Why Are Some People Toxic?

You have that one friend or client who you know is toxic. Occasionally, you might have a pleasant conversation, but those are few and far between. Your interactions are typically negative and you end the video chat or phone call feeling anxious, upset, and wiped out.

Dealing with this person makes you wonder why some people are toxic. While not every toxic person is the same, they do share three common motivations. If you start paying attention to your interactions, you can usually spot which one is driving your toxic friend or client.

Their Jealousy is Poisoning You

You have the business client or that friend that you just can’t share good news with. Whether your win was big or small, a toxic person always downplays it. If they do acknowledge how hard you worked, they may do so in the form of a backhanded compliment.

An example of a backhanded compliment would be the friend that upon hearing about the new business deal you just closed says, “I’m so happy your little business is finally profitable.” While this comment may sound innocent, the toxic person is clearly trying to downplay your success. These types of comments usually stem from jealousy and have nothing to do with you.

Fortunately, the solution to handling this type of situation is easy. Stop sharing good news with people that won’t rejoice with you. In a healthy personal or professional relationship, there’s plenty of room to celebrate wins (small or big) together.

Their Judgment Leaves You Doubting Yourself

Some toxic friends and clients might act judgmental or say judgmental things. This type of behavior can leave you feeling like you must earn approval from the toxic person in your life. You may find yourself censoring not just what you say but who you are. As a result, you feel like you can’t be authentic with this person.

Judgement is one of the chief ways that a toxic person stunts your growth. They don’t want you to better yourself or your business. They want to keep you on their level or even slightly below their level. An example of this might be the client that posts negative testimonials on your website or LinkedIn profile despite the fact that they love your work.

Don’t look to a toxic friend or client for support about a life or business change you’re making. Instead, only tell people that you know will be genuinely happy for you and encourage you.

Their Insecurity Steals Your Spot Light

A toxic person is often insecure. One of the ways that you’ll see this behavior is that they have difficulty sharing the spot light. They want you to know that however great your life is, theirs is better. If you’re having a bad day, they’re having an even worse one.

Toxic friends or clients can turn everything into a competition. Even seemingly small things like the number of your social media followers or how much weight you lost can be a source of competition.

The worst thing you can do with this type of toxicity is try to win. Instead, you should refuse to join in the competition. For example, a friend wants to compare the amount of money you both make. Instead of naming a dollar amount, say something simple like, “I have enough to pay my bills and I’m grateful for that.” This shuts down the toxic person and doesn’t give them a way to compare anything.

Understanding why toxic people behave the way they do can make it easier for you to navigate your personal or professional relationship. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can change a toxic person’s outlook. If someone is determined to live in negativity and fear with a poor mindset, there’s not much you can do to change them. Instead, concentrate on bettering yourself and if possible, limit your time with this toxic person.

Want help finding a more positive outlook? Release yourself from those toxic people

Let’s talk about your experience with toxic people and what it means for your life and business moving forward.  

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