34 warning signs of toxic people you should never ignore

Do you have a toxic person in your life? Hang in there! I know it can be really tough. Being the scapegoat of a toxic person can be a very devastating experience that eats away at you like a parasite. 

They negatively impact your mental and emotional well-being, leaving you feeling frustrated, upset, and even helpless. Sometimes, you don’t even realize it before it’s too late. There are toxic people everywhere, so choose your personal and romantic relationships and work environments wisely.

But first, you need to know the tell-tale signs of their venomous ways to protect yourself. In this article, we will discuss 34 warning signs of toxic people that you should never ignore. Let’s jump in! 

1) They consistently disrespect boundaries

Toxic people have a habit of overstepping boundaries, whether in a personal or professional setting. 

If someone consistently disrespects your boundaries, it’s a sign that they do not value your feelings or needs. They have little respect for you, and their gratification is always the first priority. 

The toxic person never has any faults of their own. Yet they criticize everyone else…

2) They constantly criticize

A toxic person will often make critical comments about others, including their appearance, lifestyle choices, and behaviors. 

They may often make negative comments about you, trying to bring you down. They unfairly bring up mistakes from the past to deliberately make you feel worse.

And when you react, they pull the victim card…

3) They play the victim 

Toxic people can turn any situation into a pity party for themselves. 

They often blame others for their problems and refuse to take responsibility for their actions. They might push you and push you until you snap. Then you’re the bad guy here, according to them!

This is a form of manipulation. Speaking of which…

4) They’re master manipulators

Toxic people are experts in manipulation. They may use guilt, fear, or flattery to get what they want. They are acutely aware of your weaknesses and will use them against you, given the opportunity.

All of these traits are rooted in a lack of empathy…

5) They lack empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. 

Toxic people often lack empathy and cannot see things from another person’s perspective. That’s why they can hurt people the way they do and tend to act heartless.

6) They are always negative

Toxic people generally have a negative outlook on life and are always complaining about something. 

Being cynical is their default status. They almost always focus on the negative aspects of a situation rather than the positive.

Plus, toxic people tend to bend the facts, too…

7) They are dishonest

Toxic people may lie or manipulate the truth to suit their own agenda. 

They may also be deceitful and betray your trust. They make you question your own reality and are very convincing about it. 

And here’s another thing, a toxic person is “never” wrong…

8) They’re never wrong

Toxic people have an inflated sense of self-importance and believe they are always right. They will refuse to listen to other opinions or perspectives. It’s their way or the highway.

And since they only value their own opinion, they tend to be critical of everyone else…

9) They are overly critical

Toxic people may be overly critical of others, pointing out flaws and mistakes in an attempt to make themselves feel superior. It’s a classic way of compensating for their own insecurities. 

When you confront them about them, they may even take the passive-aggressive route…

10) They are passive-aggressive

spiritual exhaustion symptoms 34 warning signs of toxic people you should never ignore

Passive-aggressive behavior involves indirect communication, such as sarcasm or backhanded compliments. 

Toxic people will often use passive-aggressive behavior to manipulate and control others.

They’re so sly with their methods, so don’t let your guard down! 

11) They are attention-seeking

Toxic people may go to great lengths to seek attention, whether it’s through dramatic behavior or exaggerated stories. 

Perhaps they lacked attention earlier in life and are making up for lost time; either way, be wary of this!

12) They lack accountability

Toxic people may refuse to take responsibility for their actions, instead blaming others for their mistakes. 

It’s always someone else’s fault, never theirs. It’s difficult to argue with this stance, so just try to avoid it altogether!

Oh, did I mention they are judgmental, too?

13) They are judgmental

Toxic people may be quick to judge others, often making assumptions without knowing all the facts. They often do this to affirm their own biases or suspicions. 

14) They are self-centered

Toxic people are totally self-absorbed, almost completely focused on themselves and their own needs all the time. They disregard the needs and feelings of others. 

Surprise, surprise. When you’re around a toxic person, they’re controlling, too…

15) They are controlling 

Toxic people may try to control others, whether it’s through direct orders or subtle manipulation. And beware, their psychological tactics for control run deep!

16) They are usually in a bad mood 

Toxic people may be moody and unpredictable, often taking their frustrations out on others. This is projection, and being the recipient of it can be really hurtful and confusing.

