I found plenty of articles online that tell you whether you are in a toxic work environment. This is a very important topic, but toxic environments do not only exist at work. We can also be in a toxic environment at home or in our social circles, but how do we know? These 10 signs will help you:
The first sign is that you are surrounded by clouds of negativity. The people around you simply always see the negative in everything. It’s Saturday? They tell you it’s almost Monday. There’s a cool opportunity for you? They tell you what could go wrong. It’s complaint after complaint and “but” seems to be their favorite word.
2. A listening ear? What’s that?
Another sign of being in a toxic social environment is that no one listens to you. They never ask about your problems and when they do ask, it’s because they want to talk about their problems. It’s me, me, me, and never you.
3. Jealousy, jealousy, jealousy
Toxic people will never be happy for your success and always see you as a competition. They may fake being happy for you, but it is never genuine. A good way to find out if they really want you to be successful is to ask yourself if they have ever helped you to achieve any of your successes. When you were looking for a job, did they search with you? Did they look at their connections and see how they could help you? If the answer to these questions is no, toxicity levels are high.
4. Criticism is not wanted
Another trait of toxic people is that they do not like to be criticized and easily get offended. While they are quick to point out the flaws in others, in their eyes there is nothing wrong with them. Even if you provide constructive criticism, it is simply not wanted.
5. You are unappreciated
When you are around toxic people, you do not feel worthy – quite the opposite. Even if you do everything for them, you never get any thank you or favors in return. Think about this: What I am doing for them, would they ever do this for me? If they wouldn’t, you are definitely around toxic people.
6. Only their will is way
Toxic people will do everything in their power to make things go their way and do not consider your wishes. What restaurant do you go to when you’re together? Is it always their pick? Do they even ask you what you want to do? You often end up doing things that you do not want to do. To avoid such situations, read my article on how to beat social pressure.
7. They are only in your life when it suits them
Very typical of toxic people is that they have need-based friends and you might be one of them. If they need someone with a car to drive them around and you have a car, they suddenly want to become best friends with you. Do you have difficulty saying no to them? Read my article on how to say no.
8. You cannot trust them
Shared you secrets and suddenly the whole town knows about it? Yes, toxic people are backstabbers and are not the people to tell your secrets to. They will smile in your face and talk about you behind your back. Do they talk bad about others when you are with them? Then they probably behave the same way when they are with other people.
9. You are not friends with their friends
Another sign that you are surrounded by toxic people is that they exclude you from their friend group. This is for two reasons: First, they do not perceive you to be “cool” enough. Second, they are afraid that you will actually become friends with their friends. After all, you’re a competition in their eyes. Remember, toxic people are only around you for a specific benefit and therefore you will never play a significant part in their life.
10. You are not happy
In the end, you are simply unhappy. You are not getting support from the people around you, which makes you feel unworthy and unmotivated. First and foremost, you have to listen to your feelings. When your feelings tell you something is not right, this is most likely the case.
The bottom line
Do you recognize any of these signs? If so, you are very likely surrounded by toxic people. It is in your best interest to stay as far away from them as you can, because you eventually become who you surround yourself with. If you surround yourself with toxic people, you will inherit many of their toxic traits. Likewise, if you surround yourself with positive people, you automatically become a more positive person.
The best thing to keep in mind is what will make you happy in the long run. If you are afraid to break ties with toxic people, because you fear that you will not have friends, do not worry. There are 7.5 billion people on Earth; you will meet more people. 🙂 Besides, life is way too short to be surrounded by people that do not value you and do not bring the best out of you!