respond to toxic people in a negative manner especially if you are not accustomed to toxic people.  However, it is a testament of your growth when you are able to not allow toxic people to affect you.

Pull the Plug

If you think you have someone in your life that is toxic, you should remove them.  In my experience, removing them is not always easy.  Sometime these toxic people are your loved ones.  However, I have learned to love from a distance making sure that I let my distance speak for me.  The best way to save a TV during a lightening storm is to unplug it.  Some people you will have to simply pull the plug on the connection.   We have to stop calling people who hurt us our friends.  Toxic people are not friendly at the core of who they really are.  A friend does not do the things that have been described in this article and if they tell you otherwise, then they are manipulating you.


  1. Naquan Williams July 22, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    Another article from Jay!

    I loved that you talked about the benefits, values, and lessons we stand to learn from toxic people. I attest that you learn to forgive and let go of things that hurt you. You also learn how to deal with difficult people in difficult situations. Indeed if we allow it to, these experiences help us to grow. Instead of reacting, we learn how to respond in love.

  2. Felissa Stewart September 20, 2016 at 7:07 am

    Very insightful Jay! I relate so well to so many things that you elaborated on. Great work Jay!

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