They aren’t stable and consistently inconsistent…

17) They are inconsistent

Toxic people may be inconsistent in their behavior, changing their attitudes and opinions without warning. One day you’re the love of the life, the next you’re their worst enemy. 

18) They are dismissive

Toxic people may dismiss your feelings or concerns even when you try to open up to them, belittling your emotions and making you feel insignificant.

19) They’re gossip queens (and kings) 

Toxic people may spread rumors or gossip about others, often to make themselves feel better or gain an advantage.

They live for gossip because they feel the need to compete with others. And since we’re on the topic of competition…

20) They are overly competitive 

Toxic people may be overly competitive, always trying to one-up others and come out on top. These constant acts of self-affirmation are a way of life for a toxic person. 

They get jealous too, even of those close to them…

21) They are jealous 

Toxic people may be jealous of others’ success or happiness, often trying to bring them down or diss them behind their backs.

Don’t piss off a toxic person, either. They won’t take it lightly…

22) They are quick to anger

Toxic people may have a short fuse and lash out or blow up in anger, even in minor situations.

23) They use insults and name-calling

doesnt want a relationship 34 warning signs of toxic people you should never ignore

Toxic people may resort to insults and name-calling when they feel threatened or challenged, belittling you until you have very little-self worth

But take a step back, remember, this is all a part of their mind games…

24) They play mind games

Toxic people almost always play mind games, trying to confuse and manipulate others to get what they want. Don’t fall into the trap!

25) They are passive

Toxic people may be passive, avoiding confrontation and refusing to take action when action is necessary due to laziness or indifference.

They’re equally lazy when acknowledging your achievements…

26) They are dismissive of your achievements

Toxic people may belittle your achievements or refuse to acknowledge your successes. And if you don’t know this yet, you deserve better.

Remember, toxic people aren’t born toxic; they likely have had a turbulent past… 

27) They have a history of unstable relationships

Toxic people often have a history of unstable relationships, whether it’s romantic, family, or professional. You can try to understand them, but I’ll warn you, that’s an uphill battle!

28) They gaslight

Gaslighting is a form of manipulation in which a person makes someone question their own sanity or reality. 

Toxic people may gaslight others to gain control. It’s their way of changing history, bamboozling you in the process!

29) They use guilt trips

Toxic people may use guilt trips to manipulate others, making them feel guilty for not doing what the toxic person wants. 

For example, if you’ve made a mistake, they’ll use it against you for months, and in extreme cases, years!

This is a blatant sign of disrespect. Speaking of which…

30) They are disrespectful

Toxic people may be disrespectful, making rude comments or behaving in an offensive or inappropriate manner to you and your friends or family.

Yet, they always cry for help…

31) They are always in need of help

Toxic people may constantly seek help from others, taking advantage of their kindness and generosity. Yet when the same is asked from them… crickets!

32) They refuse to apologize

One of the first things I’ve noticed about toxic people is that everyone is wrong except them. 

Toxic people refuse to apologize or take responsibility for their actions, even when it’s crystal clear that they are in the wrong.

And if you point it out, they don’t take well to criticism…

33) They are unable to handle criticism

Toxic people may be unable to handle criticism (even if it’s constructive), instead becoming defensive or lashing out when confronted with their faults.

And last but not least, the toxic person doesn’t have much self-awareness…

34) They lack self-awareness 

Toxic people may lack self-awareness, unable to recognize their own toxic behaviors or how they hurt and negatively impact others

They’re in their own world, one of denial and narcissism. 


To recap, if you have a toxic person in your life, either you have to make a real effort to fix things or do yourself a favor and walk away quickly! I promise you, you deserve a whole lot better.

Don’t be content in denial, be proactive in improving yourself and your situation.

Remember, everyone deserves to be happy. Be aware of the signs of a toxic person and be ready to leave if things don’t improve. In the long run, you definitely won’t regret it! 

Picture of Daniel Mabanta

Daniel Mabanta

Daniel Mabanta is a freelance writer and editor, entrepreneur and an avid traveler, adventurer and eater. He lives a nomadic life, constantly on the move. He is currently in Manila, Philippines and deciding where his next destination will be.

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