We all have come across toxic people in our lives but unfortunately, we may recognize the toxicity after we have befriended this person. We start seeing “signs” after we have given them the label of “friend”.  It’s that person in your life that you initially enjoy being around but that inevitably brings you down.

It’s a situation where you see that their disposition has changed or their true disposition has been revealed to you after years of thinking that this person was someone else.  So, once you get the sense that this person is not who you thought, how do you recognize if this person is toxic?

Here are five ways to recognize a toxic person:

1. They make you uncomfortable.  

Your mood is subtly brought down while in this person’s company and in ways you cannot really pinpoint.  It’s the friend that spends time making rude comments about your other friends or family, or who makes negative comments about his or her own family. These people may also poke fun at what you do or believe in, making you doubt yourself.

Negativity is a sign, but negativity isn’t always easy to spot.  Take note if you feel a change in your demeanor either around them or after you get home from a day with them.  These people do not contribute to your best self.    This is a toxic relationship.

2.  They make you feel sad.

These people are easier to pick out of your group.  They are usually sad themselves, and as a human being (especially if you are sensitive) you will pick up on their depressing vibes.  They may appear happy in their own self-loathing world and need your happy energy to feed off of because they cannot find it from within.  Alternatively, perhaps they need your stories about what is wrong in your life to make them feel better.

3.  They make you feel negative.

You notice that you rarely ever hear them say a nice thing about anyone and their comments are usually loaded with gossip.  It may seem okay at first but gossip is very contagious as well as very negative.   Gossip usually involves negative or degrading (“juicy”) stories about other people that you may or may not know.  Gossip feeds one’s own ego, and giving the “gossiper” a feeling of superiority over the “gossipee”.  Do not fall into this trap!

4.  They argue. 

Disagreement can be healthy, but when you find yourself around someone who is constantly finding a way to prove everyone wrong (disagreeing with you about whether the sky is blue) this person is toxic.  People who like to bicker or argue with anyone have an Ego that is damaged, always needing to feel right.  The Ego feels the need to put others down to give them a sense of belonging in their own inner argumentative world.  Do not engage and walk away!

5.  Their responses are always negative.

These people make you feel that your ideas are dumb or unattainable.  They may force upon you a severe level of self-doubt and leave you abandoning your passions, never offering a word of encouragement. Do not allow this to affect you.

Your aspirations and dreams are yours alone- no one else’s.

Sometimes in life, we do not realize when we are in a relationship with this type of person.  It can be a husband, friend, co-worker or family member.  It can be the person who has been in your life for a long time and then something shifted with them, or perhaps inside of you, thus creating a gap.  People grow and change every day, some for the better and some for the worse.  If you are growing for the better (which we hope you are) then congratulations!  Be proud of your positive mindset, and create a distance between you and any negativity in your life.

Maybe your toxic person will come around one day to your way of thinking.   But until then, do not let this person make you sacrifice your perspective on life.

Remember, love begins with you!