Are you toxic? Signs you're a toxic person, from a psychologist

counselling psychologists say self-awareness is the first step for identifying the behaviours that those around you may find repelling.

What you need to know:

Being self-aware will help you to work on yourself and form better relationships 


A few days ago, an acquaintance posted on a Facebook group that she would blame her husband for everything that goes wrong in their union until one day she decided to go for counselling only for her to realise that she was toxic.

“I have been in four different relationships and my partners complained that I emotionally drained them. I decided to go for therapy and I was told I was a master manipulator. I have been going through counselling sessions to rid of the trait that stemmed from a troubled childhood,” she says. 

According to Dr Susan Gitau, a counselling psychologist and director at Susan Gitau Counselling Foundation, self-awareness is the first step for identifying the behaviours that those around you may find repelling.

“A toxic person is someone whose world utterly consists of their ego. Much like psychopaths, toxic people are experts in manipulating and controlling others. It’s often easy to identify these traits in others, but not so in ourselves. One way to find out if we are toxic is by taking a personality quiz designed for that purpose," says the therapist

Molly Owens, the CEO and founder of Truity of the leading providers of personality tests identified the seven main types of toxic people as below:

Types of toxic people 

The Karen

These individuals want special treatment and they become aggressive when they are not recognised. In relationships, the Karen are likely to be violent when their partners do not agree to their opinion. They are more anxious, needy, and are never satisfied with their relationships. They always believe they are right and others are prone to make mistakes. 

Mansplainer

These individuals believe to be intellectually superior to others. They always assume others are uneducated, judgmental, inferior, or remotely qualified. Such people are likely to harass others because they believe others need to work on themselves, despite the others being right. They are likely to be arrogant and defensive when they are corrected.  

The Drama Llama

Drama LLamas are always demanding support and attention from others beyond normal boundaries. In relationships, these people tend to be needy and can do anything to manipulate their partners to abide by what they want. They hardly control their emotions and when angered, they are likely to harm others and regret it later. It’s hard to reason with them as they are quick in making decisions when angry.

The Slacker

These people refuse to do their part and always let others act. Slackers rarely set goals and they are always bouncing from one experience to another. These are people who will jump from one relationship to another, complaining about their partner's inconsistency in making the union work. They are lazy and unwilling to exert any energy to care for themselves or contribute to the group. Such people are likely to point out what others are not doing while they are doing nothing.

The Con artist

They use dishonesty and deception to get ahead. They always work every situation to their advantage. They pretend to influence others but do calculative moves to deceive others and achieve favourable outcomes for themselves. Con artists are selfish and would do anything to achieve their dreams at the expense of hurting others.

The Debbie Downer

They are relentlessly negative, seeing the worst aspects of every individual and situation. They predict poor outcomes and hence drag others with their relentless pessimism. They are always paranoid and likely to judge others even without knowing them well.

The Control Freak   

As the name suggests. These people control every situation. For them, controlling is a source of strength and they regard listening to others as a weakness. In case of an argument, they are rigid and try to impose others in their own inflexible thoughts. They are unable to process alternative changes or ideas given by others. They are arrogant and can never accept to be challenged or corrected.   

QUIZ: Are you toxic? 

Take this quiz to find out your personality toxicity trait

I am knowledgeable and disregard other people opinions

A-Agree

B-Disagree

C-Neutral

D-Mixed

I always become aggressive when things don’t go my way


A-Agree

B-Disagree

C-Neutral

D-Mixed

 

Most people would benefit by hearing my thoughts and opinions

A-Agree

B-Disagree

C-Neutral

D-Mixed


I have earned the right to be treated with more care and consideration than the average person.

A-Agree

B-Disagree

C-Neutral

 D-Mixed


Most people are selfish, so it’s better to look out for yourself than to try and cooperate.

A-Agree

B-Disagree

C-Neutral

D-Mixed


People call me a pessimist, but I’m just a realist.

A-Agree

B-Disagree

C-Neutral

D-Mixed



It is simply a fact I am smarter than the average person

A-Agree

B-Disagree

C-Neutral

D-Mixed


People who want to get close to me need to understand that I have strong emotions and that I must be true to myself.

A-Agree

B-Disagree

C-Neutral

D-Mixed


Most people spend too much time and energy trying to achieve goals that don’t really matter.

A-Agree

B-Disagree

C-Neutral

D-Mixed


I often have to push people to do things in a way that meets my high standards.

A-Agree

B-Disagree

C-Neutral

 D-Mixed


I believe others are uneducated and inferior. They should always learn from me

A-Agree

B-Disagree

C-Neutral

 D-Mixed


I don’t apologise unless I absolutely have to.

A-Agree

B-Disagree

C-Neutral

 D-Mixed

 

I hate it when people ask for my help with their problems.

A-Agree

B-Disagree

C-Neutral

 D-Mixed


I am smart enough to know what rules to break.

A-Agree

B-Disagree

C-Neutral

D-Mixed



I enjoy it when I hurt someone, and they feel my power.

A-Agree

B-Disagree

C-Neutral

D-Mixed


How did you score?

If you ticked mostly As- You are mostly toxic

If you scored mostly Bs- You are not toxic

If you scored mostly Cs- You are somehow toxic

If you scored mostly Ds- You are not aware you are toxic  


What to do once you know you are toxic

Use this knowledge to communicate with your therapist so that they know how to best support you or you can gather information online on how to best work on yourself.


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