If someone says these 12 things in conversation, you’re dealing with a toxic person

Toxic people are just the worst.

If they’re a narcissist, they’ll probably come across as very charming at first. And slowly but surely, things will start to change.

The way to spot a toxic person is to pay attention to the things they say in conversation with you.

Because if they say any of these 12 things, they may not be as nice as you once thought…

1) “You’re just imagining things”

If someone says this to you and they aren’t talking about the fact that you think there’s a spider on your back, watch out! Because they could be pretty toxic!

Toxic people love to control you. The main way they do this is by gaslighting you. Which basically means, they try to make you question reality and believe what they want you to believe instead.

Say you catch your partner messaging other women online. You tell them you saw it. They quickly delete the chats and tell you, “There’s nothing there – you’re just imagining things!”.

Yep, that’s gaslighting at its finest!

In the same respect, they might say this when you call them out on their bad behavior.

Say they intentionally turned their back on you when you’re out for dinner with their friends. And every time you talked, they talked over you. When you tell them later that night that it upset you, they say that you imagined the whole thing. That they didn’t do anything of the sort.

There’s no doubt about it – you’re dealing with a toxic person.

2) “You don’t mean that”

If someone says this to you in any context other than a joke, they might be a little bit toxic. Why?

Because it’s basically them trying to tell you how you feel and what you think.

As every healthy-minded person knows, everyone has their own opinions. And everyone is entitled to their own opinions – even if you don’t agree with them!

When you say you want to do something, the average person should trust you and accept what you say as the truth.

But a toxic person won’t do this. They’ll want to control what you believe.

Say you tell them you’re breaking up with them. “You don’t mean that”, they say. Or that you want to become healthier this year and join a gym – and they say the same thing.

It’s dismissive and invalidating, and it’s just not something a good friend, partner, parent, or any other relation would say!

3) “You don’t want to do that”

Just like the above phrase, a toxic person might also say this one to catch you off guard!

They might say, “You don’t really want to do that” in a smug, critical way.

And they’ll say it to stop you from doing things you want to do. Which is, undoubtedly, very toxic…

4) “If you do [this], I’ll do [that]”

Another sign you’re dealing with a toxic person is if you hear them say something like the above phrase.

Toxic people don’t tend to be overly giving – make no mistake about that. They’re often tit for tat, which is what makes them so toxic to begin with!

So they won’t like giving you things without getting something in return. Which is how they end up pushing your boundaries.

A healthier mindset to have is to understand that things don’t have to be equal to be 50/50. You can both have boundaries for things you’re comfortable doing and things you aren’t.

And they absolutely don’t have to be the same things.

5) “You’re crazy”

This one is potentially the most obvious sign you’re dealing with a toxic person. Unless you are actually crazy (unlikely), a toxic person will tell you you’re crazy to try to get away with bad behavior!

Say they cheat on you. You get angry with them and shout and cry. They call you crazy for acting the way you are.

But you’re not crazy. You’re just hurt and emotional by what they’ve done.

This is exactly why you should be careful of people who call others, namely their exes, crazy, too. Chances are, their ex may not have been crazy. They might have driven them crazy by the things they said and did…

pic1926 If someone says these 12 things in conversation, you’re dealing with a toxic person

6) “You’ll just have to get used to it”

Imagine your friend or partner has really, really hurt you by something they’ve said or done. You tell them that it hurt you.

If the person wasn’t toxic, they might apologize. Or they might explain what happened and what they meant by what they said, as it’s been misunderstood.

But when someone is toxic, they won’t do this – at all.

Instead, they’ll tell you that it’s just the way they are. And if you want to be friends/in a relationship with them, “You’ll just have to get used to” the hurtful things they say.

Which, of course, isn’t much of a partnership or a compromise…

7) “It’s your fault I hurt you”

Yes, this one is really, really bad. And totally obvious that you’re dealing with a toxic person!

Instead of apologizing or trying to understand your feelings, a toxic person will try to spin everything around like it’s your fault. They’ll especially do this after they’ve hurt you.

Like they might say it’s your fault they cheated. Or it’s your fault they ridiculed you in front of all your friends. Or even that it’s your fault they said spiteful things to you.

The list goes on…

8) “This is normal”

This phrase is just the worst – and it’s a clear sign you’re dealing with someone toxic!

When you confront a toxic person on their behavior, deflection is their middle name.

As we said earlier, toxic people won’t ever admit that something is their fault. They’ll blame you – and they’ll rely on your naivety to do it!

Say they’re doing something that isn’t normal at all – like messaging other girls on Instagram or flirting with people at the club. They’ll tell you that it’s all completely normal behavior when you say it’s upset you.

When we both know that it isn’t…

9) “You don’t know what you’re talking about”

This phrase isn’t that obvious that a person is toxic. After all, there could be a million valid (and non-toxic!) reasons why someone says this.

But just be careful with it.

A toxic person will say this to undermine and dismiss your opinions, feelings, and aspirations.

Their goal is to make you feel small and unintelligent. That way, they can keep getting away with the bad things they’re doing to you.

Like if they cheated on you and you found out about it. When you confront them, they say, “You don’t know what you’re talking about” to gaslight you.

Which, in other words, means to make you feel like you’re deluded or completely misunderstanding the situation.

The best way to tell if someone is being toxic when they say this is to listen carefully to their reasoning for why you “don’t know what you’re talking about”.

If they can’t offer any explanation as to why they think you’re misunderstanding, you might not be misunderstanding anything at all…

10) “If you loved me, you’d let me do it”

This isn’t just toxic, it’s downright manipulative! Everyone is allowed to have boundaries for what they will and won’t do – even with the people they love.

Toxic people have a huge problem with other people’s boundaries – in the sense that they don’t like them! They like having control and power over you.

So, they won’t be happy if you take back some of that control by telling them no.

And they’ll try to convince you that what you’re doing (i.e., having a normal, healthy boundary) means you don’t love them, which might not be true at all!

11) “Everyone agrees with me”

Another thing a toxic person will do is try to make you feel isolated. This is so they can get you to do what they want to do. Or just to make themselves feel better!

Say you set a boundary that you don’t want to loan them $100 every month. A toxic person might try to convince you to do it by telling you that all their friends think you’re out of order for not helping.

When really, they’re the ones being out of order for not respecting the fact that you’ve said no…

12) “I’m only saying this because I love you…”

This sentence is always followed by a backhanded compliment. Or just an insult, to be honest. Toxic people thrive off of putting you down – even though they’d never admit it!

To hide the truth, they make out like they’re saying things out of love, rather than spite. Like they might tell you how much weight you’ve gained, how awful your clothes look, how bad your hair looks, or even how much other people dislike you.

Then claim that they’re “only telling you because they love you”. Which is just a pile of trash!

Final thoughts

If you haven’t already gathered, toxic people are bad for your life. They can diminish your self-esteem and make you feel sad whenever you’re around them.

But the first step to protecting yourself is to catch them while you can!

When someone says any of these things in conversation with you, alarm bells should start ringing.

And you need to keep a close eye on things to make sure you don’t get too hurt…

Amy Reed

Amy Reed

Amy Reed is a content writer from London working with international brands. As an empath, she loves sharing her life insights to help others. When she’s not writing, she enjoys a simple life of reading, gardening, and making a fuss over her two cats.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.