If I’m being honest (which I promised to always be with you guys) 2018 has been, by far, the worst year of my life. It was off to an amazing start when Shaun proposed in January but quickly went downhill. Every year I think to myself that I can’t possibly go through what I went through the previous year and that I’ve reached my stress capacity but somehow every year this rings false. Now, I don’t want you to think I’m complaining…because I’m not. In fact, I embrace the crazy and the stress, and I take the good with the bad. All of these hard times are what allow me to grow as a person and they make me who I am. But, let your girl just have a moment of silence for how this year has treated her, okay?!
Shaun proposed and I thought it was going to be the best year I’ve ever had. Wedding planning, traveling, having a fiancé…it was going to be magical. And life took a huge shit on that idea. With 2018 coming to an end I have been reflecting on what I’ve gained, lost, and learned this year and I instantly thought of this blog post. 99% of what has happened to me this year wouldn’t have happened if I knew how to recognize a toxic person and stayed far away from them. I started thinking about what makes a person toxic and decided to make a list to hopefully save you guys the trouble of going through what I’ve gone through. Even if someone in your current life has these characteristics, I truly believe you should cut them off and cut them out and you’ll be much better off.
1. They make you feel icky.
I don’t know if icky is a word. I may have made it up. But the feeling is so real. If someone makes you feel this way and it is a constant pattern with them, chances are it’s time to drop them. Why keep someone around who makes you feel anything but happy? This isn’t a one time occasion either. The toxic ones always make you feel this way. Every time you take their phone call or meet them for lunch they drag you down with them. Their energy physically and mentally makes you feel icky.
2. They have a problem for every solution.
They have a negative thing to say for every positive thing you have to say. They focus on the bad instead of the good. They point out your flaws instead of your good traits. They make you feel self-conscious. Instead of building you up they break you down. They are constantly a Debbie Downer.
3. They don’t clap for you.
A good friend of mine had a friend that I didn’t care for at all. I could spot from a mile away that she wasn’t a very good person. She made me feel icky (see #1). Every time my friend would do something cool (start a business, make a sale, post a photo, literally anything) she would sit back and be critical about it instead of clap for her. Pay close attention to those who don’t clap for you. Your true people will be on the sidelines with pom poms every time you do anything good and exciting! Your people should be thrilled when you do something to better yourself.
4. They use the phrase “Must be nice.”
These are my least favorite kind of people on planet Earth. If I accomplish something or do something that I think is extremely exciting and you respond with “must be nice” I will assume that you would rather see me miserable than happy. You should view my progress as a celebration, not as a threat. Toxic people usually find joy in your failures and jealousy in your success.
5. They make you want to be a lesser version of yourself.
When you are around them it makes you want to dumb yourself down, be less successful, be a more ‘blah’ version of yourself. I had an ex tell me that I’m “too much”. Listen, I am a lot to handle. I’m a blunt woman with a lot of cojones. I don’t take shit from anyone and I fight for what I believe in. God bless you if you’re the one standing between me and what I want. Pro tip: move out of the way. But!!!! That’s me, you guys. And I found a man who loves me for exactly that. So in conclusion, I wasn’t “too much”. You sir, were just not man enough to handle it.
6. They always have baggage.
Like, always. I just got done telling you guys that this year has been a shitstorm for me and more things have happened to me this year than I even know what to do with. However, this is a one off. Like, I was personally victimized by 2018. This isn’t a normal year for me. However, I used to have people in my life where it was a normal thing for them to cycle through friends and boyfriends and jobs. Drama would follow them wherever they go and they were constantly fighting with loved ones. It wasn’t until I took a step back that I realized their ickiness (probably made up another word) was attracting all of these other toxic people and toxic situations.
7. They always have a ‘poor me’ attitude.
These are the same people who complain about things in their every day lives that they have complete control over. They complain about not making enough money yet they go home and play video games instead of searching for another job or learning a new skill. They look at the problem and spend more time focused on why it’s happening to them than the solution for the problem. They think the world is out to get them instead of taking a look inside themselves. They take a learning experience and turn it into an excuse, another reason to sulk.
8. They hear you but they don’t listen.
I had a family member who I was extremely close with who would call me every single morning. If she had something exciting to share with me or gossip she wanted to pass along she would get that out right away. By the time it was my turn to talk she would have to let me go or she would halfway listen. It always hurt me because it validated the feeling that I wasn’t important to her. The exciting things in my life, such as wedding planning, took a backseat while she had other things going on.
9. They only need you when they ‘need’ you.
In this world, there are givers and there are takers. This isn’t to say that all takers are toxic, and not all givers are innocent. However, it’s not uncommon for these things to go hand in hand. They will take, take, take from you until you have nothing left to give. And then they will leave you behind. But if you need anything from them they are nowhere to be found. The only time you’ll get a call from them is if they need to borrow your truck to move something for them or if they need some advice on a bad breakup they’re going through. I noticed in my personal life that the takers will take anything they can from me. It doesn’t even necessarily matter what it is, as long as they can take it.
10. They deflect the blame.
When you tell them how they make you feel and explain to them that their behavior is a toxic thing in your life they deflect the blame. They put it back on you. They make you question yourself. ‘Am I crazy?’ ‘Is that how it went down?’ You ask others around you if you’re a bad person. You already know, deep down, that you’re a good person and that you are not the problem but they are pointing at you and blaming you.
If any of these traits sound familiar to you whether it be in a friendship or a relationship, you need to leave these people behind. Some will figure out what they lost and why they lost it. Others will not. That is their loss.