5 reasons you're drawn to toxic people and don't realize it

What kinds of people are toxic? Why do you find yourself in toxic relationships with co-workers, friends, or even family members?

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  • There are likely many kind, good-hearted people in your life who wish you well. Sometimes your needs may clash with theirs. Or they might be under stress or simply having a bad day. Or they may just have an honest disagreement with you. That doesn't make them toxic. There are, however, people who are toxic. Those people should be avoided, if possible.

  • What does toxic behavior look like?

  • Toxic people consistently engage in these bad behaviors:

    • Constantly controls or intimidates.

    • Lies with impunity.

    • Perpetual victims, who are always trying to make you feel sorry for them.

    • Generate almost constant chaos.

    • Always negative or who constantly gossips.

    • Call you names, shout at you, or are mean to you either in private or in front of others.

  • How do you know when you're in a toxic relationship?

  • The easiest way to identify a toxic relationship is to be aware of your feelings about the other person. A good relationship is one where you look forward to spending time with someone else. If you always feel angry, frustrated or even depressed when you're around this person, that relationship is a toxic one for you.

  • 5 reasons you're attracted to people who are toxic and don't realize it

  • Some people find themselves in toxic relationships with family, friends, or coworkers and don't see it coming. Why does that happen, and what can you do about it?

  • 1. You are in a vulnerable time and place in your life

  • Perhaps you've recently moved to a new area, and you're trying to adjust. Maybe you've lost your job, or a close friend or family member. During these very vulnerable moments, you may be drawn to anyone who is nice to you or who shows you compassion. Toxic people can often be quite charming, at least in the beginning. When you're at a vulnerable point in your life, spend time with people you already trust.

  • 2. Someone tells you what you want to hear, and you believe them

  • There may be something you want to do that in your heart you know is inadvisable. Or perhaps objective data suggests that you should act otherwise. Your ego has gotten in the way. So you find someone who will agree with you. People who encourage you to act in ways that are not good for you in the long run, are not people you want in your life.

  • 3. You are so anxious to be in a relationship that you are willing to put up with one that's one sided.

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  • Ask yourself why this person means so much to you. Why are you the one who's always giving, and he is the one who is always taking? A good relationship should be mutually beneficial and never one sided. Both people's needs deserve to be met.

  • 4. You don't recognize the untrustworthy

  • Some people simply cannot be trusted. They tinker with the truth when it is in their best interest, and sometimes even when it doesn't matter. They don't think that lying to you or anyone else is a problem. A sense of personal integrity is lacking. Run, don't walk, away from people who distort or stretch the truth. Make sure you know them long enough to find out if what they're telling you is true.

  • 5. You are an eternal optimist or you like to fix others

  • What's wrong with being an eternal optimist? Usually nothing, unless the situation doesn't call for optimism. When you tolerate intolerable behavior for too long, in the hopes that it will change, even though months or even years of bad behavior suggest otherwise, that's unfounded optimism. Listen to the voice inside you. And if you are in the habit of thinking you can fix toxic others, stop. It's not your job.

  • What if you can't avoid being in a toxic relationship?

  • Sometimes you are in a toxic relationship that you can't avoid. This person may need to be in your life for one reason or another. What do you do then? The most important thing you can do is to be aware of your feelings, so you can manage your response appropriately. Take a step back and don't get drawn into someone else's drama Set appropriate boundaries.

  • Cherish the supportive and loving people in your life. They are a great blessing.

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Read about the power of families to seek after the one in Susan's book: Coming Home: A Mormon's Return to Faith.

Website: http://www.returntofaith.org

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