Toxic behavior and friendships have become a popular topic in today's society because of the impact they tend to have on us. Toxic people are literally sucking the life and happiness out of us, and we minimize it without realizing that toxic is synonymous with abusive.
Check out the 5 people you need to stay away from and see that it all has to do with control and using you to boost their own self-esteem.
1. Too Cool For You
This is the person that thinks their friendship to you is a favor. They never actually liked you, but keep you around as a constant reminder that they are better than you in order to boost their low self-esteem. You feel as though you have to constantly earn their approval, and they criticize you constantly.
2. Me, Me, and Me a few more times
A trademark of this type of toxic person is that you barely exist in the relationship. Conversations, decisions, and life revolves around them - there is never any compromise and it's always about what benefits them the most. Dr. Ryback of Psychology Today identifies this person as the narcissist, who "acts like he or she is God's gift to the universe, knows everything, is the best at everything - and is not afraid to tell you so. "
This person also falls in one of the categories of toxic people identified by Vanessa Van Edwards, the writer behind ScienceofPeople.com, known as the drama magnet.
In this case, the "Me,me, and me" person uses your natural human reaction of sympathy to make themselves feel important. They tend to play the victim and never want to hear nor implement the solution to their problems. When you resist, they'll complain that you are not supportive enough, even though you may have been listening to their problems for the past ten years of your lives.
3. I Need More
The name says it all, this person simply cannot emotionally sustain themselves. Science of People considers this person to be an "emotional moocher". They suffocate you and may even attempt to prevent you from creating new relationships or pursuing new things without them.
All healthy people have a general need for person space, and you can never pour from an empty cup. Make no mistake: it's not that they care about your wellbeing, they care about what level of control they have over you. In some way they may feel their own lives are spiraling out of control, and are using you as a means to reaffirm the control they do have.
4. Thank You For Your Service
Similar to the narcissist, this person is all about themselves. They need to know what you can do for them, and rarely have anything to give to you in return. They only contact you when it suits them, and are unable to build genuine relationships since everything with them is about how much they can get from a person without having to give anything back.
Until they get past their own internal struggles, they will never be able to give you the relationship you deserve. While this is one of the few friends you may be able to keep a relationship with on this list, you will have to keep them at a distance until they can learn to not only receive, but return the gift of friendship.
5. You Think You're Better Than Me
Known to most people as a "hater", this person is easy to spot when they're acting jealous and constantly trying to prove that they are better than everyone else. And how do they do this? By proving everyone else is "awful, uncool, or lacking in some way", according to Dr. Ryback. In addition, they'll often use mere associations as a means of validating themselves and even lie about how well they know someone.
Yet when you catch them in a lie, they immediately go on the defensive and claim you should believe them because you all are supposed to be friends.
Vanessa Van Edwards says it best, "It’s impossible to trust a liar in a relationship. If your intuition is ringing alarm bells, then watch out, get out before you’re lied to."
Let's say by the time you got to "Me, me, me" you realized you were surrounded by toxic relationships, and now you're thinking you need some new friends. The transition out of toxic relationships can be very difficult, but in the meantime learning how to limit the impact they have in your life is something you can start doing today.
Next week, we'll discuss how to handle toxic people so that you don't have to suffer anymore.
Gabriella Payne builds teams and communities through inspiration and strategic confidence development. She works with universities, athletic groups, and corporations to help students and recent graduates transform their mental thought patterns by teaching new, healthier habits. She is also an advocate for the prevention of domestic abuse and teaches a series called "See It Coming".